Nice work

Story: High-res batch convert EMZ / WMZ grahpics to PNG a.k.a. "liberating your graphics"Total Replies: 8
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May 24, 2013
8:58 AM EDT
You gave a nice example of reverse engineering a set of proprietary data protocols and reformating into a free structure. Some nice work there, Hans.

Your situation at work being required to run a Win7 box reminded me of a job I once had where an IT-supplied windows box was required to sit in my office. Unfortunately trying to get any real work done on it was hopelessly frustrating, so I asked my IT guy if he had an old unused PC sitting in the corner that I could use.

I put my favorite linux distribution on that box, set it up with extra memory, big disk, and a dual-display using the repurposed monitors from the now-headless windows box. The headless windows box now fit nicely out of the way in the corner of the office. Then rdesktop put that headless windows box up full-screen onto one of the linux displays (mainly needed to access the company email) while both displays could now be used for my real work. Accessing the windows disk drives from the linux environment was done with an easy mount.cifs startup command.

It was a very nice and efficient setup, and one that could be secured with a nice iptables firewall that satisfied the IT guys.

May 24, 2013
10:20 AM EDT
Thanks for the kind words Penguinist.

Real reverse engineering I didn't do though, the specification is kind of 'free' available, and I looked into it and deemed it too much work. "Too much" here means: Doing it manually is less effort than automating it.

I'm always happy to hear / read stories of people who set up their own Linux-box at work. Having a Linux box here is not an option I'm afraid, so my next article will be about turning your Windows 7 box 'a little bit' into GNU/Windows - for those at work who miss bash, awk etc.

May 24, 2013
11:13 AM EDT
I'm still trying to figure out how/why Microsoft would choose such an inefficient method of including graphics in a document. Another case of NIH I guess.

Quoting:``my next article will be about turning your Windows 7 box 'a little bit' into GNU/Windows - for those at work who miss bash, awk etc.''

Cygwin saves the day again? IMHO it's the only way to get work done on a Windows-based computer. (If you're lucky enough to not be in the business of cranking out Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations.)

May 26, 2013
8:18 AM EDT

Probably, when WMF was created in the 90's, they choose it also for vector formats because SVG was not around / not that popular yet.

When it comes to the 'next article', I will just present what I have running currently. Not that it's good / bad / better than alternatives, I don't mean to write an article "5 best free software tools for Windows 7". I just want to share a list of what I use, and currently this doesn't include Cygwin. But maybe I should give Cygwin a try - it might be a bit weird I never tried it!

May 26, 2013
9:47 AM EDT
Now you have my curiosity piqued.

I thought cygwin was the only way to survive in an MS environment.

May 29, 2013
9:39 PM EDT
nah, all you need is firefox (maybe chrome) and putty and then do everything shell related on a different machine.

greetings, eMBee.

May 30, 2013
6:01 PM EDT
That might work - but not in a company, as it's usually against rules to scp sensitive stuff out of the network. Sometimes you even sign you will not try to surpass the measures they have in place.

May 31, 2013
11:00 AM EDT
hkwint: I think that varies by company.

The last company I worked for encouraged the use of ssh and scp since it is more secure than telnet and ftp. Their IT even opened up outbound port 22 at the corporate firewall specifically to support and encourage ssh.

Jun 03, 2013
11:51 AM EDT
Agree, it depends: When your company is dependent on "trade sectrets", they don't want to allow any connection in / outbound that they are not aware of. Which might mean, ssh blocked, scp blocked, Dropbox and lots of other web-storage blocked, GMail / Gdrive and blocked, LogMeIn blocked, RDP blocked and other internet file-sharing possibilities blocked, and CDROM-stations blocked.

The only thing one could do in such an environment is ssh over http (Apache) over port 80 or 443, but then you would be trying to 'circumvent' measures, and sometimes you have to sign that you won't do so.

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