After son Jim returned from the Root Tech Conference in downtown Salt Lake last week, he told me he had an assignment for me, in fact maybe two assignments. I replied, no thank you, I don't do assignments, I don't want to do indexing. Not that indexing isn't a useful and important activity to collect and sort names, I just don't want to do it. As it turned out, what Jim then revealed to me changed my life in a significant way and may have solved one of the most difficult problems in the preservation of our family heritage in dozens of photo albums and several scrapbooks that Velna had laboriously assembled. Up until now, the only way to preserve photos in an album was to pull them, unstick them, unglue them, however you can them loose from the pages and then scan them one by one. When Jim told me that one of the vendors at the conference was showing the Kodak PS50 and the Kodak PS 80, I spent several hours researching these scanners to see what advantages they might have. It turns out, the advantages are not just significant, they are a dramatic change in the possibilities for preserving family history through digitizing photographs, albums, scrapbooks, documents, and whatever other pieces of memorabilia we might have. Up until now, all of these items reposed in someone's closet and when someone died, the books were usually cannibalized and only a few pictures got passed around.
What got me to excited about the Kodak PS80 was learning that the flatbed scanner accessory would scan full album pages with photos intact however attached and on whatever kinds of pages, separating and saving the separate photos as if they had been removed separately from the page. Similarly, the scanner could also be used for scanning all kinds of personal memorabilia and making digital records of them available to everyone for printing or using in whatever way they choose to use them. Up until now, the only way to scan albums was to pull the pictures from album pages one by one, scan them separately, and then reattach them one by one to the album pages, something my sister Ann and others have done. According to the description of the software, you can do some cropping and photo enhancement in the scanning process. Once the photos are saved on CDs, then anyone can use them for whatever purposes they want to use them for personal and family history, thus making rare albums and memorabilia available to large extended families in a way never possible before. I hope I am not counting my chickens before they hatch, only Ann knows about chickens and she counts eggs every day of her life.
After learning what I could about the Kodak PS80, I took the plunge. With the flatbed scanner and a 4 year warranty, the cost was $3300. One tooth implant is $4500 and who can look at that? If this will work and do what I hope and dream it will do from what I have read, the benefits to our family will be priceless. After I get through some of my crunch work, I will be happy to share the scanner here in my home with others who have stuff to scan to help you along with my goal to be of as much help in promoting family history through saving photos and documents as possible. And thanks to Jim to came up with the idea of the scanner. First my kids forced me to buy an iPhone which now occupies 12 hours a day and which, it turns out, takes wonderful photos which can be enhanced through dozens of technologically miraculous "apps" you can get for cheap at the app store. I'll have more to say about all of this in some further posts. For now, I just want to alert you all to what I am going to try to do with the Kodak PS80 if I still have enough smarts to do it. I spent over three hours today downloading software and sorting out cords, dongles, dingles, software CDs, and other doodads. Now I need to string the whole thing together which will take me another few hours to make sure I get it right and then I will pray that it will work.
We are off in a new world here which I hope will excite all of my extended family and my friends and blog followers to realize the importance of photos and memorabilia in family history and to generate some activity all up and down the line in taking more photos and then enhancing and preserving them. Meanwhile, wish me luck and I will keep you posted. Thank you Jim.