PDF data extraction & What do we use Linux for?

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December Meeting: PDF data extraction & What do we use Linux for?

Date: December 1, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Location: Algonquin College (Woodroffe Campus), room B185

Note - Room Change This meeting is at the Woodroffe campus of Algonquin in Building B, room B-185 at 7:00pm

This month we will be having a talk on extracting data from PDFs and a community discussion on Linux and what we use it for coordinated by John.


There will be a one hour pre-meeting item from 18:00 to 19:00 for people who are new to Linux, have general questions, or wish to help out with people who are just getting started.

After Meeting Social:

After the meeting, there will be a social event at one of the nearby pubs or restaurants. A short discussion and vote as to location will be taken then.

GPG Keysigning:

After the main talk there will be the opportunity for a GPG key signing. This is a monthly offering, just look for Scott after the talk and we can go from there. Bring some kind of photo ID and some keyslips if you expect people to sign your key.If you need some method of creating pages of keyslips, there is an online slip generator available.

PDF extraction

Getting Usable Data from a collection of PDF Files

Speaker: Ian Gorman

Analysis of data from some monthly financial reports over a seven-year period was needed and the reports were only available as PDF. The structure of the PDF files permitted cutting and pasting the data into rough text that, with a few manual changes, could be fed through an automated process to get data that could be pasted into a spreadsheet. GNU Make was used to build an integrated process from a number of scripts that were easy to build and verify.

About the Speaker

Ian has a lot of experience at applying experience outside of its original box.

He has solved problems in Economics, Math, Computer Science, logic based controllers, bicycles, and human relations, generally mixing in information from at least one other discipline or computer language to make it work, or work better. His experience with computers includes Linux, Mac, and several server OSes from IBM, Sun, and others. He has worked with drivers, parsers, API design, business rules, Java garbage collectors, and some less exotic code that just needed to work.

Linux distros

Community Linux Use

Speaker: John C. Nash

A group chat on who uses Linux and what they use it for. The purp[ose is to build up a list of people who have expertise in various areas so that we have some go-to people for the community. You can ask to not be included in the listing. Moderated by John Nash.

About the Speaker

Retired Professor of Management at U of Ottawa.

  • 2006 - May -- Pres. of OCLUG -- Now I'll have to learn more about Linux!
  • 2007 - Mar -- have learned a lot, including how much still to learn.

Finding the Meeting Location


Algonquin College is close to the corner of Woodroffe and Baseline and right across from the Baseline transitway station. Room B185 is in Building B. Free parking is available in lots 8, 9 and 12 after 5pm.

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