Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Well I never!

There are times when technology even surprises me. It usually involves being able to do something far more easily than I imagined. Let me set the scene.

We're starting a new Sunday series from John's Gospel in September and I found some old study notes I prepared on various characters and themes. They look useful but they need modifying if we're going to use them in the Autumn. Unfortunately I can only find the printed copies, the computer files lost in the processes of changing from one computer to another and another. I certainly backed them up before changing, but that was probably on 3.5 floppies which have long since headed for the great obsolete technology pile in the sky.

So I was looking at either retyping the notes, scanning them page by page on my flatbed scanner or investing in a scanner with document feed capabilities. I even looked at cheapish multi-function printers.

So it was that I wandered down to the church to see if the photocopier would play nice and act as a scanner. I was thrilled to discover that it can work with removable media, only the one I tried sent it into a tail spin of flashing error lights and I had to restart it.

Reading the manual I discovered that it had a "send" function that could email documents. Hmmm, I thought, I wonder...

So I loaded the paper feeder, chose send, entered my email address and pressed start. All the pages went through the scanner and that was it. No messages to say it had worked or not. I wandered back down the church to my office/study and checked my email. And there it was. A pdf version of the document I'd just scanned. Brilliant.

So credit where credit's due, well done to the copier. I now have my documents in electronic form. The only problem is that they are images rather than text, but I have some ocr software at home which solve that problem, we shall have to wait and see.

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