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a man slumped on his desk, from 'The Sleep of Reason Produces



making paperwork filing as interesting as “Nude on the Moon” (or Tron, at least)

Spent today wandering the used bookshops of Valencia in a daze, recovering from Annalee‘s bad movie night. I’m not sure I’m ever going to entirely mend from an evening that included Nude on the Moon and Dead Heat, the definitive living/zombie wacky cop partnership starring Joe Piscopo.

To recover, I spend the evening scanning in my backlog of boring paperwork. I have an HP all-in-one printer that I got for its automatic document feeder and decent Linux support. It’s got Wifi built in, and if you have the hplip drivers and sane utilities running on your server, you can type something like:

at the command line, and have it magically come to life, scan a pile of documents, and then send them over to your linux box. I hand tag the files, but also run them through Google’s open source Tesseract OCR software, which often comes up with enough text to let me search for keywords. I assume that local OCRing will get better, if not with free software, then with me running it through some commercial OCR offering when I have the chance. The most important tag is the date of the paperwork — once you’ve scanned and tagged the paperage, you can just file it by date, and then dig it back out again when you need the original. Or just junk it over time.

I’m not entirely won over by the usefulness of scanning, but it’s nice to have offsite backups of my paper life, and it lets me actually go over my correspondence without wanting to slide off the chair with boredom. Whee! Look at me! I’m digitizing, just like in Tron!

3 Responses to “making paperwork filing as interesting as “Nude on the Moon” (or Tron, at least)”

  1. Peter Stuifzand Says:

    Your HP link seems broken. Do you know if it will scan photos as easy as documents?

  2. Danny O'Brien Says:

    Oops, thanks, fixed. I actually have the slightly older model, the C6180 I think. I don’t know what the max res on the scanner is, but it should do. HP’s linux support is pretty nifty, though getting colors right might be a pain with it.

  3. The PHA : links for 2008-09-17 Says:

    […] Danny O’Brien’s Oblomovka » Blog Archive » making paperwork filing as interesting as “Nude o… […]


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