Thursday, January 22, 2009

Embedding Fonts in PDF using

i am at a workplace where i can afford to use a non-mainstream product for things that i want to do. because, well i don't get paid enough to tow the line to standardization and i have enough power to control the destiny of my job to some extent.  one of the products that i choose to use is for my word processing needs (for small documents, large or complicated documents get LaTeX).  i still use excel and powerpoint because well excell rocks and powerpoint doesn't but at least powerpoint works really well with the tablet.

but back to writer.  last week i wrote a lab for organic chemistry that taught students to draw chemical structures and also to embed them in microsoft word.  i wrote the lab in because it is so much easier to control various things like outline format and picture layout in  one thing i didn't anticipate is that embedding the drawings in writer and then exporting to pdf meant that the fonts in the drawings were still fonts in the pdf.  this is a good thing in many ways probably but it had one unintended consequence.  one student opened up the pdf and printed it (good thing) but in the process some piece of equipment (either computer or printer) didn't have the symbol font.  (i know... what doesn't have the symbol font?) so my letter pi curiously turned into a q (not sure what alternate font it chose). so i went looking for how to embed all the fonts in a pdf and yup it is there. writer does rock.  so the way to do it and i'll probably do it with all pdf files that i post from now on given the variability in people's computers, is when you click on export to pdf it pops up a menu.  one option is PDF/A-1. this is an archive format that anticipates that someday everyone will have different fonts so it forces the fonts to embed.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

gps coordinates from google maps

it looks like you can get google maps to tell you the GPS coordinates of a location. just center it on the page, and then put the following in the address bar and hit enter.


I found it over on

Monday, January 05, 2009


did you guys see that the device driver that crashed the zune 30s was posted over on the driver was only mildly interesting, but I do like the context highlighting.

Friday, January 02, 2009

script language performance

There was a study done in 2003 to test the 'efficiency' of scripting languages. efficiency in terms of program execution speed, time to write the program, etc. the study, a tad informal, is still very interesting and concludes that since the number of lines of code a person can write efficiently is independent of the language, the denser script languages can be more optimal and depending on the task, the performance hit (speed of execution) can be small enough it really doesn't matter.