Posts Tagged ‘modes’

How to download books from Books Google with Google Book Download stand alone program and Greasemonkey with Google Books Downloader script

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

If you are student or just a researcher, you already know most of the good books you can find are on books.google.com. Google Books's is nice, but not all browsers support it well. Older mobile phones has big troubles with it, plus it is always nice to have a stored copy of book on your PC for later review or just to refresh your memory on books previously read.

Thus if you get to task to download Books from Google a quick research reveals few programs claiming to support downloading Books from Google in PDF;

1. Google Books Download standalone application for Windows and Mac OS X

Google Books Download is said to support Save of Google books in PDF, JPEG or PNG format.
This program works good whether you need to extract only certain book pages, however with complete books it often hangs. Other problem is it is  proprietary software, (freeware), so pages book pages it downloads in PDF had a big red color stamp complaining the program is trial.
There is a cracked version available on
Piratebay.se's website. But as Piratebay is filtered from here. To test it I had to google it via piratebay proxy: –  with "piratebay  google books download".


Google Books Download, standalone app from Piratebay is at current version 3.1.308.
As you can see from screenshot Google Book Download has two modes of work, one is;
Download Manually
– This is used for manual download a pages from a complete book and converting them to PDF.
Download Automatically – Is purposed to download a complete book from books.google.com and converting it to PDF. Downloading a complete copy of book using this mode is sometimes, hanging, plus it is really, really slow. The reason is each of the pages from the Book is first scanned using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology page by page and later after all pages are downloaded in pictures, they're converted to 1 PDF file.

Because Download Automatically loops at certain pages, this makes Google Books Download almost useless for people looking to store a full copy of books on Books.Google.com ….

2. Downloading PDFs from books.google.com with Firefox Greasemonkey and Google Book Downloaderjavascript

a. Install GreaseMonkey Firefox add-on

If you never before heard of Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox Extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to web page content after or before the page is loaded in the browser (also known as augmented browsing).

b. Install Google book downloader GreaseMonkey javascript

After a FF restart, you're ready to download any book from Books.Google.com.
To use it open the book you want to download and on the left upper corner you will see a Download this book button, press it and the book will be scanned in OCR and saved in PNG picture format. Below is a screenshot showing a sample book to download from books.google.com;

how to download book from google in firefox web browser screenshot


After each book page is succesfully download in page on the left pane you get a download status;

google book download firefox screenshot pictures - Scythian Monks download - how to download books to pictures from Google books on Windows XP, Windows 8

You should keep in mind that the download links of Google Book pages, will have a time expiry, so if you don't hurry up to save the pictures for later use soon links will become inaccessible and showing as broken from Google – I'm not sure how much exactly is google's max expiry time set of links but I guess it should be something 5-10 mins.

The pages of PDF, gets fetched as pictures one by one so it takes 20 secs or so to get all links to pages. Since Google Books Downloader only provides links to PDF pages it is necessery to either save each of the pictures manually (quite a lot of effort) or Install and use lets say DownThemAll! FF download extension. Using DownThemAll does not completely automates picture downloads, as you need to manually select all pictures for downloading, but at least selecting pages saves some time. To download all book pages with DownThemAll click with right mouse button on the left pane where links to pictures appears and choose download with DownThemAll!. After that tick on all links pointing to books.google.com……. to make them have the green tick as shown in below screenshot;

Once you have all PNGs saved on the PC you need to then convert them to unified PDF file. One way to do this is using ImageMagick's convert command line tool.
To do so install imagemagick for Windows downloading Win binaries from here
There are a bunch of binaries you will need to install named like ImageMagick-*-x86-static.exe

Run cmd.exe, change dir (cd) to folder where the just download book is saved in PNG and issue:


C:\Downloads> convert *.png pdf/my-book-from-pictures.pdf

GPL Arcade Volleyball – DOS Volleyball oldschool game remake for GNU / Linux

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Do you remember that oldschool Arcade VolleyBall game which was so popular on 16 bit (8086 XT) computers.
I remember this game from the years I was 12 years old, back in the days where we the gamers distributed all the DOS games on 360 KB 5.25" diskettes

I was looking over the games available to install on my Debian GNU / Linux today just to be happily suprised to find GPL Arcade Volleyball an identical game remake of the old Arcade Volleyball 8086 classic freeware game.

I remember we spend many hours with friends playing on the old Manifactured in Bulgaria Pravetz 16! computers
During communism and post communism Pravetz was the only computer brand we could buy from the market, as there was limitations on the exported and imported tech equipment within the USSR union.
Pravetz computers are a literal remake of 16 bit IBM 8086 computers and the computer design and integrals was stolen from IBM 16 bit 8086 / 8088 PC architecture

Arcade Volleyball has set a mark on my generation and I believe many people will remember the times this game was a hit with a bit of Nostalgia 😉
In the Game GPL Arcade Volleyball Debian GNU / Linux

Besides being an identical remake of PC Arcade Volleyball , GPL Arcade Volleyball is even expanded as it includes extra features which the original game lacked. Game includes:

  • Network Volleyball client / server Game (up to 4 players)
  • 6 Game Themes which completely change the game look & feel to be modernistic

Here are few GAV screenshots of the different existing game Themes:

Screenshot GPL Arcade VolleyBall Yisus

GPL Arcade Volleyball Yisus theme gameplay GNU / Linux
Yisus GAV Theme gameplay screenshot

GPL Arcade Volleyball Unnamed Theme Screenshot

GPL Arcade Volleyball unnamed Gameplay Theme Debian
GAV – Unnamed Theme Gameplay

Screenshot GAV FABeach gameplay
GAV – FaBeach Theme Gameplay

GAV supports both Window and fullscreen modes. To enable Fullscreen mode, while inside the game use:

Extra -> Fullscreen (Yes)

Saving preferences is also something which I if I recall correctly the original game lacked. This is done by navigating to:

Extra -> Save Preferences

GAV is said to support Joystick in resemblance to the original DOS game, though I've never tested it with a joy.

One of the greatest GAV game (hacks) is the Inverted Theme. Selecting it inverts the order in the game, where the game player becomes the volleyball ball and the ball becomes the player 😉

GPL Arcade Volleyball Arcade Inverted Theme - remake of DOS Volleyball Arcade
GAV does not yet not have a Free / Open / Net BSD port as far as I currently see, anyways since the game is Free Software probably soon a port will be available for BSDs as well.
The default GAV game controls are a bit untraditional. By default the one player game starts you play Volleyball game player positioned on the left.

For left player the default control keys are:
 

  • z – move player left
  • c – move player right
  • left shift – jump

Right player controls are:
 

  • Left – left (arrow key)
  • right – right (arrow key)
  • jump – up cursor key

GAV supports also a shortcut key for switching between windowed and full screen game mode by pressing F10
Installing the game on Debian and Ubuntu Linuces is done with:

linux:~# apt-get --yes install gav

Unfortunately gav does not have a definition to be added to GNOME or KDE Applications menus, thus to start the game after installed one has to do it manually by typing either in gnome RUN (Alt+F2) or on command line:

linux:~$ gav

Happy playing 😉