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Old 01-22-2010, 09:48 PM   #1
Nate the great
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You CAN take it with you

Instapaper has been getting a lot of attention the past few days. It's a pretty good tool for saving webpages to read later, but it's not the only one out there. I know of 4 or 5 tools that do pretty much the same thing.
  • Web2FB2 - This is a single page at a time conversion tool. You have to navigate to its page and give it a URL. The only out put is FB2, which is primarily a Russian format.
  • Zinepal - This tool is very similar to Web2FB2 except that it can take multiple URLs as input and it can produce PDF, Epub, and Kindle formats.
  • Simplicissimus BookMaker - This is an online tool that doesn't work from URLs. Instead it accepts 9 different file types and can output Epub, PDF, or Kindle.
  • mjBook - This tool can be downloaded and run on your computer. It accepts txt and MSWord files, and creates Jar files that can be read on any Java enabled cellphone.
  • Feedbooks - It's been a while since I looked at this one. At that time I was using it to collect my RSS Feeds into a digital newspaper. The neat thing about Feedbooks is that it makes self-referencing ebooks. That digital newspaper I made had a link in it that, when clicked, caused Feedbooks to make an updated version and download it to me. Feedbooks is also a publication platform. It does more than I can describe here.
  • Instapaper - This still my favorite at the moment because it gives you the option of placing a button on browser toolbar. If I'm looking at a page I want to read later, I can click on the button and it will be saved in a queue. Instapaper outputs in paper, PDF, Kindle, and Epub.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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Thanks Nate! I just registered at Instapaper and tested it on this page with the button I placed into the bookmarks menu. I really like it so far. Brilliant!
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:11 PM   #3
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And I thought this topic was going to be about how to install your e-reader into the inside lid of a coffin.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:24 AM   #4
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Hum. If you're outputting to PDF, this isn't really different to a PDF "printer", no?
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #5
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Instapaper question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Instapaper - This still my favorite at the moment because it gives you the option of placing a button on browser toolbar. If I'm looking at a page I want to read later, I can click on the button and it will be saved in a queue. Instapaper outputs in paper, PDF, Kindle, and Epub.
I visited the instapaper web site, but there doesn't appear to be a way to see which browsers it supports without signing up for an account first. Can you point me to a FAQ list?
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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For an even longer list of products that do this or similar things check our wiki E-book_conversion#Web_Based. By the way, if you want to make a PDF or paper book from our wiki articles the tools are built in. Just look at the left column near the bottom.

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Old 01-23-2010, 03:19 PM   #7
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I use Instapaper in conjunction with my iPhone and my Sony 505.

For the iPhone, it's easy as pie. I have the Instapaper button (renamed IP) on my Firefox toolbar. I also have an equivalent in my iPhone Safari browser. I merely click (or select) IP and the text is reformatted and stored on the Instapaper web site, where I can access it with the IP app on my iPhone, or via a bookmark on my browser.

But here's where the fun begins: any item I've stored to IP and read gets moved automatically to an archive section. What remains unread I handle by outputting an ePub file from the IP website (just click a button.) I transfer that file to my 505 and bingo! it's portable and readable.

But wait! there's more. IP allows me to set up a "starred in Google Reader" folder. This separate folder allows me to peruse my RSS reader, and if I find an article that I want on my 505, I just star it. Then, at the end of the day, I go to IP, and do an ePub output on that folder.

If I cared to spend a little time doing my organization by hand, I could set up an "505 folder," and go through all my IP articles, easily transferring the ones I want on the 505 to that folder before hitting the ePub button.

The only thing I find annoying about the whole thing is that if I had a Kindle, I could skip the transfer process and allow IP to send the output file (not ePub, of course, but mobi) wirelessly to the Kindle.

In short, IP is a terrific ebook tool. About the only thing it doesn't do that I wish it did was pick up the comments as well as the articles. But Marcos, the guy who makes IP, told me that it would clog up his system or something, and hey, who am I to argue?
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