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ScanSnap 2

ScanSnap 2

I have worked with the ScanSnap with pictures this week. Unfortunately I haven’t had enough time in the last week to put it through all its paces but I am impressed so far. I put some snapshots of scenery through it first just in case. This also gave me a chance to play with the settings, see how everything worked. They did well. I progressed, eventually getting to a 1920s photo in good shape. I was quite pleased. I don’t believe I would put the original 1862 wedding picture of my great great grandparents through it but since I have “new” copy of that I have no problem. I should point out that most of my old photos are in pretty good shape. If a photo was fragile or delicate in any way I would not put it through a sheet feed scanner.

This week I also took the binding off a paper bound genealogy book and fed it through. The hardest part was cutting off the binding, both mentally and physically. I had a hard time tearing up a book. It wasn’t that easy to remove the pages either. You need to remove all the glue bits, jagged edges, etc. I called someone who has done before and he recommended a high tech device — use my band saw. I also note that heavier paper, such as the cover of many paper bound books, does not feed well or in some cases not at all.

Where did I get the ScanSnap? It’s available in a lot of places. is a good place to start for many things. I suggest you search for it online and see what the going price is when you are thinking of buying. These things vary from week to week. For example, when I first began considering the ScanSnap there was only the 300 in the color duplexing portable department. Now there is the 1300 which is a bit better and a bit cheaper. And there are other models.

Identifying Photos Revisited

Identifying Photos Revisited

I got involved in revising my file system, going to Network Attached Storage and installing Windows 7. The last required a clean install and a reinstall of all programs. Thus I downloaded the last version of Picasa which is 3.6. I turned it loose on my pictures in their new location. This time I was able to do with an unattended laptop that I didn’t need for the day so it was allowed to do its work uninterrupted.

The latest version seems faster and also seems more adept at facial recognition. It has identified nearly 7,000 faces and identified about 100 people who are in multiple pictures. It has found the younger version of people I only knew as old and, upon inspection, has been right most of the time. It thinks at times my sister might be me and makes other interesting family connections, my niece in a close up and my grandfather for example. I don’t see the resemblance but it must be there.

Some of those 7,000 faces are people who happened to be in the picture, maybe in the background. You can tell Picasa to ignore those. Some are part of historical group pictures I own but cannot identify. Why my grandmother had them if there are no relatives in them escapes me so I continue to look.

I have been able to identify about 700 of the 7,000. Some are relatives I never met, knew or even heard of. Some are children of friends of my mother or grandparents that I never knew. When I have a rough time frame and perhaps a last name and location I have posted the information to boards and lists, so far without success.

I have enlisted extended family in identifying the pictures. I don’t understand why people get possessive about pictures. Scan them, share with all, get help with the identification. I’m not one who has to own the original but even if you feel you must you can still scan them and share.

We say we should have ask these questions, identified these pictures, etc. when the older generations were still here and yet we aren’t doing it for future generations.

I’ll get off the soapbox now but considering making scanning and identifying your photos, old and newer, a New Year’s resolution.