Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Clipboard to PNG

So, I lost my cool shortcut to take screen shots with ease on Windows, turning them into both clear and tiny images. In PNG format of course. How did I lose it? Hard disk crash. And the backup I thought I had on my home PC was on the previous hard drive, which is still OK, but in a pile somewhere, and not worth looking for. Cue the backup DVD search.

Bingo, found it on the first one - labeled "\cygwin \download \home \sfu \tmp" from 29-Dec-2007, just before the home hard drive renovation.

There it was, under /usr/local/bin, below D:\CYGWIN. And /usr/local/etc had

-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 659 Aug 21 2003 colormap.ppm

Which is a Portable Pixmap file containing the magic pixels known somehere long ago as the set optimized for Netscape.

$ file /usr/local/etc/colormap.ppm
/usr/local/etc/colormap.ppm: Netpbm PPM "rawbits" image data

Anyway, that fits into the cliptopng script I wrote to go from "[prt sc]" to writing a PNG file in one swoop. Beats launching Word or MSPaint and trying to shrink the image file.

= = = =
$ cat /usr/local/bin/cliptopng

# cliptopng - write a PNG file from the Windows clipboard.


/cygdrive/c/bin/winclip/winclip -p | \
/usr/local/bin/netpbm/ppmquant.exe -mapfile /usr/local/etc/colormap.ppm |\
/usr/local/bin/netpbm/ppmtogif.exe >${ofile}.gif
/usr/local/bin/gif2png.exe -O -i -p ${ofile}.gif
rm ${ofile}.gif

= = = =

There's probably a better way to do this, but it works for me.

The first step requires winclip.exe. Fortunately I had that restored under c:\bin.

The other files are from the NetPBM library, which you can get for Windows via http://www.cygwin.com/.

The gif2png.exe may be another non-NetPBM utility, necessary because I couldn't find a direct PNG writer. It may exist now, but this runs in a second or so and I'm unmotivated to change it.

Here's the Winclip license feedback:

= = = =
$ c:/bin/winclip/winclip -?
c:\bin\winclip\winclip.exe: unknown option -?
winclip - copy/Paste the Windows Clipboard. $Revision: 1.13 $
(C) Copyright 1994-2002 Diomidis D. Spinelllis. All rights reserved.

Permission to use, copy, and distribute this software and its
documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted,
provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that
both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in
supporting documentation.


usage: winclip [-w|u] -c|-p [filename]

= = = =

To restore, I just dragged the whole local directory from DVD backup to hard drive. A lot easier than clicking on SETUP.EXE, etc.

$ cliptopng stuff
ppmquant: rescaling input image to match colormap maxval
ppmquant: 216 colors found in colormap
ppmquant: mapping image to new colors...
ppmtogif: computing colormap...
ppmtogif: 148 colors found
ppmtogif: maxval is not 255 - automatically rescaling colors
7/7 99%
jspath@jspath-xplt ~

$ file stuff.png
stuff.png: PNG image data, 1024 x 738, 8-bit colormap, interlaced

$ ls -l stuff.png
-rwx------+ 1 jspath mkgroup-l-d 64789 Sep 30 15:50 stuff.png

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An environmental train of thought

OK, let's start with 4 hilarious Dilbert cartoons this week, where Scott Adams introduces the infamous "Director of Green." Perfect segue into my topic.


I'm doing a session at SAP TechEd Community Day in Berlin called "What's your supply chain environmental impact?" See the SDN BPX wiki page for context and conceptual continuity.

Here is where I plan to coordinate my thoughts, rather than the usual slides:


I started looking online for local water quality data.

DPW August 2008 Newsletter.pdf

043008 2007 Water Report.pdf

Then I started thinking about an example company for a supply chain with environmental impact, and decided to research one where I one a single share of stock, Federal Mogul Corporation (that's my disclosure statement). It's come back from bankruptcy caused by lawsuits over asbestos in brake linings.

I googled the company name, with "water quality" and found a few interesting hits, such as:

  • The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the lead agency .... Federal-Mogul constructed potable water lines to deliver city drinking water ...www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/va/pdf/vad054039961.pdf
  • Federal-Mogul Corporation Company Details from the Paper Industry A fire at a Federal-Mogul Corp. distribution center idled employees Friday and dropped water pressure in DeKalb County, prompting school closings that gave ...www.zibb.com/paper/theme/cq/Federal-Mogul+Corporation
  • Federal-Mogul - Investors - Press Release "Our goal was to utilize a water-based adhesive yet maintain the high quality levels our customers have come to expect from Federal-Mogul," said Mark Bauer, ... phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97066&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=564439&highlight
  • Federal-Mogul Deva GmbH RENEWABLE ENERGY 2002 - Federal-Mogul Deva GmbH. ... construction · fans · foundry machinery · waste water cleaning plants · water · steam and gas turbines ... www.sovereign-publications.com/deva.htm
The last entry stuck out, as it included "GmbH," a German corporate abbreviation, and the term "waste water cleaning plants." Looking further, I found links to this corporate subsidiary:

I thought this might be a good case study; the corporate site described the business as:

Federal-Mogul Deva GmbH is a part of the Federal-Mogul Corporation. Federal Mogul Deva GmbH is a global manufacturer of world class self-lubricating, maintenance-free bearings in the Renewable Energy- and Industrial market. Available is a wide range of materials, our bearings has been specially developed for use in a variety of applications.

I decided to try to find the manufacturing site location, and see if I could find online data for water inputs and outputs.

This was an interesting white paper on the company's manufacturing prowess:


And the site included this address:

Schulstraße 20
D-35260 Stadtallendorf

I then used maps.google.com to zoom around the area. Here's an example of what I found:


View Larger Map

During one pass, I viewed the terrain and determined that wastewater discharges were likely to flow to the Rhine River. Natives of the area would probably know this already, but I'm also getting up to speed on German geography.

I noticed a large number of industrial buildings in the vicinity of the above address. It's easy to see the discolored roofs of many buildings, and without too much difficulty I spotted what looks like wastewater treatment tanks.

I suspected that the entire area was not just one company, so I looked at:


This wiki page lists salient facts about the town, including "... The 6 square kilometre [sic] premises where the wartime arms works were built were said to be one of Germany's biggest contaminated former industrial sites, in parts with high concentrations of chemical contaminants on residential properties. Since 1991, the premises have undergone a far-reaching cleanup; in March 2006, the job was officially declared done. ..." as well as facts related to World War 2.

The firm that I guessed was related to the "brownfields" was:

... Fritz Winter GmbH & Co. KG (engine foundry) ...

The town itself has a web site (who doesn't?)


And a few links therein:


The Fritz Winter foundry also has a site, and is located here:

Fritz Winter GmbH & Co KG
Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 15
35260 Stadtallendorf

View Larger Map

Their environmental statements are forthright, such as:



(babelfish informs me umwelt is environment in German, verified by www.dict.cc/?s=umwelt)

"The Environmental Policy of company Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG is based on the above described Policy Statement and is resumed in the following operation principles. It is fixed by the General Management and disclosed to all the employees."
"The strict compliance with all relevant environmental prescriptions is a main target of our environmental policy. Provisions are made which guarantee that the contracting parties working within our factory premises apply the same environmental principles as we do."

Ah, very good candidate for an example of supply chain environmental impact. They kindly list an email address of oi at fritzwinter.de, which I decipher to be "Office and Information Systems." I will drop them a couple questions.

But in the meantime, the EU has environmental reports, which google quickly revealed:

EEA - EPER Facility details
Emission to water(direct), Direct release, M/C/E, Indirect discharges (transfer to an off-site ... Parent company: Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG ...

Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG

Eisengießerei F.Winter GmbH & Co KG - LC 1

The EU site has a Geo-Information system, but it is too slow on my home link for much work:


The report shows water and air emissions. In my next installment, I will drill (so to speak) into the water quality values, such as nickel, zinc and cyanides.

Bengies TTTriple Feature Weekend - I survived another

From Bengies



Realtime results for jspath55
0 more results since you started searching. Refresh to see them.

jspath55: @jonerp :-) I still have 4 passes to the #bengies to enjoy before the drive-ins 2008 season closes. will miss 2X due to Berlin. H'ween last?
12 minutes ago · Reply · View Tweet

jonerp: Enjoying @jspath55's live tweets about Charles Bronson and other drive in movie happenings as much, if not more, than post debate analysis.
about 4 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: @eventtrack stop*bengies
about 4 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet · Thread Show Conversation Hide Conversation

jspath55: Death Race - happy ending?!?
about 4 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: death race stage three
about 5 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: Charles Bronson Death Wish - classic trailer.
about 6 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: Eagle Eye had a slam bang finish. Speilburg exec produced so no surprise. Staying for Death Race, I hope for most of this 3rd #bengies show.
about 6 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: raining like crazy during the last reel of Eagle Eye.
about 7 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: inspector willoughby toon 1963?
about 8 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: next show:Eagle Eye. re: Mamma Mia - Pierce Bronson sings, sort of. It's raining now, so intermission clips will be wet and fuzzy. on w/sho
about 8 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: meryl streep? movie redeemed...
about 10 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: first show - Mamma Mia. a musical. why am I here again?
about 10 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: preying mantis flew onto my windshield while the star spangled banner was playing. symbolism too weird to fathom.
about 10 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: Johnny Depp as Tonto in a Lone Ranger movie - truth or rumor? (just overheard in the #bengies lot)
about 10 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: So far, about 15 cars at the drive-in. rain threatens, but 3 full length, full width features beckon. D will keep the #bengies open thru oct
about 11 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

jspath55: @eventtrack start*bengies
about 11 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet · Thread Show Conversation Hide Conversation

jspath55: @evenntack start*bengies
about 11 hours ago · Reply · View Tweet

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Butch talked us into visiting Cade's Cove, and then the US park ranger talked us into a "short" hike to see an Appalachian Mountain cabin. In the middle of the trail was a black bear cub. Its' sibling was off the trail, and their mother was on the other side of the trail.

After a few photos/movies, and consultations with other hikers, we decided to keep going. We didn't see them afterwards, except possibly later on the side of the road.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ASUG Operations Optimization Day 3 (and 2), and then some

Day 2 highlights, since I only posted the podcast, and nothing else:

I didn't get excited by the keynote. Check some of my contemporaneous tweets if you want to know what I thought then. I heard a few others say they liked it, so I've either heard I before or read it before done better, or I was overly critical.

Krishna Kumar's topic was titled green and energy savings, but there wasn't much on that. He's been to our offices (I recalled) and is very sharp, plus the presentation was well done and well thought, not to mention thought provoking. It's just that the connection to energy conservation for supply chains was a stretch from Google maps mash-ups, not well documented.

The Valero presentation on near real time dashboards was fascinating, not just for the technical know-how, but also for the project management and scope creep views. I later stopped at the SAP pod on MII and found a different opinion on publishing manufacturing data. I'll stick with the users on the pointy end of the stick over the developers, thanks.

At lunch I heard the most attended session for an SAP speaker was on RFID basics, so we're going to repeat that as a webcast. I also recorded a podcast, which is on the ASUG site.

After lunch I sat through the APO 7 new stuff session by Tod Stenger.

Then Jim and I presented, as pictured above. It went okay, got a few good questions and collected many business cards.

Tuesday evening was a second networking event, and then comedy from Second City. Perhaps a YouTube clip when I can upload.

Wednesday I did an early session with SAP usability developers. I'll probably write about that on SDN later. It went well, but we ran out of time.

Another good session was on SCM demand planning tips + tricks. I'm not a planner but it still helped me.

Lunchtime was the panel on SAP "Enterprise Support"" I went in with low expectations, and even they weren't met. My comment about slow (and incorrect) problem handling was deflected to a completely irrelevant claim that "Solution Manager" will speed up message solving. Since the help desk people gave us wrong advice, despite my spoon feeding the answer, I was disgusted with the answer, walking out shortly afterwards. It's a price hike, period. I have yet to see the value.

Thursday we're in east Tennessee, and got too see Butch McNally, formerly of BITI, now with Portals. Always a treat to chat with Butch. He's going to France, courtesy of WIS. ASUG, take note.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

ASUG Operations Optimization conference - day 1

Like many difficult journeys, this one started with a single step. A few missteps have hit us, but we're pushing on.

First, I set my watch to Central time after we landed in Nashville. A little later, I noticed it was running slow. After a bit longer, it stopped completely. It's not like I carry a spare watch, must less a battery. No big deal I supposed. I mainly need it to keep on track during our presentation Tuesday, but we've practiced so should pace well.

Then, tried to start my laptop Monday morning. It was fine the night before, I had even downloaded my updated agenda from www.editgrid.com But it was stone black screen of death. Called the Help Desk. No help. Later they offered to drop ship a replacement, but the logistics outweighed the advantage, as long as the smart phone keeps ticking.

Bette and Lisa did their global available to promise presentation first thing Monday. It was well received, and I deferred a couple questions to our session (Jim+Jim) Tuesday.

My co-speaker advises everyone to watch their speed at the Virginia Tennessee border near Bristol. The NASCAR track doesn't extend to I84.

Throughout the weekend and into Monday we were getting updates on the health and wellbeing of Gretchen and her family in Houston. They have ridden out Hurricane Ike with stories to share during later conference calls.

I saw a few friends during hallway meetings and the neworking lunches and reception, including volunteers like Linda, Jan, Joellyn, Ina, and board members Paul and Chris.

The most fun of the day was as pictured above, where BITI volunteer Nixon Xavier is working on a portion of a large painting that will be given to a hospital. See www.hospitalart.org For more information.

Hats off to the team that found that activity, and to the decision to ban plastic disposable water bottles in favor of water stations. ASUG green!

More later, as long as my typing thumbs can manage.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Honky tonking

If you're in Nashville, catch the Don Kelley Band at Robert's Western Wear. The 23-year-old guitarist (J.D. Simo) is going places.

A T shirt street vendor said go to Jack's for the Bar-B-Que, and go to Robert's for the entertainment. She was right!

Jack's BBQ cook:

Oh, yeah, and if you are near the Musician's Hall of Fame and Museum on 6th Street, please pick this up - I didn't have a bag.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Follow that pedi-cab!

In May, I wrote about my trip to Orlando, and the bicycle taxis, as a manifestation of pollution reduction, in an SAP community blog. As a formerly active cyclist, I identified with the pedi-cab drivers over the gasoline-powered taxi drivers.

Today, as the latest SAP conference extravaganza was ending, I got a surprise email from one of the cyclists in Florida, saying they are facing eviction from the Orange County Conference Center grounds. That's really a step back, if you think of what little impact a few bicycles have on the local environment, compared to the cars and buses that most conference attendees use for transportation.

Here's what she said:

= = = =
Hello James,

Happy Friday! I hope this message finds you in good spirits. I am one of the pedicab drivers you met at the SAPhire show in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. You gave me your business card and told me you would put us in your blog.

We had the Oracle pedicabs. I found the videos on youtube and the link you put in your blog was really nice. Thank you. I really appreciate it.

I have created a lens with a feedback section on squidoo about pedicab service. I linked the youtube videos to the lens. If you like to add your feedback you can visit the lens at:

The County is questioning our operation at the convention center. We have been operating on property and they want us off. We will meet in two weeks to present a case to the County showing our services are used by attendees at the convention center and how much they like it. Can you answer the next two questions?
***How do you feel that our pedicab services helped you in enjoying your visit to the Orange County Convention Center?
***Do you wish to have our services available to you, if you were to come back on another visit?

You, rock, James. I wish you the best.

Redi Pedi Cab Co.
= = = =

Of course, I wrote back. If you want to add comments, please visit their site above, or let me know and I'll get you their email address.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Water. Huh. What is it good for?


After I heard about Bottlemania, I checked a copy out of the Baltimore County Public Library. It's extremely well written, though it hovers between being a scientific paper and a travelogue about journeys to places where water is taken from the earth for sale.

I was expecting to find an indictment of big industry, and our increasing dependence on a fad (individual water servings). I did, but I also found significant criticisms about municipal water supplies.

Marilyn Pratt used images from the story linked below; I will repeat one here:

Some of my friends are in the desert today, sort of, if you can call Las Vegas the desert. At summer camp, I read a few more chapters of one of Colin Fletcher's last books, River, One Man's Journey Down the Colorado, Source to Sea. He was outraged and saddened by the destruction caused by damming the Colorado for a reservoir for the city of Las Vegas, and other uses.

I chose not to travel to the conference this year, mainly because of my distaste for gambling, but partly for the environmental destruction exemplified by the excesses of water fountains in arid lands.

Friday, September 5, 2008

'Aliens fixed my teeth', or 'Firefox ate my bookmarks'

-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 135573 Aug 28 05:59 bookmarks-2008-08-28.html
-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 135952 Aug 29 06:06 bookmarks-2008-08-29.html
-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 136310 Aug 30 01:44 bookmarks-2008-08-31.html
-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 136310 Sep 2 06:16 bookmarks-2008-09-02.html
-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 421 Sep 2 23:02 bookmarks-2008-09-03.html
-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 2499 Sep 4 06:17 bookmarks-2008-09-04.html
-rwx------+ 1 jspath ???????? 2499 Sep 5 05:55 bookmarks-2008-09-05.html

jspath@MY-XP ~/Application Data/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/gbrsh.default/bookmarkbackups

A while ago, I learned to keep 30 days of bookmarks, as by the time I notice they are gone the normal 3 copies are overwritten.

Time for a fresh import of "manage my bookmarks..."