Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spinal Liberation

Speaking of The Stumbling Mother, this article caught my attention recently. Japan has been slow coming to the ebook table, and a cottage industry has sprouted up. People's homes are overcrowded with books, and they are taking matters into their own hands - by scanning their books and converting them to electronic, PDF format! The company featured in the article charges just over one dollar to scan a book. Even though there are an estimated 60 such companies, there is still a 4-month waiting list to get your books scanned! This is amazing. I hope it catches on. Could this be the modern-day microfiche? I'm looking forward to seeing some of these companies start up in Seoul. Ah, the reason this reminded me of TSM, is that she would have been one of their top customers. I, too, have inherited the book pack-rat gene from her.

For anyone interested in this technology, I found a few other cool links. This Japanese scientist has invented a machine which non-destructively scans a 200-page book in 1 minute! For the do-it-yourself-er, this fellow put together his own system at home. He doesn't say the total scanning time, although he says the processing takes about as long as it takes him to turn the page. But still, he must have a lot of patience. And finally, I like this term from the Wikipedia article on book scanning, under the section of destructive scanning:"...once liberated from the spine...[the pages can be scanned using standard equipment]".

To spinal liberation...

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