Helping a friend

During the past two weeks, I’ve helped my friend to do several things.

Two weeks ago, she asked me to reduce the size of some scanned documents in pdf format to only 50-200 kb, while still being readable. I found out that I can use Ghostscript to compress the files (thanks to Jorge) using the command:

gs -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/screen -sOutputFile=newfile.pdf originalfile.pdf

There are two options for -dPDFSETTINGS: /screen (smallest resolution and file size) and /ebook (medium resolution and file size). Ghostscript reduced the file size into 1/4 to 1/5 of the original. But after I did this I got two compressed files that are smaller than 50 kb, so I tried ImageMagick’s convert command:

convert -density 200x200 -quality 60 -compress jpeg input.pdf output.pdf

Adjust -quality as you see fit. The downside of these two utilities is that they don’t support bulk mode.

Original document (top, 226 KB) vs compressed document (bottom, 59 KB)


Last Friday, during our conversation, she mentioned how she missed playing Pepsiman, her favorite game, on PlayStation when she was little. I told her that she can use an emulator to do that, and helped her set it up.

If you don’t know it, Pepsiman is based on a series of 90s Japanese Pepsi commercials, in which the titular character rushes to deliver Pepsi to the thirsty, suffering amusing injuries along the way. That’s pretty much the plot of the game – you must run to the destination to deliver Pepsi on a time limit, and avoid various obstacles.

I found two popular PlayStation emulators for Windows – ePSXe and PCSXR. From our test, PCSXR runs the game smoother, and doesn’t need much configuration. But your mileage may vary.

Both emulators are also available for Linux, and PCSXR can be found (as PCSX) on Ubuntu Software Center.

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