As a result of my recent retirement and things learnt in a webinar this week I am getting serious about scanning.
Filing is not my forte; I have been a little lax lately as I knew retirement was approaching and that I soon would have lots of time to sort out papers. The result is a safety hazard on my study floor ie a couple of boxes of papers for filing. When I receive a paper document or photograph I usually add any data I can glean to my database and toss the resource into a cardboard box for filing in my genealogy folders.
I had intended putting all of this in order, filing it and, at some later date, scanning the contents of all my folders. I now realise that that would mean double handling of the unfiled docs. So I made a decision to scan all of those docs before I filed them away. With this decision made I had to think about scanning. I need to make it easy for myself to do this task or my good intentions will fly out the window.
My Flip-Pal Mobile scanner is good for scanning when I am out and about or for things I need to email in a hurry but it doesn't scan in tiff format. The need to scan in tiff was reinforced in the webinar this week. That means that I should use my desktop scanner which, although it is a few years old, does a sterling job. Since moving to Windows Vista I have had numerous problems with the scanner and laptop crashing. I bit the bullet and downloaded new drivers for the scanner this week but that didn't help the situation.
Then I remembered my netbook that sits on a shelf when I am not travelling. This tech toy runs Windows XP. I wondered if it would have the guts to deal with large scanning jobs. I downloaded the drivers, plugged in the scanner, did two scans (after which the Vista laptop crashes), held my breath and kept on scanning for a couple of hours. I tried again the next day and it worked like a dream.
Hey presto, I now have a permanent scanning station set up in my study so there is no excuse for not scanning documents when they arrive.
I already have a filing system set up for soft copies of documents on an external drive (backed up to another external drive). So all I have to do is save the new scans into a folder "Genealogy scans to be sorted", rename them, plug the hard drive into the netbook and transfer them into their appropriate folders.
And while the scanner groans as it scans huge tiff files I can paly on my shiny new toy.