Feb 23, 2011

Feb - 09 2011 | By

Noon – 2 PM — Wed: Extended Show!


Free online Optical Character Recognition !


Nevada County Weather & Commentary


iPad, iPhone and more: Printing to your Printer! http://www.printeranywhere.com/


Speed Traps Nationswide?! http://www.speedtrap.org


Nomad Brush Artistry for iPads, Etc.. HERE


Better Deals by Searching than Directly by Website?
IE http://www.vistaprint.com for business cards, etc


small budget fund raising ? Try KICKSTARTER


More Google DOCS formats- Now most Office Docs can be read on the Web


Global Unarchiver for MAC (TheUnArchiver) and for PC (IzArc)


Comparing Various Streaming Media Options


Additional notes

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart

They're tagged with #Zentech

Editor comments are delimited by < >

Paul said if you don't like the way Facebook displays photos, hit F5 and it will go back to the way it previously worked

Glenn doesn't like Facebook because he keeps getting "I love you" types messages from people he doesn't know.
Paul likes it for sharing photos.

Many applications running on the web like Gmail or Google Docs will respond to shortcut keys. E.g. in Gmail if you hit the C key, you'll be able to create a new email.
There are shortcut key for programs you run locally; like in Firefox you can switch tabs with cntrl-1 to go to tab 1, cntrl-2…to go to tab 2, etc.
You can often find out about the shortcut keys using the help facility of the program you're running.

Glenn likes to set his mouse so it will be over the default button in a dialog box. <In XP go to Control Panel -> mouse -> 'pointer options' tab and set the 'Automatically move pointer to the default button in a dialog box'

Paul made the comparison between how Facebook & the internet gained popularity. As both gained users, the amount of useless info increased. So, you need to be more discriminating and find what's useful for you.

Paul said social sites like Facebook work differently from email in that you broadcast information without expecting a reply. He compared it to Usenet where people post & read messages on topics of particular interest. <To experience Usenet go to groups.google.com or use Thunderbird or similar programs>

Glenn mentioned that social media like Facebook & Twitter facilitated the recent social unrest in Egypt.

Paul talked about flash mobs where people gather together in response to posts in the social media sites. Type in the words "flash mob" on Youtube to get video of mobs. Paul thinks that's how dissidents in Egypt got together.

Due to a need at KVMR to convert a picture of text, inside of a PDF file, to plain text, Paul discovered an online site that does optical character recognition (OCR). You don't have to extract the pictures from the PDF individually, you can just send the entire PDF and the site will do the extraction & conversion to text (or a Word document). See the above link.
Paul said the recognition was extremely accurate.

Glenn recalled that the IBM computer called Watson won the Jeopardy contest last week. He said Watson might have had an advantage by being able to press the button quickly. You can find the Watson at ibm.com/watson

You can find an interesting weather site for Nevada County by following the above link. It's privately run and has Doppler radar and photos of local scenes in the blog.

Paul talked about printing from an iPad or iPhone. One way is to copy the text and paste it into an email and then later print the email.
There are 3 apps to print from an iPad. They do best when using an HP printer on a network, but you have to use software called Bonjour (Rendezvous in the PC world) on the computer connected to the printer. The process is simplified by going to the website printeranywhere.com. See the above link.

Glenn again mentioned the $150 Coby tablet model md7015 running Android version 2.1 (see previous show notes). Though it was fine for downloading & reading ebooks, he found, for instance, that when it was in Mexico, the menus switched to Spanish and it was hard to figure out how to switch back. Other problems included poor response and difficulty working with the touch screen. He said he will be returning the unit.

Paul said that there is a hack of the Android operating system but it's not straightforward.

Thanks to Mikail for revealing a new website for hacking the iPhone called whited00r.com. The info for hacking the phone is widely scattered and this site brings it all together. It's especially useful for older iPhones.

Phil called to asked about OCR, He has a project to scan documents of different formats.
– You can try the previously mentioned onlineocr.net.
– There are 2 professional products:
  1) nuance.com Omnipage at $149 and a better one called Omnipage Pro at $499, which will do a better job of maintaining the format (like putting tables of numbers into a spreadsheet).
  2) Canon & Panasonic have special printers/scanners for document management in large projects. Some use keywords that you assign to documents to make them easier to find later. Finding what you've scanned can become a problem in large projects.
– Glenn recommended scanners with a document feeder to do a large number of pages.
– Glenn said most scanners come a light version of OCR software which can then be upgraded.
– Nuance also makes Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software.

Mikail called in to say Apple will be announcing new stuff, possibly tomorrow. Word of a new Macbook Pro is expected. And the iPad 2 should be announced on Wed March 2nd.
He said the iPad 3G has been discounted heavily in Britain for 99 pounds including service. That's in anticipation of the new model.
The new Macbook Pro will include Intel's Lightpeak (named Thunderbold by Apple). This is a connection port that gives you 10 gigabits/sec.
Mikail said, if you're planning to buy a Macbook or iPad, wait for the new models.
Paul said that Apple used a custom chip in the iPad and that makes it more responsive than any other tablet he's seen, avoiding problems like Glenn had with the Coby.
Mikail also suggest you go to the Apple Store & get a referb of a current model, if you want to save money.

Paul mentioned you can get a 'touch stylus' on Ebay for use on touch screens. Some people may find a stylus easier to use than a finger. They go for $2 or $3.

A company called Nomad has come out with a brush for use on touch screens. It's for artists and is supposed to simulate using a brush for painting. It costs about $24. See the above link.

Greg called and said he's tried to read from a floppy disk but he gets an error. And he has some CDs with files that end in .pft <I think that's what he said> that he hasn't been able to open.
– The .pft files can be opened in Outlook. You have to have a copy of Outlook that hasn't been used. You can then use the import function.
– Or, you can create a new profile, a new user, on your computer. Then log out as the current user and log in as this new user. Then run Outlook. It will create a new .pft file. Close Outlook and replace the newly created .pft file with the one you're trying to open. You should then have access to it. This is most reliable way to do what you want.

For Greg's floppy problem:
– Before replacing the floppy drive, try reading your floppy in friends computer.
– Buy another floppy drive. You can get a USB connected floppy drive from Ebay for about $25.
Greg said he can read other floppies in his drive.
– Disks written on one drive may not be readable on another drive due to alignment problems. You'll be able to read disks created on your drive but not others.
– Go back to the computer that created the questionable floppy and see if it will read the disk. Then copy the files off of it.

Mike called. He has a desktop with XP that's running slow. And he asked if the Macs are subject to same problem.
– Maybe it needs a cleanup; vacuum up the dust. <Dust may make the CPU run slower. A control mechanism throttles it down to prevent overheating because dust keeps the heat in>

The disclaimer:
Everything you hear on KVMR is that of the speaker, not necessarily of KVMR staff, board, or underwriters or volunteers.
– Reinstall the operating system (XP). Then it'll run as fast as when you bought it.
– Give it more memory (RAM).
– Clean out the scratch files and redundant files. See the Favorite Files & Utilities page for things like Ccleaner & defrag programs.
– Glenn said some programs that do cleanup, like Weatherbug, install unneeded file and can actually slow down your machine.
– You can check how much RAM you have if you right-click on your desktop and choose properties and then the General tab. Check your manual for the maximum you can install.
– The Mac doesn't have similar problems though you may need to do occasional maintenance by running the disk utilities.
Off topic: Paul mentioned The Unarchiver for file compression on the Mac and IzArch for the PC. See the above link.
Paul said refurbished or used Macs are a good choice but don't use anything less than OS 10.

Paul talked about podcasts as a way of time shifting your listening activity. He recommended iTunes for podcasts even if you don't have an iPod. Many items on the iTunes store are free. He said he enjoys podcasts from Radio Lab and The Moth. He then played a sample from Radio Lab.

If you'd like to know where the speed traps are, visit speedtrap.org.

Paul was recently shopping for business cards at vistaprint.com but then tried cheapbusinesscards.com. Eventually he was directed back to Vistaprint which then detected he'd been shopping around, and so, offered a substantial discount. You may take advantage of similar tactics for other products, just don't delete your cookies.

kickstarter.com is an interesting site for raising funds for small projects. See above link.

Google Docs now supports more formats. See the above link.

Pamala called to confirm the name of the previously mentioned unarchiver. It's Theunarchiver for the Mac & IzArc for the PC. IzArc can open ISO image files too. The links are up above.
The guys highly recommended these programs; they have been using IzArc for a long time.

Roman called wanting to know how to have big documents display on an iPad or some other more cost-effective device.
– You can use Microsoft Word to create HTML documents.
– Save as a PDF file. Android devices should be able to read that format.
Is anything cheaper than iPad that will work for this?
– The Coby unit talked about earlier, Coby also makes units called Velocity, and Cruse. Many companies are currently coming out with similar products running the Android operating system.

Brian called wanting to know how get email to be automatically forwarded from an SBC Global account to a Yahoo account.
– Create a Yahoo account and activate the option to pull in mail from an external account.
– As a paying user of sbcglobal you're entitled to a paid account at Yahoo; call them & ask.

2/3 of Netflix subscriptions are for streaming media as opposed to DVDs.
– There are a couple hundred units that can stream Netfilx, Roku was the first at about $69 base price.|
– Not all titles are available for streaming.
– You need about 2 megabit connection.
– Some DVD players & TVs have Ethernet port & chip that can stream in Netfilx.
– Amazon just started a streaming service.
– See the above link.
– Apple TV has dropped to $99. It does streaming too, from iTunes but maybe not Netflix.
– The Slingbox takes its input from a video source of your choice (usually at home) and then sends the video over the internet to be seen wherever you happen to be. But, sometimes you may get the error "you're in the wrong country". So, there are limitations.

Gary called to ask if can you get special content over the internet like the extra content of DVD'S?
– No, not yet. But the firmware in the Roku boxes can be updated so eventually it may be possible.
– The Roku unit won't work with the older non-Intel Macs and you'll need the Silverlight plugin.

Gary also asked about Mac clones, aka the hackintosh. That is, running Mac software on a PC.

Ways to hackintosh:
– Download an illegal version of the Mac operating system.
– Change the BIOS on the PC so the Mac OS will think it's running on a Mac. This is the best way to go.
– It's not for the faint of heart. Don't do anything serious with a hackintosh because OS updates can disable it. Turn off the update feature.
– Paul tried it using something called Kinoma but it's not for all models of PC's.

Next show is March 9

Last updated: 3:00 PM 2/24/2011