3.368 Optiram's prices (47)

Thu, 17 Aug 89 21:19:55 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 368. Thursday, 17 Aug 1989.

Date: Wednesday, 16 August 1989 2314-EST
Subject: Pricing of OPTIRAM's OCR Service

a very sophisticated OCR scanning capability with the ability
to read handwriting with acceptable accuracy. What most of us
did not know was how much it would cost. I sent sample pages
xeroxed from my great grandfather's Journals (1898-1943)
with a request for an estimate. The handwriting is fairly
regular and in ink, so the external complicating factors
were not unusual.

I received a fairly prompt and appropriately detailed estimate
from the office of F. Ibbotson, Director of International Sales.
He apologized that the accuracy rate on this material would be
less than their "usual 99%+" and would be closer to 95%, partly
because of the plethora of proper names "not suceptible to
dictionary checks." The estimated cost was US$3.25 per 1000
characters of ASCII output to tape or floppy disk. This would
mean almost US$5 per full page in the Journal format.

I currently have a student typing one of the Journals for US$7
per hour. He can average between 5 and 7 pages per hour. Thus
to have OPTIRAM scan it would cost about 3 times as much,
although it would probably be much quicker! In either situation,
post-editing will be needed to correct typos and resolve
problems. OPTIRAM codes unreadable characters between pointed
brackets, and my student typist does similarly.

Since I am paying for this project, the bottom line for me is to
stick with manual typing. But I am happy to know the cost of the
alternative, and thought some of you would want to know as well.
I have no idea what OPTIRAM would charge for typed or printed
material. (OPTIRAM, Glenroyd-La Rocque-Grouville, Jersey,
Channel Islands via UK.)

Bob Kraft (CCAT)