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Old 02-20-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
Wes Sterling
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Made a simple converter for My Clippings

Hi!

I got my Kindle a month ago and i love it. It's not perfect though. One of the annoyances is My Clippings file. It's great that you have all your notes and highlights in one file, but after a couple of books it can become quite messy. I also like to make notes after each chapter so that when I want to check the main points of the book again I can just go through my notes and not read the whole book again.

To simplify things I wrote a simple app that reads My Clippings.txt, creates a folder My Clippings in folder Documents and creates a seperate txt file for every book you clipped with all the clippings from it. It also creates a XML file which is a kind of a database of all your clippings so if you want to convert it to any other format it shouldn't be hard to write an app that does that.

I did keep on running into a weird bug with different naming of the first title in My Clippings.txt but I think I solved it. If you find any other bugs please let me know.

It's a jar file so you need java which most of you probably have. Just download the file and copy it on your Kindle then run it.
You can find the app here: http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1...rter%201.1.jar [removed shortened URL - MODERATOR]

It doesn't delete anything. It only reads My Clippings.txt and creates another folder filled with txt files, which can be easily viewed on Kindle.

I'm open to any comments.

Update: For now this only works on Kindle 3, but I'm working on problems with older Kindles so the update should be up in the coming days.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13717101/kcc.png

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 10-22-2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Added last paragraph / Added update
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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Question:

This is designed to run from the root of the Kindle, yes? So if, say, I created a local folder, put the jar in it, then created a "documents" subfolder with a copy of my clippings.txt, would it work?
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
Wes Sterling
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It doesn't really matter. You can put it anywhere on your computer and it should work, as long as you haven't deleted any of the default folders your Kindle was shipped with. I suggest you put it on your Kindle though since it's easier to find and run.

It wouldn't work in the scenario you described. The way it works is it checks all of your hard drives for folders "Documents", ".active-content-data", "Amazon" and others that already came with your new Kindle. Once it finds a drive with these folders it assumes it found your Kindle and checks for My Clippings.txt in Documents sub folder. Only if all of those files were found it assumes it really found Kindle and proceeds with conversion. You could of course create these same folders on the root of one of your drives and put My Clippings.txt into Documents there to fool the app if you wish to test it

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Sterling View Post
It doesn't really matter. You can put it anywhere on your computer and it should work, as long as you haven't deleted any of the default folders your Kindle was shipped with. I suggest you put it on your Kindle though since it's easier to find and run.

It wouldn't work in the scenario you described. The way it works is it checks all of your hard drives for folders "Documents", ".active-content-data", "Amazon" and others that already came with your new Kindle. Once it finds a drive with these folders it assumes it found your Kindle and checks for My Clippings.txt in Documents sub folder. Only if all of those files were found it assumes it really found Kindle and proceeds with conversion. You could of course create these same folders on the root of one of your drives and put My Clippings.txt into Documents there to fool the app if you wish to test it

Hope this helps.
Yes, that's exactly what I needed to know - the file paths / folder detection involved. I thought maybe it was using a relative path from it's working directory to the default location of the clippings file.

While your method doesn't achieve what I was hoping to do, it's actually better for most because it's more foolproof in terms of running it from the correct location, and it can identify the Kindle pretty much wherever it happens to be. Nice work.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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Thanks! To be honest, the thought of using the relative path didn't even cross my mind. I just went for the "So... how do I make sure Kindle is connected before I do anything else..." Maybe I just skipped the obvious solution because I'm pretty much the only one in my family/circle of friends who knows his way around technology so I'm inclined to do anything as easy and self-explanatory as possible. At the end of the day, I like having control as much as the next geek but 9 out of 10 times just double-clicking something to get results beats a whole bunch of buttons.

Also, at first I wanted to make the app with GUI and a choice of different formats. But it's midterms and there is always time for doing upgrades.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Sterling View Post
Thanks! To be honest, the thought of using the relative path didn't even cross my mind. I just went for the "So... how do I make sure Kindle is connected before I do anything else..." Maybe I just skipped the obvious solution because I'm pretty much the only one in my family/circle of friends who knows his way around technology so I'm inclined to do anything as easy and self-explanatory as possible. At the end of the day, I like having control as much as the next geek but 9 out of 10 times just double-clicking something to get results beats a whole bunch of buttons.

Also, at first I wanted to make the app with GUI and a choice of different formats. But it's midterms and there is always time for doing upgrades.
I would say in your case, your method is the obvious solution because it accomplishes your goals in terms of your target user - non-geeks who need things to just work.

I agree with control vs. ease of use - I used to use a python script to manage my Kindle collections, then Meme created a calibre plugin followed by a GUI version to do that. I'm very happy with the GUI plugin. I get a certain satisfaction from tweaking a script to do what I want, but once I've had my fun, it's nice to have something that just works.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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Amazon already did that. See this link:

https://kindle.amazon.com/your_reading

You can copy and paste all your notes and highlights from that link to Forums, documents, etc.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
Amazon already did that. See this link:

https://kindle.amazon.com/your_reading

You can copy and paste all your notes and highlights from that link to Forums, documents, etc.
True, but as far as I know that only works for books bought on Amazon. I use Instapaper daily, Project Gutenberg and then there is also material provided by my professors. While they usually publish pdf material I convert some of it to mobi format. I just wanted a clean and simple way to organize all my clippings for later reading. It's meant to refresh my memory, not sharing or copying to other documents.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Sterling View Post
True, but as far as I know that only works for books bought on Amazon. I use Instapaper daily, Project Gutenberg and then there is also material provided by my professors. While they usually publish pdf material I convert some of it to mobi format. I just wanted a clean and simple way to organize all my clippings for later reading. It's meant to refresh my memory, not sharing or copying to other documents.
Exactly. The majority of my 600+ books are not from Amazon. I also like to keep the sync features turned off. I like having a solution that's not Amazon-dependent.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:55 PM   #10
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Memorization features

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Sterling View Post
True, but as far as I know that only works for books bought on Amazon. I use Instapaper daily, Project Gutenberg and then there is also material provided by my professors. While they usually publish pdf material I convert some of it to mobi format. I just wanted a clean and simple way to organize all my clippings for later reading. It's meant to refresh my memory, not sharing or copying to other documents.
When you finish a book and use Amazon, they prepare memorization flash cards for everyone to place their notes and highlights in memory.

In addition, all books in Project Gutenberg are available free from Amazon. Every book published prior to 1924 is free.

Finally, you can send private publications from professors as an email to your Amazon account and they will convert it to Amazon format and send it back to your Kindle account free. PDF's do not work good however. Word documents are converted just fine.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:35 PM   #11
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Wow, glad I came over to this board, I am going to check this out, I use alot of notes and highlights on Non-Amazon books and I would love an easier way to maintain them.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:55 AM   #12
Wes Sterling
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When you finish a book and use Amazon, they prepare memorization flash cards for everyone to place their notes and highlights in memory.

In addition, all books in Project Gutenberg are available free from Amazon. Every book published prior to 1924 is free.

Finally, you can send private publications from professors as an email to your Amazon account and they will convert it to Amazon format and send it back to your Kindle account free. PDF's do not work good however. Word documents are converted just fine.
All valid points, however, I really like to keep things as simple as possible. If I can download something straight to my Kindle once I stumble upon it, that beats having to open my mail client (or gmail), mail it to myself, then wait for it to arrive. Actually, to mail it I have to attach it, which means I already downloaded it anyway. Former takes a couple of clicks and about 15-20 seconds. Latter takes a couple of minutes.

I usually convert my PDFs with OCR software. Since I study computer and information science there is quite a lot of equations and pictures thrown in alongside text. I get the best results by manually going through the document and marking text/pictures. Once it's converted it doesn't really make much sense to mail it to myself through Amazon.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:37 AM   #13
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How do I know if I have the appropriate Java program to run this? I am on Win7 and I think I have Java installed but when I double-click on the file from on my kindle it doesn't do anything. What do I need to do to get it to work?

Nyn
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:33 AM   #14
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How do I know if I have the appropriate Java program to run this? I am on Win7 and I think I have Java installed but when I double-click on the file from on my kindle it doesn't do anything. What do I need to do to get it to work?

Nyn
To check if you have Java go to http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp.

If you do have it, the reason for not working might be that you have Kindle 2. I only have access to Kindle 3 so if it turns out you do have Java please post a list of folders in your Kindle root so I can modify the app.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Wes Sterling View Post
To check if you have Java go to http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp.

If you do have it, the reason for not working might be that you have Kindle 2. I only have access to Kindle 3 so if it turns out you do have Java please post a list of folders in your Kindle root so I can modify the app.
Hi:

I updated my java to the most recent version and still nothing. My kindle installed folders are:

.active-content-data
audible
documents
music
system
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