MLCUG Logo


February 2013 Issue 369

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 - FEBRUARY 9th
VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE, ROOM 110
eBook ver.
PDF ver.

UPCOMING MEETING

LINUX OVERVIEW

Over the past few months we introduced you to Windows 8 and Mac's Moutain Lion. Now we want to introduce you Linux. We want you to be aware of the similarities and differences and advantage and disadvantages between these computer operating systems so that you can make a better and more informed decision when you get your next computer or decide to refurbish an older computer.

Peter W will re-introduce us to Linux (it's been years since our last Linux presentation) in what I expect will be a round-table like discussion. He'll likely cover the most FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about Linux and then some. In turn he may be provoking us with questions about why we spend so much for the run of the mill computers we have chosen to use. So come to the meeting to ask questions and expect to be asked questions in return.

--------------------------------------------------------

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

--------------------------------------------------------

LAST MONTH'S MEETING

Attendance:
7 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, January 12th.

Main Meeting Q&A:
We began last month's meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements:

John M -

Layton F -

Joan S -

Don W -

Pat S -

John D -

Main Meeting Program:
This meeting was what has become our annual "Get to Know You" meeting. Technology changes so fast that members interests also change with the times. This meeting is an attempt to re-assess the interests and technology that members are using so that the club can hopefully setup main meeting programs during the next year that are pertinent and of interest to its members.

As part of the "Get to Know You" we had a round table discussion of the new digital only club newsletter format. Since we've discontinued distribution of hardcopies of the newsletter, I was interested in members thoughts on the change. We've been experimenting with email with an embedded HTML newsletter and email with eBook (EPUB) and PDF attachments. Previously, we had been sending out a hardcopy of the newsletter in two column format and also emailing a PDF of the same newsletter. With the embedded HTML and eBook formats, there is a desire on my part to forsake the two column format and free production from the four pages of 8.5x11" content. Several of the members say they have the desire to retain the printable & easily archived PDF format. So, we will experiment with a single column PDF derived from the more free flowing embedded HTML.

Here are the main categories of issues and questions that were discussed at this meeting:

One of the biggest surprises for me was the diversity of email clients used. Everyone used a different email client - Web mail, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, Zimbra Desktop, AOL mail client, and MS Outlook. I was under the impression many members used their browser in Web mail mode, but instead many members have multiple email accounts from multiple providers and use an email client to aggregate all their accounts in a single interface. The most popular email providers used were Verizon, Gmail, and Yahoo.

None of the members who attended the meeting were Comcast users. The attendees were predominantly Verizon FiOS users.

For recording the results of the survey, I used Zoho's office cloud service and setup an Excel compatible spreadsheet. In my personal opinion, the Zoho office cloud suite interface works better than either Google Docs or Microsoft's SkyDrive office suite. In fact I was able to demonstrate a column selection problem when using merged cells on Microsoft's SkyDrive office spreadsheet. This problem does not exist when using MS Excel.

--------------------------------------------------------

MEETING RELATED SIDEBAR

This section contains web links & other info related to some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.

---

CLOUD OFFICE SUITES WORTH A LOOK
(Currently FREE for Home Use)

Zoho Productivity Applications
http://www.zoho.com/productivity-apps.html

Includes 1GB of free storage.

Google Docs
http://docs.google.com/

Docs
Get stuff done, together, with apps in Google Drive

Create, share, and collaborate on the web with documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.

Microsoft Skydrive
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/skydrive/download

Get free Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in your browser with SkyDrive and free Office Web Apps. Multiple people in different places can work on the same document, at the same time. Share only the documents that you choose, with whomever you choose, and set the rest to remain private.

Prefer to use the full-featured, desktop version of Office instead? Don't worry, SkyDrive works great with that too.

---

HOW TO CONVERT A WORD PROCESSOR DOCUMENT TO EPUB USING CALIBRE

(FREE, Windows & possibly Linux & Mac)
http://www.wikihow.com/Convert-a-Word-Document-to-Epub

Requirements:

Procedure:
  1. Create or convert a document using your word processor's Web Layout View.
    1. Do not use TAB stops to organize your layout of columns of data if you are presenting data. I discovered the Tables feature works best even for a single row of spaced data fields when the data is saved as HTML
  2. Set the document title and chapter titles in your Word Processor document to "Header 1" and save the document as a Web Page (*.html) document.
    1. You may use either "Header 2" or "Header 3" styles as an alternative. Just remember to compensate by changing the appropriate setting in Calibre (see step #12). I preferred the "Header 2" setting.
    2. Do not use the same Header setting elsewhere in your document for other purposes.
    3. When saving from Word, save as a "Filtered Web Page" if available if you want to get the smallest file size.
  3. Exit your word processor document and launch Calibre.
  4. Begin by clicking the big red "Add books" button in the upper left corner of Calibre and select the HTML version of the document you just saved. Your document will be imported to Calibre in a ZIP file format.
  5. With your imported eBook selected in the main Calibre window, click the blue "Edit metadata Info" button to open the Edit Metadata window and enter the title and author info as it should be. This will be the title you'll see listed when you load it into your eReader. Be sure the "Title sort" and "Author sort" fields are green (not red) before clicking the OK button to save your info.
  6. In the main Calibre window, click the tan "Convert books" button. The "Convert books" window should pop up.
  7. In the upper right corner of this screen find the "Output format" menu, select MOBI or EPUB. You can't do both at once, but you can do one then come back and do the other.
  8. The left side menu has several items, but you'll only need "Look and Feel" and "Table of Contents". And optionally the "EPUB Output" or whatever format you've determined.
  9. Select "Remove spacing between paragraphs" in "Look and Feel".
  10. Select the wizard button to the right of "Level 1 TOC (XPath expression):"in "Table of Contents".
  11. Open the drop down menu labeled "Match HTML tags with tag name:" in the new window that pops up.
  12. Select "h1" from that list, then hit "OK." You'll now see "//h:h1" listed in the Level 1 TOC field.
    1. NOTE: optionally select "h2" or "h3" depending on the header style you chose in step #2.
  13. Optionally to make the smallest eBook file, select the "No default cover" as shown in the above step #6.a. picture.
  14. Click "OK" and Calibre will immediately begin converting. Conversion should take a few seconds.

--------------------------------------------------------

SOFTWARE WORTH A LOOK

AUDACITY
(FREE, Linux, Mac, Windows)
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Audacity is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.

Screenshots
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/screenshots

Audacity is available for Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.

New Features in Audacity 2.0
Audacity 2.0 is our current release series. It has dozens of new features, developed in the previous 1.3 series. It replaces all previous versions.

Some of the major changes in 2.0.0 over 1.2.6 are:

---

EBOOK READERS FOR YOUR PC

Calibre (FREE, Linux, Mac, Windows)
http://calibre-ebook.com/

Calibre is the Swiss Army knife of eBook managers. It is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features divided into the following main categories:

Adobe Digital Editions (FREE, Mac, Windows)
http://www.adobe.com/products/digital-editions.html

What is Digital Editions?
Adobe Digital Editions software offers an engaging way to view and manage eBooks and other digital publications. Use it to download and purchase digital content, which can be read both online and offline. Transfer copy-protected eBooks from your personal computer to other computers or devices. Organize your eBooks into a custom library and annotate pages. Digital Editions also supports industry-standard eBook formats, including PDF/A and EPUB.

Kindle for PC (FREE, Mac, Windows)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_mac_mkt_lnd?docId=1000464931
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311

What is Kindle for PC?
Kindle for PC is a free application that lets you read Kindle books on your Windows-based personal computer running Windows XP with Service Pack 2+, Windows Vista, or Windows 7--no Kindle required. There is also a Mac version in the Mac App store. Kindle for PC offers most of the features you would find on a Kindle, Kindle DX, or other Kindle applications for computers and mobile devices. With Kindle for PC you can:

Stanza for Mac (FREE, Mac)
http://stanza.en.softonic.com/mac

Stanza is an early entrant into the eBook reader market featuring a clean, well-organized interface that's designed for reading all kinds of digital publications, including electronic books, newspapers, PDFs, and general web content. It's elegant because it's been designed specifically for the Mac and puts an emphasis on highlighting hyphenation, columns, automatic text scrolling and user-friendly page and chapter navigation.

This is done to make reading long texts easier on the eye and brain which can soon get tired from reading lengthy data on an electronic screen. Stanza supports HTML, PDF, Microsoft Word, and Rich Text Format reading, as well as all the major eBook standards. It's also a very open reader - developers can add new formats to the programs API meaning it will always be able to handle the latest releases.

--------------------------------------------------------

DIRECTIONS TO MEETING ROOM

Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center (SAC) at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions meet in Room 110.

VU Map

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper level of the 2-level parking building adjacent to the St. Augustine Center on the Ithan Avenue side of the building.

NOTE: additional map & direction links on our web home page - http://mlcug.org/

MLCUG Meetings Schedule Steering Committee Meetings
February 12 February 16
March 9 March 13
April 13 April 17

CLUB STAFF

Editor: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211
Produced with HP-P6267C: 2.5GHz 4-Core Q8300, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS, MS Office, LibreOffice, Calibre, Zimbra Desktop

Club eMail Server for members only...
Web Page http://mlcug.org/
Publicity Position OPEN!
Villanova Sponsor Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy


MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE:

President John Deker 610-828-7897
V.President Al Gottlieb 215-793-9725
Treasurer / Sec John Deker 610-828-7897
Webmaster Peter_Whinnery 610-284-5234
Database Layton Fireng 610-688-2080
At Large Tom Johnson 610-896-2434
At Large Wendy Emery 215-765-3328
At Large Nelson_Schrock 610-834-0117
At Large John Murphy 610-935-4398