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Software that makes placemats

Posted: 15:08 Sat 23 Jun 2007
by jdaw1
Custom placemats

As some users of this BB already know, at jdawiseman.com/papers/placemat/placemat.html is some free software, open-source as well, that makes elegant placemats for use in a port tasting (or the like). Clearly labelled placemats really do help avoid confusion later in the evening.

The code is in PostScript, so, though reasonably well documented, isn’t really suitable for those with no computer abilities. If you fall into that category, but still want, just post in a thread, listing what you’re drinking and who will be drinking it. PM me a link to that thread. When I’m next home it will take only a few minutes to make a useful PDF.

Example output follows, albeit at reduced size.

Image

Examples
Some examples prepared for actual tastings are at www.jdawiseman.com/papers/placemat/placemats_list.html. (This ‘list’ edited April 2015.)

Posted: 12:14 Mon 25 Jun 2007
by KillerB
Has nobody said "thank you" yet? Good grief, how rude.

Thanks jdaw, having used these I can confirm that they are extremely useful.

Posted: 12:19 Mon 25 Jun 2007
by DRT
I have thanked jdaw1 for these a few times elsewhere but will repeat it here - thanks, jdaw1

But could we have a smaller picture, please?

Derek

Smaller picture done.

Posted: 01:00 Tue 26 Jun 2007
by jdaw1
Smaller picture done.
KillerB wrote:Thanks jdaw, having used these I can confirm that they are extremely useful.
Does that mean that you are using these at home, operated all by yourself? If so you are one of the few.

Posted: 09:20 Tue 26 Jun 2007
by KillerB
Not quite that geeky but I suspect Al-B does. No - used them at off-lines provided by Al-B and Derek.

Posted: 15:19 Thu 28 Jun 2007
by AHB
On those occasions when I am drinking at home on my own and open 5 or 6 bottles of port I do find that Julian's tasting mats are extremely helpful.

For some reason, I otherwise find that I start to lose track of which glass holds which wine towards the end of these evenings....

:shock:

Al-B

Posted: 16:30 Thu 28 Jun 2007
by Conky
You open 5 or 6 Bottles on your own??? :shock:

Due respect. Thats a new one on me. Do you have different hats and different voices, or do you just drink like a fish?

Alan

Posted: 22:15 Thu 28 Jun 2007
by AHB
None of the above - I'm just slightly more flippant and significantly less serious before I have anything to drink.

Like when I wrote that previous post.

As Derek and Al-K can testify, I cannot drink a great deal and start to be the worse for wear after a few sniffs of port, let alone glasses.

Gotta go, off to meet a couple of folks from the other place for a mini-offline.

Have fun.

Al-B (aka. Cruz Ruby, currently refusing the upgrade bribe from the Creator as there must be a catch)

Posted: 23:09 Thu 28 Jun 2007
by KillerB
I'm just slightly more flippant and signifantly less serious before I have anything to drink.
We told you he was weird, didn't we?

Does this mean that you have operated the PostScript┞¢?

Posted: 00:56 Fri 29 Jun 2007
by jdaw1
AHB wrote:… when I … open 5 or 6 bottles of port I do find that Julian's tasting mats are
Does this mean that you have operated the PostScript yourself?

Posted: 01:35 Fri 29 Jun 2007
by DRT
AHB wrote:As Derek and Al-K can testify, I cannot drink a great deal and start to be the worse for wear after a few sniffs of port, let alone glasses.
********!!!

Such is progress.

Posted: 02:16 Fri 29 Jun 2007
by jdaw1
Well, my attempt to family-friendly this BB by asking DT to edit, did indeed cause him to edit. The “o†s became “*†s. Such is progress.

Posted: 07:49 Fri 29 Jun 2007
by Conky
Jdaw1

You are dealing with the Scottish Race! Firey Celts and all that. Small Steps, Small Steps. :D

Alan

Posted: 22:42 Sat 30 Jun 2007
by DRT
Good enough now?

Posted: 00:29 Sun 01 Jul 2007
by Conky
As if we all dont know what seven stars means! :lol:

Alan

Posted: 00:32 Sun 01 Jul 2007
by DRT
Sorry, forgot the space between 4 and 5 :wink:

Seven stars

Posted: 02:20 Sun 01 Jul 2007
by jdaw1
Thank you.

Posted: 12:15 Sun 01 Jul 2007
by KillerB
try typing it again to see what you get.

Posted: 23:26 Mon 02 Jul 2007
by DRT
jdaw1 - we need placemats sometime soon - wines t.b.c.

Derek

...and get looking for cheap flights to blighty 88)

multiple glass pages but a single page of tasting notes

Posted: 15:16 Fri 13 Jul 2007
by jdaw1
Underway. Currently a moderate hack is required to make placemats with multiple glass pages but a single combined page of tasting notes. Within the next few weeks this will become a standard feature. Advance requests welcomed.

Edit: partway through the “moderate hack” it has become clear that it isn’t “moderate”. Feature requests welcomed nonetheless. 

Edit edit: the new version is now at the usual place, jdawiseman.com/papers/placemat/placemat.html, and comment would be welcome as well as surprising.

New features

Posted: 01:16 Sat 31 May 2008
by jdaw1
Recently implemented features

Lines within the titles and subtitles:
Image

Stars and flowers within the titles and subtitles:
Image

Posted: 08:40 Sat 31 May 2008
by DRT
Excellent. Are you now working on Stars + Stripes for US Off-lines?

DRT: deputy placemat maker

Posted: 13:50 Wed 16 Jul 2008
by jdaw1
Congratulations to DRT for making the placemats for the Odd or Great tasting on 11th July 2008. So, if I’m away, and placemats are wanted, send a PM to DRT and he can cope. Your PM, as well as listing what is to be drunk, by whom, when and where, should also request that he not enable every single flamboyant feature.

Posted: 21:56 Fri 18 Jul 2008
by Axel P
Julian,

I think your support and genius on the placemats is really worth mentioning more than once.

You were so kind and helped me out at the Grahams vertical, which I did really appreciate.

Again: muito obrigado and looking forward to share the next bottle (most probably Cockburn) with you.

Cheers
Axel

Re: Software that makes placemats

Posted: 20:34 Tue 21 Oct 2008
by jdaw1
Edit: this posted has been superseded by the relevant section of the manual.

Making Your First Placemat: Advice for Beginners

If making your first placemat, various steps will be helpful.
  1. A good text editor is a boon, and it should be one that understands PostScript. On a Mac I have used Alpha X, and am now testing Aquamacs Emacs. For a PC perhaps use NotePad++, the specification of which looks encouraging, though the program has not been tested by me.
  2. Bookmark the manual, and download to your machine a copy of the PostScript code. Store it in a directory called ‟placemats” or ‟postscript” or the like. As a test convert the unedited unchanged PostScript to PDF, perhaps by using PS2PDF.com.
  3. Make a copy of the original PostScript. Give it a name that will make sense in aeons to come: perhaps YYYYMMDD.ps, or YYYYMMDD_TastingName.ps. Edit this copy of the PostScript to change, to values appropriate for your tasting, the
    • page size (for this purpose my favourite of the US paper sizes being /USLegal = 14″×8½″),
    • ports,
    • people,
    • page header.
    Do these one at a time, converting to PDF between each.
  4. If it is a :tpf: tasting, add a :tpf: logo by changing the ThePortForumIconPlacements parameter.
  5. Now test some of the more flamboyant features. Play and experiment. Convert to PDF after each significant change, and admire the results.
  6. Choose a small subset of the decorative features to go in the final placemats. Do not choose them all, as that looks childish and horrible (this comment being aimed particularly at DRT).
  7. Feel free to send to me the final .ps and .pdf for comment. (Email address on jdawiseman.com/author.html.) Improvements are usually possible.
  8. If the tasting is being arranged via :tpf: or :ftlop: or even :ws:, upload the PDF to the web, and post in an appropriate thread a link entitled something like ‟First draft of the placemats”. People will be impressed.
  9. Allow some time for comments and corrections and changes. The day before the tasting print the mats using a toner printer (not ink, as a drop of liquid causes ink to smudge).
  10. Enjoy the tasting.
Good luck.