A Free Book from Wikipedia and Me

Thanks to Lifehacker and their article on Generating PDFs from Wikipedia, I present to you a free gift. It’s a book, a very short one (22 pages), but a book nonetheless. The title of the book is Digital Imaging – A Wikipedia Reference Book (it’s a 4.7MB download). An embedded version is at the end of this post. It will serve as a reference for a project related to working with digital images. More on that at another time.

Let’s get straight to how it’s done. If you didn’t know already, you can create an account on Wikipedia. In fact you have to in order to make edits to the articles. So if you already have an account, you’re ready to go. If not, go create one now.

The idea here is to create a PDF out of a single Wikipedia article, or create a book out of multiple pages. So, the next step is to simply navigate to the page at Wikipedia that you want to make a PDF out of. Click the button in the Toolbox (it’s on the left hand side-bar) marked PDF version (you won’t see it unless you’re logged in). In no time a PDF of the article will be created ready for you to download.

You can also create a book by clicking on the link labeled Add page to book. Add as many pages as you wish by navigating to the articles you want to include. By clicking on the Show book link, you can see and then produce your book. You can also rearrange the pages before printing, if you wish. That’s it. All in all it’s a nice feature that enables a more readable (and distributable) version of a great resource known as Wikipedia.

Stick THAT in your Google . . .

Firefox Add-ons for Google

Just a quick post to tell folks about two nifty plugins (add-ons) for Firefox that make Google searches more . . . well . . . interesting (especially when you search for Edupunk). The first is Search Cloudlet which will include a “tag cloud” in your search results that allows you to refine said results more quickly. You can instantly see which related tags are most common and narrow your results accordingly. When you click on individual tags, you essentially add keywords to refine the search. By switching your cloud from Tags to Sites, you can select from sites that are most commonly associated with your search term and narrow the results by website. It’s fun, fast, and can lead to more serendipitous results. You can also search by top level domain names (.net, .com, .edu), or turn it off within the page if it does get in your way.

The other plugin is Googlepedia, which as you can see from the photo above, inserts a Wikipedia entry right into the Google results page. It nicely replaces the useless paid advertisements space to the right with a useful Wikipedia result. God help you if you search for Edupunk (and no, I don’t mean edulink).