Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Knitting & Technology

I've been busy!  Between the spring yard work and the prep inside to replace our flooring I've been working on organizing and preserving my knitting patterns.  I had a few 3 ring binders full of patterns as well as patterns scattered throughout my work spaces.  About a year ago I started on a quest to save these patterns electronically and portable! 

I started with the Barnes & Noble Nook.  After having living a nightmare of freezing up and deplorable customer service I bought an Amazon Kindle with free 3G and wifi.  Both were capable of saving my patterns and with the Kindle I had more books available for free and a fee than I did with the Nook.  My Kindle also had a beta of a web-browser that was clunky and difficult to navigate, but I could see where Amazon was going.

So on the day of its release we purchased 2 Kindle Fires (KF) for my husband and myself.  I was able to "side load" the patterns I had on my computer into the KF and I was relatively pleased with the venture.  Unfortunately, in order to purchase a new book I had to be somewhere with wifi, because it's Android driven with apps and a web browser, so no more free 3G.  With Acrobat, I was able to turn any pattern that was a jpg or Word document into a PDF for the KF.  But I still had many patterns in the 3 ring binders that were not on the computer that I had been collecting since about 2005. Enter, the iPad.

Our Android phones and the Kindle Fires were supposed to make it so that we didn't need/want iPads.  It didn't work.  We bit the bullet and invested in iPads, which carries with it additional $$ to our phone bill, but I'm convinced it's worth it.  The husband plans to drop his android phone when its time to "upgrade", that's a year and a half away.  For now I think I'll keep mine.

While we were waiting for our iPads to arrive my printer went belly up.  I'd had it for close to 10 years so I guess I should have not been surprised.  It was still usable for text but any graphics left an inky disaster.  Thankfully, NewEgg had a sale on a nice Canon (I love Canon) for about $70.  We rarely used the color print ability so elected to get this monochrome deal.   It also scans and copies.  Little did I know this was going to become an important feature.

All the patterns on my computer that were already PDFs were moved to my iPad.  I liked this better than the KF because there was an actual color picture of the project displayed on the "book shelf".  On the KF was only a white sheet of paper with the file name.  Workable, but the iPad does it better. 

As I looked through 3 ring binders for patterns that I may be able to find again online I was struck with a thought and asked my graphics artist husband, "Hey, if I scan these can I turn them into PDFs."  The answer was yes I could.  As soon as I hit the "toolbox" icon on my desktop to start scanning a familiar program opened up.  Oh my, I use this program every night at work when I scan patient files into the computer!  Which are scanned immediately into PDFs!  Easy-peasy!  In no time I had all my patterns loaded into my iPad.

If I walk into a yarn store I will have my patterns with me.