In my continuing struggle to keep a library of interesting reference materials that I actually may use and to keep my wife around, which implies there is room for her, I have been trying to pitch old magazines. My old mantra is “I might need them someday”. My newer one is, “is it on the web or can I archive it digitally somehow”.

Case in point: a Planet Analog article on JPEG compression. Wonderful article, well written on how it works. It exists on the Planet Analog site here, but I have worried recently that a lot of companies are going out of business, so when the company dies, so does all the material on the website. So how can I save it?

My favorite is print to a PDF using the wonderful and free PDFCreator which pretends to be a Windows printer driver and directs the output into a PDF file. You can also use it to capture projects as image files, text files, etc. Very handy. And then let an app like Copernic Desktop Search or Quicksilver find it.

In this case, though, the images were fuzzy. (At least they had images — a lot of web archived articles are missing illustrations) They were linked, too, so I checked the HTML:
<A HREF="">

So the image is displayed at some artificial scale factor, but the link displays it at the full resolution.

I saved the HTM file, edited to remove the BORDER=0 HEIGHT=86 WIDTH=350 elements, and reprinted. Nice. Images still a little fuzzy due to the PDFing, but readable. So I set the PDF compression to use ZIP instead of JPEG — lossless. Much better.

How do people live without knowing this stuff?

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