It’s amazing what I don’t know about my own equipment.
(Insert “That’s what she said!” joke here)
For those of you that aren’t (as I am fond of writing) “in the know” my day job is that of a department manager at a big box office supply store. The title is misleading because I am not over a specific department. It’s a catch-all title that says that I am the rope that is stretched between hourly associate and assistant manager. While I can do pretty much anything in the building (including the copy center or as I like to call it “the black hole”) I am mainly over technology. This involves selling a lot of techy things like cameras and computers and monitors.
The thing is that I only know the basics of all of the stuff we sell. I can tell you the main features of a monitor, camera, computer, printer, etc. but the nuts and bolts aspects elude me because I also have to do things like deal with angry customers and then deal with other angry customers and then move on to dealing with customers that are (surprise, surprise) angry. So while I can tell you which printer you should buy based on your needs I can’t tell you every single thing the printer does.
I say all of that to say this…the HP software that goes along with my printer does something that is going to save me a crap load of time.
I’ve been scanning a good deal of stuff lately to post on this blog, mostly trading cards. Trading cards are a bitch to scan, if you’ll excuse the language. They are small and the initial scan that goes down before I use the software to make the images look nicer can take for-freaking-ever. If the item I am scanning is larger this is fine and dandy, dandy and fine. Waiting when the items are smaller is annoying.
As I type this (Saturday, October 20, 2012) I am scanning all of the Superman related trading cards from the DC Cosmic Cards set that came out in 1991. There are quite a few of them as Superman was well represented in that line. Currently I am working my way through the “Great Battles” section of the set, which devotes three cards to a particular event in DC’s history. Why three? Probably so they look neat when you put them in a nine card holder. Anyway, Superman isn’t in every one of these cards but he is in most of them so between thinking it would be cool and my low-level OCD I decided to scan them all. The problem is there are a lot of cards in that section and doing them one at a time was taking, again, for-freaking-ever. So I thought, “You know, I could scan about four of these at a time and then break them up using Photoshop and that would just save time. So I went about doing this and that is when I made a really neat discovery.
If you line up four trading cards along the edge of the scanner the software will look at each card as a separate scan. So instead of one big image you have four smaller ones. Then you can go in, play with the resolution, play with the shadows to make the image darker and then enhance the color (which works much better on older comics than newer ones, by the way, probably because of the paper stock) and then make the final scan.
This. Is. Awesome.
You might ask why I am so excited about this. You might also ask why I take so much time with the images I scan. Well, I am excited because this is a HUGE time saver. Four cards at a time instead of one. I am working under the assumption that this feature was originally designed to allow a person to scan more than one photograph at a time. More often than not someone buying a printer with a scanner for home use wants to scan photos. Scanning more than one photo at a time is a nice feature with the benefit being you save time on doing so since, as I said, scanning things one at a time is a pain in the ass.
So yeah…this is cool. To me, at least. You were probably bored by this peek behind the curtain. Normal content will return tomorrow.
More to follow…