This series is written by a representative of the latter group, which is comprised mostly of what might be called "productivity users" (perhaps "tinkerly productivity users?"). Though my lack of training precludes me from writing code or improving anyone else's, I can, nonetheless, try and figure out creative ways of utilizing open source programs. And again, because of my lack of expertise, though I may be capable of deploying open source programs in creative ways, my modest technical acumen hinders me from utilizing those programs in what may be the most optimal ways. The open-source character, then, of this series, consists in my presentation to the community of open source users and programmers of my own crude and halting attempts at accomplishing computing tasks, in the hope that those who are more knowledgeable than me can offer advice, alternatives, and corrections. The desired end result is the discovery, through a communal process, of optimal and/or alternate ways of accomplishing the sorts of tasks that I and other open source productivity users need to perform.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Another addendum to the seventh installment: imagemagick as a resource for the budget-constrained researcher continued

Continuing on the theme of the last couple of entries, the budet-contrained researcher may own or wish to acquire a piece of hardware that can aid him in obtaining needed materials from research libraries. For example he may need but a single article or perhaps a chapter from a book. Or maybe a bibliography. Obtaining limited segments of larger works such as those mentioned may be more difficult through inter-library loan channels, especially in the case of works that may contain more than one item of potential interest. It can happen that the researcher will need to go in person to inspect the work to decide which part is actually required.

Suppose the researcher is already on the premises of the local academic library and has located target material. Should he not wish to check out a book, he is left with the option of himself scanning the material. Of course these libraries often have scanners that they make available to patrons, so that is one possible option. Yet another option is for the researcher to use his own scanner, and this is where highly portable hardware such as the Magic Wand portable scanner comes in.

I invested in one of these a few years ago and it has proved quite useful. One of the problems with using it, though, is that, for the bulk of books and journals (i.e., those of more standard size) it seems to work best to scan pages sideways--horizontally, rather than vertically. In other words, it works best to start from the spine and to scan toward page edges. This, obviously, entails that roughly every other page will have been scanned in a different orientation from the page preceding.

Once all pages are scanned, they can be easily rotated in bulk to the desired orientation--by 90 or 270 degrees, as the case may be--using imagemagick's mogrify switch, like so; mogrify -rotate 90 *.JPG (a command like convert -rotate 270 PTDC0001.JPG PTDC0001-270rotate.jpg would perform much the same function while preserving the original file). In my case, it seemed best to first copy all odd, the all even, image files to separate directories prior to rotating them.

At this point, I needed to name all files with either odd or even numbers. My bash scripting skills being modest at best, I began scouring the internet for a solution that would aid me in doing this sort of bulk renaming. I found such a script at http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/programming-9/bash-script-for-renaming-files-all-odd-617011/ and a bit of testing proved it to be a solution that would work for me.

I modified the script into 2 variants and named one rename-all_odd.sh and rename-all_even.sh. The scripts look as follows:

#!/bin/bash
# rename all files having .JPG extension in current directory with an odd 4-digit numeral series
# found at http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/programming-9/bash-script-for-renaming-files-all-odd-617011/
#
num=1
for file in *.JPG; do
mv "$file" "$(printf "%04u" $num).jpg"
let num=num+2
done


and

#!/bin/bash
# rename all files having .JPG extension in current directory with an even 4-digit numeral series
# for use with image files created using Magic Wand handheld scanner
# found at http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/programming-9/bash-script-for-renaming-files-all-odd-617011/
#
num=2
for file in *.JPG; do
mv "$file" "$(printf "%04u" $num).jpg"
let num=num+2
done


It was then a simple matter of copying all the renamed files into a separate directory and concatenating them into a pdf, as was covered in a previous installment.

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