Reduce size of scanned images saved as PDF files

I am new to the phenomenon of scanned documents using a color scanner being very large in size. An 8 page document that was about 105K when originally delivered to me as a PDF file ended up being about 12.5M after I had printed it out, signed my signature and scanned it to a PDF file again.

Looking around the web, it seemed like there were many suggestions on reducing the size of a scanned document. There are software that will compress the size of your scanned PDF file, but nothing free. Ultimately I played around with the settings of my scanner (which is a Canon MP620 Pixma printer/scanner/copier combo) and found that the following settings reduced the size of the scanned image drastically.

The single change that had the biggest impact was to change the scan settings so that the document was scanned as a Black & White image instead of a Color image. Another setting that reduced the size further was to use 150dpi when scanning instead of 300dpi which was set as the default. Finally a big reduction results when you choose high compression when converting to a PDF file. Finally I went with just the Black & White scan setting only (since changing the other settings also reduced the quality of the resulting PDF file) and I was able to get a PDF of about 2M instead of the 12.5M that I was originally getting. So a decent amount of reduction in size.


Ignoring white space when performing diff with Subversion

Subversion doesn’t seem to have support for ignoring white space changes when performing a diff against revisions. But it has an option to invoke an external diff utility. So I generally invoke GNU diff with it’s ignore white-space option as in below:

svn diff --diff-cmd diff -x -uw /path/to/file

Hosted SMTP / SMTP Relay Service

A few hosted SMTP (or SMTP Relay Service) providers (their servers are whitelisted, they manage bounces and can send out large volumes of email without attracting the attention of spam blacklisters or ISPs):

Amazon SNS : It seems like SNS can be used for this and would be a cheaper option than the rest, but no personal experience with it.


My Firefox browser inexplicably sends me to (InfoWeb)…

For a while now, I have noticed that some times, inexplicably, I would type in one URL in the URL entry field in Firefox, but I would end up at some sort of a search page at<some-part-of-whatever-url-I-typed>. For the longest time, I thought I had some malware, but no amount of search showed up anything. Then, I thought, I was maybe making a mistake when typing.

Today for the first time, I noticed that this always happened when, by mistake, a “.net” got appended to the URL. So if I typed “”, I would get redirected to the alternate URL.

And I noticed that InfoWeb (the site at had the domain name “” and was using it to show up some sort of search results for the first part of the domain.

Then, I researched this on the good old World Wide Web and it turned out this really is a problem with Firefox. Apparently, if you type “Shift+Enter”, instead of just “Enter” after you enter something in the URL entry field, Firefox appends a “.net” to whatever you’ve entered and tries the resulting URL instead. InfoWeb have been smart to hang onto the domain name “” and make some money out of this behavior of Firefox. Since the Shift key is right below the Enter key, it happens quite a lot that I fat-finger “Shift-Enter” when I meant to just to “Enter”. So, there is no malware, just a Firefox “feature” and someone who has taken advantage of the lucky hits to their site.

“Control+Enter” finishes the URL with “.com” instead of “.net”.

Also, apparently Internet Explorer (IE) has the same mappings too.