Free software in the real world
Score one for free software today, at least in my personal space.
I had a set of shop drawings come in from a client. These were large format (24″x36″) TIF files at 200dpi. My task was to add a few items to each digital image and send them back. This included a digitized version of our engineering seal, a set of notes prepared in AutoCAD and a hand sketched engineering detail I had done a couple of weeks back.
Hmm. What to do.. what to do… How ’bout this:
1. Produce a PDF version of our AutoCAD notes using CutePDF, which in turn, uses GPL Ghostscript to do the conversion to PDF. Converting them to pdf keeps them in a vector format at this stage.
2. Using ImageMagick, I converted the pdf of the notes (and the engineering seal which is also saved as a PDF) into 200dpi bitmap images (jpegs) like this:
convert -density 200 file.pdf filenew.jpg
3. Using Inkscape, I imported a scan I had made of my hand sketched detail, and added a nice border and tweaked the contrast of the scan a bit. Then I exported it to a png bitmap image.
4. Using the GIMP, I opened the original large format TIF file and via cut and paste, placed and scaled the seal, the notes, and my hand sketch on the drawing.
5. I then printed the image to a PDF file and Voila!
This took all of about 10 minutes. And while I can’t get away from us using AutoCAD for our design notes, the rest was all done by FOSS software.
Who says this stuff doesn’t work well??