The Sock Diary

Musings of a part-time Sweaty Sock.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Summarising Pages, Emails, Anything Really

I am boringly bed-ridden currently due a viriulent and persistent case of coughing, sore ears, you name it. I am also an ex-smoker as of 1st Jan, 2005, about 15:35 (I like to be a bit different).

The combination of these has meant I have ample time to read my books, but that ain't working cos I keep getting the nadgers. So I am surfing like I have never surfed before.

One of the benefits of the internet and broadband is that it easy to find info, and an awful lot of it. So a full-on summariser of some sort would be useful (not RSS as that is too summarised usually). I want to be able to click a button on my browser which will summarise the page I am looking at into a couple of paragraphs. I can decide whether I need to read all of it or not and whether the info reaches my - ahem - exacting standards (whether it's worthwhile to you or not depends on your viewpoint, what you were looking for in the first place, and whether you consider the source trustworthy).

I noticed this is available in mac email and wondered whether I could get it on my Firefox browser on the PC.

There's this on Sourceforge which looks OK, but they're less than helpful to Windoze users. Hey guys, chill out, be excellent to each other and you'll get more karma. Jeez.

So I downloaded Copernic Summarizer 30 day free trial. Doesn't integrate directly with Firefox. Bad start. You can copy the link you want to summarise and paste it into Summarizer, or point it at a document or text file on your hard disk. It'll summarise it to 25% it's length, reasonably well too. You can then change the summary size to 5%, 10%, etc, and, interestingly, to a number of words. This can be quite useful depending on the size and clarity of the original doc.

Bummer is, in some cases, if you've tweaked the info on a web page using session or cookie info, this doesn't get passed across to Summarizer.

A way round this on Kuro5hin is go to the print formatted page and use that URL. This may work on other sites.


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