John Sequeira


Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Paperless Office Nerdvana

Since I moved from home office to real office, I've been without a printer. I use it so seldom, it didn't seem right to park my (t)rusty LaserJet 4L in some cramped corner of my office so I could use it once every eight weeks or so.

I most often need a printer for turning around contracts with clients, and since the logistics of

  • receive contract at work
  • go home, download contract
  • print and sign it,
  • bring it back to work,
  • scan and email it OR
  • bring it *back* home to fax from my laptop modem ( because I can't fax from office phones - grrr ).*

    got to be annoying I went looking for a paperless solution. I've tried many times to scan a picture of my signature, but it's always turned out pretty crappy. I hadn't had much luck removing the background (my gimp-fu is weak), so it always had this off-white cast to it, like I was some amateur forger. Googling for a better way, I found out about a raster-to-vector conversion tool called AutoTrace (included in Inkscape) that converts scanned images to crisp vector-based images. So shortly after downloading Inkscape, and after an hour or so of experimentation, conversion and cleanup, my workflow has become:

  • receive emailed contract
  • open in openoffice, paste in EPS or PNG file
  • print to PDF
  • email or fax with net2phone ( I had tried this years ago when VOIP was new, and found recently I still had some $$$ on account )

    Tada! -- paperless office.

    Someday I'll tell the story of my 1 year failed experiment with digital signatures. It's funny in an early-adopters-are-dumb kind of way.
    9:33:31 AM      comment []  trackback []

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