Friday, January 23, 2004

 Scanning for scanning's sake? 

Cindy and I bought a new printer/scanner/copier last weekend. We've been doing a huge computer room-makeover since late November, and this device is the latest (and hopefully last, for a while) acquisition. I was very excited initially about the prospect of being able to make scans of all my photos and my class notes, which I've been lugging around from move to move over the past decade or more. Then I'd be able to get rid of the bulky binders and albums that contain them. You may recall my earlier comment about the desirability of having an easy bed to move, which we recently decided to forego. Well, perhaps in compensation, I'm now looking to make my ever-increasing information inventory a bit more mobile.

So I've actually started scanning. And it's pretty cool - I've so far made PDF files out of my class notes for two classes, as well as files for a couple short reports I wrote. But it has taken me a cumulative 5 hours or so to do this, and now I find myself staring down what must be another couple thousand pages or more of class notes and homework assignments. (Not to mention that I've not even started scanning the photos, which I recently tallied at more than 3,400.) Bear in mind that I've not really said anything about why I want to keep these class notes in the first place. But my mindset seems to be that because I've kept them this long, and that now we have a scanner, well then, by golly, I should scan them all. When the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem you see begins to look like a nail.

I have a feeling I'll be revising my strategy very soon. Scanning is cool, but it'd be great if during 2004 I got to spend a little time outside, or with the wife, or heck, maybe even doing a little work, instead of hunched over that sleek but noisy little box.

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