Download Web News and Stories to your Handheld


Automatically save the text from your favorite web magazines to your handheld Palm or Pocket PC -- free.

I'm too cheap to pay for a web-clipping service, so I wrote my own script. It allows me to download and convert online stories, news and opinion articles. Later, when I have time to kill, I read those articles on my Palm. Or -- since I've moved on to Windows Mobile -- I read the articles on my phone. The script is all built for you and a sample batch file is included to make the script download USA Today, PC Magazine, the San Jose Mercury News, Security Focus, Scientific American, Science News, Discovery, Asimov's, Infinity Plus, and more. 

Back in my Palm days, I had the batch file run the Palm installer for me. No more. Now (for the version you'll be getting) I have it just create all the files and exit. I leave it to you to sync the files into whatever device you have. The batch file creates both plain text TXT and Palm PDB files (which can be read quite nicely on a Microsoft PocketPC thanks to MobiPocket).  

Intrigued? Download it!

Here's a screen shot of the script running as it downloads the latest tech news from the PC Magazine web site:

If you want to be able to customize the batch file to download your own selection of web sites, there are three things you need:
1 - You need to be able to modify batch files.
2 - You need to be able to understand enough HTML to identify the links and text you want.
3 - You have to have XP or Windows 2000 with recent service packs. Otherwise, you'll need to modify the script and possibly install a custom download control.

A "readme.txt" file is included which provides just enough guidance that anyone with one day's worth of experience in the above three subjects should be able to figure things out. To make things a bit easier, I include a special HTA file that will help you out with the above step 2.

Download my script and batch code here.

After I wrote this script, I discovered someone else had the same idea. The alternative is called SiteScooper. Mine is controlled by batch files, theirs is controlled by configuration files. Mine is written in Windows Scripting, theirs is written in Perl. Both were written to download multiple-level sites. I was amazed at how we approached the same problem from the same angle, but with different tools. But... SiteScooper has been around longer and has hundreds of pre-configured sites ready for download. The big difference is that my script can be configured to run on a typical locked-down Windows PC at work, while SiteScooper requires that Perl be installed! 

Lost? Look at the site map.

Bad links? Questions? Send me mail.

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