Heptanesian Archives

within this labyrinthine civicomplex there are no mere spectators

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For years now, I have been searching for an open source utility to create PDF files from image files, without having to use Adobe Acrobat. I have been using Acrobat in my department, in conjunction with a scanner with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), to digitally archive thousands of documents, essays, articles and books. And as friends and colleagues will attest, I have come to spend long hours slaving over the scanner, in the service of digital archiving. In recent months my search for an alternative to using Acrobat on Windows had become desperate, especially as I cherished the idea of one day purchasing my own Automatic Document Feeder (Daku and Thiru even suggested getting me one for my birthday, but then quickly recanted on learning of the price of the gift. Bastards.). Apart from the hardware, in order to do digital archiving on my own, I needed a graphical utility, not just a command-line tool, and it had to work with Ubuntu Linux, which is my main operating system. I resented the hegemony of Adobe’s proprietary application over the production of my documents, which must remain free and open. While the Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open standard, the authoring and production of PDFs is still best done with Adobe Acrobat, which is neither open source nor freeware, though there are numerous PDF viewers available for every operating system. So after years of searching for a solution to this impasse, my belief in the ecology of free software development was redeemed by the discovery of GScan2PDF. Here is the thread on the UbuntuForums in which Jeffrey Ratcliffe answered our wishes. Now I can get to work with compiling all the various materials which have been sitting offline for several years and prepare them for distribution and publication, and make the dream of the Heptanesian Archives a reality.

Written by Shekhar

October 29th, 2006 at 10:34 am

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