Create thumbnails of PDF’s with Node JS and GraphicsMagick

1. Install GraphicsMagick

On Ubuntu (14.04):

sudo apt-get install graphicsmagick


2. Install the Node library in your project

npm install gm


3. Write  a script

Below I show two ways of creating a thumbnail. The first way creates a JPG using various GraphicsMagick functions, I prefer this way because it gives me fine grained control over the thumbnail. The second uses a built in function for thumbnails, which is easy to use but isn’t as flexible.
Continue reading


A Cool Project that Needs Your Support: HabitRPG

Habit RPG

In life, there are things we have to do and there are things that we want to do. Rarely do these two categories overlap and I (like many of you out there) wish there was a way to get both types done. We can make lists, deadlines or whatever to put these goals in front of us, but at the end of the day we just don’t have the motivation to get it done! That is where Tyler Renelle’s HabitRPG comes in.

Continue reading

What would you do if the Internet went down?

My psychology professor posed a question for the class: What would you do if the Internet went down? Below is my response, but I’m interested in what you guys, the readers, think. What would you do?

interwebs$ sudo shutdown -h now ▮

After the initial Five Stages of Grief associated with losing something cherished, what would my life be like once I’ve accepted that I will never use the internet again? Well, let’s step back for a moment. What do I use the Internet for, right now? Typically I get up every morning, check my email, the news, and visit my “free money” sites. I’m not joined at the hip to a Facebook account, I don’t aggressively play any MMO and couldn’t care less about the latest cat video sweeping Reddit.

So it sounds like I just use the Internet as a means to stay connected with the environment around me. Okay. Well the internet is not the only medium through which I can do that. Continue reading

There’s Free Money Waiting for You

I remember when I first had dial-up. I’d visit this site called Free Arcade to play games all the time. What I remember most about the site isn’t the games or interface; rather, it is the ads.

I can’t believe it! You mean to tell me that out of all the people that visited the site today, I’m the one millionth? Wow, what are the odds? What’s that? All I have to do is shoot three ducks and I win two free iPod Nanos? You’ve got to be kidding me!

Unless you were born yesterday, we all know now that this was just a load of nonsense. At best it was an amusing advertisement. At worst, it was a scumbag sitting in his basement waiting for some sap to give up his social security number. But the Internet has changed a lot since then.

For one thing, there really are sites where you can earn free stuff like games, gift cards and clothing. No gimmick, no scam and most importantly, no ducks.

Continue reading