dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I am looking at e-readers, and am intrigued by the new Kindle, both for its smallness and its (relative) cheapness. My main purpose in buying an e-reader is to read fanfic without having to lug my laptop around, so my main concern is the ability to transfer TXT, PDF and HTML files to the device and be able to read them.

As I looked more deeply into the nuts and bolts of the Kindle tranfser process, though, I saw a big snag, and want to ask Kindle users if I'm reading the help files correctly about PDF and HTML files. Here is what the Amazon help files say about the types of files Kindle recognizes when connected by USB:

Here's a list of the directories and the file types recognized by Kindle:

* Documents: Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1). Text (.TXT), Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC)
* Audible: Audible (.AA, .AAX)
* Music: MP3 (.MP3)

[Blah blah DRM blah]

Personal Documents

Kindle's Personal Document Service allows you to e-mail the following approved file types to your Kindle's e-mail address:

* Microsoft Word (.DOC)
* RTF (.RTF)
* GIF (.GIF)
* PNG (.PNG)
* BMP (.BMP)
* PDF (.PDF): See below for details.
* Microsoft Word (.DOCX) is supported in our experimental category.

Okay. If I am reading this and the section on transferring files by e-mail correctly, I will not be able to transfer PDF or HTML files directly to my Kindle via USB. Instead, I will have to e-mail PDF and HTML files to a special e-mail address, and they will then be sent via wireless to my Kindle.

So, my question for current Kindle users is this: Am I reading this right? Do I have to jump through e-mail hoops and wireless just to send a PDF or HTML file I've saved on my own computer to the Kindle? Really?

This is close to being a serious deal-breaker for me. Nearly all of what I read is saved in TXT format, but more and more authors are offering longer stories in single-file PDFs. If anyone reads PDFs on their Kindle, I'd be interested in your experiences and advice. Including if the wireless process is actually very easy and painless. :)
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I am a genius! And also, amazingly stupid!

One of the problems I was having with my old computer was that all kinds of image files were getting mysteriously corrupted while in my New Fic folder. This did not happen to them while they were in any other folder, just the New Fic folder, and it only happened to files that had some kind of images with them, like .pdfs or picture files. Since there were Other Issues with my computer, I figured that this was probably just some thing with the hard drive going wonky.

I've had my new computer for a few weeks now, and so far all has been well with images and such in the New Fic folder. Until today. I opened a .pdf to read it, and lo! It was wonky. So was every other image and .pdf in the folder.

If you're going to screw yourself over, at least be able to figure out how you're doing it. Eventually. )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Important Writing Tip: If you decide to update your stories on an archive (that you kind of forgot you had them on) and need to use a different HTML tag than the one you just laboriously replaced your ancient ASCII asterisks with, make sure you copy the files to the new working folder. That way, when you inevitably screw up the search and replace (as usual) and need to trash the duplicate files and re-copy them from the originals, you won't go back to the original folder and say, "Hey, where are the originals..." and have to spend twenty minutes replacing the old HTML.

(Yes, yes, I have backups. But they were across the room. And I possibly didn't think of using them until I was almost done.)

No, really, I've been using computers for twenty-five years. Honest.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Okay, so I'm sort of caught up with all my immediate things-I-want-to-be-caught-up-on. I have hit my NaNoWriMo goal for today (35,106 words!), and if I just write a little more than 1,000 words a day I'll get it done.

I have also uploaded all my stories to Archive of Our Own. So far, I'm pretty happy with it. I didn't have any technical problems getting my stories on there, and I like most of the tagging and labeling features. There are couple of things that I suspect still need to be refined a bit, notably what, exactly, the various warning options are supposed to mean, but on the whole what's there is workable.

So long, Usenet formatting, I shall miss you )

Also, why the case sensitive option is your friend )

My thoughts on AO3 tagging )
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Aaah, the twice-yearly hard drive purge. Nine whole gigabytes in which to stretch out, for a while anyway. I tend to dread doing it, because while my backing up involves sticking a thumb drive in and throwing over the few tiny text files that are new, the Great Hard Drive Purge involves actually moving computer stuff around and disconnecting drives from PCs and hooking them up to Macs and other gargantuan efforts. Which is why I only tend to do it when I'm having to delete yesterday's podcasts to have room for today's.

I realize that 9GB doesn't sound like much, but my entire hard drive is only 80GB, and frankly, if it wasn't for my habit of saving certain podcasts, I'd probably not even be close to filling it up ever. Fan fiction, after all, doesn't take up a lot of space. It took me three years of obsessive story saving to hit 500MB on my Torchwood folder, after all. Though, admittedly, if I saved the HTML instead of just the text, it would likely be about ten times that size. Which is why I save the text. :)

Then again, I have about two terabytes hooked up to the PC, so it's not like I'm practicing hard drive economy anywhere else.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
I'm restoring my confidence by messing with the Windows computer, and I decided that I would conduct my semi-sporadic search for a multi-file search and replace utility for Windows. At the moment, I'm completely unable to survive without TextWrangler, which allows me to re-do those teeny coding errors I might make across twenty files, and also is the secret behind my thematic lists. (What, you think I have time to read 3,000 stories for mentions of blue cupcakes? ;)) The only difficulty is that it's MacOS only.

Shockingly enough, I found one this time. It's called Actual Search and Replace and it does exactly what I want. It searches across multiple text files for words or phrases, displays them in context and also--as the name suggests--can perform multi-file search and replace. (Take that, SmartQuotes!) Joy!

Well, if "joy" means "worth $30." The free version works for thirty days, which is enough time to make a decision about buying it, but I've been really spoiled by Bare Bones freeware the last fifteen years. Still, it would possibly enable me to not go completely insane if my Mac craps out on me, which is certainly worth thirty bucks.

I just hope I'm not jinxing my Mac by eyeing other utilities...
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
If you buy the same mouse for both your laptops, and for some reason are using both laptops at the same time, try not to wonder why the mouse isn't working every time you pick up the wrong one. At least not after the first three times you do it. Also, possibly be smart enough, after this has happened more than three times, to put stickers or something on one of them.

If you are smart enough to only use one laptop at a time, but have both the trackpad and mouse enabled, make sure that your cat is not sitting on the mouse while you use the trackpad, lest you become convinced that your computer has locked up.
dmarley: Fingerpainting (Default)
Those of you who know me know that we are still clinging tenaciously to our dial-up connection because it's a) cheap, b) cheap, and c) cheap.

Lately, you will also have heard me whining about said dial-up and making noises about no, really, getting some type of broadband because I would like the ability to download large files. This desire came to a head recently when I attempted several times to download rather large files of about 350MB and every time had my connection crap out in the middle of the twenty hours necessary to download said files on dial-up. I was pretty well resigned to not being able to download anything that required a substantial time commitment until I bit the bullet and got some broadband.

Then I discovered the magic of the download manager (specifically the Free Download Manager) and the ability to resume downloads that have been stopped before their time. That, I have discovered, is all I really needed. Apparently, so long as I know I'm not wasting the twenty-plus hours it might take for a file, I don't really care that it does take an entire day to get one file. Well, I care a little bit that that's more than twenty times longer than a cable modem would take to do the job, but I care a lot more about the $$$ a cable connection or a DSL line would cost. The Free Download Manager, on the other hand, is, well, free.

So, for now, the dial-up stays, slowly but surely getting the job done as it blazes across the internet at 5K/sec.

September 2012

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