Inkscape is a free, platform independent tool to work on vector graphics like svgs. Additionally it has got good commandline batch processing facilities which makes it the tool of choice for programmers.

See an example of how to crop or trim many svg files by commandline.

Inkscape and Eps

Inkscape on Windows cannot handle eps-files by default. To be able to handle eps-files, it needs Ghoststcript. A fine description of what is to do to install Ghostscript so that Inkscape can handle eps files.

To convert a lot of eps files to svg files at once, you can use tclkitsh and the following script:

set pathToInkscape "C:/Program Files/Inkscape/inkscape.exe"
set epsFiles [glob *.eps]

foreach f $epsFiles {
    set fbasename [file rootname [file tail $f]]
    if ![file exists $fbasename.svg] {
        puts  "$pathToInkscape  $f --export-plain-svg=$fbasename.svg"
        exec  $pathToInkscape $f --export-plain-svg=$fbasename.svg

1. Save the script as EpsToSvg.tcl.
2. Open the script in an editor and adapt the pathToInkscape. Save.
3. Open a command shell and cd to the directory where your eps files are located.
4. Then run tclkitsh EpsToSvg.tcl.

Keyboard Gone Crazy on Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook

How to Switch off the Number Block on a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S7220 or 7210

Somebody at Siemens or Fujitsu had the fantastic (not) idea to put something like a fake number block onto their notebooks.

You won’t ever need it. But you’ll accidentally switch it on and then you’re helpless. Some of your keys around k,l,o then will just not print k,l or o but 2,3,*,/ and 5.

123 instead of jkl and 56* instead of iop and so on.

You’ll doubt your senses are working correctly. You’ll think you should have stopped taking those pills long ago.

But your brain and your senses are working fine. The problem is, you’ve switched on accidentally the F*ck Fake Number Block.

At first you won’t know that you’ve switched on the number block, as you never knew of its existence. You’ll just see that the keyboard on your Lifebook has gone bat shit crazy.

You can switch it off by pressing the Fn key, releasing it and then pressing the Num Lock key. Pressing Fn and Num Lock together won’t work.

Delayed Hibernation Or Shutdown of Your PC

timeout /t 600 & shutdown /h

waits for 600 seconds and then puts the computer into hibernation.

Sometimes, it is desirable to be able to shut down your PC at a later time. For this task, there is the command line command shutdown on MS Windows PCs. Shutdown has a lot of options and I don’t need most of them most of the time. You can see them by running shutdown /?.

What I want is mostly to put the PC into hibernation in some time from now on. According to shutdown /?, shutdown /h /t 600 should do the trick and put the computer into hibernation in 600 seconds from now. But it doesn’t. I don’t know why, but the switches /h and /t do not work together with the shutdown command. There are two simple workarounds. For Vista and later, you can chain a timeout and a shutdown command with the &. So,

timeout /t 600 & shutdown /h

does what I want.

But on pre-Vista PCs, there is no timeout command. There you can use 600 pings to localhost to wait 600 seconds:

ping /n 600 & shutdown /h

shutdown /s /t 600 shuts down the computer in 600 seconds from now. This one works like it should.

Merge and Split PDFs with PDFSam

From time to time I need to merge some pdf files.
One such case happened today. I’ve written a book (Schach-Taktik. Training für Vereinsspieler, Bd. 1, ISBN 9783734731037) and ended up with two separate pdf files. To publish it, I needed to upload it as one pdf to my publisher BoD.

An easy task for PDF Split and Merge or PDFSam like it is called also. I am using version 2.2 and it just does what it should.

Attention: There are installers of PDFSam which want to install some Adware on your PC. So when installing it, be cautious. Do not click Yes without first reading what you are doing. Deselect all the unneeded stuff.
Rollei Rollei

Linux Live USB Creator

Sometimes it is useful to be able to start a computer not with its installed OS, but with another OS.

  • to clean up and rescue data after virus infestation.
  • to rescue data after crash of the system hard disk.
  • to test an OS.
  • to repartition hard drives.

So, people have developed so-called Linux Live Systems. Formerly, these have been usable from CD – and they still are – if your computer has an optical drive.

LinuxLive USB CreatorBut many newer PCs and Laptops do not have an optical drive. If you want to start such a computer with a live system, you need to put it onto an USB stick.

For this task, the Linux Live USB Creator (Lili) has been created.

Though it has got a terrible transparent/half-transparent UI, it is really easy to use, its documentation is decent and you can easily create a bootable Linux Live USB from e.g. the Avira Rescue System or one of dozens of other Linux distributions.

For the Avira Rescue System you cannot have persistence, so skip step 3. Also you don’t want to start your Avira Rescue System from Windows, and normally you don’t want to hide your files: Unselect all three checkboxes in step 4.

If you want to start a live system directly from Windows, you can select the corresponding option in Lili’s step 4. Then a special version of VirtualBox will be put onto the stick and you can run your live system inside VirtualBox.

Troubles With Booting the PC From USB Stick

To make your PC willing to boot from the created USB stick, you probably have to change some BIOS settings. You can reach the BIOS settings by pressing one of the keys Del, Esc, F1, F2, F8, F12 during boot. It is different from PC to PC. Many PCs write a short notice onto the screen during boot which key to press. But also some don’t and with some the text disappears too fast to read it so you have to guess.

If you’ve got a PC with UEFI BIOS, you probably have to enable the Compatibility Support Module (CSM) and/or disable Secure Boot.
You still might get problems: PCs with UEFI BIOS often use the GPT partitioning scheme for their hard drive and many live systems cannot cope with the GPT partitioning scheme.