Tag Archives: freeware

Download streaming video with freeware

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a free utility that would allow you to download and save almost any streaming video watchable on your web browser? I’m talking about all YouTube videos, videos on news sites like CNN, streaming entertainment from sites that allow you to watch movies and TV shows, and almost all other streaming video content?

You can – and it’s simple, quick, and free!

In fact, just about the only videos you cannot download are those that have been protected and made non-downloadable. That is, generally speaking, most streaming video is downloadable by default – unless the site has gone out its way to protect the video.

Simply install the latest version of RealDownloader.

logo - Real video player

Previous versions of the video downloader component of Real Basic (the free version of the popular Real video player) stopped working a few weeks ago after recent browser updates – at least, I think that’s what happened. All I know for sure is the Download this video option stopped appearing on my browsers – both Chrome and Firefox. (“Download this video” is a popup option that’s supposed to appear for most streaming video on the web when the Real software is working properly.)

Although I’d resigned myself to forget about downloading streaming video for free, I just happened to see RealDownloader as I was reviewing a list of popular or new freeware at CNET/ download.com. This software is very new, so this was not the same version that had stopped working for me a few weeks earlier.

I just installed the newest version of RealDownloader, and I have confirmed that it works by downloading my first video (a video from the YouTube Trend Dashboard).


Resources: Download streaming video with freeware

How to determine installed version of Flash Player

logo - Adobe Flash player

I decided to write up these quick and easy instructions when today’s upgrade to the Firefox 6 web browser was recommended. I’m glad Firefox is keeping on top of browser security issues, but the frequent upgrades definitely get in the way of the browser addons and extensions I’ve come to count on. That’s one reason Google‘s fantastic Chrome browser has been my number-one choice for last few months.

Fast method

Navigate directly to the About Flash Player page. This web page will tell you the exact version of Adobe‘s Flash Player currently installed on your system.

Speedy method

When you don’t have the above URL handy, you can simply navigate to any web page that includes a Flash movie/object (e.g., CNN.com). Right-click on the Flash object and choose About from the context menu. A Flash Player web page will automatically open which shows you the version currently installed on your system.

Resources: How to tell which version of Flash Player is installed on your computer

Getting started with FreeMind mind-mapping freeware

logo - FreeMind mind mapping software

IMHO, mind mapping represents nothing short of a paradigm shift in the documentation of ideas.

Several months ago, I toyed with the idea of mind mapping; but after installing a couple of programs I did not do much with the concept. example of a mind map created with FreeMind, best mind mapping freeware Now I’ve reached a point where I really do need to learn how to get started with mind mapping. For one thing, I want to see if mind mapping makes more sense as a documentation tool for my thoughts, how one subject leads to another related subject, which leads to another, and yet another, etc. Given the somewhat non-linear development of my own personal thought bubbles, the usual documentation methods (e.g., standard word processing with Word, spreadsheets with Excel, etc.) just don’t seem as efficient as I believe mind mapping will prove to be.

Finding decent mind-mapping tutorials

logo - FreeMind mind mapping software

I started out trying to follow Mike’s FreeMind tutorial video at YouTube (this video is now a couple of years old), but he was using an Apple computer and an old version of FreeMind. The very first editing instruction according to Mike’s tutorial video did not work on my Windows system and newly installed FreeMind (current version is 0.9.0) software.

Luckily, I found a much newer FreeMind video tutorial: a ten-minute movie called FreeMind Free Mind Mapping Software Tutorial Mind Map uploaded just a few weeks ago (June 5, 2011) by ThisMightHelp.

FreeMind Free Mind Mapping Software Tutorial Mind Map

Resources: Getting started with FreeMind mind mapping software

example of a mind map created with FreeMind, best mind-mapping freeware

Proper grammar for mind-mapping

For now at least, mind map appears to be proper grammar; mindmap appears to be improper. I was hoping to merge it into one word, but it looks like two words is correct. (Source: Mind map – Dictionary.com)

A working memory game that actually helps, per studies

My web development partner Tristan sent me a Lifehacker post about Brain Workshop, a game that promises to help improve the player’s working memory (WM).

According to Wikipedia:

Working memory is the ability to actively hold information in the mind needed to do complex tasks such as reasoning, comprehension and learning. Working memory tasks are those that require the goal-oriented active monitoring or manipulation of information or behaviors in the face of interfering processes and distractions. The cognitive processes involved include the executive and attention control of short-term memory which provide for the interim integration, processing, disposal, and retrieval of information. Working memory is a theoretical concept central both to cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

According to Wired:

Fluid intelligence was previously thought to be genetically hard-wired, but the finding suggests that with about 25 minutes of rigorous mental training a day, healthy adults could improve their mental capacities.

Source: Forget Brain Age: Researchers Develop Software That Makes You Smarter – article from Wired

Resources: Brain Workshop

Free memory optimizers for Windows XP

clouds - lenticular sunset

I took a quick look at some of the currently available freeware to help my computer run better with the limited RAM it has, which is a mere 1GB. How I’ve gotten by on this with my heavy computer usage is anyone’s guess, but it is starting to become a hindrance.

My computer still works nicely following a fresh reboot, or more often in my case, after running two system optimizers: Glary Utilities and Advanced System Care Free. However, once I have several applications running along with a dozen or so web sites open in Google’s Chrome browser, things often begin to slow down. Firefox, my favorite browser, crashes regularly (even Firefox 5) – and in Chrome, the Flash plugin is always the first to crash.

I abandoned Internet Explorer for Firefox years ago and I’ve not missed IE one bit; however, given the issues with the machine that currently serves as my primary computer, Chrome is the browser that consistently runs the best and the longest without crashing.

I’ve decided to install FreeRAM XP Pro – hope it helps!

I also installed the Memory Fox 7.4 add-on to my Firefox 5 browser today per the suggestion of Tristan R., my web development partner; with luck, this will allow me to return to regular Firefox browsing.

Resources: Free memory optimizers for Windows XP