Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • I’m not very good at one-liners. So, in my contrarian fashion, I will present an Odd Lots composed entirely of…two-liners.
  • Technical material (textbooks, manuals, computer books) rendered on an ebook reader? Now you’re talking.
  • As someone fond of both astronomy (especially telescopes) and Star Wars, I consider this a wonderful building hack.
  • Harrison Bergeron was evidently a Canadian kid soccer player. (Thanks to Bob Trembley for the link.)
  • What’s your favorite app for extracting text from PDFs? Any experience with ABBYY’s PDF Transformer?
  • And if you’re going the other way, slow but sure pays off: PDFCreator has finally reached version 1.0, after only seven years.
  • Sigil is the only WYSIWIYG editor for EPUB-format ebooks. Why? When will we start editing ebooks and stop coding them?
  • One of my cousins once had a sandbox in an enormous worn-out tractor tire. Now somebody’s recycled such a tire into a bike.


  1. Mike Allen says:

    Abbyy allows their products to be downloaded for a trial. So you can try Transformer in a VM.

    There’s also xPDF from xPDF is a collection of command line utilities released under the GPL. One of the utilities, pdftotext, does a very good job of extracting text from PDF files. Output goes to std-out. This allows the tool to be scripted. Other programs, including Abbyy’s PDF Transformer do not allow one to easily script the process.

    Mike Allen

  2. Rich, N8UX says:

    I’ve been using Google Docs PDF output > Calibre EPUB, but there are “issues”, at least with what I view on the B&N Nook. Still experimenting.

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