A few months ago, I bemoaned the blizzard of photocopies settling in file drawers, piling up in odd corners, and drifting across the floor. The situation, I gathered, called not for a snowblower, but for a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500. Flash forward to last week, when two important things arrived: a new computer (the old one, already marked for replacement, developed Worrying Symptoms of Imminent BSOD) and the aforementioned scanner. Thanks to eBay, the scanner did not produce other Worrying Symptoms--namely, Worrying Symptoms of Imminent Pocketbook Meltdown.
So, I've been scanning. This involves pushing one illuminated button, helpfully marked "Scan." (You can't expect academics to pick up on such things by themselves.) Well, that and removing staples. Some thoughts:
- Speed. The scanner is as fast as advertised. I've scanned at least one hundred and fifty articles--in other words, nearly one thousand pages--since Friday, without being chained to my desk.
- Curse you, humidity! As anyone who has cussed out their department photocopier knows all too well, humidity does aggravating things to paper, which in turn does aggravating things to the automatic feeder mechanism. The ScanSnap is equally suspect to humidity-induced discombobulation.
- Got creases? The scanner handles creased, battered, bumped, and otherwise bolluxed paper with reasonable equanimity.
- Direct line. It's good that the scanner handles creased etc. paper well, because if you don't perfectly align the document in the feeder, Paper Jams of Rage occur. And then your uncreased paper will be, well, creased.
- Size. I've found that the scanner can handle pages of different size within the same document, although I gather from reviews that not everyone has had that experience.
- Mark TWAIN. Or, rather, the lack thereof. As several people on the Amazon page point out, there's no TWAIN driver, which means that you can't just add newly scanned pages to an old PDF. This will be cause for irritation if you want to update old files with new scans. However, there's a workaround for documents that run over fifty pages.
- Got IFilter? If you're running Windows 7 (*waves*), you can't search PDFs via the Windows search box, even if you have the right TIFF setting. (You can work around this by searching directly in Acrobat.) This may cause a great disturbance in the Force. It doesn't help that Adobe Acrobat does not yet have a Windows 7 filter in place, for reasons that are clear...to nobody, really. After I bewailed this discovery on Facebook, a friend pointed me in the direction of Foxit, which does have the Windows 7 filter. Available for free, no less.