Image convert TIF to JPEG. How to print to JPEG.

First off, I am working on windows XP.

I have found imagemagick fails to convert TIF to JPEG but the solution seems to be to use foremost:

It has to be run under cygwin but it works.

Sample command:

$ foremost -i imageinput.tif -o imageoutput

This creates an output folder where the jpeg file can be found.

Why is this useful?  Because this enables printing to JPEG effectively.  just print first to  Microsoft Document Image Writer which produces a .MDI file.

The .MDI file easily converts to .TIF

Then use this process to get the .JPG

The process above is not really a “conversion”.  More like extraction of the JPEG file within the TIF.

Best credit cards

In the Philippines these are the credit cards that I have found useful:

1.  One of the best credit cards has to be the RCBC Bankard Landmark Anson’s credit card.

If used Monday to Friday at Landmark department store, it gives a 5% rebate.  There is also a rebate for appliance purchases at Anson’s.  More info on mechanics at their site.

Bills can be enrolled and viewed online.  Another bonus – this credit card earns reward points on top of the department store benefit.  Most of the other credit cards I mention in this article do not earn reward points.

2.  The Citibank Rustans, Mercury and Shell credit cards.  The Rustans credit card gives a 10% rebate on Rustans purchase (with an outstore spend requirement).  The mercury card has 10% rebate on Mercury.  The shell card has 5% rebate on Shell gas station purchases (with an “everyday spend” requirement).

Citibank have revised the mechanics for these rebates and making them more and more overly complicated over time.  Nothing that can’t be overcome with diligence.  Citibank online can be used to track posted transactions, so the outstore and everyday spend can be relatively easily tracked.

With the latest mechanics, the best one can earn with Citi Rustans Platinum is a rebate of P1250 per month.  This corresponds to: outstore of P20k and Rustans purchases of P12500 for the month.

For Mercury Gold, the best rebate for the month is P1,000 with an outstore spend of P10K and mercury store spend of P10K.

I used to use the Citi cashback card, but now not anymore since the RCBC Landmark credit card is much better.  I only use the Citi cashback for Meralco autodebits because there is a 2% rebate for Meralco (and yes I checked it).  Among other things, the Cashback card has been rendered less useful by recent mechanics updates, requiring the user to call to redeem the rebate.

Citibank can email statements and they are downloadable also through their online service.  It has to be mentioned Citibank perhaps has the best online credit card functions and capabilities:  allowing review of newly posted transactions, and paying bills via credit card.

3. The Nokia Standard Chartered credit card gives:  10% cash rebate on prepaid load transactions,  and 5% cash rebate on postpaid mobile phone bills.

There are many others that are useful in that they give a certain discount benefit.  There’s the BPI Petron card, the Standard Chartered Platinum rewards card (of particular note is their 3% dining spend rebate), the Metrobank Toyota mastercard, and the HSBC credit card for Caltex gas.  Perhaps also worth mentioning are the occasional promos that turn up, like the Metrobank – McDo promo now ongoing.  But these are “promos” meaning they are temporary.

The best return rate for rewards points to “cash” convert seems to be with HSBC, at 0.5%. Hence, the general purpose card for me is HSBC.

Standard Chartered and BDO can email bill statements.  HSBC and BPI bills can be viewed and downloaded online. Metrobank has a facility for enrolling the credit card account into Metrobank online that allows a view of the credit card account. The metrobank enrollment process can be done online.  Please don’t believe the customer hotline.  They once made me go to a branch to do this.

This is a new credit card from Eastwest –  the Everyday Mastercard giving up to 5% rebate on supermarket, drugstore and gas expenses:

It has good features, but is perhaps not as useful if one already has:

– the RCBC Landmark and the Citi Rustans for supermarket spend

– the BPI Petron, HSBC for caltex, and Shell Citibank for gas spend

– the Citi Mercury card for drugstore spend

And it requires at least 10K outstore spend – so the 5% is diluted to about 2.5% or a little better – depends on how much “essential” spend you make.  On Mercury Citibank, the raw rate is 10%.  For landmark card, one gets 5% straight – no outstore spend requirement. For Citi Rustans it is 10% with outstore requirement.

Only Eastwest does not yet seem to have online statements or email facility.

There was a time I tried to get an Allied bank credit card, but I guess I got snubbed. Unionbank credit cards have been around a long time.  Never found them to be useful.

Further notes:

1. The Citibank Mercury includes FREE Annual Physical Check-up package.  Please see Citibank site for more info.

Good short term investment idea – The BPI Short Term Fund

The BPI short term fund has to be one of the better ideas for a short term investment nowadays.

It performs at an annual rate comparable to what an SDA investment makes.  The BPI latest performance report document says 3.22% – based on last 5 years performance.  But expect less, because the SDA rate has gone down.  But still better rate compared to the higher rate savings alternatives — such as 1.5% for citibank e-savings, the BPI advance or the Standard Chartered Power Earner.

I thought it was a good time to re-assess interest rates in view of a cut in rates recently announced by some banks.

The BPI short term fund (after investing) can be enrolled in BPI express online.  Once enrolled there, it is easy to add (or subscribe) more money.  And it is also possible to redeem online.  Very convenient.  For the initial investment, one does have to go to a branch.

This fund has no entry/exit fee, and no holding period – one can cash out anytime.

This fund is listed on Bloomberg.


BDO have something similar called the BDO peso money market fund, but the minimum is P100k, unlike BPIs.