Sometimes, the main task at any one time is simply going to take time and cannot be shortened. With my poor network connection, this tends to occur any time I need to do network tasks like multistrap and debootstrap tests, archive updates and the rest. The problem is that my network connection is so bad, most apt type tasks completely saturate all available bandwidth, especially when downloading a single large package like those built from gcc or OOo.
Thankfully, gpdftext has provided an intermittent task that is useful, intermittent, non-network dependent and relatively straightforward (so as not to be too distracting from the main task) without being sufficiently routine to make me think about automating it.
I've downloaded some 70 public domain novels as A4 PDF and I'm gradually working through them in gpdftext to tidy up the chapter headings and reformat as an A5 PDF, ready to be transferred back to my ebook reader.
This version of gpdftext isn't released yet (it's current SVN, 0.1.0) as it's in string freeze. However, it provides a fairly robust test of the next release.
Current list includes: Little Women, Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Lady Susan, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Peter Pan (Peter and Wendy), Lorna Doone: A Romance Of Exmoor, The Gap in the Curtain, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Through the Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There), Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, Moll Flanders, Robinson Crusoe, The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, Oliver Twist, The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Cranford, The Wind in the Willows, King Solomon's Mines, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Declaration of Independence, Just so Stories, Kim, The Jungle Book, The Man Who Would be King, The Arabian Nights, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, The Story of Doctor Dolittle, The Call of the Wild, The Game, White Fang, Moby Dick, Anne of Green Gables, The Well at the World's End, Pygmalion, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, East is West, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Jewel of Seven Stars, Anna Karenina, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Kama Sutra, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Aeneid of Virgil.
That should be enough for now.... (21 converted so far).