I do most of my news, pleasure, and personal reading on my Kindle, but it used to be a pain in the ass to get documents there. I’d have to copy the text into a text document, save it, attach it to an email, send it, and wait. There were just enough steps that I would never, ever do it.
So I figured out an easier way using Dropbox and Wappwolf (set up accounts on those sites if you don’t have them already). Follow these steps and soon you’ll be able to send any text to your Kindle simply by right-clicking on some highlighted text and selecting Send to Kindle. Here’s how to do it:
We’ll start by setting up Dropbox and Wappwolf. These two websites will handle the transfer of text from computer to Kindle.
Now whenever you add a rich text document (extension .rtf) to that folder in Dropbox, it’ll automatically be converted and emailed to your Kindle. In my experience it takes about five minutes for documents to show up.
That’s pretty slick, but let’s take it a step further and create the highlight and Send to Kindle functionality. This part only works in OS X.
That’s it. To use the script, simply highlight any text on a webpage or in a document, right-click, and select Send to Kindle from the dropdown menu. There’s a chance you’ll have to click on Services from the dropdown menu before you can get to Send to Kindle.
Once you click that button, a rich text document will be created and saved to the Kindle folder in your Dropbox. Wappwolf will see that document and email it to your Kindle. It should show up in about five minutes.
Here’s a two minute video showing each step. Like I said, pretty simple:
If you found this helpful or not helpful at all, let me know in the comments.
This really simple thing took me a little while to figure out, so hopefully step by step instructions here can help others who have the same issues. I wanted to update my Tweet Nest website automatically instead of having to manually run a script each time I wanted to back up my tweets from Twitter (that’s the idea behind Tweet Nest — an off-Twitter archive of your tweets). Here’s how it works with Dreamhost:
After setting up Tweet Nest, run the loadtweets.php script.
At the bottom of the screen that runs the script you’ll find some code that looks like this:
Copy it. Obviously instead of USERNAME it’ll have your username and instead of TWEETNESTURL it’ll have the URL where Tweet Nest lives.
Navigate to Goodies, then Cron Jobs in the Dreamhost panel.
Create a new Cron Job with the following settings (also see photo below):
The user has to match the the username from the code you copied from Tweet Nest’s
Give it a title (I called mine Tweet Nest Update) and an email address to mail output to.
Set Status to Enabled.
For Command to run, paste the following (replacing USERNAME and TWEETNESTURL as above:
/usr/local/php5/bin/php /home/USERNAME/TWEETNESTURL/maintenance/loadtweets.php /usr/local/php5/bin/php /home/USERNAME/TWEETNESTURL/maintenance/loaduser.php
/usr/local/php5/bin/php part tells the cron job to use PHP, then the address tells it what script to run.
Leave “Locking” checked and set a frequency. I run mine every hour.
Click edit to save. In an hour (or sooner or later depending on the frequency you set) you’ll get an email telling you whether the script ran or not. If it worked, you’ll get input similar to the input you get when you run the scripts from your browser.
I’ve been in Boston for a little over ten days now but I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. When I first arrived I had a suitcase and was renting a room from a fellow WGBH employee. For the first week I ventured no further than from the apartment to WGBH, which is only a block and a half away. Part of this was because I got sick when I first arrived, but fear was a big part of it too. I felt so disoriented and insecure that to try anything new was unthinkable. Better to just get comfortable in my tiny corner of the world and then figure things out from there.
I took my first trip out of Brighton (the neighborhood where I was staying) last Friday. It wasn’t much, really, I just walked to the T (Boston’s above ground subway) and rode it to a place called Faneuil Hall in downtown. I walked around a bit, took a few pictures, ate some macaroni and cheese for dinner, and then got back on the T and rode home. Like I said, not much to it.
I spent the next day, Saturday, searching for a bicycle and moving into my new place in Brighton. You can see the bike above. It’s a single speed from Specialized and I’m really happy with it so far. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it has a basket on the front, matching green fenders, and a decent leather saddle. So far I’ve ridden it home from the bicycle shop, to the grocery store ($100 worth of groceries seems to be it’s maximum capacity though I could fit more with another basket), and to MIT to deposit checks. I can’t say how much happier I am with a bike. I have no intention of using a car here, and I don’t like planning my life around public transit schedules, so the bike is what makes me feel like I’m not trapped wherever I am. Walking is fine, but riding a bike puts wind in your hair, and it’s a helluva lot more fun.
The room you see in that photograph is my new bedroom. It’s in two family house in Brighton. It’s about a ten minute walk from WGBH, which makes a big difference for livability. My roommate works as a private pilot for a businessman. We get along really well. The only two downsides to the house are that a family with three (sometimes noisy) kids lives upstairs, and I’ve yet to find a good way to get my bike in and out of the house.
I’ve now completed my first week at WGBH. I’m not integrating myself there as much as I should, but it’s difficult when my mind is constantly in New York on the show I work on down there. It’s funny, I moved to Boston so that I could work on a show in New York. Don’t worry, the irony is not lost on me.
I spent the rest of my week in New York meeting with important people associated with my new radio show, The Takeaway. There’s universal buy-in that they want to dramatically change their web presence, and this was the pie in the sky ideas part of the job. Propose anything and everything, basically, but don’t think about feasibility or cost. Those things will enforce themselves in short order, anyway. Just dream big.
I had no problem with that, because more than anything else, I want to be proud of what I create. I want to be proud of what The Takeaway is doing online, so I that’s where I set my bar. For lack of a better word, I want us to be awesome.
When I wasn’t working, I went out with a couple old friends and made one new one. My partner, Rachael, went to high school with a guy who now lives in New York. She hasn’t seen him for a long time but thought we’d get along. She was right. We went out for a drink one night and then had breakfast together at a little place called Amelia’s in SoHo the day that I left.
Perhaps the most important thing I did while in New York was go out for drinks with my new teammates at a bar near WNYC. The original plan was to start drinking at 11 a.m. (I’m not joking — that’s just when the early shift starts their weekend), but we postponed it to a more reasonable 2:30 p.m. so Tory (my co-worker in Boston) and I could leave right from the bar for Penn Station where we’d catch a train up to Boston.
The bar was dark with a lot of wood and metal. It reminded me of an old pub. We did one round of drinks and then another. Once I was warmed up and enjoying myself it was time to catch a cab for Penn Station.
We were probably a few minutes later than we should’ve been which made our cab hailing all the more dramatic. When we did find one and speed off, I immediately got the nagging feeling that I’d forgotten something at the bar. Two blocks later I realized it was my phone, so I asked the cab driver to pull over while Tory called for it. I didn’t feel it or hear it, and within a couple rings our boss, Sitara, picked up. As soon as I heard her voice I jumped out of the cab and sprinted down the street toward the pub. I must’ve looked like I was robbing someone or being robbed. Full out sprint through Manhattan weaving in and out of people and cars. Sitara was doing the same thing coming the other direction. We met in the middle of a crosswalk, she put the phone in my hand, I said something along the lines of “thanksforeverythingbebacksoon” and turned around and sprinted back toward the cab.
When I got on the train I was sweaty and a winded and disoriented and happy. I played around on Twitter and caught up on emails for the three and half hour trip. When we arrived at the station in Boston (Back Bay, apparently), I met my Boston supervisor (I have one in New York and one in Boston) to get the keys to a temporary apartment I’ll be staying in till Saturday. I took a cab to the apartment (which is between Allston and Brighton) and one of those very surreal moments where you realize you’ve finally arrived in the situation you’d been preparing yourself for. I’ll take it as a good omen that the cab driver was listening to NPR.
Monday, my first day on the job, started easily enough. I came in at 10 a.m., after the live show had finished (it runs from 6-10 a.m., EST), and started my day by meeting with my new boss. I also got a temporary desk to sit at, which is right next to the stairway which leads up to where Radiolab and On The Media, so there’s a chance the fanboy in me might spot Jad or Brooke.
After my first meeting, I had another meeting, and then another meeting. I met our managing editor and our general manager. After that was an editorial meeting and then a training in a social media “optimization” application called Social Flow (it sends out your tweets based on when the relevant topic is trending and then allows you to track engagement tweet by tweet). Then my new co-worker (who was also starting today) and I ate lunch in a little café a few blocks from the station that reminded me a lot of Portland. They didn’t take cash, there was art on the walls, a lot of vegan food, and a gaggle of hipsters on fixies sitting around out front. Once back at WNYC, I had more meetings with different staff members, an afternoon editorial meeting (they usually hold two per day). My co-worker and I finished up the day with two brief meetings with associate producers for the show who have taken an interest in digital content production. Allies are great, and it sounds like I’m going to have a lot of them.
After work I went out for dinner with an old Couchsurfing friend in Hell’s Kitchen. I got home way too late, considering I had to be at work at 5 a.m. the next morning, but it ended up not making much of a difference because I couldn’t get to sleep anyway. The next morning I started at 5 a.m. and continued working for most of the day. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to give that update, plus another for Wednesday, tomorrow.
Today I’ll board a plane for New York to start a new job on a radio show called The Takeaway. Excluding study abroad in college, I’ve never lived outside of Oregon, and I’ve never had a job that offered a benefits package. To me, this is a really big deal.
When I applied for the job at the end of last year, I had no plan to move across the country. The temporary job I was working at Oregon Public Broadcasting was coming to an end. I knew that I wanted to continue to work in public radio, but there wasn’t much work available in Portland. I could either try out a different line of work or attempt to find a job in another city. I decided to try the latter first.
This was no small consideration. I grew up in Oregon and Portland now feels like home. Most of my family lives here and I see them often. Most importantly, though, is that my partner will be unable to join me, at least for now. To move for a job would mean a long distance relationship, which sucks.
But I went ahead with it anyway, submitting applications for jobs in the twin cities, New York, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Washington, and Boston. I never said to myself, “I’m going to move across the country for work,” I just wanted to feel like I was in control of my life, that I wasn’t just sitting around waiting for things to happen.
For a long time I didn’t hear from anyone. I’d sent off over a dozen applications and figured the numbers game would work in my favor. Eventually, it did. I received an email from someone at WGBH requesting a phone interview.
I prepared for it in the best way I knew how: line up my experiences with the job description, do a ton of background research, practice, practice, practice, and dress up, even though they’d never see what I look like. Even so, I got off to a terrible start. I stumbled a lot and felt disorganized. Eventually I forgot myself and forgot that it was a job interview. I talked about things I’d done well and things I wanted to do in the future. The rest of the interview turned out alright.
Normally getting one interview would leave me on the edge of my seat, checking my email constantly, but my mediocre performance allowed me to write off any hope of hearing from them again, so forgot about it.
A week or so later they invited me interview in person. I caught a flight for Boston a few days later and kept thinking to myself: “Regardless of how the interview turned out a free trip to Boston is victory enough.”
On my way to the interview I kept noticing good omens. I’m not usually one for signs, but I couldn’t help but see a beautiful view from an airplane window as an encouraging sign. Then there was the nice server at the restaurant in Fenway where I ate dinner. On the desk of the man I interviewed with first was a small stress ball made to look like a globe. I had squeezed an identical one thousands of times in preparation for the interview.
From my first interview to my last I was uncharacteristically at ease. I joked with my interviewers and felt like I was nailing every question. At one point I even thought to myself: “This could actually happen.” I will never understand why I was so calm, but I was. It was easily the best job interview I’ve ever had.
A few weeks later, on a Friday, one of the people I interviewed with called me and offered me a job as the web editor for The Takeaway, a show that’s produced by WNYC in partnership with WGBH. I’d do most of my work in Boston and travel to New York every few months.
That was almost a month ago. Since then I’ve left my producer job at Oregon Public Broadcasting. I’ve sold or given away most of my belongings and packed the rest into a suitcase and four boxes to be shipped out once I have an address in Boston. I’ve said countless goodbyes. I’ve researched Boston endlessly and tried in vain to secure a place to live. The one thing I haven’t done is come to terms with the fact that where I live and where I grew up are now two different places. That’s going to take some time.
Right now I live in the Sheraton Hotel in Tribeca. In a week, I’ll live in a temporary apartment in Boston. Hopefully by then I’ll have my feet under me and a real place to live.