Hopefully not off-topic, but is anyone using the Opticbook 3600
with their Mac workflow?
The Opticbook is Windows-only AFAIK, but it is probably the cheapest device designed to scan bound books. About $250 US.
Any hacks to use it with Mac directly? Or are you scanning to Windows and transferring to Mac later?
I have Parallels and WinXP on my Mac, but I don’t think Parallels’ USB2 support is currently up to the the task.
Anyone using this unique, inexpensive scanner for books?
justechn.com/reviews/article … k_3600.php
I have this scanner and it’s definitely the best I’ve found for older books with a stiff spine.
As you stated, the biggest problem is that the software is Win-only. My workflow is to scan using an old Win2K laptop, then to transfer the scanned files to my Mac (via Bluetooth or wifi, depending on my mood). I then collect the scanned files (TIFFs) into a PDF using Acrobat 7 and run Acrobat’s OCR (unless the text is from the 18th century, in which case I leave it alone - the long ‘s’ just makes a mess of things).
Not ideal, but the scanner is worth the bother, imo, especially for books that are too difficult to open on a flatbed platen. I also prefer it for more fragile books, since it stresses the spine much less.
If the books do open relatively flat, then I use my Epson Perfection scanner since its software is not only available for my Mac, it allows scanning two pages at once into two separate files. Very nice and faster than a page at a time, obviously, but only works with books I can open enough.
My current Mac is a G4 Powerbook, but there is definitely an Intel Mac in my future. Once I get that, switching to the Opticscan’s Win software should be much easier.
I’m fascinated to learn that scholars like you are doing so much scanning of original typography in order to have digital texts to search and analyze.
This makes me wonder how many others may be doing so, and whether they could deposit copies of those files for others to use. There must be libraries that would be willing to monitor the collections and make them available to generations that follow.
Of course, one day we may be saying this about DT files, when DT becomes the lingua franca of writing and research!
I wondered this about British PRO (now National Archives) records. I have tens of thousands of document images in DT Pro, and go through making notes from them. I sometimes wonder whether it would be possible to create a central repository of images from government archives, and associated text, that people could use/contribute to. Would save me a small fortune in costs.
But I believe the NA’s terms of service prohibit these things. Copyright would be an issue with books of course.
Images are tricky, since they don’t conform to the copyright laws imposed on texts. I was thinking mainly of public-domain texts for a shared repository, but it could also include recent e-books. The question would be if such collections pass the “fair use” test if shared with other scholars. We loan each other books and articles all the time; why not in digital form?
I have an OptiBook as well, and pretty much use it exactly as the previous poster.
Honestly, I’d love to move to a sheet feeder for most of my scanning, but the moment I need to scan a book (usually old, out of print stuff) I’m happy for it. Just pop it in my foldershare folder and import it onto my mac. I usually OCR it within Adobe, however, so it’s searchable before getting to Devon.