Scanners and gray-scale? (38)

Tue, 10 Jan 89 20:25:56 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 488. Tuesday, 10 Jan 1989.

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 89 09:50:41 EST
Subject: OCR Scanners

The CCH here at U.of Toronto has some money to spend on a scanner and some
companion software. What we have won't buy us the scanner and all the software
we might need. My question is whether any of our fellow Humanists
have looked into/bought a scanner recently. I have been told by someone that
he felt the HP Scanjet would be the standard for all other scanners much the
same way the HP LaserJet was the non-postscript standard for laser printers.
The Scanjet only offers 16 shades of gray scale. There are other scanners out
on the market that offer 256 shades. This is not a factor for text recognition
but matters if you want to scan in pictures and diagrams as well as text. Do
people think gray-scale is a selling point? The state of OCR (Optical Character
Recognition) software is changing rapidly. As it stands now there are software
packages available which can read read typeset, laser printed, accented text.
There are packages that can be trained. But rumor has it, the glossy pictures
and catchy sales pitches that come with the software are *slightly* enhancing
the picture. I was wondering if anyone out there has been able/willing to read
through the lines and distinguish the reality from the illusion (not allusion,
Willard). HELP...

A computationally literate sort-a-guy who is naive
in the ways of the big, scary world of consumerism,

Michael Stairs
Site Coordinator
Centre for Computing in the Humanities
U. of Toronto