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Category Archive: Library Digitization

  1. Old Technology Leads to New Beginnings at Vancouver Scanning Company

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    For a company that specializes in scanning and document digitization, the rapid evolution of technology is a simple reality. Even long-term employees nearing the age of retirement embraced the use of technology decades ago—in both their work and private lives.

    Of course, not everyone belongs in this camp. One wonderful employee in particular spent nearly their entire career pursuing analog work streams. Their focus was the microfilm cameras—and the large, specialized drawings and documents that didn’t translate well onto scanners and other more modern solutions.

    This operator flat out refused to learn about computers, even when the company offered to pay for a series of courses. In fact, the term technophobe was woefully inadequate to express the object horror that somehow technical inaptitude would lead to the downfall of expensive equipment.

    Various work options were tried: high-speed document scanners, large format scanners, book scanners—all met with failure. At this point, management was becoming increasingly concerned about finding the employee a long-term role since the tech kept changing in just about every department.

    Finally, one inspired supervisor suggested quality image control. The task was relatively simple. All that was required was navigating to a specified folder and opening the first image by clicking it. Then the employee simply had to advance through all the images in the work folder, making notes of any missing, abnormal or skewed images that required re-scanning. The logic was an image is an image, whether it’s on microfilm or a high-resolution screen. Moreover, the work was very similar to what the employee had performed for years, inspecting microfilm on a light table.

    Ultimately, it proved to be the great fit, and Micro Com gained one of its greatest quality controllers in the history of operations. Over time, the employee’s fear of computers subsided considerably—they’re even approaching new technically oriented tasks with cautious optimism.

    The moral of the story is that bridging a change sometimes requires small steps—but it can lead to new directions and positive outcomes for all concerned.

  2. Atiz Archival Book Scanning Vs. the Guillotine

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    Curious about the process of scanning archival books? Many of the book scanning customers who come to Micro Com Systems have works as rare and precious as—for example—the powdered wig worn by Marie Antoinette. In other words, they are priceless both in terms of history and appearance.

    As a company that specializes in all forms of document digitization, image scan & data capture, we scoured the market for the best library digitization device before purchasing the Atiz Bookdrive Pro. (more…)

  3. Digitization of Documentation for Universal Accessibility, by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

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    Documentation Digitization: see Britannica vs Wikipedia

    Ding-dong. Your friendly neighbourhood Britannica calling. Okay, not really. How about an annoying, pushy, slimeball dripping with condescension? Perhaps with a possessed hairpiece that doesn’t quite match the greying fringe.

    Digital Encyclopedias

    Hard to believe that just over a decade ago, Wikipedia didn’t exist for all your late night quandaries over the origins of velcro or what year News of the World hit turntables. Back when Marty McFly wreaked havoc on the timeline, grade school children that researched the culture of Indonesia or the irrigation of ancient Egypt wiped off thick layers of dust and cracked open musty Encyclopedias to hunt down information. Most sets housed in libraries serviced entire schools and communities.

    Accelerated Dissemination of Information

    Like Penn knocking on apartment 19, those who could afford the luxury of even a single volume – Joey and the letter V – fell prey to that sleazy salesmen that solicited door to door promising a wealth of knowledge for their children with the purchase of the latest set, fresh off the presses. But therein lies the rub. The information held within a set became historical before the ink dried. While ancient information etched in stone may still carry relevance, in our modern age, scanning & digitization technology has accelerated the dissemination of information. News of the godly Higgs Boson circled the globe in a matter of minutes.

    Digital Devices in Education

    Learning and communication stand at a crucial junction. Elementary schools provide their young students with tablets and iPads, and handwriting and long form mathematics are being phased out. Mega media conglomerates have taken a running leap with the supposed benefits to educational advancements through technology. Internet providers now boast their superior service directly correlates with a child’s ability to learn. With their superior high speed internet, children may now gather infinite amounts of knowledge faster to further their education and achieve higher grades. Absolute tripe, or is it?

    Online Sources, Limitless Resources

    To a certain degree, online sources provide limitless resources to an university student gathering information for a 30 page paper on the relation of Canterbury Tales to the Bible when specific volumes of scholarly journals required for citation rest in a library thousands of kilometers away. A few clicks of a mouse, and tada. The digitization of information has nearly rendered card and library catalogues obsolete.

    Digitization of Documentation = Universal Accessibility

    That the integration of technology in daily activities will only grow, and the convenience of the circulation of information — whether for school, work, or pleasure — is inarguable. Digitization of documentation provides universal accessibility far superior to the costly storage of hundreds of boxes full of materials that degrade over time. A few strokes of a key and the information for that client meeting in half an hour is in front of you, no swimming through mountains of files or Harold crying in a corner after being Litt Up.
  4. Vancouver’s Document Scanning Expert, Shelley! by guest blogger Jay Phoenix

    Leave a Comment The inevitable daily commute: a monotonous necessity. Vancouver has their very own congestions issues of gridlocked highways, crowded routes, and confusing one-way streets that shames Coruscant’s diverse population. One single troubled driver causes a ripple in traffic that affects several kilometers of traffic on the highway, and affordable living in the city is becoming a dream. Every year, more families and young couples are pushed out into the boonies.
    Before the crack of dawn, at an hour that should be banned from existence, Micro Com’s public transit commuting veteran Shelley Vogt catches the West Coast Express on her daily commute from the Shire. Half-conscious and cranky, tales of the commuter train are as Groundhog Day as they come, and she has cars full. Everyday, the same people, the same seats, and the same friends – no Sonny and Cher.
    Still groggy? Try the quiet car. Just don’t make a peep or you’re liable to find a fist in your face. It’s an unspoken rule that daily commuters live by that one car is designated the ‘quiet’ car. Occasionally a loud-mouth construction workers with hangover cringing voices find their way on and are silenced with a chorus of ‘SHHHHH!’ And Shelley vehemently swears, that in that not quite lucid state of mind, discovering a stranger in the seat that carries your butt imprint completely throws off your day and leaves you a little dazed and confused.  

    Vancouver’s Document Scanning Expert with 23 Years Experience

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    Head of Digital Imaging for Microfilm, Scanning, & Every Imaging Department

    At the end of her epic journey through Middle Earth, Shelly runs the production floor and sends her minions scurrying as the Imaging Supervisor. It would make The Overlord proud. With a whopping 23 years experience from every department – microfilm, processing, and scanning, just to name a few – on all shifts, including the loathed graveyard shift, it’s no wonder Micro Com boosted her from the ranks to take command of her own platoon.  

    Cracking Her Whip

    When Shelley’s not riding the rails and cracking her whip, she’s studying to become the next Dr Eleanor Abernathy MD JD with her adorable Bengal cat Benson and Seena, her faithful German Shepherd. Hopefully, when she reaches year 25, Micro Com will award her a plaque in honour of her years of dedication and service as she continues to ride the rails to success.
  5. Non-Destructive Scanning: Long Scrolls of Chinese Watercolour Art

    Leave a Comment The majority of the scanning services in Vancouver we provide are to capture business documents for companies so that they can more easily access and manage the information contained within these documents.

    We Scan Delicate Artwork & Large Format

    Sometimes we run into requests from potential clients to scan things that are a little out of the ordinary. Such was the case when were approached by a company that had “Artwork” to scan. Our initial impression was that this would be scanning oil paintings or some other type of material that does not lend itself to scanning through a traditional large format scanner, which transport the material through it as it is scanned. The concern was that we could potentially damage our equipment in trying to scan the Artwork or even worse, damage the client’s material!

    Non-Destructive Scanning: Scrolls of Chinese Watercolour

    Scan Artwork

    Scanning Scrolls 20 Feet Long!

    After further discussions with the client, it turned out that the objects were in fact, scrolls of Chinese watercolours. These scrolls could be up to 20 or more feet long, but fortunately, they were only up to three feet wide. The scrolls were painted on thick paper/cloth and given their considerable length, could impose problems feeding through a scanner. To alleviate our concerns, we suggested that they bring some of the material to our office so that we could try scanning it and see how it would feed and gauge the quality  the of the resulting images.

    Getting High Quality Digital Images

    We spent most of the morning testing and scanning their Artwork to ensure that the documents would feed correctly, not damage the material and produce high quality digital images. They needed the best possible results so that they could digitally archive them. But, they also needed to be able to reduce the file size for easy viewing and to make them accessible on the Internet. The digital images produced were excellent and the client was very happy. Doing a test of the documents allowed us to confirm that our method of scanning worked and the resulting images were what the client required.
  6. Enterprise Content Management in Vancouver | Vancouver Scanning Service for ECM or EDMS

    Leave a Comment Many companies are looking at introducing ECM (Enterprise Content Management) or EDMS (Electronic Document Management Systems) to streamline their operations. Many questions arise early on for organizations considering the adoption of ECM/EDMS. What are the hardware requirements? How many FTE’s can be re-deployed, and what training will they require? What about IT support? What type of scanners are necessary, enterprise, departmental or desktop? What about capture software and licenses? Service contracts? Network or bandwidth considerations?

    Understanding Electronic Document Management Systems

    Most traditional office equipment vendors sell scanners and scanning hardware, and many represent or sell scan capture software products as well. Many Vancouver scanning service bureau’s also offer scan capture hardware and software products for sale and do so with invaluable experience gained through rigorous trial and error over many years and in almost every situation imaginable. A scanning service bureau can offer additional value by suggesting the most efficient way to set up a scan environment for a client, potentially leveraging legacy systems and databases as well as other complementary technologies.

    Selection of Scan Hardware and Software

    There are many factors that can influence the selection of scan hardware and software. Of particular concern are the need for back file conversion of existing paper records, and the day forward capture strategies for new paper documents entering the system. Any company that has been in business for several years will have significant volumes of paper housed in traditional filing cabinets, archive boxes and in offsite storage. If it is decided that all or most of these records should be housed in the ECM / EDMS, that will have a huge impact on the implementation strategy and costs.

    Impact on Strategy & Costs

    For example, if company X determines it has several million pages of paper records to scan, or a whole library to digitize, it has some very important decisions to make. If company X chooses to do this work in house, they will need to commit significant financial and human resources to the task. They will need to invest in high speed scanners and capture software / licenses as well as service contracts, hire and train several supervisors and perhaps 8-10 operators, commit many hundreds of square feet of office space and assign valuable IT resources for the life of the back file conversion.

    Vancouver’s High Volume Scanning Service Bureau

    Alternatively, company X could retain a scanning service bureau to perform this work on their behalf, which can offer significant advantages over performing the work in house.
    1. Hardware and software investments will be considerably reduced as only the day forward (usually a vastly smaller volume) work will be processed by company x.
    2. Human resources will also be significantly reduced (see item 1).
    3. Production timelines will be drastically reduced if required as service bureaus can ramp up or down to meet tight deadlines.
    4. On a direct cost comparison basis, the costs associated to converting the back file using a service bureau are usually dramatically lower than performing the work in house. The disparity in cost is especially large if the back file conversion is the first assignment taken on by a newly created in house scan team!
    5. The same scan capture software and methodology employed and perfected by the scanning service bureau over millions of cycles can be deployed in house on a smaller scale for day forward capture, saving considerable time, cost and effort.

Micro Com Systems Ltd.

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Micro Com Systems LTD.
8527 Eastlake Drive Burnaby BC V5A4T7


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