Random PDF Feature

PDF Thumbnail Image

We are working on updating the PDF section of the website and creating a daily feature on the homepage. Part of the design process is to have a thumbnail snapshot of the PDF on the homepage. The idea is to show a small image of the PDF to catch the attention of visitors to the site. It's a pretty cool design and we are looking forward to launching the PDF control.

There are very few tools to batch process PDF files to images on Mac OS X. There is a built in functionally in Apple's Automator tool, but the problem is that it converts all PDF pages into an image format, which isn't what we wanted to do. We only wanted the first page to be a PDF format.

While we could have used the Automator functionality or just open each file and just saved the first page, this seemed to be a lot of unnecessary work. As Steve Jobs would say, "There has to be a better way to do this."

So we searched various Macintosh shareware/freeware sites and came up empty handed., It looks like there was a tool called Kunvert, by Kualo software, that might have done the trick, but the website no longer exists. The reviews were pretty good, but I think that Automator's free functionality might have overstepped this commercial application.

We decided to look at some of the tools we had on our own computers. The only tool that we found to perform the task was Picturesque 1.0 by Acqualia. Note: this doesn't work in Picturesque 2.0 which was release in May, 2008. For some reason they took out the functionality to manipulate PDF images in version 2.0.

Picturesque is a great tool to manipulate images to have a cool Web 2.0 type effect. The application makes it easy to add drop shadows, round corners, 3D perspectives and refection effect. The application takes great use of Apple's Quartz Composer technology. It's a very cool application and it's no surprise that it won Apple's Design Award in 2007. I highly recommend buying the application; it's the best $34.95 you'll spend today.

Using Picturesque 1.0 we were able to run a batch job on all 150 PDF files in a very short amount of time. We were even applied a drop shadow and round corners to each thumbnail. We also used iWatermark to add a PDF watermark. We were happy with the resulting images.

Our lesson learned - always backup applications when upgrading! You never know when a developer may remove functionality that you may find useful. We we happy that we had a solution to meet the needs to cover 150 PDF files to thumbnail format.

Job Hunting
Assorted information for thoses looking for new opportunities.
Corporate ChiefsAn article about why layoffs are a good thing and how its best for the economy in the long run.
Yes You CanA 50 page PDF document to get your momentum back on track!
Mental TrainingGreat information to help you stay Mentally focus on your Job hunt.
Unemployed TipsTom Brophy give some practical advice on what unemployed people should do everyday to be increase their opportunity to get hired.
Big HelpThe listing of companies at the Big Help job fair at Fenway Park on September 2003. Great historical information on the first job fair at Fenway Park
Year by YearHere is how to improve your job search while in college. Learn what to do each year to have an awesome job when you graduate.
Job Search WorksheetA helpful worksheet on creating a successful job search plan. Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance .
Focus Approach to Job SearchInfomation on how to use the Focus Approach to build a better job search
Job PointsHave you ever wondered what effort it takes to find a job? Use this chart to see how much effort you need.
MacKay Sweet 16Harvey MacKay takes you through the though process of 16 most likely asked questions during a job interview. Great read for interveiw prep.
Unemployable?Just because your unemployed doesn't mean your Unemployable. Read this if your stuck in your job search.
Las Vegas
PDF Documents for visitors to Las Vegas
RouletteGeneral information on how to play Roulette
Las Vegas Hotel InformationVegas Hotels Reservation. Great reference material!
Casino CrapsGeneral gaming odds on playing craps.
BlackjackA Basic Backjack casino strategy guide.
Los Angeles & Hollywood
PDF Documents on LA and Hollywood.
Hollywood SignAll you ever wanted to know about the famous Hollywood sign
Hollywood Sign 2.0More information about the famous Hollywood sign
LA InfoSome of the Best stores in the LA area (Best of List)
2004 DisneylandThe Official Park map of Disneyland in 2004
Disneyland HuntA Disneyland Treasure Hunt that I created
Disneyland InfoDisneyland general price information and what to bring
Things to Do in LAI put together this quick sheet of things to do around LA on a weekend trip in 2001.
Macintosh PDF Documents.
Now UtilitiesQuick Reference Guide for Now Utilities from 1990
Macintosh 660avThe Official Marketing Datasheet for Apple Quadra 660AV from 1994
Macintosh 8600Technical Datasheet for Apple PowerMac 8600
Computer PDF Documents that I collected
Tandy 1000sxThe Tandy 1000 as described in a 1987 Radio Shack Catalog
SQL Server ReplicationGeneral information about the various steps to setup SQL Server Replication.
MySQL Date TimeA Very handy Date Formating variables chart for MySQL.
Tip BoxHow to create a Tip Box using Tables instead of HTML
Various PDF documents that I created or collected over the years.
1991 Guf WarGeneral information on the 1991 Gulf War.
War ReferenceWars, Campaigns, and Expeditions of the Armed Forces Since 1937
WonderlandA prart of the Dog Track listing from Wonderland Dog Track
TurkeyBasic three things to remember when cooking a turkey.
Saddam Hussein BioThis is Saddam Hussein unofficial resume. He died on December 30, 2006
BeatriceFind the Beatrice product mini-poster. A late 80s promotion.
Michael DukakisWhy is Mike Dukakis better than George Bush? Read the details from this 1988 Democratic handout.
Church Street StationA brochure about Church Street Station from 1992
Lane and GamesRestaurant menu for Lane and Games on Route 2 in Cambridge.
Procrastinate Tip SheetSome helpful tips on avoiding Procrastination and do it now!
Movie TriviaFrequently Asked Questions about Movies from 1995.
Delicious Hershey RecipesThe orginal recipes for fudgey brownies & deep dark chocolate cake.
Cape Cod Restaurants
Menu listing of the most popular restaurants on Cape Cod.
Liams at Nauset BeachThis is the latest Liams Nauset Beach Menu.(August 2009) Download it and plan your next lunch at Nauset Beach, Orleans MA.
Lobster ClawThe Lobster Claw 2003 Menu. This famous resturant is located on Rt 28 in Orleans, MA.
Sir CricketsA great all season takeout seafood resturant in Orleans MA
KatesTake out menu for Kate's Fried Seafood & Ice Cream in Brewster, MA
Cooke SeafoodTake-out menu for Cooke Seafood in Orleans, MA
Useful Business PDFs that I have found
Play Live GolfLegal documents which covers the SEC investigation of PlayLiveGolf.com
Poor BoysThe classic, How Poor Boys become Rich Men PDF Document. Proven methods that given results to many people.
Acres of DiamondsThe complete Acres of Diamonds story by Russell Conwell
AffirmationsScott Adams describe how Positive Affirmations was big part of his success.
Al Gore BrochureA brochure from 2000 on why Al Gore shouldn't be president.
1991 Peace FlyerA flyer from 1991 on an upcoming rally in Washington DC
Fairfield Inn Credit FormFairfield Inn Credit Card Authorization Form
Incredible UniverseA brochure of Incredible Universe which shows the fun place the store use to be.
ScanBirkInstructions on putting together the ScanBirk desk.
Johnny MostThe orginal "Dream Game" brochure featuring Johnny Most and Glenn Ordway.
CSharp ReferenceUseful reference guide to mastering C#
Very useful reference guides that I have created.
Health Care BillSentate Version of the Health Care Bill pass on
Assorted PDFs of places and companies in California.
Mystery SpotA brochure of Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, California
Enrons LetterEnron's letter to California residents to get them to switch to Enron
Disneyland 1994The official park map of Disneyland in 1994. What did the park look like in 1994?
Knotts Berry FarmA listing of various rides at Knotts Berry Farm in 2001.
New England
Assorted PDFs of places and companies in New England.
Worcester Common OutletsThe directory of Worcester Common Outlets from 2002
Boston CelticsA letter from the Boston Celtics in 2005 for season tickets
Weston NurseriesMap of the Weston Nurseries Landscape in Hopkinton, MA
Wayside InnGeneral Inforamation on the Longfellow's Wayside Inn
Harwichport GolfThe golf score for Harwich Port Golf Club
Townline DinerTake-out menu for Townline Diner in Rocky Hill, CT
AngelinosTake-out menu for Angelinos in Vernon, CT
Kancamagus Highway MapA traveler's guide to the Kancamagus Highway Map in New Hampshire.
1988 CCHS GraduationThe Graduation Exercises document of CCHS Graduation Class of 1988
The famous travel category.
Old Sturbridge VillageCurrent map of Old Sturbridge Village
Westminster AbbyThe Westminster Abby brochure from 1990.
Logan Airport Parking RateParking Rates at Boston's Logan International Airport
Trip PlanningUseful Packing Tips to help you have a better vacation.
Daily Vacation PlannerUseful Daily Planner to plan vacation time.
Disneyland Treasure HuntA Disneyland Treasure Hunt that I created.