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scanning and school

Scanning has been happening this weekend. My dad has a tremendous library of theological resources, and I am taking full advantage of it. Last year I found a number of books that I could use as sources for my papers in his stash, and I'm at it again. This fall, I will be taking two biblical studies courses (one on the Pentateuch and one on the Epistles) and the last course in the constructive theology series as well as a course called theology for specialized ministries. I will be doing an exegesis paper for each of the biblical studies courses, and I expect to do a couple of papers that require sources for constructive theology.

My back is, unfortunately, not cooperating very well. I used to be able to scan several hundred pages in one sitting. I am now taking breaks after 50 to 100 pages. This is cramping my style a lot. I am determined to get through the boxes, though, as well as the course textbooks I ordered. If one thing will make my life easier during the semester, it would be not having to scan while school is in session unless I order journal articles. I would be able to devote the time to effective studying and writing instead of trying to divide time between working on homework and scanning.

I am scheduled for a demonstration of the Zoom-Ex from ABIsee on Wednesday. The representative tells me that it will not work for college textbooks. I wish that if this was true the site was more forthcoming. I don't suppose it hurts to look at it; and I hope that he is simply wrong and the thing is much more versatile than he realizes. I think he was off-put because I asked whether they offered payment plans. (What blind person runs around with $2,400 in their pocket to pay up front?) They do not offer payment plans but work with Care Credit, which I am not eligible for. I was hoping to solve the dilemma of my aching back by purchasing now if I liked the product. No such luck. The aching back will continue for a while longer until I can come up with the money (assuming I like the product). It is only a few weeks until student loan overrides are available; but several thousand pages must be scanned in the meantime. It's not a good situation for a person with chronic pain; but life goes on.

When I said that I was not eligible for Care Credit, the representative started syaing that he "just couldn't finance the product himself for people." I was appalled that he would assume that I was asking such a thing. He could have said to me that his company is a two-person outfit, and that would have been all that I needed to know. When working with dealers, there is no way for me to know whether I'm working with a tiny company or a well-established outfit.

He asked if I was working with a vocational rehabilitation counselor... If I had never owned a piece of scanning/OCR technology, working with a VR counselor might be a solution for me. Since I purchased my own scanner and OCR, VR will not purchase a new one for me. It was a very difficult discussion to have. Unfortunately, it is so common for VR to purchase technology for a person who is blind that it is difficult for a dealer to understand the plight of someone like myself who must purchase their own and may not have adequate funds to do so. I should note here that there may be other reasons why a person is purchasing their own technology besides a VR barrier. Sometimes the VR system dictates what a person gets; and a person may be purchasing technology in order to retain personal choice and ability to obtain the technology that truly meets the greatest need. Were I to try to work through the VR system to obtain a scanner, I would need to jump through all kinds of hoops to demonstrate why this particular device is necessary over another scanner from a preferred dealer at a better price. It would take months; and as I sit here hurting myself scanning thousands of pages for my classes, I don't really want to take that time. I want to alleviate pain, and I am willing to go into debt to do it.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2007 12:34 am (UTC)
Hi, just curious... Where are you going to school, and what is your major? Your courses sound great but very challenging. Wish I could help you scan, but I no longer have a scanner. It was a lot of hassle, and for most of the reading I do now, Bookshare is great. Also, just curious, but what are PBS credits? Inquiring minds and all that. (smile)
Jul. 30th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
Oops! I'm brain dead! It was someone else who wrote about credits on PBS. Duh! I'd smack myself in the head, but already have a headache, so will settle for sitting here, feeling a little foolish. (smile)
Jul. 30th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
I was starting to wonder where you saw that PBS credits thing. LOL! I am at Anderson University (in Anderson, IN, of course), working on my M.Div. I'm just finishing up my first 30 hours this summer (working on last three credits). If I keep up the pace, I can graduate in 2009. That would be nice; but I probably will slow down a bit and graduate in Dec. 2009 or May 2010 if I take a couple of extra courses. I'm not certain I want to do classes every summer, although it does keep me active and ward off depression very nicely.
Jul. 30th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
I'm going to check out the product you linked to, since I'm ont familiar with it. But if you are inthe market for another scanner, mine does both bulk scanning and flatbed scanning. It cost around $1300 when I got it a year ago. I don't know if your current OCR would work with it or not, but Abbyy Finereader is about $500, and it's very accessible. So the whole system costs about $1800. Also, if you decide to discuss this with VR, I think it might be good to point out that some scanners are better suited for you because they would not cause you to experience so much pain, and that this would help you progress through your program. Good luck.

Jul. 30th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
Well, I looked at it, and it does look cool. (I was a little concerned by the implication that the OCR couldn't handle curved lines, which it said the magnifyer could deal with.) If you get a demonstration, I'd be interested to know what OCR engine they are using.
Jul. 30th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
scanner stuff
I'll post after the demonstration... I looked into the bulk scanning thing. The main problem with it is that I do a lot of scanning of borrowed materials and other things where removing the bindings isn't a viable option. I do have Fine Reader, though, so it this product doesn't work out I may have to look into it at some point. I'm hoping to find a solution that doesn't involve rmeoving the bindings.
Jul. 30th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Re: scanner stuff
Yeah, I understand about not wanting to (or not being able to) remove the bindings. I'm glad my scanner has a flatbed for those situations. Of course, you already have a flatbed.

I'll be interested to see how this thing handles very large books with long, wide pages. I wonder if that is the probem the guy was worried about.

If you already have abbyy, you might be able to save some money by buying a digital camera and figuring out a way to rigg it to scan the books. I don't know. I've never tried this myself, but I know I read about somebody who was doing it.

Jul. 30th, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can relate to VR sort of dictating what you can get. I remember not beaing able to wait until I was gainfully employed to get what I needed. Trouble is, I am now a stay-at-home mom and the AT is so expensive that I can't justify my hubby buying it. UGH! Damned if you do and damned if you don't. I am going to school in Aug., but again I wanted a BrailleNote because it is a nottaker and has GPS capabilities but was recommended a Laptop and I have to pull teech to see if they'll get a Trekker.
Jul. 30th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
notetaker vs. laptop
I was told that I couldn't get a notetaker because I already have a laptop. I am surprised they recommended you a laptop.
Jul. 31st, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
Re: notetaker vs. laptop
It is so ridiculous! In some cases, you could benefit from both. It depends on where you are and who your counselor is.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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