Live Light | Let your PC read out to you

Live Light | Let your PC read out to you
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First Published: Fri, May 15 2009. 01 15 AM IST

Updated: Fri, May 15 2009. 12 03 PM IST
Did you know that the free Adobe Reader software has a Read Aloud feature that can audibly recite the contents (in an unmistakable computerized voice) of PDF files? To try it, open a PDF file, go to the View menu and activate the Read Out Loud submenu. While copy-protected e-books may not be compatible, it’s fine for works in the public domain, such as books in PDF form from Project Gutenberg, academic papers and other PDF files. ©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Less room, more style
If you don’t mind sacrificing space for some style, try pod hotels next time you are at London’s Gatwick airport or in New York. Inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, these small rooms are cheap (sometimes for as little as $42—around Rs2090), may or may not have a private bathroom, but are ramped up on style. A typical room is soundproof, has a sofa-cum-double bed, a foldable desk, flat-screen TV, closet, and is Wi-Fi enabled. (For more pod hotels, see Surf). STAFF WRITER
Weave a ribbon of awareness
One of the easiest do-gooder projects for young and old alike is to sport an awareness ribbon. For good measure, pen in the website if you can and spread the good word. Most people know the red one (www.unaids.org) and the pink one (www.breastcancer.org), but did you know lace is for osteoporosis (www.nof.org), and white for Alzheimer’s (www.alz.org)? Green is for depression or organ donors, grey for diabetes, rainbow?for?gay?rights, jigsaw puzzle for autism... Choose your cause! STAFF WRITER
Concoct your own brand of cola
If you are wary of big global brands or support open- source and copyleft movements, your fizz of choice should be OpenCola (google it). It’s also great for those suspicious of food additives, because you know exactly what goes into this drink. You’ll need pro-quality ingredients, maybe access to an ‘itar’ shop for essential oils, a pipette and gloves; but you’ll keep the children busy, educate them about commercial “food” manufacture, and other globalization and copyright issues to boot. STAFF WRITER
A calendar on one of our office desks tells us that it is the details that leave the greatest impression—not the temple we visit but the monkey that greets us as we climb its steps. Even if Norman Lear hadn’t said it, most of us would agree that “life is made up of small pleasures”. The good thing is that you don’t need to go far and wide or spend an awful lot of money to enjoy these. So whether you travel or stay at home, help a friend or play a game, what matters is that you enjoy what you do in your leisure time. There can be no better antidote to boredom and, according to doctors, dementia.
Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, May 15 2009. 01 15 AM IST