Scan, copy and fax with your cellphone

5/29/08 Update: They changed their TOS for the free trial.  When I signed up they offered 5 free scans per month.  They’ve changed it to a limit of 3 free scans period.  I’ve exhausted my limit and this service is not worth $5/month to me.  pity.


Here’s another new and very cool web service I came across called You can take a photo of a document with your cellphone camera, send it via phone messaging to a special email address, and they perform some hi-tech image processing and generate a high contrast pdf file and a jpg, AND they will make a stab at optical character recognition. They email the result to you and you can even fax the results from the website!!

The quality and accuracy will vary according to the quality of the photo. It helps to have good lighting and a hi-res camera phone. See samples after the jump.

I was at a chorus rehearsal last night, and the annual show program was posted on the bulletin board. Continue reading “Scan, copy and fax with your cellphone”

Mozart was a music pirate?

I heard this story on NPR, then did some digging on the web. Gregorio Allegri composed a choral work for the Sistine chapel in the 1630’s. The work, titled Miserere mei was a setting of Psalm 51 for a cappella voices. The Pope at the time was so taken by the piece, he ordered that it be reserved only for performance during holy week and only at the Sistine chapel.

So it remained with rumors of transcriptions or illegal copies made here and there, but none could capture the beauty of the restricted version. Until 150 years later, a teenaged W. A. Mozart was privileged to attend holy week services at the chapel, and he was so enthralled by it, he transcribed the 10 minute piece from memory that evening. Later he shared it with a British historian who published the work in 1771.

Supposedly, the pope was so impressed with Mozart’s act of musical genius, that he declined to excommunicate the young composer and he lifted the papal ban on public performances.

Wikipedia states that

Miserere has since become one of the most popular a cappella choral works now performed… (it) is one of the most often-recorded examples of late Renaissance music, although it was actually written during the chronological confines of the Baroque era. In this regard it is representative of the music of the Roman School of composers, who were stylistically conservative.

Other links:

Kings College choir performing Miserere on youtube


Opera season is over. I hit my favorite fishing grounds saturday and had some pretty good action. Several decent size trout and a couple of hard fighting bluefish – all on artificials. But the fish of the day was this 26″ sea trout that slammed a weightless goldflake gambler shad on an offset bass hook. This is not the biggest trout I’ve ever landed (here’s a 28″), but pretty close. I released him.

Preventive maintenance

Way back when I was first getting involved in boating, I shopped around, bought cheaply, and ended up personally doing some repairs I never want to do again (eg. replace trailer bearings), but also consulted more than a couple of boat mechanics. One piece of advice I got stuck with me. This mechanic said in his experience, almost every single instance of a boater who got stuck out on the water with a dead engine could have been prevented. More specifically, when a motor starts to fail, it is apparent to the operator. When something is going wrong, it just doesn’t run quite right or its harder to start. And thats the time to get some work done on it. Because if you don’t, it will fail big time and will likely leave you stranded.

The same thing is true about computers. If your machine is acting dodgy, don’t neglect it because it will not get better by itself. And organize and backup your data files. I’m just finishing up rescuing the parent’s crashed PC.  Their data had not been backed up since 10/2007, and its been a very busy year for them. I recovered the data files with a linux-based rescue CD, but it took a couple of tries. I’m reinstalling XP SP2 right now, but I don’t know if it will run well. The CD drive is pretty shot, and I suspect other hardware failures.

guest post: Life imitates art

This is the drill in our home, only the alarm clocks are replaced by Rick and Louise.

Zits is a household favorite and we have adopted Jeremy. He is a year older than Connor. Last month Jeremy got his driver’s license, then subsequently lost it driving past his girlfriend’s home 20 times at midnight. Connor turns 15 next month. California laws states you can start drivers education at 15.5. Warning to all. It puts him on track to be behind a wheel in November.

Photo taken this morning at 7:31 am. Note an old Zits strip on the top of the bulletin board



Final performance was last night, and I was fairly well recovered and up to about 90% of my voice. It was a thrill and I’m in post-production withdrawal right now. I’ve got lots of pictures to sort through, edit and post, flickr photoset coming soon, but here’s one I really like that I got with a long exposure from the wings last night. Downstage is tenor Carlo Scibelli who ably handles the famous aria Nessum Dorma in the opening of the third act.


Here’s an interesting web critic who opines that the orchestra and chorus outshone the principals!