Easy Way to Convert a PDF to a Word Doc

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Here’s one of those free services that can come in handy when you need to convert a PDF file to a Word Doc and don’t have any tools around to do so.

PDF To Word is just the solution. Online, available anywhere you can get to a web browser, free, and simple to use. Just upload the PDF file, fill in your email address, and five minutes later you will receive the converted file in your mailbox.

I’ve found reasons to use this handy tool several times and have been happy with the results each time. It also supports RTF output for those with word processors other than Word.

Evernote Rocks!

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Discovered Evernote and love it!

It is basically a service that allows you to collect information, links, files, etc in one place, all synchronized to the various devices that Evernote supports;

  • Windows/Mac OSX
  • iPod, iPad
  • Blackberry
  • Palm Pre
  • Web Clipper

The windows client is a dream. Uses SQLite under the hood to maintain a local database of your stuff that is sync’d to Evernote’s servers.  The real beauty here is that all this stuff is available to you anywhere, from your Blackberry, your laptop, even any place you can get to a web browser. And because there’s a copy on Evernote’s servers, you have built-in painless backup you can get to easily to recover your data from a local crash.

Getting stuff into Evernote is easy;

  • The web clipper let’s you send entire pages or parts of pages direct to Evernote.
  • The Blackberry client let’s you send pictures and sound recordings, as well as locally produced notes direct to Evernote.
  • The Windows client supports drag and drop direct into Evernote.
  • You get a special Evernote email address that you can use to email anything you want added to your Evernote database.

Once the stuff is there, you can easily organize it with tags and search it with Evernote’s powerful search capabilities. I love this app,  I’m not all that organized, so having a place to just dump things and later be able to easily search and locate what I am looking for is a delight.

Highly recommended.

SystemRescueCD and TestDisk to the Rescue

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Well, the old HP Pavillion laptop wouldn’t boot last week. Panic time! It kept trying to do a network boot, which failed, and just looped and looped in network boot mode.

No clue about what happened, but I suspect it may be related to hibernating while a windows update was pending a reboot.  My very first thought was that the hard drive died, but running SpinRite against it revealed no issues or problems other than reporting that it was an empty drive.

My first step in exploring what that empty drive meant was to boot up Ubuntu from CD and seeing what it thought about the drive. The partition editor reported it empty, so time for some googling on the subject of corrupt partition tables.

Google revealed SystemRescueCD with an indispensable tool on it,  TestDisk.  Following the Step by Step instructions outlined on the Wiki found the missing partitions and quickly and easily rebuilt the partition table. Ten minutes after booting up the SystemRescueCD  it was booting to windows and back in business.

Can’t say enough about these tools, truly indispensable and my hat’s off to the authors!