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March 19, 2004

Scan Man

So I've been telling my buddy Danny about my plan to scan in every document I own. Here's the story so far (updates will follow):

I was listening to Bill Gates' Business @ the Speed of Thought book on tape. He was encouraging companies to go digital. When paper forms are necessary, scan in the documents so they can be easily cataloged and searched.

I thought about all the paper that I have filed away. Some of the documents I obviously need to keep the original of (ex. passports, vehicle title, etc), but a lot I don't (old bank statements, old telephone bills, etc). The problem with throwing this all out is that I have occasionally needed to go back and find out some information. My bank charges me $15 per statement to get old copies. This is something I needed to do recently. The reason I didn't have my old bank statements is because I hate taking up lots of space with filing cabinets and paper.

So I decided to follow Bill's advice and start scanning everything in as PDF files. The beauty of this is that it has the original look of the document but also uses OCR so the files can be searched. This is much easier than looking through paper in a file.

I purchased the HP OfficeJet 4110 and started scanning. (A quick warning: this scanner is not fast!) That didn't bother me because I justed dumped 20 documents on it and walked away. But the software included with this scanner was buggy. It crashed all the time!

I am now in the process of getting a new scanner.