A post introducing a recent hobby project of mine.
Last year I changed jobs and stopped working with digital signage. What do you know, though: the office I now sit in, at the super-nice Bradfield Centre, has a display on the wall, so I felt sort of obligated to get something running behind it.
Not literally behind it - although a Raspberry Pi is pretty small, it’s proved rather difficult to wedge behind the monitor.
A collection of learnings and recommendations derived from helping my family to digitise old photo albums.
In the end, our family albums amounted to about 2,500 photos across 15 or so albums (that’s not counting the photos in shoeboxes). I think my mum and dad had been pretty organised and disciplined about putting their favourites into albums. It was a bit of a wrench ripping the photos out, but I persuaded them to go for it because the prints were degenerating, fading and, well, they’ve been at the bottom of a drawer for quite a while.
A long post summarising why I’ve fallen out of love with Arq backup, and some noodlings on the longevity of bits.
Being currently engaged in the digitisation of all my Mum and Dad’s precious photo albums, and relatively recently having become a father myself, I’ve been thinking about backups. A dull topic, admittedly, but my personal photos and videos aren’t like my music collection or, if I’m honest, my work files.
Over Christmas, I leaned on my parents to let me dig out their photo albums, so that the photos could be removed and sent off for scanning (before being put back, of course). I plan to write up some thoughts and experiences from that process soon.
Sending off precious photos just to get them back with a CD isn’t too expensive, especially if you value your own time and the expertise of others; yes, there will be hassle and fiddliness, but it’s worth it, because non-digital photos are irreplaceable.
Having acquired a new document scanner, I chomped through most of the paper in my life, scanning receipts, letters from the bank and so on. It took a few hours.
To really put my scanner through its paces, I wanted to digitise a few books. Here are a few thoughts and pointers for future reference.
It’s particularly useful to digitise reference books that you might want to refer to. This is a matter of opinion, but I think they are better suited to the illuminated screen, random-access type of reading/research that things like iPads are so good at.
Going paperless is all very well, but there are some bits of paper that it makes sense to keep, or that you have to keep for legal reasons. Documents relating to tax, receipts, utility bills (for when you have to prove your address), and so on - all have to be kept for x number of years.
David Allen, of GTD fame, recommends filing material like this in an alphabetical system.
I’ve crunched through scanning two carrier bags full of paper since getting a new Scansnap ix500 a few days back.
The scanner is so quick that the rate-limiting step was not digitisation, but staple removal.
Fujitsu should include branded staple removers with their machines.