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??

Btw, I’m typing this post in Vim and posting it on my WordPress blog, so there!!


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