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Old 02-14-2010, 09:25 AM   #46
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OpticBook 3600 first thoughts

I've installed the software accompanying the OpticBook scanner.
The complete installation requires 410MB.



I found the PrestoSoftware to be not what I wanted so I uninstalled PageManager and ImageFolio.

Abbyy Finereader for turning the scanned image into text was really good, so far I have only found minor OCR errors, it even preserves the layout and you can choose to export the extracted text to Word for further editing.



The Finereader accompanying the scanner is v 6.0 Sprint. I have not yet decided if I will upgrade to Finereader 10. An upgrade seems to be €99. So far I'm not convinced it's worth the upgrade.

For scanning books the scanner is perfect. You use the buttons on the scanner to start up the software on your computer: "Book Pilot". You will be able to see a preview of the scanned image before you actually start scanning making the adjustments you feel necessary. One feature I particularly liked was that you can tell "Book Pilot" to rotate the picture on odd or even scans giving you a picture that doesn't need to be rotated afterwords. I have not yet found a workable solution for cropping the page not to include the page numbers (works when you don't have to rotate the picture but fails when the picture has to be rotated). For this I've used XnView (freeware image program) which has batch support so you can crop multiple files in one go saving you lots of time.



One thing to note is that each scan to .BMP picture (grayscale 300 dpi) takes up between 3-4MB. If you've got a book containing several hundred pages the amount of space needed will quickly add up.

The scanning process in grayscale 300 dpi takes 7-8 seconds from pressing the scan button until the scan process is ready and the image saved.

Last edited by thinkpad; 02-17-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:30 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by thinkpadx View Post
One thing to note is that each scan to .BMP picture (grayscale 300 dpi) takes up between 3-4MB. If you've got a book containing several hundred pages the amount of space needed will quickly add up.
Meh. HD space now cost around 75 cents per gigabyte. That means (ignoring for simplicity the small difference made by the base 2 vs base 10 measurement of drive sizes) a 300 page scan (at 4 MB per page) cost a buck to store. (Not like the Bad Old Days of measuring hard drive prices in dollars per megabyte.)

BTW, I've had my scanner over a week and discovered something just last night-- between the reversible black/white top plate and the scanner lid there is stored a 8.5x11 sheet of stiff black plastic (the same material used on the black side of the plate.) No doubt included so that you can slip it behind the page of the book being scanned when there are bleedthrough problems.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:53 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
Meh. HD space now cost around 75 cents per gigabyte. That means (ignoring for simplicity the small difference made by the base 2 vs base 10 measurement of drive sizes) a 300 page scan (at 4 MB per page) cost a buck to store. (Not like the Bad Old Days of measuring hard drive prices in dollars per megabyte.)
I agree. In fact, I've gone ahead and purchased (through eBay) a used 1-terabyte, USB, external HD. It's working great and I plan to make all my page captures dump straight into a book capture directory on that when I finish creating my 5MP webcam rig. BTW, I should have images from it to post by Tuesday. The dang thing has a *base* resolution of 5MP, a 'digital zoom' resolution of 20MP and has a focusable lens which can focus quite close enough for page capture even on an MMPB. And it only cost me $10!

Quote:
BTW, I've had my scanner over a week and discovered something just last night-- between the reversible black/white top plate and the scanner lid there is stored a 8.5x11 sheet of stiff black plastic (the same material used on the black side of the plate.) No doubt included so that you can slip it behind the page of the book being scanned when there are bleedthrough problems.
Woulda bought one, but have a REALLY tight budget!

Derek
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:00 PM   #49
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... The Finereader accompanying the scanner is v 6.0 Sprint. I have not yet decided if I will upgrade to Finereader 10. An upgrade seems to be €99. So far I'm not convinced it's worth the upgrade....
As I reported in another thread on this subject in this forum, I found the Finereader sprint v. 6.0 perfectly acceptable, but when ABBYY made a special offer of an upgrade to v 10 over the holiday season at $89, I took advantage of that and have found other features in it that make my scanning easier, plus I believe that its OCR is noticeably more accurate than with the v 6, making the proofreading easier.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:14 PM   #50
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When I scan a book, I save the images in .png format, which is a lossless image format. 300 DPI greyscale images work out to be 1.5 MB. I scan using the Opticbook's book pilot interface, and then OCR it, I think it's faster than scanning with the twain interface in the OCR program.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:33 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
BTW, I've had my scanner over a week and discovered something just last night-- between the reversible black/white top plate and the scanner lid there is stored a 8.5x11 sheet of stiff black plastic. No doubt included so that you can slip it behind the page of the book being scanned when there are bleedthrough problems.
Thanks for pointing this out just found it to.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:41 PM   #52
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have found other features in it that make my scanning easier, plus I believe that its OCR is noticeably more accurate than with the v 6, making the proofreading easier.
In what way does v 10 make the scanning easier? I read somewhere that it's more tightly integrated to Word.
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #53
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In what way does v 10 make the scanning easier? I read somewhere that it's more tightly integrated to Word.
I've explained my somewhat convoluted scanning and proofing process on several occasions elsewhere in the forum. I ultimately use WordPerfect for my editing (even though I also have Word installed on my PC). As my preferred ebook format is Mobipocket, I use Finereader to give me a txt image which I convert to WordPerfect for editing, then convert the edited product back to txt. I then convert the txt to html using the txt2html application. With the html I use calibre to convert to Mobipocket. Wow! However, I believe you can use Finereader (both v 6 and 10) to go directly to word processing software other than Word. The v10 enables me to set the time between automatic scans to different durations in seconds, so you can concentrate only(!) on turning pages. (v 6 may also have this; I never looked.)
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:15 PM   #54
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When I scan a book, I save the images in .png format, which is a lossless image format. 300 DPI greyscale images work out to be 1.5 MB. I scan using the Opticbook's book pilot interface, and then OCR it, I think it's faster than scanning with the twain interface in the OCR program.
Here are my steps (which are more than is strictly necessary, I know, but it leaves individual image files for saving as a CBR if I want)

1.) Scan as BMPs with Book Pilot

2.) Make JPG copies of the BMPs (can be done as a batch with ACDSee, I use version 2.44 but there are much more recent versions) with a setting of 60% quality for the JPGs

3.) Combine the JPGs into a PDF with PDFCreator

4.) OCR that in Finereader v9
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:54 PM   #55
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3.) Combine the JPGs into a PDF with PDFCreator

4.) OCR that in Finereader v9
Does that mean you keep the original layout of the scanned text?
How big does the PDF end up?
Do you end up with a picture or text PDF?
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:14 PM   #56
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have several old books I'd like to scan, thinking of rigging something up with my old Sony camera
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:09 PM   #57
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Does that mean you keep the original layout of the scanned text?
How big does the PDF end up?
Do you end up with a picture or text PDF?
What I'm scanning now are non-fiction books with lots of photos, charts, tables and such-- keeping the original layout is important. I end up with the text as text and the images and images (with the size depending on how many images.)
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:23 AM   #58
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I've scanned my first book. Some 400 pages. Took a couple of hours. The import to Abby Finereader remains and then passing it on to Word. In Word I will save the content as HTML and continue the formatting from there.

One thing that got me perplexed when testing one of the scanned pages in Abby Finereader was that the text came out all garbled and I couldn't understand why. Then it hit me that Finereader was set to detect English and the scanned document wasn't in English so I had to go in and switch the language setting and after this the text was identified without problems.

As for the formatting I'm planning to acquire the following book:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024FAPF4/
http://kindleformatting.com/
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:45 AM   #59
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I've scanned my first book. Some 400 pages. Took a couple of hours.
I've had my scanner two weeks, and finished scanning and OCRing (to a standard of "pretty good", not a standard of "absolutely flawless") my 39th book last night.

Back when I was trying to justify to myself buying the scanner, I had to ask if I had enough books I wanted in digital form that I already had in paper that, when I divide the number of books by the price of the scanner, I get a price I thought was reasonable. So far $224 / 39 means it has cost me around $5.75 for each digital copy. I hope, in the long term, to push that price at least below $2 and maybe below $1 before the scanner dies. (How many pages should I reasonably expect to get out of the lifetime of a scanner?)
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:00 PM   #60
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I've had my scanner two weeks, and finished scanning and OCRing (to a standard of "pretty good", not a standard of "absolutely flawless") my 39th book last night.
You must have been hard at work. 39 books that's quite a lot. I wonder if the lamp in the scanner has a certain life span or if it will go on until something else breaks down.
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