Thursday, March 29, 2007

Paper or plastic?

Taking public transit to work could be such fun but at times irritating, I mean how many of you have had the pleasure of listening to someone else’s eating or ipod--these are the two I have experienced--while traveling to work and probably trying to catch up on your sleep or meditate about the day ahead.

Today the guy behind me was having his breakfast as if he is having it in front of a loud speaker. It reminded me of Lynn Truss’ book, Talk to the Hand, saying that many people have adopted the self-absorbed attitude of the worst role model in the world, Bart Simpson –My bubble, my rules and if you don’t like it, you know where to go!

On a different note, it was in the news that San Francisco is imposing a ban on plastic bags. The law passed 10-to-1. I wonder what the one person opposing the law had to say. Well, this wasn’t mentioned, very typical journalism style. Why waste the precious space to talk about the 1 opposing. It’s great that we are trying to conserve but let’s just not be too hasty. In the 80’s the paper bag was replaced by plastic bag. Ever asked why? Well maybe the following data from can shed some light:

“When it comes to reducing solid waste, bigger definitely isn't better. The less material you use to make a package, the less waste you have to recycle or dispose of after you've used (and reused) it. Take a look at how the facts stack up for plastic bags.

  • The smaller volume of plastic bags can help conserve landfill space. Nothing degrades fast enough to extend the useful lives of modern U.S. landfills...not paper, not plastics, nothing, according to Dr. William Rathje of the University of Arizona Garbage project.
  • 30 percent less material is used to produce today's plastic bag than the bags made just five years ago
  • Compared to paper grocery bags, plastic grocery bags:
    • Consume 40 percent less energy than paper
    • Generate 80 percent less solid waste
    • Produce 70 percent fewer atmospheric emissions
    • Release up to 94 percent fewer waterborne wastes “

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Today is Eddie's Birthday..

Five people five lessons narrated beautifully in an engaging story.

As I flipped the pages I learned to anticipate—eagerly, patiently—who Eddie is going to meet next.

Eddie “Maintenance” is the stronger of the two sons who would have done anything to get his father’s attention; in return for a bit of a fatherly love. Eddie’s story unravels in three time eras, Eddie’s present on earth, his present in heaven and his past. You bond with Eddie and perhaps often find yourself identifying with his story –shaking your head—you’ve been there, done that, felt it! No life is wasted. There is meaning and purpose to each and every one of our lives. We might not know it at this time. Does heaven, after life, exist to help us make sense of it all?

Mitch Albom’s “The Five People you Meet in Heaven” is a great read!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Image converter

Recently, I needed an image converter to convert gif to eps format. 2 out of 3 applications I tried didn't work.

First I tried Doc-Print v3.3 provided on The binary was relatively small and downloaded in few seconds--on a broadband connection. The set up was fast and within few clicks the software seemed to be good to go. The application needed a machine restart to complete installation --although a nuisance but shutting down all windows and open applications deemed to be a very small price to pay to achieve the goal. After restarting the computer, I tried it out anxiously. To my surprise the application didn't start. The window flashed and disappeared. So, I used the uninstall exe provided by the software to uninstal --I had to manually remove a config.ini from under the program directory and then remove the program directory.

I moved on to my ImageMagick, next link on the Google search result page. This one took a while to just load up the mirror sites. I quickly moved on.

The third link, however, was the winner, Advanced Batch Converter 3.9. The downloaded took a few seconds. Installation was quick. It didn't require a machine restart. The application was user friendly. Under 5 minutes, I had my gif image converted to eps! :)