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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday’s Toolbox: Techie Cheapskates

Tuesday's Toolbox button

I admit it. I’m a bit envious of all the spendy technology floating around out there. I would love to have an iPod Touch, for example. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about another cool app I could put on it to make my life easier…funny how with all this technology in my home already, my life isn’t really any easier. Even though we don’t watch television, it’s a daily struggle to keep the fam from totally disappearing into the electronic vortex…

So, I’m hesitant to bring another hunk of plastic filled with non-moving parts into my home to become an attention hog. The Touch simply does too much. You could lose your life in there. But there is something it can do that really would make our homeschool journey a little easier. Think tremendously versatile ebook reader here (and don’t try to sell me on an actual ebook reader folks, cuz there’s simply no way this Mama will plunk down a couple hundred on something that can only do one thing…and in black and white, no less). Reading these 1001 pdfs I’ve got stashed on my hard-drive on the monitor (or even the netbook) ain’t doing it for me. My eyes can’t take the strain…besides there’s the added temptation of checking my email every 5 minutes. And it’s much more comfy to curl up on the sofa, or even a park bench

Enter Ebook to Images, a brilliant software program designed by Merlin Software. This program will take your pdf (or txt, or htm, or html) file and convert it into smaller “pages” you can read on any mp3 player that will display jpegs (or bmps, or pngs). You can format the images to fit your player’s screen. You can also format the font size and style, whether it displays portrait or landscape, choose your text and background colors, and more. Drawbacks? Image files take a lot more memory than text files, so your player will hold a lot fewer books than songs, and your “book” will probably be thousands of pages…but it will output into a single folder per book that is easily transferred to your mp3 player. Works great on our iRiver Clix. And…the software is free! Go check it out.

Disclosure: This post is unsolicited. I happened to find a product that I like and wanted to share it with my readers.

View previous installments of Tuesday's Toolbox here.

If you have a common tool for uncommon learning, feel free to drop me a line and leave a link in the comments so we can all come and check it out.


  1. I'll have to go check this one out~yeah...this sounds GREAT! THANKS ;-))
    Here's my offering for TT

  2. Thanks for linking up, Sister Tipster.


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