Saturday, April 5, 2008

Converting bitmap images to vector graphics

Our sign contractor for the store created some beautiful graphics - but the disk they gave us was all .jpg and bitmap .pdf and even a bitmap .ai file. Limited usefulness for reuse unless we can convert them to vector graphics - bitmaps are big and pixellated, vectors are small and infinitely scalable smoothly.

Used Inkscape. Turned out to be incredibly easy. Import the bitmap, then Path -> Trace Bitmap. Next, File -> Document Properties to crop the page area (so it doesn't save as one logo in the corner of an empty sheet of paper). Save the converted file.

Next problem: Inkscape saves as .svg, but OpenOffice can't open it. Easy to fix - instead of .svg, have Inkscape save as .odg, an OpenOffice drawing file. I love when things work out.

Monochrome and color laser prints of the converted graphics are great - no pixels, smooth and clean edges. Interesting: The bitmaps look better on screen, but the vector graphics are superior on paper.

Friday, April 4, 2008

DVD copying

Needed to backup a DVD. On Linux, Brasero failed to finish reading the disk, and never said why. The MacBook Disk Utility errored out with -39. Back to Linux dvdcopy - error reading Title VOB at block 159. No luck - giving up.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

NTFS woes

The 320GB external NTFS drive is faring poorly, but it's the Linux driver's fault. There's a bug. As an attempted fix, I enabled the backport repository and updated the driver (from 6 months old to four months old). Minor improvement only. Since the next update of Ubuntu is due in three weeks, I'll wait to see it it's fixed then.

Update: I never did try it again. Eventually, in 2011, I took the drive out of the casing and used it in my gateway/router/server.