OLD FULTON NEW YORK POSTCARDS vs. The Sane World
Old Fulton New York Postcards -- at http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html -- is an infuriating, yet necessary, website.

It's necessary because it provides access to newspapers, and especially comic strips, that aren't available elsewhere. And even when its content can be duplicated by other services, the quality is sometimes superior.

It's infuriating, however, because its search tools were designed by imbeciles!! Or maybe its intentional!! A psychological test to find our breaking point -- like those call centers that put you on hold for hours and then when you reach #2 in the queue, suddenly loses your connection!

I'm thinking its the latter case only because every McDonalds I've ever been in still has a 'Help Wanted' sign out :)

But, by jiminy, I think I've found a method to find what I want!!

What happened was that I discovered that all the scanned pages for any newspaper are numbered sequentially and logically, spanning the date of the newspaper's run! Clearly an oversight that will be corrected as soon as the website owners get wind of this.

What follows will seem longwinded -- but only because I'm loaded with a lot of wind. It's really pretty straightforward and once you've done it, it'll be intuitive! Honest!

For reasons that will be clear later, you want to do this in Mozilla Firefox. If you don't already have it, you can find it at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/ -- just be careful to decline any extra software they try to sneak past you when installing!! Decline everything not Firefox related, and only make Firefox your default browser if you're sure you want to! If any of that additional software is actually useful, you can always find it somewhere else! Especially make sure not to let the installer change your homepage or search engine! This is useful advice for downloading ANY software, including Java, Flash and other necessary web thingeys!

Lets say you're looking for Brick Bradford from 1960. So you put in Brick Bradford [in quotes], leave a space, type 1960 and hit search [keep the default "all the words" option] at http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html

You should get a list of 115 unsorted links. There are really more than that, but their search engine doesn't pick them all up for some reason. Maybe intentionally [see above]

I like the Lockport NY Union Sun Journal links because that paper also gives you Little Annie Rooney, Flash Gordon, and Secret Agent X-9 alongside Brick. FOUR adventure strips for the price of ONE! You don't get those kind of deals every day!

Pick any random link -- but DON'T click on it! You won't get a useful URL that way! Instead right click and choose "open in new window". For this example, I'm using the March 4, 1960 Lockport NY Union Sun Journal [it should be the 4th one down]. That should open a pdf in your browser located at

**http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2018/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960%20-%200722.pdf**#xml=http://fultonhistory.com/dtSearch/dtisapi6.dll?cmd=getpdfhits&u=1b65333&DocId=2181670&Index=Z%3a%5cIndex%20I%2dE%2dV&HitCount=5&hits=a+a29+a2a+b86+b8c+&SearchForm=C%3a%5cinetpub%5cwwwroot%5cFulton%5fNew%5fform%2ehtml&.pdf

Look at that!! COMIC STRIPS!! Woo hoo!

Examining that link above reveals it contains a lot of unnecessary information; most of it is just a database call so the Fulton website can find the page and present it! But you -- being smarter than the average bear and website designer -- can get it down to just

**http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2018/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960%20-%200722.pdf**

"%20" in computer speak is just a space, so for yakking purposes, lets make the substitution and look at what we have here:

http://fultonhistory.com/
Newspaper 18/Lockport NY Union Sun Journal/
Lockport NY Union Sun Journal 1960/
Lockport NY Union Sun Journal 1960 - 0722.pdf

So the Union Sun is the 18th newspaper in the Fulton scheme of things, and they've put each year in a separate folder, and then numbered them sequentially!! After some trial and error, you'll discover that the next page in those folders with strips is #734 -- or

http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2018/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960%20-%200734.pdf

See what I did there? I simply replaced the 722.pdf at the end of that long confusing string of characters with 734.pdf and, gloriosky!, there's another page of strips!!

Now, in a logical world ruled by comic strip collectors, every page we want would simply be a 12-step away from the previous one. But unfortunately, we live in a world controlled by fat, greedy corporate types smoking cigars, so the number of pages of ads by Sears and A&P [hey! its 1960!] is variable. And scrolling through all these pages while connected to the net is time consuming and takes away from your gaming and porn time.

So, if only there was a way to download a range of pages while you sleep or foolishly go to work just cuz the PTB tell you to! Well, of course, there is -- that's why I had you use Firefox!

There's this useful Firefox add-on with the unoriginal name of DownThemAll -- its at http://www.thefreewindows.com/13667/download-multiple-images-list-web-addresses-firefox/ -- just remember the advice I gave above regarding downloading software! The link is in the 2nd paragraph there. Unfortunately, all my instructions are for a Windows machine! If you're in the misguided minority using a Mac, there's no hope for you! Or there may be -- I just don't know what it is besides advising you to buy a Windows 8 $225 laptop. :)

After installation, under the Tools tab, you'll see a new entry called DownThem All; when the time comes you want to choose the Manager option.

But first, lets pick a range. We already know that page #722 has strips, so lets plan to move forward and backward from that page. I wanted a range greater than 2000 pages as a test, so I decided to go from #700 to about #2650 and see what happens. Each page is only about 1M, so, at most, we're only talking a 2G download while I'm sleeping -- though I found out this went a lot quicker than I thought. Probably no more than 20 minutes.

In this case, the link you want to load into the DownThemAll manager is

[[http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2018/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960/Lockport%20NY%20Union%20Sun%20Journal%201960%20-%[200700:202659].pdf]]

In other words, after the next to last %20 in the main URL linking to my target newspaper, I added -- in brackets -- my range. Or [200700:202659] to automatically download 2000 pages!!! I should note that I made a mistake here, and after the LAST %20 I should have finished the URL with [0700-2659].pdf -- but I was tired! Luckily it worked!

So now I have 2000 pdfs. Clearly I don't want to open each and every one of them to see which ones have strips. As far as I can tell, there's no way to automate this process -- sigh --but it can be done visually, because even in reduced mode the strip pages have a unique look. You just want your Windows folder to view as Large or Extra Large icons. And you can just pluck and dump all the unwanted pages!!

This is where I discovered that 64-bit Windows 8 and 64-bit Adobe Reader have an unaddressed problem --the combo only presents the boring PDF icon and not a preview!! Luckily enterprising geeks hyped up on diet cola and take-out pizza have come up with a free fix -- it's at http://scottiestech.info/2012/10/25/fix-acrobat-pdf-thumbnails-in-windows-7-windows-8-x64/ [the links for Win7 and Win8 are just a little ways down under the icons]. Again, follow my cautionary warning above for downloading software!

Really!! Somebody needs to come up with a way to automate this eye test! Its the most boring and time consuming part of this process!! ... OK, rant over.

Out of those 2000 pages, you end up with 138 useful ones, or about 7%. Which isn't too bad when you consider the alternative!

Now I'm one of those people who hate -- yes, HATE! -- having all these mixed strips all on one page and stored in a pdf! So just for completeness, I'll explain what I do next.

The newer Adobe Pro doesn't like my batch scripts from my older version, and I couldn't get my older Pro to install under Win8. So I found another tool from the cola-pizza geeks called Total PDF Converter 2.1.240.
It seems to be a pay product, but I haven't found the developer's website, and there's a copy of it with a registration key at http://www.4shared.com/get/c-ZEqrNG/Total_PDF_Converter_21240__Key.html

And then I straighten the images, chop up the resulting 300dpi color jpgs into individual strips and correct the color using Photoshop, though I'm sure there's a ton of freebie graphics tools out there that can do the same thing.

I've put the 138 jpgs created by this example at https://www.mediafire.com/folder/xht9yz1kwl7f5/Lockport_NY_Union_Sun_Journal , just in case somebody wants to break the Bricks, X-9s, Annie Rooney's and Flash's
into their component parts -- not to mention the tagalong Muggs & Skeeter, Myrtle, Etta Kett, Barney Google, Jackson Twins, This Old Town, Sally's Sallies and TV listings . And who knows, maybe one of you knows a method I don't for performing this task automatically! :) The resulting files are about 1G because I converted the grey scale to 300dpi color when extracting from the pdf for easier manipulation. Unless I -- or they -- goofed, these should run, inclusive, from February 18, 1960 to July 29, 1960, excluding Sundays, plus a final page as a 'book mark' so I don't lose my place.