Sunday, September 11, 2005

A new toy

I used to be one of those people with file cabinets full of “documents” and “records” at home. But I have always harbored a few ounces of doubt as to whether I should actually be keeping all these files. Would I ever need to consult an old brokerage statement or credit card bill?

More concerning was that I definitely wanted to keep some of the files, like old tax returns, but if anything ever happened to them (fire, flood, or most likely – a misplaced box), I wouldn't have them when I needed them. The last thing I wanted to do was make extra copies.

After a little shopping research, I found the answer. And it lives up to every rave review on Amazon. It is Fujitsu’s Scansnap FI-5110EOX2 scanner.

I can put stacks of 50 pages in the feeder at once, and in a couple of minutes, I have a digital document.

Hats off to the product team at Fujitsu. They got every single feature right:

  • it scans double- or single-sided pages in one pass (and accurately auto-detects)
  • it never jams
  • it can do color or black and white images
  • it comes with Adobe Acrobat and outputs PDF files
  • it allows you to trade off quality/resolution vs. file size using 4 distinct settings. The lowest is fine for most business documents and requires about 50kb per page side scanned; the highest produces near-photo quality JPEGs
  • it comes with a USB 2.0 (or 1.x) connector
  • it takes up hardly any space (it’s about 10” tall with a 6” x 13” footprint)
  • it retails for less than $450.

I have since emptied and scanned several drawers of files. These documents, and the file cabinets that used to store them, are now teed up for a trip to the garbage.

Can anyone recommend a good shredder?


Nivi said...

How are you organizing the resulting mounds of files?

I imagine you have named each file by hand and organized it in hierarchical categories.

Is there any OCR + Search method to access these files?

Jeremy said...

Yes, I'm hand-naming files and putting them into folders/directories. I believe there are some pretty good OCR packages out there, but I haven't bothered (yet).

Hugo D. said...

I went the same way last year. Got a HP Scanjet 7650, works pretty well. Credit card slips and these little invoices are still problematic. The first problem I've hit now is document management. Using files and folders work for the first few weeks, but just wait you start looking for something once you have ~2000 pages in ~300 docs. OCR is just not there. Second: backups!! I'm using postgres for document storage; now how can I do incremental backups on 80 gigs of db data and growing? (yes, I heard of allmydata, but I'm just not going to send all my financial records out in the ether yet)
My shredder WAS a Eureka 502S-MX (~300$HK); I spent about 5 days in a row last month shredding all that stuff I had put aside for a while; the shredder almost made it to the last page... need something stronger, 'cause give the backup issue, batch jobs are there to stay for a while.

Zoli Erdos said...

You don't really need *document management* anymore, in fact you hardly need any directories, just use Desktop Search.
I don't know about the GYM products, but the one I use, Copernic Desktop Search indexes the entire content of PDF files (amongst others), so you can pull up any document with a simple keyword search in minutes.