Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Booklet printing

Now that I've got a laser printer, I wanted to print things as compactly as possible—in booklet form, double sided. The CocoaBooklet utility seems to do a splendid job of this. I've set the preferences to A4 paper, destination "Same as Original" with a "-booklet" suffix, options "Do not flip odd pages" and "Split the document into odd and even pages" armed.

Dragging a PDF file onto the application, this gives me an Even-booklet.pdf and an Odd-booklet.pdf file. If I then

  • Print the Even-booklet.pdf file in reverse order
  • Flip the printout for printing on the other side by just putting it into the manual feeder, preserving its orientation (face down, with the two tops of the printed pages on the right hand side)
  • Print the Odd-booklet.pdf file in forwards order
I get the booklet I'm after

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Samsung ML-2250

Rather foolishly, I bought a new printer without noticing that it doesn't have support for Mac OS X. I was hopeful for a minute when I managed to install a PostScript driver for the printer, but reading the user manual in more detail it turns out it needs an extra thingy installed to do that.

However, it turns out that the driver for the ML-2150 seems to work OK for the ML-2250 too.


Given that my home directory is now too big to fit on a single DVD, I bought an external hard drive for backing things up to.

However, it seems to be annoyingly difficult to actually get all of the data I want onto it. My first method was just to copy all of the relevant files across in Finder. This doesn't work, because whenever Finder comes across a file whose filename isn't allowed under the FAT32 filesystem of the destination drive, it just quits (which is incredibly annoying: why can't it carry on to copy all the other files?).

So next, I tried resorting to low-level UNIX stuff: cd /Users; tar czvf /Volumes/BACKUPDRIVE/dmd_20050831.tgz dmd. That didn't work either (some gzip error message), so I tried the uncompressed verson (cd /Users; tar cvf /Volumes/BACKUPDRIVE/dmd_20050831.tar dmd), and even a straightforward copy (cp -pR /Users/dmd/* .), but they both failed too.

After looking in the Help, my next attempt was to try using Disk Utility to create a disk image of my home directory in a file on the external HD. Nope, failure there too. Following a tip, I also tried to get Disk Utility to create a read/write 50Gb HFS disk image on the external HD, but that failed too.

So what I'm converging on now is figuring out (by experimentation and the filthy internet) that the characters that cause problems on FAT32 are: \ : ? * < > | ", and so find . -name '*[<:|>/\\\*"?]*' finds all of the problematic files so I can rename them.

[Edit: Actually, it looks like there are occasionally files that have non-printable characters in their filenames; in particular application packages often have a file called Icon^M. So flipping the find command around to find . -name "*[^a-z A-Z0-9!#$%&\'()+,.\-;=@\[\]^_\`{}~]*" seems to work better.]