Thursday, January 11, 2007

OCR in Preview

Maybe everyone knows this already, but it was news to me. Today I opened a PDF document in Preview. It contained a URL which I wanted to open in my browser. Unfortunately, the document was a full-page bitmap of a scanned paper page. This was obvious just by looking at the document, but my mousing hand went on autopilot. I told my hand, "Err, this is not going to work—it's a bitmap of a scanned page." "Yeah, I know," replied my hand, "but I can't stop myself trying." Oddly, the text was selectable. I copied it. I pasted it. A few characters were wrong, but it was a neat idea. A better quality scan would no doubt have helped. This:

http://www.apple.com/ilife/video/ilife04_32C.html

became this:

tttp: //www. apple. oom/ilife/videc/ilifeO432C.htm.l

Nice try. The URL was a 404 anyway.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Strange PowerBook G4 power supply behaviour

Something rather odd just happened with the power supply unit for my PowerBook G4. The machine had been out on the road for the day, and on returning home, I plugged it into the mains. The indicator light on the end of the cable didn't light, and the charging icon in the menu bar wasn't present. The battery wasn't being charged. I tried several power outlets with no joy. So I did what the Microsoft Windows user within would do: I rebooted the PowerBook and tried again. It worked.