Thursday, April 26, 2007

Adios, soltero en ciencia

Five long BS* years
95 thesis pages
1,351,965 bytes of source code
60++ GB of data
32 computing nodes
16 former computing nodes
633 nanometers of wavelength
3 years in the lab
3 SPP publications
3 mugs at the kitchen
3 class card markings
3 tubes of Alaxan gel to replace dozens of missed breakfasts
Countless sachets of instant coffee
Countless overnights
Countless sleepless overnights
Liters of sweat and blood
Several dozens of black shirts
Thousands of friends
Millions of enemies
One glorified Sunday

*The acronym BS may stand for other more appropriate words I'd rather not spell out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thoughts in djvu format

As a reader of djvu ebooks, I got curious how I could make my own djvu documents. Making pdfs is quite trivial nowadays with many free pdf printers (PDFCreator, PrimoPDF, CutePDF). Using a printable document (created with Open Office or M$ Office), here's how I converted my .odt's to .djvu's with readable/searchable text (text not treated as graphics).

Materials & Equipment

  1. djvudigital that comes with the djvulibre package. It converts pdf/ps to djvu.

  2. Ghostscipt (Usually comes with Linux)

  3. Linux: it is easier to compile/install djvulibre in here, Cygwin might also work (A real Linux is usually better)

  4. If printing in Windows,
  5. A pdf printer that uses GNU Ghostscript such as CutePDF

  1. Convert the document to PDF. Unfortunately direct pdf export from Open Office may not work optimally, because it encodes PDF's differently. This may result in text being treated as graphics in the resulting djvu. Since djvudigital uses Ghostscript, it is better to "print to pdf" using the system's printer devices.. When exporting from OpenOffice, check the "Tagged PDF" option that would be seen by clicking the "Export..." button. This option makes the PDF file more readable to djvudigital. In Windows, I also use CutePDF since it uses GNU Ghostscript converter.

  2. In the bash prompt type:

    djvudigital --exact-color --words --lines -v input.pdf output.djvu

    Here it is assumed that input.pdf will be converted to output.djvu. The option --words ensures the text in the pdf remains text in the djvu. The explanation of the other options can be displayed by typing:

    djvudigital --help

I already had a djvu version of my undergraduate thesis (which is not supposed to be online yet). Here is my Lumban embroidery paper in djvu format.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Drive Rescue to the rescue

Just when I thought my crammed fine arts paper is almost done, I suddenly realized that the SD Card's folder containing the photos (/DCIM/100CAMEA) is inaccesible to Windows and unseen to Linux. However, the photos are still browable through the camera's display. I tried both plugging the camera's interface cable and a third party card reader (by CD-R King) only to get the same ubfavorable results. I suspect this was due to recent proliferation of viruses targetting removable media (those that exploit autorun.inf) (I should had been more selfish!).

After failing to read the JPEG files from my SD card, I eventually remembered the night when Vera asked me for help on her unreadable USB flash drive. I used Drive Rescue to recover her files (downloadable here).

Figure 1. Jpg image files inaccessible to Window$ explorer but seen by Drive Rescue

I first encountered Drive Rescue at the free to use workstations at CSRC wayback 1st year college (VRD was not yet its coordinator). At that time (2002-03), floppies were still widely used and USB media doen't seem to exist yet. I saw it while browsing at the software on the start menu and copied it, thinking it would be useful at home where we had old hard drives (Seagate 120mb types (ST3144)) and lots of floppies (e.g., 22 floppy Win95, etc...). Despite being relatively old (2002), it works good for newer gadgets such as USB drives and SD cards.