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Wretched day with a few bright spots - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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April 1st, 2010

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02:59 am - Wretched day with a few bright spots
My somewhat technologically inept friend Aaron asked me to convert a PDF to a text file for him. I expected to either be able to select the text or use my ebook converter program on it. Then, I discovered it was a scan of a document and so entered the rather hideous world of OCR (Optical Character Reading) programs, which included uselessly crippled free trial programs, programs that looked excellent if I wished to spend $30, a google documents app that naturally failed (which is perfectly in keeping with the general wretchedness that is google documents), a free downloadable program that required me to go through the document almost word by word to help it decipher words that looked perfectly obvious, but which confused it, and other uselessness. Then, at long last, I found an online site that would let me convert all 21 pages for $3.00. It worked - except that when I attempted to covert the file into RTF, it would only convert the first 5 pages. So, I converted the PDF to a series of 21 .jpgs using my ebook convertor, and then converted the pages individually - one page uploaded and converted at a time, and then pasted into the same document. It's utterly amazing that fast on-line OCR is possible, but it's still a wretched annoyance.

Still, it was easier than earlier this week, when I walked my utterly technophobic mother through creating and saving a word document on my parents computer over the phone, which included lines like "yes, click on the little picture that you said looks like a TV set".

In any case, battling OCR software was definitely not the easiest way to spend a day that also included more cat medical troubles (details here - nothing urgent, just two elderly cats who are not going to be around all that much longer).

On the bright side, I made a lovely version of Huevos Rancheros, based on this recipe, except over rice rather than tortillas, and with tomatillos rather than tomatoes in the salsa. Also, I have a brief, but utterly wonderful conversation with my dear friend shadowmorphic. Becca, Alice, and I are all really looking forward to her visiting soon.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
There are numerous bits of software that'll let you remote control someone else's PC. Some of them are free. I've used them when my parents have technical problems in the past, as it's a lot easier than talking them through the problem.
[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2010 10:30 am (UTC)
I've considered this, and I really should do it. I didn't know that any of the programs were free, thanks. I'll definitely look into this.
[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC)
You will, of course, let them know you can fix things remotely, and let them know before doing so, yes? Otherwise, a panicked phone call from a parent on the order of "OMG, aliens took over my computer!" will probably ensue.
[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
Software: logmein
[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2010 11:32 am (UTC)
FFR, Acrobat's built in OCR works quite decently.

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