Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Optical character recognition (OCR) in Google Docs

A couple of months ago, my co-worker, Mike, showed up at my desk with a pile of paper, each of the yellowed sheets densely covered with an ancient-looking typewriter font. His wife had recently discovered parts of her family chronicles in the attic, typed up by her grandmother many years ago! Now he was wondering if there was a way for her to continue writing the chronicles in Google Docs.

The papers sat on my desk for a while, but recently, I returned them to Mike with a smile, cheerfully telling him that what started as my 20% project is now ready for everyone to use -- Google Docs now officially supports importing scanned documents. What we launched as an experimental feature for the Documents List Data API last year is now available on the upload page: check the “Convert text from PDF or image files to Google Docs documents”, upload your scanned images (JPEG, GIF, PNG) or PDFs, and Google Docs will extract text and formatting from the scans for you to edit away.

For the technically curious: we’re using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that our friends from Google Books helped us set up. OCR works best with high-resolution images, and not all formatting may be preserved. The original images will be included in the new document to make it easier for you to correct mistakes. Supported languages include English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages and character sets on their way. We’re looking forward to get feedback from you while we keep improving the feature over the next months.

And Mike’s scanned family chronicles have even been extended by an additional chapter in Google Docs: his wife recently had a baby boy named James!

Posted by: Jaron Schaeffer, Software Engineer, Google Docs

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ruby On Rails environment on Ubuntu 10.04

Ruby On Rails environment on Ubuntu 10.04: "

I think this is my first technical post in the blog, so today I faced some problems while building the Ruby on Rails environment on my machine. I just like sharing this knowledge with you.

First, in this post we will make the following:

  1. Ruby 1.9.1
  2. Rails 2.3.5
  3. Thin server.
  4. MySQL server.

1. Ruby 1.9.1

The following commands mainly download the Ruby source code and compile it and so on
Just you have to install the following libraries:
sudo apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev libreadline5-dev zlib1g-dev

move to /usr/local/src to download source code and compile it in this folder
cd /usr/local/src

Download the source code, and unpack it
sudo wget
sudo tar xzf ruby-1.9.1-p0.tar.gz
cd ruby-1.9.1-p0

Now, you have to check the version of gcc if it is 4.4 some errors will occur
dpkg -l | grep gcc

if gcc 4.4 found then you have to edit the cont.c file to go on. Open it up, and change the lines 90, 270 and 317 from #elif to #else.
sudo gedit cont.c

then write the following commands in terminal
sudo ./configure –prefix=/usr/local/ruby-1.9.1
sudo make
sudo make install

After these steps you have finally installed Ruby 1.9.1, to check its version
cd /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin
ruby -v

output like that: ruby 1.9.1p0 (2009-01-30 revision 21907) [i686-linux]

Now, the ruby commands such as ruby, rake, irb, … etc are accessed only from /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin, and all the commands are found in /usr/local/bin so just make link for the commands in ruby-1.9.1/bin and put them in /usr/local/bin
sudo ln -s /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin/ruby /usr/local/bin
sudo ln -s /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin/rake /usr/local/bin
sudo ln -s /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin/gem /usr/local/bin
sudo ln -s /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin/irb /usr/local/bin
sudo ln -s /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin/ri /usr/local/bin
sudo ln -s /usr/local/ruby-1.9.1/bin/rdoc /usr/local/bin

2. Rails 2.3.5
Now, Ruby 1.9.1 is installed successfully on your machine, just add this command to terminal to install the Rails 2.3.5 gem
sudo gem install rails -v=2.3.5

3. Thin server
Also to install Thin application server gem
sudo gem install thin

4. MySQL server
Finally to install MySQL server for DB
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
and while installing it is required to set the root password


Hope that it is some how useful for you

Enjoy :)

Source : Mohammad Kotb's Blog


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Apple’s iOS 4: Here’s What’s New

One of the most exciting announcements from WWDC today was iOS 4, the iPhone’s new operating system.

The OS, which contains around 100 new and upgraded features, will be rolled out with the new iPhone 4 next month, and it will also be available as a free software update on earlier devices, including the iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and second and third generation iPod touch with 32GB or 64GB storage.

In his keynote address, Steve Jobs chose to highlight a select few of the iOS’s new features, including multitasking, iBooks, advertising and file management. But there wasn’t enough time to cover all the upgrades and improvements. Some of iOS 4’s features that slipped under the radar include app gifting, wireless keyboard support and many others.

We first learned about iOS 4 back in April. At that point, we knew multitasking would be coming to the iPhone “in a way that doesn’t hinder performance or battery life.” Today, Jobs confirmed and demonstrated services such as Pandora and navigation running in the background while other apps were also running in the foreground.

Two other hotly anticipated upgrades for iOS 4 are the Mail app’s major facelift and the all-new app organization functionality.

Now, users can organize their iPhone apps into separate folders for better organization and easy access. iOS 4 will be able to manage up to 2160 applications on a device. Folders will feature the familiar drag-and-drop functionality that Apple device users know and love.

Email on the iPhone is also getting a major overhaul in iOS 4. You’ll be able to view messages from all your accounts in a single, integrated inbox. Messages will be threaded, and you’ll be able to open attachments using third-party apps, as well.

Apple made some significant announcements for multimedia functionality, too. iOS 4 will support custom playlist creation for iTunes, tap-to-focus video, 5x zoom for camera functions, and a Photos feature called “Faces and Places,” which allows users to sort and view photos based on where they were taken and who appears in them.

Finally, applications can now be gifted to friends and family, the background wallpaper on your home screen can be easily changed, a spell-checker has been built into Mail and other apps, and Bluetooth-enabled wireless keyboards will now play nicely with the operating system.

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