One geek fantasy that I had since iPad was announced was eliminating a certain nightmare:
I’m looking forward to (attempting) to use my iPad as a machine that eliminates my dependence on as much paper as I can, which means utilization of my scanner and tech skills to make this happen.
Due to the budget crisis in California, instructors can no longer print lots of handouts for paper. This means that often time, I will receiv
e e-mails with attachments for readings or assignment. This is awesome because it saves me the hassle of having to scan all of these papers into my computer.
My process at the moment is to peruse my semester schedule and go through my textbooks and scan each reading assignment, in order, upload them to my hard drive in the sky (iDisk). In scanning my books, this will eliminates my need to highlight (thus depreciate) my textbook (though the binding does take a bit of a whacking).I simply do not want to carry any papers. Papers add up and weigh me down. This includes books books and reading materials.
Any other handouts that I don’t have a digital copy of, will be digitized and most-likely uploaded to Evernote.
I am doing this paperless challenge due to the fact that I want the mini-roller suitcase (that I lugged around all of last last year) to be reduced to the antique it deserves to be. I lugged around several books that were too thick and from which I only utilized 25% of the information of it at any given time.
At present time, I am intending to scan many of my readings from text and from readers (a compilation of various reading materials, bound and sold at a 1000% mark-up by the local bookstore for my class) to my hard drive, where they will be run through Adobe Acrobat (for Optical-Character Recognition) and then synced to my iPad.
I use an iPad application called “GoodReader” [iTunes link], which I bought for 99 cents on the iTunes Store. At first, I did not like this application… it was too simple. Over the last few months, I have grown to love it for this quality. My gripe was mainly lack of annotation features, but I can easily export from this app to other apps that do (e.g. iAnnotate). [In reading their latest description, they state that these features are coming soon!]
For your consideration, please consider the following illustration:
Seriously, one does not understand how empowering it is to be able to carry so many tools with you in one little machine.
Progress so far
Today, I scanned my internship’s entire user manual to PDF, which took two hours (that went by quickly while steaming a movie via Netflix). It was relatively quick and pain free due to the fact that I was scanning single pages and not a book, which requires more effort to adjust and hold down on the scanner for best quality output.
I intend to write out a full step-by-step on how-to scan (using OSX) to do what I’m doing, so I will keep you posted.
<podium>A thought about Books, Ebooks, and The Man
ebooks: electronic books. I love a hard text – I love filling up my bookshelf and showing off my library of books. Ebooks are looking appealing to me at the moment because one can carry thousands of ebooks with them and not be weighted down. Ebooks are wonderful and how I have rediscovered this hobby that people enjoy with a hard book.
My one gripe about ebooks is that they fall into the same money-grubbing scheme of textbooks. I wouldn’t mind at all paying for a textbook that gave me all the information I want. There are even some companies offering a limited selection of books that one can buy individual chapters from.
However, I am appalled and dismayed to see that electronic books are about equal in price to their hard copy (soft-cover) counterparts:
I understand binding and print costing a lot of money, but my opinion is that that ebook prices are way too expensive and textbooks are a scheme that preys on the needs of students.
If I can stick it to the man and save a few bucks, and carry around the information I need without having to pay almost the same amount I would for the same text in electronic format, I’m going to save myself a few bucks.
Any thoughts? Drop a comment 🙂