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One New Thing
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Some New Things:

A post on Duelling Databases from TechnoBiblio covers the story of the National Institute of Health’s freely-accessible database facing a call to be shut down – because it is challenging the earning ability of a similar commercially-available database. Keep an eye on the outcome of this one if you can; it will be interesting.

From Blind Chance, a link to a nifty tool that strips web pages down to plain text. Loband works very well as far as I can see, and it turns my blog into…actually, it turns it into something where all the supplementary information (rather than the important stuff) is at the head of the page. Hmmmm. Possibly useful for testing accessibility as well as recommended to people who need text-only or low-bandwidth webpages.

Catalogablog on del.icio.us shows how you can combine tags with a + to show posts with both tags. (Is it my imagination, or is the “New+York+City” example picking up people who tagged things as “New York City” without realising the tags were separate?)

For myself, I quite like the new del.icio.us posting screen. If you haven’t used it before, or just haven’t posted anything for a while – take a look.

And for the sysadmins amongst us, have a go at coolcommands, a search tool for UNIX commands. Very neat!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
One New Thing: Regular Expressions.

Well it may sound sad, but I am amazed at all the things I can do with search and replace using regular expressions. It’s basically just pattern matching to do find and replace, or format data for importing and exporting elsewhere, but since I wasn’t aware of how easy it can be to get a chunk of text and format it into something I could read I think I could quite happily start doing these the same way other people do crossword puzzles. ;) Textpad and Dreamweaver are the two programs I’ve been able to use this strange new skill in.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Thanks for being patient with longer-than-intended silence – back now!

One New Thing: The strange thing about changing Word to PDF with images.

I ran into a problem recently where if you have a Word-created document that has non-bordered images in it, when you try to make it into a PDF with Acrobat, a thin border sometimes appears around the outside of the image. After much experimentation and unsuccessful searching online for the problem (e.g. this post from Planet PDF forums which reports the same issue with borders), I worked out I could prevent the borders by changing the image format of the inserted file from a .jpg to a .bmp file.

Planet PDF
has proved quite useful in answering PDF questions – bookmark it in case you get a burning PDF question!