Friday, May 07, 2010

ScanSnap 3 - Photos

I put nearly 200 photos through the ScanSnap in less than an hour while I was talking on the phone the other morning. It pretty much does everything for you. I feed them through individually after sorting a bit by size. It seems to work best if the guides are adjusted to the size of the picture but after the first couple that is pretty mindless. It scanned both sides if there was anything on the back at all. Some of the photos I put through are least 80 years old.

In some cases it assigned a number to the scanned pictures which would indicate the front and back are together and in some cases it didn't. I didn't feel it necessary to spend time trying to figure that out.

I have no idea how many pictures I have. There are more in that box and I have two additional larger boxes. I easily have 2,000 more. It won't happen overnight but I am now confident I will get them done. It's much easier and faster with the ScanSnap than the flatbed scanner I was trying to use [which is perfect for stacks of single sided pages and does legal size] and does not require as much of my attention.

After the pictures are scanned I spend time renaming them with names to indicate who is in the picture. Those that I have no idea or not enough information keep their scanner assigned number which makes them stand out as unidentified. It is easy to work with them in the ScanSnap Organizer although you don't have to use it.

All my pictures are saved to a 1 TB NAS drive, that is a large drive attached to my router and available from any computer [or iPod or SmartPhone] on my network. There Picasa automatically begins working on the face recognition. Read about that here. It does some amazing things, sometimes telling me who is in the unknown pictures.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

ScanSnap 2

I have worked with the ScanSnap with pictures this week. Unfortunately I haven't had enough time in the last week to put it through all its paces but I am impressed so far. I put some snapshots of scenery through it first just in case. This also gave me a chance to play with the settings, see how everything worked. They did well. I progressed, eventually getting to a 1920s photo in good shape. I was quite pleased. I don't believe I would put the original 1862 wedding picture of my great great grandparents through it but since I have "new" copy of that I have no problem. I should point out that most of my old photos are in pretty good shape. If a photo was fragile or delicate in any way I would not put it through a sheet feed scanner.

This week I also took the binding off a paper bound genealogy book and fed it through. The hardest part was cutting off the binding, both mentally and physically. I had a hard time tearing up a book. It wasn't that easy to remove the pages either. You need to remove all the glue bits, jagged edges, etc. I called someone who has done before and he recommended a high tech device -- use my band saw. I also note that heavier paper, such as the cover of many paper bound books, does not feed well or in some cases not at all.

Where did I get the ScanSnap? It's available in a lot of places. is a good place to start for many things. I suggest you search for it online and see what the going price is when you are thinking of buying. These things vary from week to week. For example, when I first began considering the ScanSnap there was only the 300 in the color duplexing portable department. Now there is the 1300 which is a bit better and a bit cheaper. And there are other models.