Showing posts with label scanning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scanning. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Final Scanning Spree!

Ten days ago I began the final push to get the last of the family pictures scanned. This scanning project was actually started in mid-April of last year. Four months later I reported that I was nearly done with my own pictures and my Mother's albums, except for those of my sister's family, which my niece was going to sort and organize. My original goal had been to have them scanned by the end of March of this year. In January she handed the box of pictures over to me but then I got sick and the best laid plans were put aside. . . Only two months behind schedule, but the family picture project is finally finished. Yaaay!

Actual time spent scanning during those ten days was 30 hours and probably just as much time spent doing a final sort of the pictures, trimming them, attaching them to acid free card stock, and adding a brief caption (who was in the picture and a date). This scanning spree generated 1233 image files that now consume 1821mb (1.8gb) of my hard drive. Most of these photos were snapshots 3x5" or smaller so they were each scanned at 600 dpi using the Canon CanoScan LiDE 90 scanner. No color corrections or contrast adjustments were done during scanning. The goal was simply to get them scanned!

After scanning, the completed pages were inserted into plastic protective pages and put into 3-ring binders, which took a few more hours ;-) The albums were delivered to my Mother yesterday afternoon. She was very happy to get them back and I am extremely happy to be done with them!!!

This picture of my sister, taken in 1954, certainly needs some retouching done on it, which may be beyond my current abilities. Thank goodness, most of the other pictures were in much better condition than this one.

This little cutie, my sister's grandson, graduated from 8th grade tonight. He'll be 15 in October and is now nearly 6' tall. He towers over most of the kids in his class.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Guess what is (nearly) finished!!!

Okay, this is a "brag" post. . .

Four months ago today I embarked upon my second major scanning project for 2008. The first project was to sort and scan my mother's photograph albums which took from April through August. There is still one group of photos left with that project and, in my goals for 2009, I stated that I hope to have those done by the end of March.

The second project, sorting and scanning my genealogy files and documents, was started on September 22nd and I'm *EXTREMELY* happy (relieved, thrilled, pleased as punch, etc.) to report that it is *ALMOST* done! The last group of documents to be sorted and scanned are those that pertain to my ancestors, shown on the table in the photo above. The two tallest piles belong to the Brubaker and Phend families. These will be scanned to both jpg and pdf format. After being scanned, these documents will be put into protective pages and placed in three-ring binders.

Other files that were scanned and kept were put in folders and are being stored in small "bankers" boxes in the garage. Only about a third of the files that I had were kept. Everything else has been recycled, most of it scanned first, but not all. The binders on the shelves and the folders and in the filing cabinets consumed nearly 40 linear feet, while what was kept amounts to about 13 feet (9 bankers boxes 15.5" deep and the papers on the table).

Two empty filing cabinets. Now there is the "problem" of what to do with the 3-ring binders and hanging file folders that are no longer needed. As you can see below, the three tall bookcases have been removed. They were sold, at a very reasonable price ;-) to a friend.

The "before" photo, above, was taken November 13, 2007. And below is what it looks like now (photo taken yesterday).

Another view.

The "before" photo is above (taken November 13, 2007) and what it looks like now is below.

How did I accomplish this feat in four months? It is due to several things actually, among which are:
  • Retirement. No way could I have gotten it done in four months if I was still working, maybe in four years, maybe!
  • Being single with no kids. Though I do have errands to run for my Mother and I have to make sure she gets to the doctor and other appointments.
  • A stubborn streak (perseverance) that was inherited from my Mother. I just made up my mind that it was going to get done, one way or another!
  • And finally, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 document scanner, which I heartily recommend. In four months of use and after sending nearly 30,000 pages through it, I had only a couple of paper jams and none of them seriously damaged the paper being scanned. I've definitely gotten my money's worth from this little gem. Thanks, Denise!
Of course, I still have to add file data and captions to all of those image and pdf files, but at least they are scanned and accessible on the computer. I've already had a need to access some of those files and I must say, it is much quicker to click through several pages of a pdf file than it was to find the binder they were in and flip through the pages. And yes, they are all backed up to the laptop and an external drive, though I haven't yet overcome my fear of "losing" all of those electronic files...

Monday, December 22, 2008

The end is in sight!

Three months ago today, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 showed up on my doorstep. (Kudos to Denise Olson for getting me hooked on this scanner, it really is a gem.) Scanning genea-documents can be (actually, it is) a tedious task. (I also appreciate all of the "moral support" I've gotten from my genea-blogging friends with this project, thanks y'all.)

I'll admit there have been times these past three months where I've been ready to toss in the towel and quit. Scanning the documents isn't really the problem though - it's getting all those documents, letters, and papers organized first that takes up so much time. Actual scanning consumes a relatively small percentage of time overall.

But, I've stuck with it, though I haven't gotten nearly as much done this past month as in previous months. I scanned 4, 841 pages in the last month for a total of 22,870 pages in three months. The holidays are partly responsible for the lower page count but also the fact that the group of documents I've been working with this month are in extreme disarray. Thus, they have taken longer to prepare for scanning. I'm almost done with that group and the next batch of papers should go a bit quicker (I hope!).

While sorting through all of these papers I've come across several groups of correspondence and documents that for some reason never got entered into my database. (Imagine that!) The temptation to stop scanning and get the data entered is quite strong and I gave into it several times but then remembered that my current goal is to just get the stuff scanned. So now when I find things that still need to be entered, I add them to a list and get back to the task at hand - organizing and scanning.

The end is in sight! I'm hoping to wrap-up this portion of my "organization" project within the next month. I will be SO HAPPY and RELIEVED when this scanning is done! It's been a MAJOR project and time consuming but I think it will be so worth the time and effort to have all of my genealogy "stuff" accessible on the computer. (And that means, anywhere I have my computer, I have access to my genea-documents!)

Other posts in this series:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Adventures (?) in Scanning

Things have been pretty quiet here at kinexxions for the past month or so. Not much research has been done during that time. And not much writing. Just busy scanning documents. And scanning. And scanning. I knew I had accumulated a lot of paper in my 20+ years of research. I just didn't realize how much!

Since my last report a month ago, I've scanned another 9,694 pages! For a total of 18,029 pages scanned with the wonderful Fujitsu ScanSnap S300. In two months. And yet, there is still more to do.

I'm not on a first name basis with the fellow at the recycling center yet but he does recognize me! About a third of the pages that I've scanned have been physically discarded. Some of what had been filed were reports from my genealogy database that had been used for reference at some point in time. I didn't scan them before recycling them as many were quite old and some were still on the 'puter.

The papers that are being kept have been removed from their bulky space-consuming 3-ring binders and put into folders, then into "bankers" boxes for temporary storage. Once I become more "comfortable" with the idea and functionality of accessing the computer files, some of those papers will be recycled as well. Old habits die hard.

How much more is left to scan? I'm not sure, but not as much as there was a month ago!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Second Thoughts on First Impressions

It was one month and one day ago that I mused about my first impressions of the Fujitusu ScanSnap S300 document scanner. To say that it has exceeded my expectations would be a gross understatement.

The above print screen from the ScanSnap manager shows that 8,335 pages have been scanned!

In just one month.

Only one paper jam. Only one sheet of paper got "scrunched up" a bit because of it. No real damage done. Impressive, indeed.

2.1 gigabytes of data generated in 1,363 files of varying sizes, ranging from 1 to 200 pages per file.

Confession time. I've been scanning the "easy" stuff first! The stuff that is already somewhat organized. Also a five-volume set of books on the Berlin family - soft-cover, spiral bound. Easy enough to remove the binding without causing damage. They aren't listed in the online catalog of the Allen County Public Library so the books will be donated to them. Maybe someone else can get some use out of them. And several other books that will be passed on to other researchers. I certainly don't want to get into any trouble over copyright issues, so to put that issue to rest, the scanned copies are strictly for my own use, they won't be given to or shared with anyone else, except perhaps for a few pages.

The scanning is amazingly quick. I'm using the laptop computer to do the scanning since it is newer, faster, and has USB-2 capability. The output is quite acceptable but, to state the obvious, the quality of the output is dependent upon the quality of the pages being scanned. Just think of the adage "Garbage In - Garbage Out" which is true with most things! On average, it takes about half as long to generate the searchable pdf file as it does to scan the documents (i.e., an hour of scanning will take about half-an-hour to make the files searchable). If the pages are double sided text it will take twice as long to make them searchable.

The software that comes with the ScanSnap creates the searchable pdf files without the need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat. If you have pages with very small type or with the older style fonts (think old newspapers) the software doesn't do that great a job with the OCR but I've been impressed with how well it does overall. The software also allows you to add or remove pages from a pdf file (if it was created by the software) so you can scan in small batches and then combine those into one file. I'm not sure how much data the scanner will store in memory so if I'm scanning a large number of pages I usually do a maximum of about 30 pages to one file. After all the pages for that particular document are scanned, I merge them into one file, then delete the small files. It's really not as complicated as it sounds.

To make some space for the scanned stuff, I had to spend a couple of days cleaning up the hard drive of my desktop computer. Basically I created an Archive folder on my laptop and on the external drives used for backups and moved a lot of older files to that folder. They are still accessible to me, just not on the desktop computer.

Well, I still have lots of files left to scan, though there are now some "blank spots" on the shelves! Progress is being made... and, believe it or not, it really isn't that tedious. One advantage to having the files digitized is that, in most cases, the information is easier to read. Another is if the pdf files are made searchable then the text can be copied and pasted into a word document or into my genealogy database, saving on some typing.

If you are thinking about digitizing your genea-documents, I highly recommend this little scanner. It is a bit pricey for a scanner, but in my opinion, well worth the money! It won't replace your flatbed scanner for scanning photographs since that isn't what it is meant to do. But it does what it was designed to do - scan documents - and does it very well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Got slides you wanta digitize?

If you've been following my blog recently then you are aware that I've been on a digitizing spree. It started in April with scanning a few photos for my mother's 80th birthday and evolved into a project to scan our family's picture albums. That's almost done, just waiting for my niece to get her part of the project completed ;-)

The next phase was started this past week with the purchase of a ScanSnap S300 scanner for digitizing my genealogy documents and correspondence. I really can't say enough about that little scanner. It is amazingly quick with very good quality. I heartily recommend it!

All the while I've been wondering how to digitize my slide collection. I've researched scanning services found online but the cost per slide (anywhere from $.35 to $.65 cents EACH) was prohibitive. Too much money. I tested the slide scanning capability of my flatbed scanner. The results were good but it took several minutes to scan each slide. Too much time. I investigated purchasing a scanner made specifically for digitizing slides. But after reading reviews and blog posts about the process have decided against that method. Too much time and too much money.

The other day a friend and I were discussing our scanning projects. She had purchased a slide scanner but gave up after scanning only a few as it took too much time. Then she mentioned that someone had told her about a place where you could get slides digitized at a very reasonable price. That place? Wal-Mart. Yeah, right. So I stopped by my local Wal-Mart store and found out that they do indeed scan slides to CD. (I don't know if every Wal-Mart has this capability though, you'll have to ask.) Their price? $2.50 for 40 slides. That's only 6.25 CENTS for each slide! To say that I was skeptical would be putting it mildly.

On Thursday, after selecting 80 slides of varying quality and subject matter, I dropped them off for processing. Yesterday I picked up the slides and their accompanying CD. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. They are NOT high resolution archival images but they will give you a decent 4x6 printed image. And they look good on the computer screen. And, I think for my purposes they will do just fine. Very few of my slides were ever printed. I'm not interested in making large prints or prints of any size for that matter, I just want to be able to view the pictures again and enjoy re-visiting the places I've been.

The old adage "you get what you pay for" definitely applies here. You won't get archival quality images for 6 cents but you will get acceptable images for viewing on-screen. So, as I'm scanning my genealogy documents I'll also be spending some time sorting through my slides selecting those to be digitized. This may not be acceptable to you but I thought I'd present it as an alternative to the higher priced digitizing services. Try it with a selection of 40 slides and see what you think. At worst, you'll only waste $2.50 to find out if it is worthwhile for you.

Yellowstone National Park, July 1979
Copyright © 1979/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Impressions? I'm in love!

As with people, when you "meet" a piece of new hardware, those first impressions are important. And I'm very impressed, to the point that I think I am in love with my new ScanSnap S300! Actually, thanks to Denise, I was in love with it before the FedEx guy delivered it late this afternoon! As Denise reported, set up was a breeze. Really. Within half an hour of receiving it I was scanning documents! And creating searchable pdf files. Awesome doesn't even come close to describing this little gem.

After playing with it for an hour or so, I set up some scanning profiles (thank you Brooks), pulled out one of my 3-ring binders and started scanning. You can set it up to create the searchable pdf file as you scan or, as I have done, send the scanned file to the ScanSnap software and let it create the searchable pdf later. If you create the searchable pdf as you scan, the scanning just takes longer.

In a little over an hour (75 minutes to be exact) I had scanned 164 pages into 51 pdf files. While I took a break to eat supper, I let the software go to work to make those pdf files searchable. That took about 50 minutes. Then I scanned another 60 pages into 22 pdf files. That took 20 minutes. Converting those 22 pdf files into searchable pdf took 12 minutes. Granted, the binder that I selected had already been sorted and the pages put into sequence but it still took me longer to select the pages to be grouped together than it did to scan those pages.

Of course, I'm not "done" with those files yet. I should give each of them a more descriptive name and probably add some tags, comments and descriptions. But at least they are scanned. And searchable.

Hmm, I just noticed that there aren't any options to add descriptive information to a pdf file with Windows Vista. Guess maybe the file name will have to do.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's Almost Here!

At 1 o'clock Wednesday afternoon I ordered a new scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300. If I had paid the extra $15 for express delivery it would already be here, but the "slow boat" delivery by ground is fine with me. It should show up on my doorstep Monday!

Denise Olson on her Family Matters blog has been extolling the virtues of the S300M (for Mac) that she purchased in July. After reading about her experience with it I started checking out Automatic Document Feed (ADF) scanners for Windows. I've got all those genea-documents that I want to scan and the idea of doing them with my flatbed scanner is more than a little disheartening.

After reading this November 2007 Review of the S300, I was hooked on the S300! Well, actually, Denise had me hooked, that review clinched the deal. There will still be some things that will have to be scanned using the flatbed, but I think much of what I have can be done by the S300.

So I am patiently waiting.

And trying to getting some things organized for phase two of my scanning project.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Going Crazy With Scanning...

It has been a month since the last update on my scanning project, and I'm sure y'all are eagerly anticipating this update ;-) At that time I had completed scanning my personal photographs and had a good start on Mom's pictures, which netted a little over 3,800 image files in a three month time period.

The prep work for the most recent group of pictures has taken considerably longer than the actual scanning. I didn't keep track of the time, but it consumed a lot of hours. However, in the past week I've scanned another 845 family pictures! With that, the albums for my two brothers and myself are done! Done, I say! Yay! That's the good news. Bad news is that the pictures for my sister's family still need to be scanned - they are being sorted and organized by my niece. My guess is there is a couple hundred pictures yet to be scanned. Big Sigh. But the end is in sight! At least, for the pictures… genea documents are still waiting.

While sorting the family pictures I came across a bunch of photos from Phend Reunions. Those were pulled out and put with the Reunion albums. Then I organized the Phend Reunion papers from the 1960s through the present day and put them in the albums with their corresponding pictures. Scanning the papers and pictures resulted in 615 image files. (The Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger which covers the early years had been scanned, transcribed, and posted to the blog in the latter part of 2007.)

Then, as I was rummaging through a box looking for something I came across my grandmother's genealogy "book" and realized that I had never scanned it in its entirety. Most of the pictures had been scanned at one time or another but not all of them, and not the family group sheets. The book has a "post-hole" type of binder that easily comes apart so it wasn't a problem to scan each page individually and then put it back in its proper place. The pages are just a little bit larger than legal size. Placement on the scanner was critical so that no data was lost. There were 90 pages with 116 pictures, ending up with 206 scans for that project. I went ahead and scanned all of the pictures again because I wasn't really happy with the previous scans from several years ago.

And, as reported in my 3rd update for the Genea-Blogger Games, I scanned 74 newspaper clippings on the Phend family that were in the Whitley County Historical Museum's "family clippings" files. I've since created a name index of the clippings for reference purposes.

Image files created from scanning in the past month: 1,611
  • 845 family pictures
  • 206 pages and pictures in Grandma's Genealogy Book
  • 486 Phend Reunion documents (sign-in sheets, announcements, flyers, etc.) and pictures
  • 74 Phend Family newspaper clippings
Total number of scanned image files created since mid-April: 5,434

Maude Wise Brubaker Yontz, aka "Mama" or "Grandma Bill", with her grandchildren. About 1933. From the Genealogy "Book" of my grandmother, Hazlette Brubaker Phend, which is now in my possession.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel?

A good deal of my time so far this summer has been consumed with scanning pictures and preparing pictures for scanning. On June 2nd I reported that another 970 pictures had been scanned since mid-May, plus the 575 pictures of mom's that had been scanned in April.

For the heck of it, I decided to keep track of how much time was spent in scanning. In hindsight I probably should have tracked how much time was spent in preparing the pictures for scanning as well. Once I started on the magnetic albums, it's highly likely that as much time was spent in prep as in actual scanning.

The prep work consisted of removing the pictures from the albums, sorting them into the order in which they were to be scanned, then attaching them to archival paper. After fiddling with trying to put multiple pictures on the scanner bed and getting irritated with them moving when the cover was lowered (due to static), I decided to put the pictures on the pages where I wanted them, add captions as needed, then individually scan the pictures along with their corresponding captions. Too bad I didn't think of that when I was scanning mom's first album. Something to keep in mind for the next one!

Out of the past 48 days, scanning was done on 21 of them, usually 2-3 hours a day but occasionally 4 hours. One day I was on a roll and spent 6 hours scanning! I'm not totally crazy, it wasn't all at one sitting. I did get up a few times to stretch my legs and grab a bite to eat. And yes, I washed my hands after eating and before handling the pictures! Anyway, a total of 70 hours of scanning in 21 days netted another 2278 images. That's an average of 3.3 hours and 108.5 images per day.

That takes care of my personal albums. There are still a few more of Mom's to do. Next up will be the genealogy documents. But, they too need to be sorted prior to scanning. I've mentioned before that with my filing system I put documents of the same type together, regardless of who they are for, whether an ancestor or other relative, giving each document a number. I could find them easily because of the numbering system and the fact that when something was entered in my database the document number was entered for reference, so all I needed to do was look up the person in the database to see where the document was filed. But that system isn't really intuitive and I need to make it easier for whomever will take over my research (assuming there is a family member who wants it or in case it gets donated to a library or society). So that means sorting and putting the documents together for a given person or family. I haven't decided yet whether I'll scan "everything" or just the ancestral documents. "Everything" includes a lot. I think, after I've sorted through stuff I'll do the ancestors first and save the rest for another time. I want to get back to researching! And doing other things. But at the least, I want to get the ancestor documents scanned.

There may not yet be light at the end of the tunnel, but it will be there one day. Soon, I hope.

The picture below was taken in September 1978 while I was stationed in Japan. Above the Clouds. Sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji. There is a story to tell that goes along with the picture, but it'll have to wait for another time.

Photo Copyright © 1978/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman

Monday, June 02, 2008

SST Update!

Sorting, scanning and trashing are coming along nicely ;-)

Last night I "finished" the three "shoeboxes" of pictures mentioned in my post of May 22nd, having scanned an additional 620 images, which took a little more than 26 hours over the past ten days, for a total of 970 images scanned. That covers my family pictures for the time period of 1979-2000. I bought my first digital camera in October 2000 so the pictures taken from then on are already digitized. Family pictures taken before 1979 are in half a dozen albums and still need to be scanned. Those pictures will have to be removed from the "magnetic" pages, scanned, and then put into archival quality albums. So they will take a little longer. Also those three shoeboxes have been reduced to two - there were a lot of duplicates and more than a few were blurry and out of focus.

A friend said she had a slide viewer so I borrowed it. However, it doesn't work! So I still need to figure out a way to view my slides to select those to send out for scanning. . . and, of course, I still need to caption and add identifying information to all of the recently scanned images.

That's me. Six years old. Summer of 1954 at Goose Lake.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

SST (That's Sorting, Scanning, Trashing!)

For the two weeks prior to my mother's 80th birthday much of my time was spent in removing the pictures from several of her albums, scanning those pictures and then putting them into archive albums for her. This resulted in approximately 575 scanned image files! I then selected the "best" and printed out perhaps 75 images for display at her open house. I'm very happy to say that the photo-montage was a big hit and well worth the time and effort.

With that project completed I (finally) began the task of sorting my own pictures that have been stored in three "shoeboxes" (not really, but photo storage boxes about the size of a shoebox) into chronological order. I'm trashing the out-of-focus, really bad shots, and giving away duplicates. I did get a good start on scanning some of those pictures the first part of this week but got sidetracked onto another project the latter part of the week.

On Monday and Tuesday I scanned nearly 350 images working about 12 hours total. These were all 3 1/2 x 5" pictures so I could put 5 photos on the scanner bed at once. Of course, I still scanned each one individually but the fact that there would be a series or group of pictures that had been taken at the same event helped to speed things up to where I could scan about 40-45 pictures per hour at times. I also discovered a neat feature of the scanner software that allows me to set a prefix for file names so that all the images from a group or series could automatically be given the designated prefix. Eventually I'll go back and add identifying information to each picture, once I figure out how it is done. The entire process is both fun and tedious. Yeah, right! No, really, it is! So I keep telling myself...

Of the three "shoeboxes" of pictures, half of one box has been scanned. I considered sending the pictures out for commercial scanning, particularly using the free offer at that Apple used. The thing is though, after sorting and selecting the pictures to be sent out, there were only about 300 that were of the 4x6" size, which was what was required for the free offer.

While sorting the pictures into chronological order I realized that I had only had prints made of a few of the pictures from my trip through the western states that I took after getting out of the Navy. Those pictures were slides. Prints from slides were expensive back then, compared to the cost of prints from negatives. And I didn't have a job at the time. Anyway, now I'm trying to locate a slide scanning service here in the Midwest. There are lots of places on the west coast. Some that do the scanning onsite and others that send them off to India or some other country. Really, really don't want to send them overseas. And would prefer someplace closer than California.

I've got seven 3-ring binders that each have 500 or so slides in protective pages. That's 3500+ slides, and no, not all of them will be sent out for scanning! Selecting the slides to send out is problematic. I'm trying to figure out a way to jerry-rig a light box or possibly find someone who has a slide viewer. I did scan a test slide on my HP Scanner that has slide/negative scanning built into the lid. I don't have the time or patience to scan those at the rate it took to pre-scan and scan the test slide (several minutes). The scanner added an overall bluish tint to the slide as well. I was able to adjust the image after scanning to get a usable picture, but it took a lot of time to get it close to the original.

The "other" project that I got sidetracked on this week was sorting through the four HUGE boxes of mounted and framed photos that haven't seen the light of day since they were boxed up in 1996! These are mostly photos that were taken while working on my bachelor's degree from Indiana State University. As part of each assignment we had to mount our work "professionally" for presentation to the class. Needless to say the stack of matt board (nearly 4' high) was far more impressive than the photographs themselves. The majority of the photographs were saved though and the matt board went to the recycling center today.

My plan now is to continue scanning the pictures in the shoeboxes, several hours a day, with a goal of completion by June 30th. (I'm setting a goal hoping it will keep me on track and motivated.) Devise a method for selecting the slides to be sent out for scanning; get them selected and sent out as soon as possible. And there are still all those boxes in the garage that need going through! And all those ancestral genea-documents to be scanned. And, well, lots of other things too.

What I've found while doing all this sorting, scanning, and trashing is that it is difficult to wrap my mind around the task of writing. I've stated before, I'm a slow writer, it takes time for me to put together a decent post. I guess the muse has left the building. As a result, posting has been sluggish. Most posts lately have consisted of recently scanned photographs. They don't take much thought, and are somewhat entertaining. Hopefully my few faithful readers will still be around when the muse returns and I get back to writing and, also hopefully, you will be interested in whatever it is I have to say. In the meantime, I hope y'all enjoy the pictures!

Somewhere along the Oregon coast, June 1979.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Scanners and Scanning - An Update

In this post, I mentioned that I had bought a new scanner and I just noticed a recent post by Sally Jacobs on using a portable scanner whereby she mentioned that I was singing the praises of the Canon LIDE scanner.

I really did like that scanner. It was perfect for my needs. However, I had to return it because when using it on my laptop computer, when I scanned anything larger than a 5x7, a portion of the scanned image was darker than the rest of it. They gave me a replacement, same model, and it did even worse than the first one - two sections of the image were darker than the rest. Staples didn't give me any hassles over returning the scanners and apologized profusely for the problems.

It may not have been the scanner. Could two of them have been malfuntioning? It might have been my laptop, which does not have USB-2 available, only USB. Since the Canon LIDE does not have a separate power supply it draws its power from the USB port in the computer and USB probably does not provide as much power as a USB-2 port. The specifications stated it would work with USB but that it would be much slower though it didn't say anything about the quality of the scans. I didn't install the scanner on my desktop computer, which doesn't have USB-2 either, to see if it would work because I bought the scanner specifically for its portability.

Anyone know of a small, portable, scanner that has an external power supply? In case it matters, the laptop was not running on battery power. And no, although I'd love to, I'm not yet prepared to get a new laptop!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Scanners and Scanning

My portable scanner went phooey on me Wednesday and decided to quit working. Guess it thought it should be able to retire too! So, I spent yesterday afternoon shopping for a scanner. I had received a 'Best Buy' gift card from some of the folks at work so went to the Fort Wayne North store first. Well, it turns out they have stopped selling 'stand-alone' scanners. All they have is the 3-in-1 kind (printer, fax, scanner combo). Not what I want. I want something small enough to easily take off-site, like to my Mom's or on research trips. The techie said the Jefferson Point store might have them though. Nope.

Went across the highway to Staples. They had three models in the store - small, medium, and large. The small one was just what I wanted. It's a "Canon LIDE 70" model and scans up to 8.5" x 11.7" originals. What's nice is that it doesn't need an external power source and it is small enough (1.5" thick, 10.25" wide, 11.75" long) to take on research trips...

I Spent about 4 hours this afternoon scanning letters and it seems to be working quite well. In fact, I think I like it better than the big HP model I have that cost a "lot" more than this new little puppy. The HP can do legal size documents, which does come in handy sometimes, but it's not exactly what I'd call portable.

When you scan documents and pictures do you attempt to "correct" them (contrast, color, etc.) as you scan them? Or, do you simply scan at the defaults and make any corrections later?