Using Google for OCR

Amit Agarwal has posted a tip on his blog about using Google to convert PDF to text.  For some reason, he suggest putting all your PDFs documents on the web:

Create a folder in your website (say and upload all the PDF images to that folder. Now create a public web page that links to all the PDF files. Wait for the Google bots to spider your stuff.

Once done, type the query “ filetype:pdf” to see the PDF documents as HTML.

Why would you want your documents to be accessible by anyone? Why wait for Google to index your page?

There’s a much easier way I’ve been using, and one of the commentators on Agawal’s blog points it out:

You can upload the Scanned PDFs to Gmail and sent it you only. Then Open your Inbox and the mail sent from you, you have an option to View as HTML. That will solve the Hosting problem.

Business Books for the Poor

CC License. Photo credit: Marcus Q

Read, Read, Read. That’s probably the best piece of advice I ever got. Recently it’s all about business books and unfortunately, these are quite expensive around here.

So, how did my business bookshelf grew from a handful to more than 30 books in less than a year? One word – BookMooch.

It’s an amazing  book swapping site where you list books you want to give, get points for mailing them to others and use those points to get books you want. I’ve mailed and received books from almost 20 countries around the world, Including Tahiti.

As a rough estimate, books from BookMooch actually cost me (for the postage on books I send) around 5-5.5$ per book. In comparison, a new paperback will go for 21-25$ here in Israel.

I also listen to audio books while commuting or exercising, and while I agree with the criticism of DRM practices,  from time to time I also take advantage of various audible promotions to buy some audio books for really low prices.

Now, if only I could find some time to actually read all those books!

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