Sunday, September 1, 2019

Convert CGM to PDF to JPG Files for Free on Mac or Windows - Updated (2019)

Convert CGM or PDF Files to JPG in Mac OSX or Windows

Without Paying for Expensive Application Software

A few years ago, I was asked if I was aware of a way to convert a .cgm (computer-generated metafiles) file into a .jpg image.
Specifically, how to CONVERT CGM or PDF to JPG without expensive software.
It is no longer news that ADOBE offers the Creative Cloud platform that makes the entire catalog of ADOBE software available to customers via subscription. For the monthly price of $49.99, you have access to all the software and cool apps from ADOBE.

ADOBE CC is available for free for 30 days without any commitment, so you can perform this conversion for the cost of the time to download and install Creative Cloud.

Method 1: Convert Your CGM Files to JPG/PNG or CGM File to PDF Using Adobe Illustrator CC

To follow my the first of my suggested methods to covert CGM to jpg or pdf download ADOBE Illustrator.

Converting a CGM File Into a JPG, PNG, or PDF Using Adobe Illustrator CC

  1. Open up your cgm file from within Illustrator
    • Click on file -> open and then locate your cgm file and open it
  2. Export the cgm file as either a jpg or png file within Adobe Illustrator
    • Click on file -> export -> export as and then select jpg, png or whichever option you desire from the dropdown list at the bottom of the "export as dialog box."
  3. Save the cgm file as a pdf file within the Adobe Illustrator
    • Click on file -> then save as and the choose pdf format and make sure you take a second and make sure that you have named the file correctly up at that the top of the "save as dialog box."

Method 2: Convert CGM Files to PDF or CGM Files to JPG/PNG For Free

Download the latest and free copy of Apache Open Office. You can find this from SourceForge or here for immediate download. Install Apache OpenOffice, and from the home screen, click on Drawing.

Apache OpenOffice to convert CGM files

Open up the cgm file that you want to convert and then export it as a pdf file: File > Export as PDF.

At this point, Mac users and Windows users will be forced to choose different methods of converting the pdf to jpg.

For Mac OSX

  1. Right-click (or command+click) on the pdf file that you wish to convert to a jpg;
  2. Open the pdf file using the preview application; and,
  3. Within Preview, go to File and choose Export and choose to export the file as a jpg.

For Windows OS

Find a Mac to borrow or buy; or,
  1. Open MS Paint;
  2. Open the pdf file, make sure that the entire pdf image is visible on your screen and then take a screenshot of it - press the "PrintScreen" key while holding down the "alt" key;
  3. Place your mouse pointer in the drawing area of MS Paint and right-click the mouse, select the paste option and you will successfully import your into Paint; and,
  4. Under File, select Save As and save the pdf as a jpg.
Mission accomplished, and unless you actually purchased a Mac for this last bit, you were able to do this without spending a dime.

Best of luck to you and I hope you found this a bit interesting.

Monday, April 8, 2019

3 Excellent Reasons to Build the Wall

Three excellent reasons to build a wall along the US/Mexico border.

Controlling the USA/Mexico border and how people can legally enter the U.S. from Mexico has been discussed since the Nixon administration.

Select History of U.S./Mexico Border Legislation

1969 – President Nixon launched Operation Intercept, calling for the inspection of any or all persons crossing the border by plane, car, or foot. The dispatching of thousands of agents worked. For the first time in history, illegal immigration via car was virtually shut down. Mexico's Foreign Affairs Secretary, Antonio Carillo Flores, complained bitterly about this legislation.

1980′s – Intermittently, border officials question people crossing the border by foot and cars. Heading south to enjoy the Mexican beaches with only a driver's license was a luxury that millions of U.S. citizens enjoyed.

1993 –  President Bill Clinton called for constructing a "Border Wall" spanning 13 miles separating San Diego, CA and Tijuana, MX. At $39M, this wall was to reduce the number of arrests for illegal entry from 100,000 to 5,000 per day for those 13 miles. Unlawful entry was found using other paths.

1996 – President Clinton signed The Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act. This act increased the fines for illegal entry, increased the number of law enforcement agents at the border, and funded more fence construction. Unauthorized access shifted from the previously used crossings to private land. Landowners began to fence their property to keep people from entering the U.S. via their land. 

2006 – President Bush signed The Secure Fences Act. This legislation promised 700 miles of a physical barrier and a virtual wall protecting the entire 2000-mile border.

2007 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requests $12B in additional funding because the rugged terrain at the U.S./Mexico border makes constructing the previously agreed upon barrier, a fence or wall, impossible. 

2008 – The U.S. announced a mistake during construction, placing the barricade between 1 and 6 feet inside Mexican territory; therefore, we must relocate this part of the barrier immediately. Attempting to complete the barrier project within the year, Congress approved The Department of Homeland Security's circumvention of 30 years of environmental laws.

2010 – The New York Times reports: since 2006, officials found 51 unauthorized tunnels running under the border walls in Nogales, AZ, and Nogales, Sonora, MX. These tunnels served as a tool for the trafficking of drugs, not illegal entry.

2011 – DHS finishes 649 miles of barrier comprised of 350 miles of fencing to prohibit foot traffic ($6.5 million/mile) and 299 miles of vehicle barriers ($1.7M/mile). However, the $1B spent on a "virtual wall" only protects 53 miles of coverage in Arizona. DHS urged President Obama to cut the funding for the costly "virtual wall." 

2017 – President Donald Trump renews his campaign promise to build "a great, great wall" to secure the remaining 2,000 miles of the border. Executive orders increase the number of border patrol agents and Immigration & Customs Enforcement by 5,000 and 10,000, respectively.

Current Status and Effectiveness of The Wall

First and foremost, a barrier, slightly longer than 600 miles, exists between the U.S. and Mexico.

The current wall has been effective. The border wall/fence in San Diego has worked quite well. Before it was in place, in the early '90s, approximately 600K people attempted to enter the country illegally. After the barrier was constructed along with increased Border Patrols, that number decreased by 93.5% to 39,000 in 2015.

Also, in 2006, more than 122K people entered illegally in El Paso. In 2017, illegal crossings near El Paso dropped almost 75% to 25K after constructing a border wall.

Unfortunately, the current border is not entirely secure; what we have in place does not stop caravans of people from finding their way across our border illegally.

Walls Exist Throughout The World

Since World War II, 70 nations constructed border walls. Interestingly, 55 of those 70 walls were built after the Berlin Wall fell.

Some examples are:
  1. India-Bangladesh;
  2. Israel West Bank;
  3. Northern Ireland;
  4. Finland-Russia;
  5. France at Calais;
  6. Morocco-Western Sahara;
  7. Saudi Arabia-Iraq;
  8. Baghdad to separate Shiite and Sunni populations;
  9. Botswana-Zimbabwe;
  10. South Africa-Mozambique; and,
  11. Egypt-Gaza.

Three Excellent Reasons To Build The Wall
build the wall for these 3 reasons

  1. The border wall will save lives by creating a deterrent and minimizing the "pull factor." A minor or a family will be less likely to make the dangerous journey (many die on this journey, and somewhere near 80% of the women are raped along the way) from Central America to the U.S. border only to face a 30' barrier or Border Patrol. Additionally, when legitimate asylum seekers cross the border illegally, they are subject to arrest. The wall would "guide" them to seek entry through the established ports of entry and prevent them from being arrested and separated from their families.

  2. Although a wall is not a perfect solution to block illegal entry, a physical barrier would slow illegal crossings down. Additionally, there are almost 21 million acres of federally protected land along the southern border. Smugglers and traffickers drive all-terrain motor vehicles across this federally protected land, causing substantial damage to the environment.

  3. The wall would protect the property of legal U.S. citizens. Two Mexican border cities are among the most dangerous cities in the world, and the cartel members often cross over illegally to pillage the neighboring U.S. cities. They intend to steal what they want and take the items and vehicles back to Mexico.

Construction Cost Is NOT Problematic

According to the opponents, the cost to build "Trump's Wall" is estimated at $77,000M ($77B) to construct and $750M annually to maintain the wall. The opponents agree that the annual cost of illegal aliens is $43,000M ($43B)

Using these costs, the construction of the wall would increase the costs spent on illegals by $34,000M ($34B). However, once the wall is completed, the federal savings would be approximately $33,500M ($33.5B). 

Undoubtedly, the overall cost of the wall is substantially less than the amount spent on illegals.

So how about it? Let's build the wall! It is best for all.