Monday, March 31, 2008

Batch extraction and conversion of PDF to txt and jpg

I found this great open source tool to extract the text and images from a pdf file. The tool provide a set of command line utilities to extract various components out of the pdf. There is a Linux and Win32 version of the tool.

The command line is very easy to use
Extract Text
pdftotext [options] []

options includes:
-layout : maintain original physical layout
-htmlmeta : generate a simple HTML file, including the meta information

Extract Images
pdfimages [options]

This extract all the images as as Portable Pixmap (PPM), Portable Bitmap (PBM), or JPEG files. However it doesn't convert any PPM or PBM files into jpg. You'll need a separate utility for that.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

book : The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class

I admit to reading this book without buying it. It was quick read that I finished while "browsing" in the bookstore. It's another one of those books that claims finance is mainly a psychological problem. If people change the way they think and feel about money, all their money problem will be solved. I don't agree with that assumption. Never the less, I thought the book made some good points. The first and the only distinction that I remember was "time and money". 5 classes of people from very poor, poor, middle, rich, and very rich thinks about money with very different time horizon. The very poor worry about money day to day level. The time frame gets longer for each class : week to week, month to month, year to year, and decade to decade.

I totally agree that too many people in middle class makes big purchases because they are sold on a payment plan that fit their "monthly" budget : car, big screen tv, boat, rv, etc. These people will probably be stuck in middle class forever. If you want to get any where in life and money you have to make long term plans and execute on your plans.

To me the core problem is education about the cause and effect of money. The money spend is gone forever and money in my pocket is going to worth a whole lot more 10 years from now. Would I rather spend $10,000 now or let it grow at 5% interest then spend $16,470 in 10 years from now. Every purchase is different, but I alway run that mental check. Now or Later. The other half of that is having goals for things that you rather be spending the money on 10 years later. Bigger house, junior's college education, travel around the world, retirement, etc.

fed cuts interest rate again..

I can understand how this cut helps people with debt, but all these cuts are killing my saving interest earning power. I can't find any CDs, money market accounts that pays a decent interest rate. Every time the Feds cuts the rates, my ING Direct interesting earning rate drops. The best money market account rate I can find is from Country Wide Bank around 4.5% a few weeks ago. While, I know that my money is safe in CWB, however I don't want to support the company that is partially responsible for all the mess that we are in now.

Any way you look at it.. The government will be eventually be bailing out lots of businesses and individuals. It's only a matter of time. The good guys that play by the rules gets to pay for other people's sins. What is the lesson from all this mess? Don't trust anybody with your money. Not the government, not the banks, and definitely not any sales people.