Year: 2011

Review: Doxie Go! The 2nd generation

It’s Apparent’s second generation Doxie document scanner has become a wireless scanner that can scan without a Mac or PC in sight. It’s a bit smaller than its predecessor, comes with a laptop-style battery, a USB stick port and a SD card interface. Its base resolution is 300 dpi instead of 200 dpi and it’s a fast little bugger.

Scanning to archive

Can you scan analogue photos to a format that is an equivalent of a Camera RAW file? Yes, you can, with SilverFast. Here’s a video that shows you what it looks like. The resulting RAW file, the HDR image, is twice as big as the regular 48-bit image. RUNAeL9fJ9M Note that the RAW image is darker than a regular file. That is due to the file being a real digital RAW file, with no adjustments possible at all. The video explains it.

Scan to web

Scanning photos isn’t sexy anymore. We all have digital cameras — well, not exactly, but only die-hard art photographers will insist on the better grain and look of film. While the majority of photographers has gone digital, that doesn’t mean all those analogue images are suddenly worthless and should be thrown away. At least, some photos can still be used to illustrate web pages. The Web output preset in the new SilverFast 8 allows users to choose the size of the resulting web image in one of the workflow steps. A user can preview what is meant by “small” or “medium” size in his/her browser by clicking a preview button, after which a default image appears in the selected size. In a report on SilverFast 8, this was evaluated as a good idea and proof of a high level of attention to detail.

Der Spiegel scans photos

Germany’s number one weekly news magazine Der Spiegel allegedly still uses a Heidelberg scanner and SilverFast software to scan photographs, which must mean their photographers have not yet all made the transition to digital. We know there are a number of art photographers who find analogue photography to be vastly superior to digital. But press photographers… They usually prefer the speed and ease of digital. Meanwhile, Der Spiegel can save data with a depth of 48 bits. Furthermore, they trust the mature technical colour management know-how of LaserSoft Imaging, including integrated IT8 calibration and extended selective colour correction for up to 12 colours. The scanner operators at Der Spiegel, who believed their Heidelbergs would be collecting dust as no original software will run on any modern Mac, are reported to be very happy with the SilverFast scanner driver/control tools.

Why do people still scan?

Not too few famous art photographers still shoot film these days. They love the grain, the colors, the dynamic range. But they too must digitize their images, if only for archival purposes, or for display in online art stores. Most of them will turn to SilverFast, the scanner software developed by German LaserSoft Imaging. In this case, German really does mean “thorough”; thorough as in color management and accuracy, and in control over the results. On IT Enquirer, a product report was published a couple of months ago, covering SilverFast 8 scanner software. It’s a free download.

The background of iPhone 4S SIRI and what to expect from it

SIRI is Apple’s speech recognition technology. SIRI has an interesting background and history. The technology used in the product has been developed by Nuance who develop Dragon Dictate. And Nuance acquired its most valuable knowledge of linguistic speech recognition in the late 90s, with the acquisition of L&H, the Belgian firm that went bankrupt amidst stories of fraud.

Review: Astute Graphics VectorScribe

The makers of the award-winning Adobe Illustrator plug-in Phantasm CS have come up with a brilliant Illustrator plug-in that simplifies design and saves time. Their new plug-in VectorScribe amazes from start to finish. It not only simplifies and speeds up design but makes executing creative ideas a lot more fun too. After having played with it a couple of days it’s as if Illustrator has become a clumsy program.

Review: FontExplorer X Pro 3

FontExplorer X Pro 3 has many new features that belong in the “useful” department. In many respects, FontExplorer X Pro 3 is a fantastic tool for printers and font enthusiasts, with a Character Toolbox that calculates ink coverage, and a fantastic font book feature. It’s a bit less powerful for web font management.