1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Al-pocalypse
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:35 am UTC
Location: Blighty
Contact:

1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby Al-pocalypse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:35 pm UTC

Image

http://xkcd.com/1805/

Title Text: "If you must know, I'm currently researching how to save this emailed tax form as a regular PDF so I can print and sign it. Our work isn't a lock for the Nobel, but we're in the running."
Ali ;)

"If I were creating a world I wouldn't mess around with butterflies and daffodiles. I'd have started with lasers, eight o'clock, day one!"
[BOOM!]
"...sorry..."

User avatar
RAGBRAIvet
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:50 pm UTC
Location: 43° 53' 03" -91° 14' 06"

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby RAGBRAIvet » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:38 pm UTC

Does anybody else have Tom Lehrer's "Lobachevsky" running through their minds right now?

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 4060
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:23 pm UTC

I was rather expecting something of an Invisible Writings type of thing, as the punchline. Research (Nobel Prizewinning?) into what Nobel Prizewinning research was yet to be written...

(Still ok, but as we approach the 12th of March, I'm getting more receptive to 2nd anniversary commemorations... Probably skewing my expectations.)

User avatar
Rombobjörn
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:56 am UTC
Location: right between the past and the future

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby Rombobjörn » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:47 pm UTC

Although I usually encounter it in websites rather than email, it's true that some people manage to complicate things so much that it seems like an almost Nobel prize-worthy research project to perform a simple task that would have just worked if they had done it the obvious, simple way.

duodecimus
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 12:25 pm UTC

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby duodecimus » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:37 pm UTC

So, have you tried just taking screenshots of it, then putting those into an online image-to-pdf converter?

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3099
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby orthogon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:27 am UTC

duodecimus wrote:So, have you tried just taking screenshots of it, then putting those into an online image-to-pdf converter?

You need to paste the screenshot into an Excel spreadsheet first.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

314159
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:46 pm UTC

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby 314159 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:16 am UTC

I'm kind of wondering why just "Print to PDF" wouldn't work...

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2426
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:07 pm UTC

Assuming web-based e-mail, you'd be printing the whole e-mail interface? Alternately, for people who use native e-mail apps, they're unlikely to have a print-to-PDF feature?
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby cellocgw » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:25 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
duodecimus wrote:So, have you tried just taking screenshots of it, then putting those into an online image-to-pdf converter?

You need to paste the screenshot into an Excel spreadsheet first.


No no NO! You need to print it out, place the paper on a flat wooden bench, take a photo, scan the photo to a PDF...
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
somitomi
Posts: 756
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:21 pm UTC
Location: can be found in Hungary
Contact:

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby somitomi » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:28 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Assuming web-based e-mail, you'd be printing the whole e-mail interface? Alternately, for people who use native e-mail apps, they're unlikely to have a print-to-PDF feature?

There's a "print e-mail" button in the web interface of all three e-mail services I use, which gives me just the e-mail with some minimal header containing basic info (and a big logo in one case). Microsoft has this "Print to PDF" thing set up as a printer you can select instead of any corporeal machine you might have connected to your computer.
But the best way is obviously taking a photo of your screen onto film, developing it and scanning the negative.
Image
―◯‐◯ FG Discord ◯‐◯―

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2426
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:53 pm UTC

Haha. Okay, fair enough, my bad. = D
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 4060
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:59 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:But the best way is obviously taking a photo of your screen onto film, developing it and scanning the negative.


Run a photodiode across your screen, tap the output and convert to audio, played through an acoustic couple into your tablet, to save as a podcast that you upload via RFC1149 connection to a forum so that someone with the appropriate conversion utility can convert to Huffman-style T4 audio, played from their PC into their mobile while dialling Uncle Bill's ancient fax machine, for him to then photograph, convert to microfiche format, use (another!) carrier pigeon to send it to you to enlarge on a photoresistive mask used to lithographically reproduce upon a metal plate that you then use in a Gutenberg era printing press (that you just happen to have lying around) onto suitable parchment acceptable to the eventual recipients. (Which you then arrange to be delivered by Zeppelin, to save the postage costs.)

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6888
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby ucim » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:59 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:and scanning the negative.
Why would you do that, when you can have the lab print out an enlargement for you to scan?

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Heartfelt thanks from addams and from me - you really made a difference.

User avatar
somitomi
Posts: 756
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:21 pm UTC
Location: can be found in Hungary
Contact:

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby somitomi » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:30 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
somitomi wrote:and scanning the negative.
Why would you do that, when you can have the lab print out an enlargement for you to scan?

Jose

Obviously because I can achieve superior quality this way...
:mrgreen:
Soupspoon wrote:
somitomi wrote:But the best way is obviously taking a photo of your screen onto film, developing it and scanning the negative.


Run a photodiode across your screen, tap the output and convert to audio, played through an acoustic couple into your tablet, to save as a podcast that you upload via RFC1149 connection to a forum so that someone with the appropriate conversion utility can convert to Huffman-style T4 audio, played from their PC into their mobile while dialling Uncle Bill's ancient fax machine, for him to then photograph, convert to microfiche format, use (another!) carrier pigeon to send it to you to enlarge on a photoresistive mask used to lithographically reproduce upon a metal plate that you then use in a Gutenberg era printing press (that you just happen to have lying around) onto suitable parchment acceptable to the eventual recipients. (Which you then arrange to be delivered by Zeppelin, to save the postage costs.)

If I were to record audio, I'd use a reel-to-reel tape recorder and send the whole reel to whoever has the necessary conversion utility by mail Zeppelin.
Image
―◯‐◯ FG Discord ◯‐◯―

jano
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:24 pm UTC

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby jano » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:49 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote: You need to print it out, place the paper on a flat wooden bench, take a photo, scan the photo to a PDF...

Then print the PDF and fax it ...
Spoiler:

Hafting
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:23 am UTC

Re: 1805: "Unpublished Discoveries"

Postby Hafting » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:00 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Assuming web-based e-mail, you'd be printing the whole e-mail interface? Alternately, for people who use native e-mail apps, they're unlikely to have a print-to-PDF feature?


Apps don't need 'a print to pdf feature'. There is the pdf printer driver. Any app that has a print feature implicitly has a pdf feature as well, these days.

If the tax form I get in the mail is a pdf - well problem solved. If it is a word document or similiar, I fill it out except from the signature that must be done by hand. Then 'print to the PDF printer driver'. If it is png or jpeg, I use pdfjam - the nice offline image to pdf service. pdfjam can also take all the documentation (files originating from various formats, scans, selected pages from other PDFs) and put them all into a single pdf for mailing to the tax authorities.

PDF is like electronic paper where repeated cutting, copying, pasting and stapling doesn't degrade the medium - when you have the right tools. The right tools are free - it is sad seeing people actually struggling with PDFs, as this comic suggests.

Any document can be turned into pdf, any page(s) can be ripped from a pdf and put into another pdf, any amount of pdf's can be collected into a big pdf. Getting a nice result is so much easier than doing the same with real paper.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acunning40 and 47 guests