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Old 12-29-2006, 09:29 PM   #16
bcamden
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Chokes on blank pages

alex_d,

This is a great product! An essential tool the likes of which Sony should have included with the Reader.

I have successfully got it working on Vista using Acrobat 8. Initially, Vista blocks the .cmd program, but after taking ownership of the whole directory, I could successfully remove the block and it works great!

The only glitch I noticed so far, is that a blank page results in an error message from AutoImager with a description "No files specified for image operation." After that no more rasterizing and post-processing occurs with PDFrasterFarian. It works OK after I remove blank pages using Acrobat so it is definitely not a show stopper.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:05 AM   #17
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Thank you for this!

Alex -- great stuff. I just got my Reader yesterday after hearing about it for months from mobileread user "geekraver" (who I know in "real" life). Anyway, I've been testing out the software on Charles Petzold's free ebook ".NET Book Zero" which you can find here.

I've found that for some reason, it only finds 1 page in modes 1 or 2 (and the resulting file hangs my reader), but if I use 3 (all the options) mode, it finds all 267 pages. Not a huge deal, I'll just use option 3 and pick all the defaults from now on ;-)
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:03 PM   #18
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FWIW, I am finding that PDFrasterFarian is making my Reader more useful, so many thanks.

One bug/wierdness I have discovered in the 2.0 beta is that if you have a PDF that has blank pages in it the blank pages will end up croaking at the rasterizing and post-processing step. The stage 3 step for the blank page gives an error ("/typecheck in --get---") which leads to a "No such file..." OS error, croaks the ghostscript step, and finally ends with AutoImager popping up a "No files as input" dialog box.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:30 AM   #19
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thanks for the feedback and kind words!

jenia.. I'll work on fixing the issue with parantheses in file names. It's fundamentally a problem of the stupid, stupid, ridiculously stupid Windows CMD scripting language, but I think it can be corrected. Very important: which other characters gave you problems?

mosh.. i am not able to reproduce the "too many arguments" error. It could be the same problem of illegal characters as jenia. i'll think some more about this one, but maybe you can narrow down which of the three commands fails? (one trick is to insert the command "pause" or the command "echo About to Execute: xxxxx" on their own lines between other commands)

bcamden.. i didn't know vista did that. how annoying! (what... you can run any exe, but it blocks cmd? wth is the point?) I should get around to installing the RTM, but I really didn't enjoy the betas. (what an ugly and somewhat irritating ui... the windows vista guys should've really taken a page from the office 2007 guys.) Hmm, if you have any ideas about getting pdfrasterfarian to work out of the box on vista or which directions to give to users, let me know.

bcamden... autoimager gives that error with blank pages?? i do think that's a showstopper! thanks for pointing it out! anyway, autoimager has to get replaced because it's not free and it has to be installed by people, so the issue will resolve itself as soon as i find some other prog.

dstewart... I am able to reproduce the error with your pdf, but advanced mode works only if you do not strip the password, correct? (ie, not quite all defaults) I am working on a fix, thanks for the report!

evgen... same problem as bcamden. thanks for the feedback, hopefully i'll quickly get it fixed!
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_d
thanks for the feedback and kind words!
dstewart... I am able to reproduce the error with your pdf, but advanced mode works only if you do not strip the password, correct? (ie, not quite all defaults) I am working on a fix, thanks for the report!
That's correct -- not quite all defaults, I was not precise when I said that. Thanks for the quick response!
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:10 AM   #21
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hi,same as you,i also developed the pdftojpg ,it can auto output the "fit to view" jpgs from the pdf
you can see here
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9214
and i think the ghostscript seems not perfect for output jpg, i used the xpdf core
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:26 PM   #22
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I'm not sure this is the best way to mention a feature that I think would be helpful in ALL the programs that generate file formats that present well on the SONY Reader.

I find reading a bit awkward when one part of the sentence is on one page and one on the next page. I think an orphan control feature would be helpful. Maybe it needs to be more complex than IF SENTENCE DOESN"T FIT GO TO NEW PAGE because with large font size(TR 16-TR18)and small display size , long sentences would leave some pages very short as the moved to the next page. Maybe for sentences less than ## characters the rule would hold but for other a break in the sentence across pages would be "a necessary evil" <grin>
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:12 AM   #23
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I tried to convert The Works of Edgar Allan Poe from Google. I launched from the context menu and accepted all the defaults when prompted. It was unable to generate a preview page - I checked the path Paint was complaining about and there was no preview.png file there. I tried to preview another page with the same results. It went through and cropped all 349 pages fine, but when it started the next step (processing?) it only made it to page 2.

If you've any suggestions or would like the file, let me know - looking forward to seeing the results!
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:36 PM   #24
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I've been investigating an improved text-procesing technique: making the text bolder at the font level, not as a 'photoshop' filter.

Doing this is turning out suprisingly difficult since a font's boldness is actually an inherent property. I've been able to get it to work manually by converting the pdf to postscript, extracting the fonts, running them through FontLab Studio to alter the weight, and reembedding them in the pdf. I'm not sure if it's all worth the effort, but the results do turn out pretty good.

Also, I've figured out how to speed things up tremendously. I'll release 2.1 soon with that change and other bugfixes.

P.S. airlik, i'll bet you don't have autoimager. (better error messages will also be in 2.1)
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:54 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_d
Doing this is turning out suprisingly difficult since a font's boldness is actually an inherent property.
Actually its pretty simple but there are two issues that generally make it a b ad idea:

1. If the font is embedded it likely didn't come with the PDF (most embedded fonts come in Roman only)
2. The width of glyphs in bold fonts are generally larger than the width of the roman glyphs. The PDF will very probably come out looking like it was typeset by random chance.
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:31 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kschan
For version 2, I came across the following problems:

1. I used all defaults in the conversion and tried to preview the first page, but there was an error message saying that
C:\Program Files\PDFRasterFarian 2.0.1 beta 1\temp\preview.png not found

2. I then ignored the error message and continued the process. Subsequently, the program hang when it rasterized the second page.
I've encountered the exact same error with 2 different PDFs, tested on 2 PCs, although every other PDF I've run converts like a charm. In both cases the second page turned out to be a blank leader page inserted between the title page and the TOC. Since I have AutoImager installed, I get a error message from AI in addition to the one within PDFRF quoted above by kschan. Although it usually happens during the Rasterizing and Post-processing stage, the error message will be evoked during the preview stage if I select page 2 (the blank page) to preview.

On a different note, are Paint.NET or Gimp a possibilies for greyscale dilation? I'm not technical enough to know where this functionality is found, nor would I know if you can pipe straight through the apps and bypass their GUIs like you seem to be doing with AutoImager. While Gimp is probably better suited for the kind a batch processing you need, Paint.NET could replace MS Paint for previewing in addition to possibly handling the subsequent image editing functions. The clock is ticking on our trial installations of AI, and the thought of shelling out $60 to register the program is not attractive.

Another note: Am I missing the reason the for Landscape being the default layout? I would think that the overwhelming majority of PDFs out there are Portrait (I had 1 Landscape PDF in the ~35 PDFs I've converted so far). Not much of a complaint though -- it's just the one parameter that prevents me from lazily accepting all of the program's defaults.

Thanks for all of your hard work. This is a terrific tool. Now my Sony Reader is actually useful.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:00 AM   #27
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scotty, i'm not experimenting with the bold versions of the PDF's fonts. I'm extracting the normal versions and running them through a font processor which artificially makes them bolder while keeping the widths the same. I'm also converting truetype fonts into type 1, which isn't lossless either. I dunno, I haven't done too much testing, but I don't think the small imperfections matter much at the tiny font sizes we're concerned with. Also speaking of spacing... I've started playing with the "aligntopixels" option in ghostscript which makes the fonts clearer at the cost of poorer typesetting. For the 'simple' or 'none' processing modes this also seems a good tradeoff. (And while I'm on a typographical rant, I'd also like to mention ghostscript's infuriating habit of ignoring font hinting when using 2 or 4-bit antialiasing, since it just pretends it's rendering a letter two or four times bigger! Wth!)

gameboy, that's the blank page error. PDFs with blank pages don't work. It's fixed in PDFrasterFarian 2.1.0, among other things. Hmm.. as for dilation programs. Gimp sounds like a good candidate... I'll take a look. As for paint.net... does it require .net framework? AutoImager definately has to be replaced very soon thanks for the leads. And as for landscape mode... it's not for pdfs that are on their side.... it's for turning the Sony Reader on its side to read upright pdfs. Although I like portrait too, I have a feeling most people prefer the larger text of landscape. I'm working on a way for you to set up your own default options, however.

PDFrasterFarian 2.1.0 is on the way, probably tonight.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:57 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_d
gameboy, that's the blank page error. PDFs with blank pages don't work. It's fixed in PDFrasterFarian 2.1.0, among other things. Hmm.. as for dilation programs. Gimp sounds like a good candidate... I'll take a look. As for paint.net... does it require .net framework? AutoImager definately has to be replaced very soon thanks for the leads. And as for landscape mode... it's not for pdfs that are on their side.... it's for turning the Sony Reader on its side to read upright pdfs. Although I like portrait too, I have a feeling most people prefer the larger text of landscape. I'm working on a way for you to set up your own default options, however.

PDFrasterFarian 2.1.0 is on the way, probably tonight.
Sorry, missed the earlier reports of the blank page error. I thought I had a scoop. Paint.net does require the .Net 2.0 Framework, but it might be a practical long-term strategy if combined with Powershell (fka Monad) for scripting as a more robust alternative to CMD.

In the short run I'll delete the blank pages in Acrobat, unless you post PDFRF 2.1.0 first

I'll have to try processing a portrait-mode PDF with landscape optimization and see if the larger text is worth the additional scrolling (personally, I doubt it for me), but at least I understand the reasoning, and I appreciate the custom default configuration on the way. Thanks in advance for everything. You rock.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:58 PM   #29
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Hey, alex_d, I don't mean to jog your elbow or anything (), but any news on 2.1.0?
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:18 PM   #30
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Yeah, what NatCh said ::wink, wink, nudge, nudge::
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