Tech questions: (video in presentations and database/programming)

I have around five years doing tech support for varied hardware, software, OS, peripherals, and Internet. I’ve done a smidgen of command-line work in Unix, and I know enough html to make a really ugly webpage. So, while not a complete naif, I know a little bit about a lot of things, and a lot about very little. Which is why I’m asking here.

  1. My school district blocks YouTube, which just makes me crazy, as there is so much good stuff on it. Is there a way I can pull down a YouTube clip, save it to my hard drive and import it into a presentation document (like MS Office PowerPoint) so I can play it for my class?

  2. I have an idea for a personal health journal database that I’d like to work up. I’d like to make this a learning project, because I really will be starting from scratch, and my least expectation is that it will take me 6-12 months to really figure out what I’m doing. My current OS is Ubuntu, and I’d prefer to keep it, as nearly everything is free, and the documentation is decent.

So . . . what software do I need to create a database with user interface and querying capabilities? Is there a free version available for Ubuntu? Are there tutorials out there? Will I need to learn how to code, and if so, which language is best (I have coded before, but it was Fortran)?

Thank you for taking me seriously and offering helpful suggestions.

Regarding #1, I believe there are programs out there that allow you to download YouTube videos, but I have not tried them. I don’t know what YouTube’s policies are in this matter. However, in regards to your statement “download the videos to your hard drive”, I am assuming you mean “download the videos to my hard drive at home and then bring the videos in and play them on the computer at school” (emphasis mine). The reason I mention this is because your school is probably blocking any traffic (and not just browser traffic) to the YouTube domain, meaning that you would not be able to retrieve any files from YouTube.

Regarding #2, MySql and PostgreSQL are both available for free. Either should be more than adequate for your needs. There are many tutorials available online, and many books available from stores. Our company’s flagship software is Linux-based and runs against PostgreSQL. We program in C.

You can also program in PHP, Perl, or Python, to name a few off the top of my head.

The freeware app (or is that apps?) I’ve heard of work by finding a cached video file on your hard drive and saving this file, as an flv, to a path and name where it can easily be found. This means you’ll still need to play the video back on YouTube. You’d need to play the video for long enough that the entire video file has downloaded. These apps will only work for progressive download videos, not true streaming.

There is no easy way to directly link to the source video file without using the YouTube player as an intermediary. In the past year or so, YouTube has made this a great deal more difficult. The message here, policy being what it may or may not, is that YouTube does not want you taking stuff out of the YouTube environment.

This. I use MySQL with PHP. If possible, and if I were in your position, I’d find out what I’d need to do to set up Apache, MySQL, and PHP on my Ubuntu environment. Last time I needed to do something like this, there were plenty of excellent tutorials out there and it only took me a couple of hours. No programming as such involved, and the documentation is such that everything under the hood is well-lit.

For a database interface, I use and would recommend PHPMyAdmin. It’s nothing fancy, but it does allow both command line and basic gui management of databases.

Any SQL you would need for the purposes you’re describing should be very easy to learn. Just check out the online MySQL tutorial.

Youtube Downloader is a free program to download Youtube Videos. There are other programs to convert the videos to a usable format for other use. Of course, you have to keep in mind any copywrite and such.