PDF blog postings

PDF Postings

Earliest: May 16, 2008Latest: April 1, 2011Total: 57

April 1, 2011

Framingham Recycle Schedule

I just updated the Framingham Trash/Recycle schedule for the 2011 season. This is very useful when planning on when to do yard work in the Spring or the Fall. Also this is very useful to track the various holidays so residents will know when trash may not be picked up.

Curbside yard waste collection schedule (below) occurs on the same day as trash collection. All yard waste must be properly bagged in biodegradable paper yard waste bags or placed in barrels clearly marked ?YARD WASTE?. Bags and barrels must not weigh more than 40 pounds and must be in good condition.

Complete information on the Framingham Trash program can be found on the Solid Waste Management Department.

Observed holidays for the Town of Framingham are:

  • New Year's Day
  • M.L. King Day
  • President's Day
  • Patriot's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

The Town of Framingham does put out their own Recycle calendar, but I find that their site isn't always available.

June 10, 2009

PDF Thumbnail Image

We are working on updating the PDF section of the website and creating a daily feature on the homepage. Part of the design process is to have a thumbnail snapshot of the PDF on the homepage. The idea is to show a small image of the PDF to catch the attention of visitors to the site. It's a pretty cool design and we are looking forward to launching the PDF control.

There are very few tools to batch process PDF files to images on Mac OS X. There is a built in functionally in Apple's Automator tool, but the problem is that it converts all PDF pages into an image format, which isn't what we wanted to do. We only wanted the first page to be a PDF format.

While we could have used the Automator functionality or just open each file and just saved the first page, this seemed to be a lot of unnecessary work. As Steve Jobs would say, "There has to be a better way to do this."

So we searched various Macintosh shareware/freeware sites and came up empty handed., It looks like there was a tool called Kunvert, by Kualo software, that might have done the trick, but the website no longer exists. The reviews were pretty good, but I think that Automator's free functionality might have overstepped this commercial application.

We decided to look at some of the tools we had on our own computers. The only tool that we found to perform the task was Picturesque 1.0 by Acqualia. Note: this doesn't work in Picturesque 2.0 which was release in May, 2008. For some reason they took out the functionality to manipulate PDF images in version 2.0.

Picturesque is a great tool to manipulate images to have a cool Web 2.0 type effect. The application makes it easy to add drop shadows, round corners, 3D perspectives and refection effect. The application takes great use of Apple's Quartz Composer technology. It's a very cool application and it's no surprise that it won Apple's Design Award in 2007. I highly recommend buying the application; it's the best $34.95 you'll spend today.

Using Picturesque 1.0 we were able to run a batch job on all 150 PDF files in a very short amount of time. We were even applied a drop shadow and round corners to each thumbnail. We also used iWatermark to add a PDF watermark. We were happy with the resulting images.

Our lesson learned - always backup applications when upgrading! You never know when a developer may remove functionality that you may find useful. We we happy that we had a solution to meet the needs to cover 150 PDF files to thumbnail format.

November 26, 2008

1988 CCHS Graduation

This week the Concord-Carlise 1988 Graduation Class will meet for the 20th reunion. Wow, where has all the time gone??

Just image what the world was like back in the late 80's; Ronald Reagan was President, the war in Afghanistan was control by the Russians, Apple was selling Macintosh Plus, Michael Dukakis was to be the Democratic Nominee.

Download the Graduation Exercises from June 4th, 1988 and see how many people you may recognize.

November 21, 2008

Disneyland Treasure Hunt

I have been to Disneyland so many times. Its a fun place to go and just get away from it all. Despite how many time I have gone, I aways see something new.

On one of my trips I decided to have a little fun and put together a Treasure Hunt. I have seen a few online, but thought I get creative and walk around the park looking for little things that people may not notice.

Download the Disneyland Treasure Hunt. Oh, if you want the solution, you'll have to email me your answers.

November 20, 2008

Kancamagus Highway Map

One of the most famous highways in New Hampshire is the Kancamagus Highway. This is a great highway that goes in the valleys of some mountains and has spectacular views. The wild life views are great too, as Bears and Moose are usually seen along the river that parallels the highway.

Download the official Kancamagus Highway map.

November 19, 2008

Business Addresses

While doing some testing earlier this year I needed a list of addresses to test a map functionality. I wanted a good sample of addresses so that I could test if the map would be working for customers.

I put together a list of 20 companies from different areas of the country to use as testing. I had this list on my cubical for a couple of months during testing so that I could easily find an address when I needed it. If your doing any testing, you might find this list in handy.

Download the list of Business Addresses for testing.

November 17, 2008

2004 Disneyland

Walt Disney really had a good idea in building Disneyland, its a fun place to be and its a great place to go to get away from the working every day.

To keep people come back every year, Disneyland makes minor changes in the park. Some of the changes are technology updates, such as updating Tomorrowland to focus on Mars and not the Moon. Other updates are to promote the movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean and the Little Mermaid. (I don't like the update to the Tiki Room, I think they should have let the birds sing their songs. If anything they could have turned it into a restaurant as what the original Imagineers wanted.)

Regardless of the changes, the old favorites are still around at the Disneyland. Space Mountain is still the same ride as it was when the park first opened, and you can count on 999 happy haunted over by the mansion in New Orleans Square. Yes, its a place of old and new faces, which makes it enjoyable to visit year after year.

Download the 2004 Disneyland Map and see how much has changed over the past 4 years.

November 14, 2008

Daily Vacation Planner

When I was taking a lot of trips in California, I would record what I planned to do and what I actually did. For example, if I was planning to goto Hollywood for a weekend, I would write down things I wanted to do. I decided it would be easier to create a one page daily planner to see how much time I have to do the things I wanted to do.

I found it easy to take the daily planner with me on these trips so that I could record information. Such as how much does it cost to park at the parking lot next to Mann's Chinese Theater? I was also easy to track expenses on business trips/

Download the Daily Vacation Planner and see if its something that you could use to organize you vacation day.

November 13, 2008

Cosi Menu

Cosi Restaurant is a great place to go to get a nice healthy lunch, definitively a better alternative to going to Burger King or McDonalds. They are famous for their salads and flat bread.

When I was working in Washington, DC, I enjoyed going to the Cosi near the White House, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. The food was great, the staff is very friendly and quick. You can expect fast service and excellent food!

I think being at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave is a great location for any restaurant. Obviously its great being near the White House, but did you know that its also near the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund‎? So you never know who might be sitting next to you.

Download the Cosi Menu and start making your lunch plans now!

November 12, 2008

Good Time Emporium

Boston is a great family town, from watching a game at Fenway Park, to exploring the lighting exhibit at the Science Museum there's lots to do in Boston. Good Time Emporium is a great family place to take the whole family after a great day in Boston.

From their Website: Good Time Emporium is New England's largest indoor amusement center and sports bar. Offering hours of entertainment for all ages, Good Time Emporium is both a daytime destination and popular nightspot where you can play billiards, watch sporting events, ride go-carts, enjoy state-of-the-art video games, Laser Tag, and more all under one roof.

However, on June 30, 2008 the Good Time Emporium was force to close, due to the demand of the large building that they were using. They are currently looking for a new location. Download the Good Time Emporium menu and check out some of the great food they use to serve.