I made a big dent in my filing today, my stuff to sort folder is looking a lot thinner tonight. I have to confess though, I cheated.
I took advantage of the scanner at work, and whizzed through forty or fifty A4 pages of notes and various other prints. The beauty of this scanner (actually it is a photocopier, scanner, fax and printer) is that it is quick, has a document feeder and best of all converts the images into a PDF file. The drawback is that it is not a very high resolution and only scans in black and white, but it is good enough for handwriting or print.
So now I have a stuff to sort folder on my PC as well, but it will be much easier to work through on the PC, and takes up less space than the paper folder.
I think I am going to make an effort to get the physical folder emptied by the end of the week. There is not a lot left, and I need to get it out of the way so that I have space to put my new PC on the desk, plus I am sure you are sick to death of hearing about my stuff to sort folder.
I am after a new scanner, mainly for family history purposes of course.
At the moment I have a Hewlett Packard printer/scanner/copier which serves most of my needs. It is a little on the slow side, and the software is not as user-friendly as I would like, but I can live with it.
The thing it doesn’t do is scan slides and negatives. My parent’s attic is full of slides, and I would dearly love to have digital copies of them. I don’t know what the life span of a slide is, but it is a safe bet they won’t last for ever and a digital copy would a better chance of survival.
Ideally my new scanner will be portable, or at least more portable than my current set-up. I envisage visiting relations (not just my parents) armed with my netbook and a scanner and just plugging them in and being able to scan anything that gets thrown at me, from A4 pages to slides and negatives.
In terms of price, I appreciate that you get what you pay for, but I have a limited budget, I spend enough on my family history already! Current favourite is the Canon CanoScan 5600F, the price looks about right for my budget, but it looks a bit too bulky.
So I am asking you for your recommendations. What sort of scanner do you have? Is there anything on the market that is going to meet all my needs without me having to spending a fortune? Is there any advantage in getting two separate scanners, one flatbed A4 and one slide and film scanner? What do you use for your scanning? Let me know in the comments.
Yesterday evening I thought I would get down to scanning some paper documents, but my scanner had other ideas.
I had scanned some of my recent postcard purchases (I really must get around to showing you them) without any problems, but things started going wrong when I tried scanning some newspaper prints.
I had gathered together about a dozen A4 pages which I had printed from a variety of local newspapers. I had scanned five or six pages when my printer/copier/scanner froze. The scanner thought it was still scanning, my PC thought it was scanning, but it was doing nothing.
All attempts to cancel the job proved futile and I had to shut down the PC. The printer/copier/scanner refused to shut down until I pulled out the power cable. Half an hour later after several reboots I finally got the printer/copier/scanner and PC talking again, but I had lost all the scans I had already done, because the scanner doesn’t save the documents until you actually close the program down.
I suspect it was a memory issue which caused the problem in the first place, my old PC is low on memory and I don’t think it could cope with the size of the scans I was doing. I realise I could have changed the settings, but I was happy with the quality of the scans I was getting. Instead I chose to close the program after each scan and start afresh. It probably took twice as long, but it worked. Now I am dreading having to do the next batch.
I decided on the way to work today that I am going to try and make this weekend an organising only weekend. No research just organising and sorting.
There is still a lot of stuff in folders, both physical and digital, that needs sorting out. I have a few other odd jobs around the house and garden to do, but apart from that I can devote all of Saturday to sorting out family history stuff.
I am sure I am going to have to look things up online, to fill in details or perhaps capture a digital image of something I have on paper, but I don’t intend to start anything new or continue any of my existing projects.
So that is the challenge for the weekend, well mainly Saturday because I shall hopefully be enjoying the delights of Shoreham Airshow on Sunday, but there will still be time when I get home for some organising. I may even have to extend it into next week if things go well.
Time to turn on the scanner, pull out a folder and get organised!