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2013, October 30 (Wed)

Linux, Programmierung, Web Dump Network Scanner Server, headless

Usage scenario:

Your small group has a scanner in walking distance, and wants to use it for simple scanning.

  • It is not worth it to connect the scanner to the user’s computer,

  • and also not worth it to be running back and forth between scanner and computer to check the scanning progress (as is suggested by saned).

  • Mixed local/network scanning on the machine is not required (as suggested in scanbd.)

  • The scanner is connected to a machine without display but with audio hardware. In our case it is an old broken Thinkpad.

  • Maybe the scanner is a cheap crappy scanner without automatic document feeding etc.

This script will poll the buttons, scan according to two pre-sets (you could make the scripts more complex if desired) and publish the result on a Windows share.

Communication with the user is done through speech synthesis software.

End user experience:

  • The Windows share is added once through “Connect Network Drive” in Windows or as a smb:// Bookmark in Nautilus, possibly by a local “Computer Expert”

  • User has something to scan, takes the papers to the room with the scanner. He puts each sheet on the scanner and pushes Button 1. When the scan is finished, he does the same with the next sheet and so on. At the end, the user pushes Button 4 to signal he is done scanning.

  • User goes back to his computer, copies the finished PDF file out of the network share. If necessary, he launches Adobe or another software to fix up any rough edges in the scan.

  • User could also print this document to some printer in yet another room, after reviewing that everything is in order.

Script to do it:

You can grab your copy here: scanbtn.tar. Detailed information is inside the README file therein. Enjoy!


2013, September 26 (Thu)

Politik Kindergarten vacancies are scarce in Leipzig

We still haven’t found a place to take good care of our little one (or even any, for that matter). There is a web service run by the city administration that is supposed to help you find free places. As a little experiment, we watched this site closely for a while. Suffice to say that there were no places.

Well, that’s not quite true. Sometimes there were places, but the end result (up until now) has been:

  • sorry, it’s a system error, the place is not really there
  • yes we have a place but we don’t give it to you because others are even more in need

and that’s although there is a new law in Germany saying that everyone is entitled to have a day care place. So for us the search is still on (or maybe we need to see a lawyer next…) but until then here are the results of the survey in case anyone is interested:

kita survey
kita survey (German version)

I also want to highlight the technology that was used here: Moops — Object Oriented Programming for Perl, DateTime, FillInForm::Lite (which has better Unicode compatibility that the original), Nonoh to send SMS (paid service), Net::Jabber to send XMPP notifications, FiltersAsTags for Text::Xslate to provide a Domain Specific template language, Statistics::useR to interface directly with R (much more sane that Statistics::R which spawns an interactive R session);
Mojolicious for the web frontend, OSM and Leaflet for the maps, gnuplot for a simple SVG map; forks instead of ithreads, and WWW::Mechanize, LibXML, HTML::Parser, JSON::PP and Text::Balanced to parse the web.

Netzwelt easy collaboration or less collaboration

Lately I see a lot of repositories where the description reads “Unofficial fork of … Disclaimer: I am NOT the author…”

Do services such as GitHub also have a negative impact on the workings-together of software authors or is it just the new way of doing things?

The forkers try to cast off responsibility by adding such disclaimers, but:

  • Why don’t people even bother to contact the original author?
  • Or is it the author’s fault for not being reachable?
  • Or should we just fork and forget?

/grumpy old man


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