Thread: PRS-500 RasterFarian 2.5 Beta
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:54 PM   #203
talofo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_d View Post
Editor's Note: These files have been blocked from being downloaded because it has been brought to our attention that the application as it currently exists includes an expired trial version of commercial software.


That's right. Back from a developmental hiatus, I bring to you the latest version of PDFRasterFarian (now renamed simply RasterFarian)!

Many new things have changed. Gone is AutoImager. Gone even, gasp, is ImageMagick! Also, RasterFarian now behaves much more like a normal Windows program. This probably isn't a big deal to those of you who were able to figure out how to get it to work before, but it'll be a big help to newbies. Lastly, it's now possible to start converting multiple files, have them get into a neat queue, and finish automatically. Very helpful, given the amount of time a single conversion takes.


On the image quality front, I've discovered a wonderful packaged called NetPBM. This thing sits in imagemagick's shadow, but it's actually much more powerful and has a much better interface. Not to mention MUCH, MUCH better documentation. Seriously, WTF is up with imagemagick's documentation?

NetPBM is able to do dilate. It also fixes some nagging issues with how imagemagick did the shrink and color reduction operations. E.g., instead of refiltering the image before resizing, netpbm lets me do a simple pixel mix. The output ends up sharper. Also, imagemagick had this perverse color-reducing scheme where it would try to find the four "optimal" colors for a palettized image. There was no way to tell it "no, you stupid crap, the sony reader can only use THESE four colors." With NetPBM, it's easy to specify this explicitly. So gone is the gray snow you'd sometimes see on backgrounds which should've been white (and on fields that should've been black).

NetPBM also introduced me to a new image processing step. Instead of sharpening, I now do "edge enhancement." The results are considerably sharper and clearer compared to 2.1.


On the installation front, we now have an installer that copies files into Program Files and sets up Start Menu entries. If you call pdfrasterfarian from the start menu, you'll get an ordinary windows dialog box asking you which file you'd like to convert and where to save it. Hopefully, in the future no one will try to install and ask "how do i install it" or "how do i run it."


On the queueing front, you can now start multiple conversions. They won't all happen simultaneously (taking up a huge amount of ram). Rather, they'll wait for eachother to complete and then start by themselves. It all happens automatically (with a couple new questions) when you run multiple instances simultaneously. Previously, if you tried that the program would simply fail.


Many things on the original "todo" and "known issues" are getting crossed off. I'm still planning to add DjVu support (probably before this comes out of beta) and also raw images input support (this one will be a tad more annoying). One-click profiles are in the works (but i'm not sure if there's a point since you can just configure the defaults and use Simple mode. try this, it's nice.)
How can we download RasterFarian?
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