Really Fast Scanner?

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MrAl
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by MrAl » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:23 am

Hello again,


Well i decided to try a new scanner first.

As i might have mentioned, the PC card i got for my old scanner did not work fast enough so the
scanning would go even slower than that old scanner could go anyway, which was about 40 seconds
for one scan at 150 dpi or something like that. It was parallel port too :smile:

The new scanner is a Canon with USB interface rather than parallel port, and apparently it goes
pretty fast for a scanner just a little over 100 dollars USD. I can get a full letter size scan at
300 dpi for just under 10 seconds! That's exactly what i was hoping for (well 150 dpi would have
been pretty good too). I guess i'll use this for a while and see how it goes.
It does slow up at higher resolutions though, like for 600 dpi it takes about 40 seconds just like the
old scanner, and at 1200 dpi it takes a full two minutes (120 seconds), but i seldom will have to use
those resolutions.
Interestingly, at 600 dpi and grayscale (the above times were all for full color scans) it takes just
6 seconds!! That's pretty neat, but unfortunately using greyscale the background, which being
totally white, is turned a little grey and makes the document look old or something. That's a bit
strange so i may have to use the color setting all the time. I'll have to do some more tests though
too, but i dont see any way to get rid of that background graying out yet. The color resolution is
much lower using grayscale (16 bits instead of 48) so that's probably the problem.
If it turns out that anyone is interested in seeing this i'll post a few scans here.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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CeaSaR
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by CeaSaR » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:39 am

MrAl,

Are you using a button on the scanner to initiate the actual scanning or are you using a program on your
computer, such as Scanner Wizard (windows' standard program) or whatever came with the scanner? If
you are using software, you can adjust the DPI, color depth and more that way before you scan. I do some
scanning for the wife's job and the last time I did 200 DPI greyscale, but played with the saturation and
contrast. Got the background all but white while keeping the text crisp. I can set the DPI as high as scanner
resolution will allow or as low as 72 DPI (I think - I'll have to check how low it will go...).

I will admit that sometimes it takes a few seconds longer to use the software, but there are times you just
need to. I know that I have the keystrokes down for the Irfanview scanner wizard, and it's pretty darn fast.
The next scan is set up by the time the first is done, just have to insert new page.

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

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MrAl
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by MrAl » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:03 am

Hi Ceasar,

Thanks for the tips. I went looking and found a contrast setting that seems to work, although the bugger
is that it has to be set for EVERY scan. I'll have to see if i can find a different way to do it. If not, i'll
just use the color setting i guess.

See, my last scanner was so old all they had in there was gamma correction and descreen and maybe a few
other things. This thing has got level correction, all kinds of different other settings and they are arranged
in a very haphazard way. I'll just have to break down and read the ENTIRE manual to understand how to use
this software i guess. The good point is that is has many features the old one didnt have, the bad point is
that i'll have to read the whole manual before i can find all the stuff. This software is quite weird, having
popup windows that do various things and you have to know they are there or else you'd never find them.
Also pop up buttons to do various things, which appear and disappear depending on other settings.

Overall though the main thing i wanted was the 10 second or less speed at 'normal' resolution, so i got
that so i guess im happy with it. It took me literally days to scan a notebook of years of notes into
digital form with the old scanner, i think it was about a week. With this one i could probably do it in four
hours. That's considerably better.

BTW have you worked much with OCR with your scanner? I find that at 300 dpi it makes quite a few
mistakes turning the scan into text. The last scanner was even worse though and i never used it.
At 600 dpi it looks a lot better, but that takes more time too.
How well does your OCR software work, if you use that much?
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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reloadron
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by reloadron » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:50 pm

I tried an experiment with my scanner (old Canon 8400F). I opened the CanoScan toolbox and chose Scan-1.

Source: Platen
Scan Mode: Grey Scale
Image Quality: 300 DPI
Page Size: Letter

Gave it a file name etc. and scanned into Infranview as a program. I scanned a B&W page of text. The background was white and clearly white. Actually as a .jpg image it opened in Infranview and looked good. I did another at 600 DPI and am hard pressed to see a difference? The CanoScan software is Ver. 4.9.

Ron

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CeaSaR
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by CeaSaR » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:04 pm

OCR, let's see...

First run in with OCR was on "me old Win98 EMachine". Used it with the old ACER scanner that we bought
not too long after that machine. I would open up word(pad) that I had migrated from Win3.1. Had to scan
at a minimum of 300 DPI in order for it to be "mostly" correct. Very few errors were made that way. Mostly
that happened when a character was very light on the original.

Recently, we have used both the old ACER and the new HP running through WinXP (I can never look at that
logo without thinking Billy G. is sticking his toungue out at all of us!!) and saving as a .TIF(F) file. Then open
up the file in Microsoft Office>Microsoft Office Tools>Microsoft Office Document Imaging. I then hit Tools>
Recognize Text Using OCR... and it does the image automatically. You can then select and copy the text from
the screen to the clipboard. Only times I had trouble with this method is when the scan was below 300 DPI.
So far I don't remember having to redo any typing at or above that resolution.

If the letters are hand written, that all depends on the quality of the writing. I don't think it would get even
1% of my handwriting even at 1200 DPI! :lol:

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

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MrAl
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by MrAl » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:20 am

Hi there guys,


What is this "Infranview" thing, mine didnt come with that.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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CeaSaR
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by CeaSaR » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:39 am

IrfanView is a free image viewer/basic editor, now with PAINT-type abilities, that allows you to do some really quick
basic transforms to images. I should really call it more of a file viewer because you can get plugins to view other file
types (CAD DWG's for one) and listen/watch audio/video files. I personally find it very useful in that I can do what I
want/need to without firing up a memory hog like Photoshop or similar big name software.

2 of the things I like best about it is (and this is direct from the site):
Only one EXE-File, no DLLs, no Shareware messages like "I Agree" or "Evaluation expired"
No registry changes without user action/permission!
You can check it out here: IrfanView

"Did I mention it's free?" :mrgreen:

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

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reloadron
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by reloadron » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:22 pm

I should have covered Infranview. I used it because it is fairly common and free. Rather than use a paid software I figured it was good to use for an example. My bad for not explaining or linking to it.

Ron

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MrAl
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by MrAl » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:23 am

Hi there,


Thanks for the links. I was checking out Irfanview plugins however and the download button wont
work, as it keeps saying that you can not directly access the download that you have to access
it from some other way, but all the buttons say "DOWNLOAD" and they dont work. Any ideas?
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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CeaSaR
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by CeaSaR » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:16 am

Very interesting (my favorite Artie Johnson line!).

I went to the link I gave (from this page) and clicked on the plugins link there. The links worked for me, giving
the usual download/run dialog boxes. Did you try the Dowload.com link? Maybe you have security set too high
or need to add the site(s) to your whitelist?

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

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MrAl
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Re: Really Fast Scanner?

Post by MrAl » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:18 am

Hi Ceasar,


Yes apparently that was it. The Firewall was preventing the download! It should have said that it was
blocking that download, but instead it gave me some silly message.
I scanned it and it seems ok.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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