Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What are the 3 things you can take with you when you pass on?

I was thinking about this the other day. What can you take with you when you die? The old adage of "You can't take it with you" is true - and has been tested and proven every time someone has passed on. I found there are three things you CAN take with you when you go to the next place.
With each on of these there is a flip side. You can have relationships that bring you closer to positive spirituality or have destructive relationships that inflict harm to your spiritual welfare. You can fill you head with knowledge that will edify others or you can learn about horrible things that have no practical application. You can also make choices that lead you to a life of service, charity and hope or you can choose to be in despair, selfishness and cruelty. You decide what you bring with you. You should always be mindful of what is in your spirit when you cross to the other side. Has your life been a life of hedonistic frenzy - going from one stimulation to the next, stepping on people to get there and entrusting your emotional welfare in things? Or have you spent your life force in the service of other people, most of whom you do not know? Do you watch movies that are filled with negative energy or endear yourself to material that is spiritually uplifting and sharable? Are the people you 'hang with' prompt you to break the law, treat others with cruelty or do you choose people in your life that treat people as treasures and keep their word?
It is up to you. There are few excuses when you enter into the great beyond and your relationships, knowledge and choices conflict with the positive forces there. Conversely, How great is your joy when you meet others that are like you in making positive decisions!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book on tape made from PDFs!

Simple steps to follow when making books on tape from your favorite books.
Find some fan fiction or other non-copy-written material in PDF or text format (copyable).
You are going to learn to convert text into voice files (MP3 in this case).
All you need is NaturalReader, M$ Word and the text file or PDF you wish to convert into voice.

First you start with a pdf file or text file. I this case you can download legally a copy of Alice in Wonderland. It's large enough for demonstration and it's free. This should keep the greedy corporate people off my back for this demonstration. I don't think Lewis Carroll will sue me (at least I hope his zombie doesn't).

Buy or try out a wonderful program called NaturalReader ($50 I think - but well worth it!). I bought the Personal version for $50 and it comes with two voices. You can buy more than two voices, but it gets expensive and unless you are converting MANY books, I would stick with ATT Mike16 and ATT Crystal16 voices. Natural Reader even lets you purchase English Accents for those books that require a certain fantasy feel if you wish.

OK here are the steps I use...

Select 'Continuous' setting on the PDF so you can select ALL of it to copy to the clipboard.

Find all the carriage returns (carriage returns will make annoying pauses in your book on tape) and replace them all with spaces. The code for carriage returns is ^p. Replace all ^p with spaces.

Looks like 2,542 replacements were made. Don't worry - you will not be reading this book,
the lovely computer voice will be.
Oops! Looks like we have text in here we want to get rid of!

Copy and paste your now edited text into the NaturalReader text window.

Once you click on the ... to save it - choose a place that has enough memory to hold the MP3 files you are about to create.

Select the -> MP3 button and it will ask you for how high quality you wish your book on tape to be. If you are just making it for an MP3 player like an iPod, Medium is actually quite good. High quality is not required unless you have the space. It uses a LOT of space for High quality.

Now it asks you how you want to split it up. I usually use 20 minute splits. For larger books you might want a larger number of minutes so you don't wind up with too many files. 15-25 minute bites of the book makes it easier for you to keep your place and which file you are listening to.

Now enter the author's name in.
Apparently grab a hot drink while you let the computer chug away for several minutes (depends on the size of the book).
Once it's done, it will tell you. The virtual cup of coffee cannot be exported for your enjoyment I am afraid...
Open the folder with your files in there and let's see what we have!
It gives you eight 'Alice in Wonderland' files all 20 minutes long (or less for the last file) to put on your iPod or favorite MP3 player!

As you can see they are MP3 files - clean from limitations! I used Properties Plus to examine the extension of the file in question. You can change the file in question to anything to get the file past the silly file filters of gmail. I change all the .exe files I send to .DAV as the people I send them to understand how to change them back (you just change the extension back to .exe).
If you are wondering what 'Yeats' is - it's some fan fiction I made for the game OGRE/GEV.

Thank you for sticking with it all the way. I appreciate any comments or stories relating to making your own created books on tape and how it helps alleviate the boredom in your life.
Remember these are MP3 files created from clean text files and can be played on any iPod or true MP3 player (which iPods are NOT - they play ACC because Apple are too cheap to buy the rights for the MP3 file extension). Don't get me wrong - Apple does put out some good products - but they don't let anyone write code for them but themselves - it increases the cost and stifles creativity.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Here are chalk stuff I did for the neighborhood kids!

Now that you have seen the cool tool, you will see what I did with it! The neighborhood kids LOVED this tool and what it could do! I made for them new worlds. Kids are wonderful people to spend time with.
They rode their little bikes on the 'roads' and 'parking lots' I made for them!

Click the photos for a bigger view! Anyone can make these cool sidewalk chalk 'wands'. The neighbor kids loved it - but since I am not related to them - taking video or pics of them would not be appropriate.
Kids are cool!