3.1337 New Communication Media; Scanning (53)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 1 May 90 17:30:56 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1337. Tuesday, 1 May 1990.

(1) Date: Mon, 30 Apr 90 17:10:35 -0400 (19 lines)
From: amsler@flash.bellcore.com (Robert A Amsler)
Subject: New-fangled communication media

(2) Date: Tue, 1 May 90 11:21 EDT (34 lines)
Subject: Scanning in the Study Update

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 90 17:10:35 -0400
From: amsler@flash.bellcore.com (Robert A Amsler)
Subject: New-fangled communication media

Dateline: Arctic Conference Center, May 1st, 2010

I must disagree with those who advocate the use of the speech writer as
a tool for composition. While some may claim they can accept its
mistakes in transcribing spoken communications and deal with them
effectively, I cannot and will continue to use the traditional
electronic keyboard and graphics tablet to compose my articles.
Keyboards have served us well for many generations and I cannot see how
they can ever be replaced. The tangibility of seeing one's text
immediately appear on a screen cannot be replaced with the intangibility
of voice-playback verification, even with the most sophisticated AI
screening for spoken accents and background noise suppression.

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------40----
Date: Tue, 1 May 90 11:21 EDT
Subject: Scanning in the Study Update

A week ago, I inquired if any HUMANIST had more satisfactory experiences
than I using hand-held scanners and OCR software as an alternative to
keying in quotations from articles and books. I was interested in
learning about techniques as well as about OCR software that might be
easier to use than Read-It OCR, which I purchased. I received two
replies. The first was from Henning Moerk of the Slavisk Institut in
Aarhus, Denmark. Henning wrote, "Maybe the combination of a hand-held
scanner and trainable OCR isn't the best one." Because he works with
Slavic languages, Henning requires trainable OCR software. He had used
Read-It but switched to AutoRead, a French product, that is faster, more
reliable, and more expensive ($1,500 for Mac, $4,500 for IBM). The
second response was from Eric Nye of the University of Wyoming. Eric
plans to outfit his Zenith portable with an expansion chassis so that he
can install the interface card for a ScanMan Plus. Eric uses ReadRight
OCR software on an HP ScanJet but would like portability to do the same
kinds of small-scale scanning projects I described. Eric asked about my
experiences, which I shared with him. In his response to my summary, he
suggested I post "a sort of challenge on HUMANIST to see if others have
significantly better results to report." I would, in fact, like to make
that challenge, recognizing all to well the limitations of using a
hand-held scanner.

Finally, I would like to report an article I just found in the April 23,
1990, PC WEEK (Vol. 7, No. 16: 83-87), "Hand-Held Scanners Fit for
Certain Tasks: 8 Low-Cost Units Lack Satisfactory Optical Character
Recognition Abilities; Devices Best Used for Scanning Small Amounts of
Text or Graphics Images." If anyone is interested, I would be glad to
post a summary of this Product Evaluation on HUMANIST.

Hardy M. Cook
Bowie State University