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August 22, 2009

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DIY Book Scanner

The future is here; it’s just not evenly distributed.

P.S. Something I find myself doing more often these days: snapping a passage out of a book with my phone’s camera and emailing it to myself. Now if only Gmail had a little built-in OCR module…

P.P.S. I seriously want to build one of these things.

Posted August 22, 2009 at 3:04 | Comments (4) | Permasnark
File under: Books, Writing & Such, Briefly Noted


I kinda want to build one too. BUT: I am thinking that with the labor involved, it might actually be easier to disassemble my books, feed them through an ordinary sheet scanner, and then put the books back together again.

Seriously: Sylvia's taking a book repair class right now, and unmaking and remaking a book is easier than you think, and just might be easier than this.

Evernote has a fair-to-middling OCR indexer for the sort of thing you describe in your first PS. Perfect for the Evernote iPhone/Blackberry app...

Also, if you ever get serious about OCRing images, ABBYY FineReader is AWESOME.

Hmm... I'll bet it would totally be possible to set up an auto-workflow w/ a specific email inbox that gets checked, for image attachments, which then get piped (via Applescript?) to ABBYY... [gears turn]

Next step - getting yourself a headset with a camera that takes photos every five seconds, to OCR almost everything you see -- output = book of avant-garde conceptual writing, called Cyborg.

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