Friday is Free Day – 4K Video Downloader

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4K Video Downloader is another free video downloader available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms. One cool feature that separates it from other video downloaders is that it gives you an option to download subtitles if they’re available.

4K-Video-Downloader“Simple yet effective” – that’s what users usually comment on the application. Just copy the video URL and click the Paste Link button. You’ll be given options on the quality of video you want to download and if it has subtitles, it also gives you the option to download them in SRT format. The video formats vary from MP4, MKV, M4A, and FLV. You can download videos from Youtube, DailyMotion, Facebook, and Vimeo. Playlists can also be downloaded but if it’s more than 25 clips, you’ll have to get a license key. Still, not bad.

Other applications offered by 4K Download are MP3 extraction apps, slideshow maker, and Instagram image grabber.

Friday is Free Day – FOG Project

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One strenuous task when you’re maintaining Windows-based machines (computer laboratories) is preparing the machines for use. This includes OS and 3rd-party software installation, updating the machines, and tweaking system settings. This really eats up time and is boring.

The task was then eased up with cloning/imaging software. Before, I had to remove hard drives, connect them as slaves to a source computer, and then run a cloning software using a floppy disk. Removing and installing back hard drives is still tedious for me.  Then there was a cloning software that stores and retrieves cloned images via network and uses a disc to boot up a machine(s). Cloning is limited with the number of boot discs you’re using. And then, there’s FOG Project.

FOG ProjectFOG is a cloning solution that utilizes the network to store and retrieve cloned images and uses TFTP and PXE to boot machines. Because of this, you can clone multiple machines without any extra cost on discs. It’s Linux-based and is free.

You’ll only have to create a FOG server using Fedora 7+ or Ubuntu. Installation is very easy and straight-forward. After the installation, you can access your server using a web browser. From there, you can manage your machines and tasks. Aside from imaging, you may also use FOG for disk wiping, virus scanning, file recovery and more. A guide/documentation on the implementation is also available from the FOG Project website.

I took a picture of a machine’s screen during the creation of an image from a source computer sent to the FOG server. I’ll try to add the cloning process. More screenshots are found in the FOG Project website.

Saving an image

Saving an image

Download FOG from SourceForge.

Friday is Free Day – Prey

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Prey is a lightweight, open-source software that lets owners keep track of their phones and laptops. This app will also let you find your mobile devices if they ever get lost or stolen. Here’s a story, just this May, about a missing laptop and how the owner retrieved it by using Prey (and Twitter too).

Download Prey from the preyproject website and install it on your device. It’s cross-platform – supports Mac, Windows, and Linux. Install the software and create your Prey account. After the installation, visit your Prey account control panel by logging in to the website. Here’s my control panel:

Sample Device

Registered device

You’ll see that you’re machine is now being tracked. If you’re device is stolen or is missing, just log in to your control panel and click on your device name. From there, you can inform the Prey website that your device is missing, set the frequency of Prey reports to your email, get your device’s current location (geolocation), turn the webcam on, grab a screenshot, etc.

Prey Control Panel

Prey Control Panel

After saving the changes just wait for reports on your email which you may use to track down your device. If you have problems about the software, preypoject’s support page is a good place to look for solutions.

Update:

I tested Prey and set my registered device’s state to missing.

Missing Device

Device declared missing

After 10 minutes of waiting, I got an email from Prey about the missing laptop. I waited for its second report and here’s the screenshot (notice that I’m already using a Windows 7 machine while the subject device is a  MacBook Pro):

Prey report screenshot

Spongebob took my laptop!

There’s the webcam shot of the person who has the laptop, a screenshot of what he’s doing, details about the current IP address, logged user, and the machine’s uptime. Those would help tracking down the missing device.

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