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Old 09-26-2006, 11:53 AM   #1
Paul Moews
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on scanning

Scanning documents and books for reading on the Iliad is surely going to be one of its important uses. The storage capacity of the Iliad is well over 5 GB – a 4 GB compact flash card, a 1 GB MMC card, and a USB stick. Five GBytes is enough to store several hundred books scanned in at high resolution. Anyone who carries a library of manuals with them would prefer to carry only an Iliad and a few flash devices.

My own interest has been in scanning old and out of copyright books. I have been surprised at how well they display on the Iliad. The pictures in books with many black and white, (i.e. grayscale), illustrations are very well reproduced on the Iliad. If zoom is implemented small illustrations might in fact be easier to view on the Iliad than on the original printed page. Large pdf files are easily handled.

I have been asked to describe my technique for scanning – equipment etc. I use a very simple and inexpensive method that enables one to scan in several books a day. It does require that the books be unbound and available as separate sheets. Aside from a reasonably fast computer running Windows XP my equipment consists of 4 tools:

1.) A utility knife with replaceable blades – the type sold by Stanley or Sears with the 2 ended retractable blades.

2.) A paper cutter of the guillotine type – best if it cuts 32 sheets at once – I use an X-acto from Staples advertised as cutting 15 sheets of 20 lb paper which is sufficient for most books.

3.) A double sided scanner. My main scanner is a Fujitsu ScanSnap - 5110EOX2 - It's a small desktop scanner that comes bundled with Adobe Acrobat 7 - works well but only scans individual sheets - however it scans both sides at once and has an automatic feed that handles a small stack of sheets. It was designed for a paperless office - works well - I particularly like the automatic deskewing. It handles sheets as small as 2 x 2 inches up to 8 ½ x 14 inches. A later version, also with Adobe Acrobat 7 Standard, sells for $350 dollars from NewEgg after a $50 rebate.

4.) Adobe Acrobat 7 – comes with the Fujitsu scanner.

I tear the book block from the binding and remove the glue and backing with the utility knife. The book can now be separated into “signatures”, the small booklets bound together to make the book. The paper cutter is used to remove the fold from the “signatures” and the individual sheets passed through the scanner. For text I usually scan to produce bit maps at 600 bpi. The whole process for a single book takes less than an hour as the Fujitsu can scan directly to a finished pdf file.

Adobe Acrobat is capable of some simple editing. Page commands include replace, extract, insert, delete, rotate, and crop. If a page is crooked it can be rescanned and replaced. If a page contains a blot it can be extracted, saved as a tif file, and edited with a graphics programs. Adobe Acrobat will accept the edited tif file as a direct replacement for the original page. The crop command allows margins to be reset to remove unwanted white space. While the file remains unchanged, and the command can be undone, the new margins are recognized by the Iliad.

At the moment the page size that can be displayed on the Iliad is small. Landscape mode is going to be available in ver 2.7 of the operating system and I would suppose that pages nearly 6 inches wide will be shown at full size with scrolling required to display the whole page. If one has a private library that can be displayed at a width of about 6 inches it should be no problem to scan it in and make it mobile.

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Old 09-26-2006, 06:49 PM   #2
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My method for scanning my wife's text books for her LE1600 and my magazines to load on my iLiad.

For text books: Kinkos $1.49 to cut off spine at 8.5" wide. That last is a very important point with larger text books, 8.6" doesn't fit even on flat bed scanners. They do good work, it comes back same day (or while you wait if they aren't busy) and is exactly 8.5" wide if it was wider.

For magazines, a staple puller and a heavy pair of scissors, just cut down the spine along the outside edge (I find that easier to get straight than folding it flat in the middle and cutting.)

Scanner: HP 4345 mfp. Color scan 300dpi, auto-size, duplex, holds 50 sheets and will scan the whole stack in just under 2 minutes. Scans directly to Adobe PDF 1.4 files and delivers them to you via 100 base TX ethernet via FTP.

You can load them into Acrobat 7 and run the reduce file size but you get at most a 10% reduction. I just run my rotate and crop on the as-delievered-files and load them directly onto my iLiad.

Yesterday's 64 page Infoworld became a 128 page landscape PDF to read on the bus ride home last night, in less than 6 minutes from grabbing the staple puller to loading the file on an MMC card.
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:22 AM   #3
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Very good to hear these methods, thanks guys. I can't wait to get an automatic scanner for myself like you have.

Scotty1024: could you share with us and/or me your code for rotating and cropping pages. I would like to get an Acrobat 7 but I hardly think I could write the necessary code.

Now here is my process for scanning. If you don't want to tear, cut or any other way destroy the book, you can use this. I use a 3 megapixel camera (2048 *1536 resolution, with twice the resolution of iliad, so easy to scale down by 50% to iLiad's screen). I know that you can not make use of the full screen of the iLiad, but I hope we will be able once.
OK than I need a tripod, I put the camera on it and turn it with the lenses to the ground at the book. I also used a lamp just to make really sure that autofocus works, otherwise I apply the flashlight when shooting.
So it took me 2 hours approximately to scan a 378 pages long A4 sized book that I had to bring back to the office, so cutting was not an option. After that I use a small applescript that adjusts the contrast, colors, exposure, sharpness in order to get a black and white page. It does automatically for all pages. Then I could feed the pages to an OCR software and got as good results with recognition than by using any other high resolution scanner instead of a digital camera.

Maybe its funny, but works.
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:54 AM   #4
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For camera scanning I have a "copy stand". I bought it 20 years ago for $175.

It has a camera mount on a counter weighted system that allows the camera to be moved up and down and then locked into position.

Two color correct lamps are fixed to either side at 45 degree angles. I clamp the book's cover to the copy bed and then position a glass plate over the book.

I let the camera's auto focus deal with the varying height of the book as the pages are flipped.

This is a vast improvement over how it used to be used when i first got it: Panasonic CCTV with a manually rotated color wheel into an Amiga.
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:56 AM   #5
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Device: Iliad, dude!
How do you guys make a file for the Iliad from your scans?

I have a scanned & prepared sequence of images here - each image is 920 pixels high and uses the Iliad's colormap. What now? Should I build a html thing, one html per page, or something else? Can I make a pdf such that Iliad will not scale pages, but display them 1:1?
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:49 PM   #6
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Photoscanning and paperless office

See http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13848
on a DIY repro v-cradle for paper books
to see how you can photoscan dozens of books a day without damaging them.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:12 PM   #7
Almagne
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I had tried to photograph a section of a 100 year old library book - in the basement of the library. It was a non-circulating book. Unfortunately, the many of the photos were too blurry to be of use on the iLiad. The camera was a 7 megapixel Canon that has a close-up mode. I had used it in the past to take some great shots of very small (2 mm) items, and, of course, it takes great shots of normal, people-sized items. The job could be done with just the camera held in the hand, but a mount is definitely needed to do it in a reasonable length of time. Some of the pages were decent, but others were difficult to read. A few were out right illegible. The difficult and illegible pages could have been re-shot but it would have taken a too long. I gave in and just photocopied the part I needed.
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:04 AM   #8
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Focus in photoscanning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Almagne View Post
I had tried to photograph a section of a 100 year old library book - in the basement of the library. It was a non-circulating book. Unfortunately, the many of the photos were too blurry to be of use on the iLiad.
I understand that the "blurred" images were the photos out of focus. That is a "feature" of digital cameras when you shoot in macro mode in a dim environment. If you increase the ISO setting the automatic focus can get right but the images become grainy. The solution is to set the focus manually or buy a high end reflex camera with large sensors that allow you to increase the ISO without spoiling the photo. Alternatively, you can use your camera's soft flash.

However, with some compact cameras you can achieve acceptable results even in semi-dark environment. My Casio Ex-Z850 has a nine point "focusing" mode. When one or more of the focusing rectangles become green, it means that the camera caught the focus on that part of the text (there must be some contrast between the text and the background, you cannot focus on a white page). I succesfully photocopied a color programme leaflet while seating comfortable in in my armchair during a theatre performance (no flash of course).
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:15 AM   #9
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Manual focus

I attach a photo taken with Canon Powershot Pro 1 in dim daylight conditions (in the middle of the room with venetian blinds) at 100 ISO. The original is much more difficult to shoot than a black and white paperbook, because the Sony screen is greyish. The focus was set manually.
For other examples see:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...958#post105958
or my thread on do-it yourself repro v-cradle in Sony Reader Accessories forum.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ereszet View Post
I understand that the "blurred" images were the photos out of focus. That is a "feature" of digital cameras when you shoot in macro mode in a dim environment. If you increase the ISO setting the automatic focus can get right but the images become grainy. The solution is to set the focus manually or buy a high end reflex camera with large sensors that allow you to increase the ISO without spoiling the photo. Alternatively, you can use your camera's soft flash.
No, the focus was fine, the camera could not be held steady enough to take a good picture. I was using the flash in auto mode, but the shutter speed was was just too slow for crisp images. If I really tried I could have take a few shots per page and at least one of them would have worked, but really what I needed was a tripod mount.
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