Saturday, 23 November 2013

How-to: Convert JPG to PDF using ImageMagick

It's a common enough task, trying to convert multiple jpg files into one pdf, particularly when I don't need these to be converted with such high quality, I just want the black and white text readable.

I can scan, crop, and monochrome in a graphics program but compiling them into a single PDF booklet was always tricky. Which is how I started using ImageMagick.

ImageMagick is a command line conversion program that is capable of so many more batch operations than this - resizing, compression, format conversion - and it's available on all platforms - Linux, Windows and Mac.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

How-to: Hashtags [Guest Post]

Originally from Educare’s Random Subjects Made Simple No. 70 – Hashtags, you know, those weird off-balance wire frames?

Over the last decade the hashtag has rocketed to fame, revolutionising the way we communicate on-line. From business to politics, leisure to activism, it is difficult to remember the humble roots of the hashtag.

The origins of the hashtag date back to the 14th century with the introduction of the Latin abbreviation ‘lb’, for the Roman term libra pondo (pound weight). In line with the grammatical formalities of that period, a line was placed through the word to indicate its abbreviated status. It was the time constrained scribes that progressively changed the barred ‘lb’ to the abstract.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

How-to: Install TOR on Debian

You may recall I talked about privacy matters a while ago, and about the use of TOR in particular  to preserve your anonimity on line. Now that we've had the whole Snowden/NSA snooping scandal, it seems like our privacy is precious enough to take another look.

Enter the TOR Project:, in full, The Onion Router, which is a network of volunteer servers through which encrypted traffic is randomly routed so as to be (mostly) untraceable back to the originator.

It prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

This may not be the most elegant way to install TOR on Debian, but it works for me so here goes...