Category Archives: tools

Vectorize an image using Inkscape

And now, for something completely different.

For a coming event we want to use logos from different bars and cafes around the block. The idea is to do a little of propaganda: banners, t-shirts, mugs all the way!

Some bars have their fancy logos already as a vector image. Other ones don’t even have a computer where the logo is stored.

In this post we’ll see how to create a vector file from a pixmap (jpg, png, whatever raster format that Inkscape can open). With a couple of examples, a graceful one and a crazy one.

There’s a lot of manuals online for this, an in-depth one with good examples can be found in Tavmjong Bah’s website.

vectorizing!

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XLS to CSV

A common situation for us (people in the programming/computing/processing world) is that we don’t always work with the same tools as some of our non-tech peers.

Case in point, I received a big bunch of files in XLS/XLSX format, very big files, LibreOffice has trouble working with them. Since I want to perform quick processing on that data, and I already have scripts that process similar data in CSV, the simplest path is to transform those files to plain, ugly, useful CSV files.

Then again, there are 100 files, and I don’t feel like dancing around each one: opening, clicking save as, selecting CSV, telling LibreOffice that this is a semicolon separated CSV file … etc etc.

Entering pandas.

continue please

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DuckDuckGo Things

images-duckduckgo-com

Heya. This is a light post about a the search engine DuckDuckGo.

Day to day we (I) use Google to search stuff. There’s a lot of alternatives, but the most appealing one is DuckDuckGo. This search engine combines a good set of results, it does not track you (so they say), and has a set of special features. I want to highlight some of its features here. Unluckily nobody paid me to do so 😛

The Duck’s features

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Logitech Trackman in Linux

trackman-marble-gallery-icon

A simple post on how to configure a Logitech Trackman Marble on GNU/Linux. This post is tested on Ubuntu but since this is Xorg configuration it should be usable almost everywhere.

Configure it

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Create a module with XCircuit

xcicon_sm

I discovered XCircuit when looking for an easy and quick way to generate a schematic.
Since I am not going to simulate it, it would be enough to have a vector design program like Inkscape, but it’s never too late to learn a tool that may prove useful in the future.

There are other bigger, better, stronger EDA tools: Geda, KiCAD, EagleCAD… but I settled for something designed for publications.

(…)program for drawing publishable-quality electrical circuit schematic diagrams and related figures(…)
— XCircuit website

In this post you’ll find a quick overview of XCircuit, and how to create a module with it.

continue please

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QDCSS : Quick and Dirty CSS Sprites

qdcss
Ah, spriting.

When I think about sprites, my mind goes directly to the NES, and SNES era.

snests4nintendones

The graphics were meshed together in a way that was easier to handle than multiple images. And well, now they have this nostalgic appeal. I can’t watch this without a smile.

Luigi Sprite from Super Mario Bros.

Luigi Sprite from Super Mario Bros.

As old as 10 years ago (already? :-O) A list apart published an amazing article on how to use this same idea to reduce the amount of browser petitions for images. That article is wonderful, but apart (hehe) from that, it urges people to think creatively!

Long story short, this is going to be a post on how to create a CSS sprite image and stylesheet with 100 lines of python.

CSS sprite generator python

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