Notes from the past…

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My new Flip-Pal Scanner: Trial and Error…

I got a Flip-Pal Scanner for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t had time to really use it until today.

First of all, it’s not as easy to use as the hype suggests. It took me almost an hour of scanning and re-scanning to create one usable image.

My first attempt was with one of the Hill County marriage licenses I received a couple of weeks ago. The original document is 9.75 in x 8 in, small enough for my regular scanner, but I wanted to try out the Flip-Pal, so I used it.

After scanning it multiple times, with different orientations and different numbers of scans to make up the whole product, only one final image was acceptable, almost. The software apparently cannot always figure out which piece of the puzzle goes where. The end result frequently resembled 52 Card Pick-Up!

I finally gave up with the first document and chose another, larger document, this time 14.5 in x 9 in, too large for my regular scanner.

I scanned it in 9 sections and this time the software worked flawlessly!

This is the original document:

This is Flip-Pal’s final product:

And this is the keeper, after a bit of clean-up (edges of document only) with Paint Shop Pro:

The first 2 images are resized smaller, to load faster. The final image is left at its original size. Click on it to be able to examine the scanned and stitched document more closely. I can’t find any imperfections created by the stitching process.

What I have learned is that you must pay strict attention to the placement of the scanner with each scan of the document. Each section must have at least 1 inch of overlap. Since this marriage license has many lines on it, I made sure to match up the scanner with the lines as I moved across the document.

Overall, I am very pleased with Flip-Pal! The final scanned and stitched image was virtually identical to the original. However, it does take some practice to get it right. As I have several documents and photos at home to scan, by the time I make my next trip to the library, I hope to be a veteran!

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There’s an APP for that: Texas Historical Commission roadside markers

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an interesting article today about the Texas Historical Commission’s practice of placing plaques around the state to commemorate important events in Texas’ history:

This year, the markers themselves will be eligible for a plaque: The Texas Historical Commission is commemorating 50 years of placing those familiar metal markers — 15,740 and counting — where momentous and sometimes minuscule slices of the state’s past played out.

TexasMarkersAnd guess what? There is actually an iPhone app available to help you find those markers. “Ever wonder what that historical marker said after you passed it while cruising down the road? Wonder no longer!!”

99 cents gets the history of Texas in the palm of your hand… (Please don’t text and drive, unless you want a historical marker of your very own!)