Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Free Online OCR Service Turns Image Files Into Text

Let’s start with..

Free OCR Service Turns Image Files Into (Editable) Text

Free OCR is a free Web-based OCR service that turns any uploaded image file into a text file you can load into Word or your document editor of choice.

Free-OCR.com is a free online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool. You can use this service to extract text from any image you supply.

This service is free, no registration necessary. We also do not need your email address.

Just upload your image files. Free-OCR takes either a JPG, GIF, TIFF, BMP or PDF (only first page).

The only restriction is that the images must not be larger than 2MB, no wider or higher than 5000 pixels and there is a limit of 10 image uploads per hour.”

Some Beatles For Your Friday:

Today’s quote:The best way out is always through.” ~ Robert Frost

I know it’s Friday.. But do you have your thinking caps on? Oakland hills residents fight crime with cameras

Growing concern about crime in the Oakland hills, and a withered Police Department’s apparent inability to do anything about it, has given rise to a new neighborhood strategy embraced by both residents and police: Buy surveillance cameras.

Lots of them.Read more..

Yes.. feel safer. At any cost.

Today’s quote #2:They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

A camera watching does not make you safer. It may make it a tiny bit easier to find your murderer, after you’re dead.. Maybe. And then again, maybe not. There are such things as ski masks… A cop walking a beat, now that’s what I’d want.
(And how can a police department, getting larger budgets every year, for two decades, be “withered”? Seems.. curious … )

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

July 6, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Digitize Your Old (Analog) Movies, Music, and Photos

Digitize Your Analog Life

In researching a client’s question about scanning documents using Optical Character Recognition, (that led to yesterday’s “quick reco” article) I came across a series of articles by Jon L. Jacobi, published by PCWorld, which is a comprehensive How To for converting your analog media into high-quality digital files.

Digitize Your Analog Life includes recommendations for the hardware and/or software you (might) need to get the job done. Here are the articles by category:

  • Digitize Your Music »
    In my lifetime, music has been delivered on vinyl, cassettes, eight-track tapes, CDs, and audio DVDs. How do I listen to it now? Usually with a PC or a smartphone, and occasionally with an MP3 or other media player. I downloaded much of that music or ripped it from CDs, but the rest of it came from LPs and cassettes.
  • Digitize Your Movies »
    Analog movies can be the easiest–or the hardest–medium to digitize, depending on the format you’re working with. While older camcorder and video formats such as 8mm and Hi8 or VHS and Betamax tapes are easy to transfer, digitizing film can be difficult at best.
  • Digitize Your Pictures »
    “Film degrades with time and exposure to the elements, albeit far more slowly than you might imagine. Fortunately for posterity’s sake, it’s easy to digitize and even restore some of the original luster of your film, using today’s flatbed and film scanners, plus appropriate software.”
    [related: How To Scan Slides]

  • Digitize Your Documents »
    Scan your documents into your hard drive. We have tips on scanners, OCR software, Web OCR, and converting your books to e-books.”

There are many advantages to digital over analog, and let’s face it, it is getting harder to find working betamax machines, and needles for the phonograph… If you are ready to take on the project of converting your old media into digital format, reading Jon’s tips are a great place to start.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


May 3, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital Images, digital Video, how to, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Online OCR

Folks, I am crazy busy. For now, a quick reco (hopefully I can post more later today).

Free OCR Service Turns Image Files Into (Editable) Text

Free OCR is a free Web-based OCR service that turns any uploaded image file into a text file you can load into Word or your document editor of choice.

Free-OCR.com is a free online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool. You can use this service to extract text from any image you supply.

This service is free, no registration necessary. We also do not need your email address.

Just upload your image files. Free-OCR takes either a JPG, GIF, TIFF, BMP or PDF (only first page).

The only restriction is that the images must not be larger than 2MB, no wider or higher than 5000 pixels and there is a limit of 10 image uploads per hour.”

Today’s quote:There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.” ~ John Mortimer

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


May 2, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, free software, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Your Android Wear Goggles?

Phones That Can See, Read, and Translate (aka “My Phone Is Smarter Than Me”.)

Here’s how it works:
* Point your phone at a word or phrase. Use the region of interest button to draw a box around specific words
* Press the shutter button
* If Goggles recognizes the text, it will give you the option to translate
* Press the translate button to select the source and destination languages.

Wow. Could I have uses that French class.

JBondWhat am I talking about? Google Goggles is an “mobile app” that combines OCR (optical character recognition) with Google’s ability to translate languages — which gives your phone’s camera the ability to read French (for example), and tell you what that item on the menu is (for example).

Is this something out of James Bond fiction? Nope. Just another example of The Future Is Here Now.

Google Goggles (currently) requires Android 1.6, and “can read English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and can translate to many more languages.” To find out more, see, Official Google Mobile Blog: Translate the real world with Google Goggles.

… eventually, we will all be wearing OCR cameras (maybe built into eyeglasses), and have Wi Fi/4G wireless transponders (woven into our clothes?), and have chips in our brain which contain dictionaries of all known languages… and using a phone to translate a foreign language sentence will seem quaint. Like Atari’s Pong.
But that’s probably 20 years off. In the meantime, there’s Google Goggles.

Amazing.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


Share this post :

May 8, 2010 Posted by | computers, Digital camera, gadgets, Google, mobile, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tech Gift for Back-to-School*

There are some technologies that really do make me say, “gee, I wish they had that when I was a kid”, and one of them is the hand-held document scanner.

A hand-held document scanner is pretty much exactly what it sounds like it is; a portable device that allows you to “scan” text and images into digital form so you can store them on your computer… and thus access them for later study.
It’s kind of like having your very own pocket Xerox machine.

pen scanner

This is simply a “must have” if you are a researcher, or a student, as it replaces hand-writing out your notes, or carrying pockets full of coins to feed into the library’s copy machine.

When you find a relevant passage in a book, or other document, you simply pass the device over the text, much like you would use a highlighter. Later, you attach the device to your PC via a USB cord, and thanks to OCR, you can open your scanned passages in a text editor, like Word.

Hand-held document scanners (generally) come in two flavors; a true “pen” style — as pictured above — and a “wand” style.
planon-docupen-rc800-scan_m

The “pen” style makes it easier to capture just the lines of text that you are interested in. However, you must pass it in a fairly straight line, and wobbling it high or low may cause you to have to re-scan the sentence (most have a preview window).. and some people use a plastic ruler as a guide.

I prefer the “wand” style, even though it (usually) means capturing a whole page. The color versions of these devices are surprisingly good at scanning images. Another advantage of the wand is if you are scanning tables and charts– the included software allows you to open the scanned tables in a spreadsheet program, like Excel.

Tip of the day: A simply fantastic Back To School gift (either for yourself, or someone you love) is a hand-held digital note taker. They’re quite reasonably priced.
My personal reco is to go with the slightly pricier wand scanner, and to go with the pricier-yet color model.

I won’t say which one is “best”, but I will say that I agree with this PC Magazine review (read it here).

Today’s free link: SyncBack is a backup program that also functions as a file synchronizer, such as keeping your thumbdrive files and desktop files updated. From ZDNet:”Easily backup, synchronize, or restore your files to another drive, FTP server, ZIP file, networked drive, or removable media.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

Share this post :

August 11, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital Images, gadgets, hardware, Portable Computing, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment