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Software To Flatten a Photographed Book? 172

davidy writes "I have photographed some pages of a book for reading on my PDA. This is much faster than scanning and I don't have to carry the heavy books. However, the photographed books are not as nice: curved, skewed, and shadowed, as opposed to the much flatter, cleaner scanned books. I have searched for software that can flatten the pages for better reading on the PDA. So far I have come across Unpaper and Scan Tailor. Unpaper doesn't seem to have a windows GUI, and Scan Tailor doesn't unskew well. I remember reading about Google's technique of converting books to e-books with a camera and a laser overlay. Is there any home user software that can do a similar job without the need for a laser overlay or other sophisticated (and patented) technology?"
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Software To Flatten a Photographed Book?

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  • Snapter (Score:5, Informative)

    by brusk ( 135896 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:05PM (#29559045)
    Snapter [] is a bit cumbersome but that's what it does.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DingerX ( 847589 )
      Okay, as per my previous post, I'm trying Snapter. It might have crashed, for alll I know. I'm at 3 bars (out of about 20) on the left side of the first page, and one processor is pegged. We'll see if it comes out.
    • Try a heavy piece of non-glare glass

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by crath ( 80215 )

      I trialed the software using files from a Pentax istDS (6 megapixel) DSLR, and since it worked quite well I purchased a copy. However, when I attempted to use it with files from a D700 (12 megapixel), it failed completely. So, I would only recommend it for 6 mp resolution files or less.

      Also, Snapter hasn't released a new version in over a year; so, it's almost abandonware---it's not possible that they haven't received a bug report or two that needed to be fixed, over the past 12 months.

      Net conclusion: try

    • Have you tried qipit []???

      It's supposed to work directly from your phone camera. And if your phone is not directly supported, it should still work if you email the picture to: copy AT kipit . com

  • sooo.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    after photographing your book you have these huge image files that are barely readable, and now you want to spend MORE time trying to make em legible, wouldn`t it just be faster to scan em?, after OCR they would be much smaller and you could edit em/annotate to your hearts delight too.

    seems like you made a problem looking for a solution rather than just scanning em in the first place

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Aye, this Ask Slashdot sounds more like "Doctor, it hurts whenever I do this." The traditional response to such nonsense is, "well, then don't do that!"

      Next question?

    • Seriously, have you ever compared the time photographing a book vs. scanning it? The fastest scanners run like photocopiers. With a book, all you need is to set up a decent or ghetto rig for the camera and turn the pages. Until now, I've been shooting with a DSLR at the same lighting/camera settings for each shot, and applying a batch transform process followed by a universal levels setting, finishing up with a PDF assembly. But I'll report back on how Snapter works on the same files.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Seriously, have you ever compared the time photographing a book vs. scanning it? The fastest scanners run like photocopiers. With a book, all you need is to set up a decent or ghetto rig for the camera and turn the pages. Until now, I've been shooting with a DSLR at the same lighting/camera settings for each shot, and applying a batch transform process followed by a universal levels setting, finishing up with a PDF assembly. But I'll report back on how Snapter works on the same files.

        Exactly, the document scanners used in libraries and archives are pretty much high resolution cameras on an adjustable stand. They don't work like flatbed desktop scanners where you have to squash the book flat on a plate of glass. As a result they are much faster, easier on the books and you get better quality scans for OCR processing.

        • Flat bed scanners - well slow. So slow it's not even worth bothering with

          Orbital/Planetary scanners - much faster, essentially the same as your DSLR hanging above the page. Less than a second for a 'scan', rate limited by speed of turning the pages. A 5 secs to turn an scan that's 12 images a min or 720 an hour.

          What the GP was talking about: Duplex feeder scanners. If you can cut the spine of the book and feed in into one of these then your laughing. Some of them will do 2-300 full colour pages a minute

          • by DingerX ( 847589 )
            Yeah. Totally sweet. We have tons of them where I work too. Only thing is, the IT department decided that scanning to PDF would be impossible to bill and invite copyright abuse, so they disabled any action that didn't result directly in printing to paper.
            • sounds like its time to find a place where the legal department doesn't run IT?

              when you leave tell them their tools are "defective by design" and you won't support them.

            • Also, those scanners are VERY expensive. Using a camera would be MUCH better, if the problems can be solved. It doesn't matter how big the camera images are, since the ABBYY FineReader [] PDF-making software we use OCRs the image and makes searchable PDFs.

              The Fujitsu fi-6230 Sheet-Fed and Flatbed Scanner [] gets good reviews and the flatbed scanner is fast, but it costs $1,200, and the sheet-fed and flatbed scanners are weirdly and unnecessarily connected.

              Less expensive Fujitsu scanners lack TWAIN or ISIS d
          • by slim ( 1652 )

            Flat bed scanners - well slow.

            AFAIK "flat bed scanner" simply means a scanner where you place the item to be scanned on a flat plane of glass to be scanned. The technology that actually does the scanning is irrelevant.

            In which case, the Xerox printer/scanner in my office does flat bed scanning in the blink of an eye. I ran it with the lid up once to prove to myself it wasn't just a camera - and sure enough a sensor bar whips across the page.

            Of course, it's not as practical for scanning bound books as the Google solution.

            • Good point.

              I suspect that Xerox machine you talk of will actually be moving just a light/mirror which is reflecting into a camera. (or possibly a CCD arrangement, but usually they are in cheaper machines) But either way scanning a book on a 'flatbed' whereby the book has to be placed face down is a major chore. turning the page means lifting the book, turning the page, then turning the book back over and repositioning it etc etc. Even if the scan takes a blink all that manual work will make it tedious at

          • Flat bed scanners - well slow. So slow it's not even worth bothering with

            Any decent mid-range multi-function copier will be able to feed its flatbed scanner from the input tray, meaning you can do 25+ pages at a time (depending on the model). And while it's not as fast as a drum scanner, it's not nearly as slow as you're implying here.

            Of course you have to destroy the book to use that option. But the equipment isn't hard to find: you likely have one in your office right now.

      • by bronney ( 638318 )

        dude, hopefully you shot both left and right page open into 1 file. If that's the case, drag one into photoshop, record actions while you tweak. Then auto/batch the whole series with that action and see what's up.

    • For one book, this kind of thinking makes sense. If this is a regularly occurring issue, it'd make sense to find a faster way then a flatbed scanner to get through it. I have no idea how feasible this is in real life. Working data entry we'd usually chop the back and put them in a sheet feed, but then you have a destroyed book and also sheet feed scanners aren't exactly commonplace. It's pretty interesting that there are at least some solutions around, I may just be too out of the loop to realize how much t
    • Re:sooo.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:26PM (#29559247) Homepage Journal

      He can easily get his tiny 10 megapixels camera into the book store, but he would be stopped immediately if he tried to bring his scanner instead.

    • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Sunday September 27, 2009 @05:18PM (#29559637) Homepage Journal

      Some guy posted a great instructables [] on building your own high speed book scanner [], purposely designed to rapidly photograph book pages without curves. He even includes a software stream that OCRs the contents and sticks them into PDFs.

      It's been quite popular -- so much so that he's created an online forum at [] dedicated to discussions from DIY book scanners all over the place, where they talk about builds, parts, and software.

      I've been very tempted to build one myself just to avoid carrying heavy books around in my backpack.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MisterSquid ( 231834 )

        Something the narrator in the bookscanner video said at the end of his video really resonates with me, which is that

        powerful tools invariable have powerful effects. If everyone had a book scanner in their home, it might force the publishing industry to rethink an obviously broken business model.

        Lately, I've been posting like crazy about digital print and related topics such as the conversion of paper print to digital audio []. Google started their project several years back and publishers are suing to stop the

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I think the day when eBook readers can flick pages in 0.1 seconds is the day when the shit really hits the fan for publishers. Trying to find information in textbooks when it takes 2 second per page turn is not very practical at the moment.

          People will want to buy the latest Stephen King novel, but they don't really care about the publisher at all. If they can get it directly from his web site, they will. At best there will be a load of out-of-work editors willing to work on a per-book contract.

          The key is go

    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      I have a book I'd like to photograph - it's a large, hand-typed bound family history, done in the 70s by a relative. You can't get it on a scanner without breaking the binding. I tried years ago to scan & ocr it with a handheld scanner, but the tools available then were just too painful I'm going to give it another shot now. So, some people may well find this discussion useful.

  • Anonymous Coward (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:08PM (#29559071)

    Get a thick, heavy piece of glass and lay it atop the pages to flatten them out before you photograph them. Use ambient light and avoid the flash.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by polymeris ( 902231 )

      Also use a zoom lens and take the shot from as far as possible, to reduce curvature. The longer the focal distance, the flatter the picture will appear.

      • Using a zoom also allows you to use a flash. Flashing from too close creates less even illumination and, on the cameras I've tried, overexposure.
        • The flash still doesn't typically work well when photographing something behind glass, though.

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          using the right flash allows you to use a flash.

          I take closeups within 8=12 inches of a persons face. I get perfectly illuminated flash photography.

          standing back and zooming works great for low end cameras, upgrade to a real flash with a bounce or diffuser and power setting and you can do far more. Upgrade to a pair of light boxes and adjustable stand flashes and you can do everything.

      • Better yet, avoid zoom lenses and get a dedicated macro lens. Nearly every camera manufacturer makes at least one macro lens, and often two or three of different focal lengths. For books, a ~100mm macro works quite reasonably.

        The biggest problem is that a macro lens can be somewhat on the expensive side. If you want to stay cheap, Cosina makes a 100mm f/3.5 macro that looks and feels cheap, but has quite decent quality optics. This is widely available under various other names (Promaster, Quantaray, etc.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Hadlock ( 143607 )

          If you're doing fixed height/lighting camera photography, you might as well just buy a cheapo screw mount macro lens + screw mount adapter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jonbryce ( 703250 )

        Barrel distortion can be easily fixed in photoshop, and once you get the right settings for your first pic, you can batch process the rest of them.

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:27PM (#29559251) Homepage Journal

      Also, avoid being seen by the bookstore clerks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't have to be glass. Target stores have these nice plexiglass photo boxes. An advantage of them over glass is that the edge of the box helps hold the opposing page up.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

      I think such a device is called a "scanner" :P

    • If money isn't an issue and you can rip the book apart, the scansnap series of scanner is nice and fast. Just drop in 50 sheets at a time, and, depending on the settings, a 500 page book will be scanned in under 20 minutes. Pages stay flat, and you'll have an automatic PDF too - no conversion necessary except probably for small devices (iPhone).

      I tend to think photographing pages is slow, require either an expensive set-up, or you just get half-assed results that will drive you nuts when you actually sit

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:16PM (#29559157) Journal

    At version 0.9.6, perhaps Scan Tailor is 96% of what you want and it's F/OSS. If you *politely* contact the author(s) and lay out your concerns perhaps you can get what you need AND help make a project better. Worth a try.

    • From the screens on the site it looks like the author does not value Windows very much (the screens are done on Linux).

      If you want him to do development for the Windows platform, then you will have to ask nicely with some motivational argument (ask him how much he wants for making it work on the Windows platform, pay half in advance).

      • The home page says there is both a Windows and Linux version. Just because the screenshots are Linux doesn't mean the author doesn't value Windows; they have to have been made on one platform or the other, whoever made them happens to have done them in Linux.

        If the Windows version was broken for some reason it still might be possible to build the Linux version under Cygwin.

        • QT3 (Score:3, Informative)

          by gd2shoe ( 747932 )
          No need. At a quick glance, Scan Tailor is programmed in QT3 (a superset of C++, used by KDE). This is a multi-platform environment, making it very easy to fix something on all supported platforms at once. If unskew doesn't work well, then that should be addressed in both versions. Fixing the Linux version will fix the Windows version too (unless he's relying on platform specific libraries in addition to QT).
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Or just check the Pirate Bay^H^H^H^H Mininova for a .pdf version and save yourself some hassle.

      Seriously, if fair use allows format shifting, does that mean you are required to do the shift yourself?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are perfectly good machines that will do this for you.

    They have suction systems to turn the pages of the book, and hold the book partially open so that the pages are more or less flat. There's one camera for each page, and the software that comes with the system deals with the curving, and obviously gets the lighting right to avoid shadowing etc.

    OK, so maybe these machines aren't exactly cheap ... ... but at least one publisher is using them to photograph books (ones that are out of copyright, obvious

    • software that comes with the system deals with the curving

      This is what the OP is asking about. Plenty of these systems ship with the combined hardware/software pack and cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

      It sounds like the OP has taken a few shots of a handy book maybe at a friends house or whatever and would like to just 'sort' them out before finally archiving them on to his system. Kind of like how some people like to tag all the MP3s before 'committing' them to their system. Free,

  • ahhh - book scanning (Score:4, Informative)

    by ZERO1ZERO ( 948669 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:22PM (#29559205)
    As with most scanning and other things, you can save your self immense amounts of hassle time and money later, by spending a fraction of that time up front sorting out the 'input'. A bit of glass over the book, using a scanner, or even getting a friend to hold a book will mean that your source image will be much better to start with.

    Not everyone has 5-10mm thick peices of book sized glass lying around and it can be hard to take that sort of thing about the place in case of requiring to photo a book.

    There is software called Book restorer that does this removes curves 'geometrical correction' etc but it's pricy.

    i've tried un paper and it's pretty decent for what it does but it does have some limitations and it's not the most convenient to use.

    Deskewing, cropping, filling, etc etc are all easily done and I've even written imagemagick batch scripts in windows to do these things. The major trick is the curve removal.

    There's various ways you can determine the curve from a scanned image. If you have the edge of the page, you can calculate the movement required to straighten that, and then apply it to the whole image. You can use text based curve removal, similar to well known deskew algorithms for text, but takes into account different parts of the text may be 'more' skewed. i.e. rather than a rotational deskew a 'sliced' deskew. This needs to be done from the top to the middle and the bottom to the middle.

    If you have a good 'shape' of the page, and know the true size of the page, you can use a kind of morph operator to morph the corners back to th eright position and hope the image follows.

    Using a Greyscale/colour source will work better than a black and white source image in general.

    the other option is if the scanned / photoed page is actually of reasonaly good quality but if just a bit squint, then OCR it to a PDF and generate a new document using the OCR text, which will be pin sharp accurate, compress a lot better and be easier to use, although may not be ideal if there are too many errors.

    • A 6mm 12"x9.5" piece of regular (not anti-glare) glass costs less than $10 to get cut. However, I haven't figured out a good way yet to use the glass without damaging the book's spine (while also operating the entire contraption quickly). That's why I want to use "heavy" image manipulation myself.

  • I borrowed a simple 5 Mega Pixel camera from a friend 3 years ago and it had a built-in flat picture taking mode. It was one of the common brands probably a cybershot (though not really sure).
    • That's a Nikon CoolPix 5200. p38 in the manual.
      "Scene Mode" "Copy"

      "Copy provides clear pictures of text or drawings on a white
      board or in printed matter such as a business card."

      "Colored text and drawings may not show up well in the final picture"

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:29PM (#29559267)

    I remember reading about Google's technique of converting books to e-books

    My suggestion is that you look at some of the Google books that are on-line. I have, and they show the problems that you mention and more, curved pages, dark areas, and even text that is distorted and harder to read than most captchas. Whatever you have read (and yea, I remember reading it too), it doesn't seem to actually be viable in practice. Sure, photographs are easier than scanning, particularly if you do it fast and cheap, but the result is poorer. If you can scan the book without damaging them I suggest you go back and do that.

  • Cut the spine off and run the pages through a scanner's page feeder... OCR if desired, then enjoy...

    I'm surprised that Google doesn't do this, it would be SO much faster than scanning each page one at a time.

    Another option, see if Amazon sells the book in digital format. Sometimes a few bucks saves a world of headache.

    Now if these are expensive textbooks or reference books, or don't belong to you, the above may not apply, just my first thought on the subject.

    • by s4m7 ( 519684 )

      I'm surprised that Google doesn't do this, it would be SO much faster than scanning each page one at a time.

      Except that they use high-quality book scanners that can go through a hundred pages in a few seconds flat, and it would cost a fortune for them to do it this way, and no libraries would let them touch any archival materials which is half the point.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Cut the spine off and run the pages through a scanner's page feeder... OCR if desired, then enjoy...

      I'm surprised that Google doesn't do this, it would be SO much faster than scanning each page one at a time.

      Yeah, I don't see why they don't just slice the spine off that one-of-a-kind 16th century book so they can scan it in. That's such an easier way to do it. And I have NO idea why a library would have an issue with that.

      Are people around here really this dumb?
    • Cut the spine off and run the pages through a scanner's page feeder... OCR if desired, then enjoy... I'm surprised that Google doesn't do this, it would be SO much faster than scanning each page one at a time.

      You just described a major plot point in Vernor Vinge's book "Rainbows End" except that instead of cutting off the spine they actually used paper shredders to cut up the books and then used computers to put the books back together. It was incredibly fast (no need to cut spines and feed pages, just sh

  • by AwaxSlashdot ( 600672 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:45PM (#29559387) Homepage Journal
    Digital cameras from Casio (Exilim serie) have a dedicated to take picture of sheets of paper, whiteboards and visit cards. It detects the content boundaries, crops and unskew it. You could also save time (and money since time = money) by looking for and buying the electronic version of the book you want to read.
  • by s4m7 ( 519684 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:46PM (#29559391) Homepage
    If you have ~$300 to drop on the project, Make has plans for a nice book scanner: [] It seems to hold the pages at an angle so there's little-to-no distortion on the page.
  • Take a look at for a complete system. Note that software dewarping is quite a hard problem, but it is part of decapod.

  • You could consider Prizmodo []. It includes OCR should you desire for $40.
  • Hugin could help (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Graemee ( 524726 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @04:54PM (#29559455) [] Here's a tutorial to stitch scans together the slight curve of the page is minimized where the scan joins. Might be what you are looking for.
    • Hugins certainly can do what's required. But OTOH, it can be painfully slow, so beware. A few seconds of attention when taking the pictures can save hours of struggle with any software later in the post-processing.
    • The link was very interesting, but gave no clue as to how you take the perfect image of a book with a crease down the middle (which is the original starting point of the question), and then get an image with no crease. They demonstrated a result with no crease, that was very convincing - but I didn't see just how they got rid of it. Simple cropping of each side?

      • by theCoder ( 23772 )

        I don't think there was a crease in that set of images. It appeared like it because the left edge of the right image was near the edge of the scanner, and didn't get a lot of data (maybe? I'm not really sure about that). I think this tutorial is more about how to combine two scanned images that are each part of the full image. Notice how control points were dropped that indicate that the images share an overlap. They aren't two separate pages, just a left and right portion of the same page/image.

        As to t

        • by Wodin ( 33658 )

          See also this LWN article: []

          He shows how he straightened a picture he took and also mentions the SIFT algorithm which is disabled by default because of software patents. He says:

          Your editor, being a daring sort of person, decided that he wanted to find out just what sort of functionality is being denied to hugin users by the oppressive US software patent regime. As it happens, Fedora users can get around patent-based repression by installing the autopano-sift-C package from the rpmfusion repository and tweaking the program preferences to use the real autopano tool. The difference is striking: with autopano-sift-C installed, the program proceeds immediately from image selection to a preview window; the whole "control points" and "optimization" process just sort of goes away. This package does a great job of finding control points, at least on your editor's sample image set.

  • Here you go (Score:2, Funny)

    by arndawg ( 1468629 )
    This might be what you're after []
    You're welcome.
  • Does that include the time needed to now fix the artefacts that scanning doesn't get you?

    If you have a scanner, then why don't you just use that? And if you do not have a scanner, why even bother with the speed comparison and not settle for "I don't have a scanner"?

    There's a reason that scanning takes time compared to just pointing a camera at a book and snapping a picture. You've now found one of those reasons. Congratulations.

    Now you just have to find out if the up front time savings are greater than the

    • It is, but you need a (possibly home made) reproduction stand, uniform lightening (not necessarily colour corrected, if you intend to go grayscale only in the end, can be home made too) and a V shaped holder for the book. Be sure your CCD plan is mostly parallel to your page plan.
  • I want I want (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ethicalBob ( 1023525 )
    I want a solution to my problem that lets me be incredibly lazy, so I don't have to scan the books in (which i know will work VERY well if I just take the time to do it)...

    I want software that will do it. For free.

    Can I do it without a camera, too?

    Actually I'd like it if there were some way I could get paid for using the software.

    Can i just put my iPhone/PDA on the book and have it all sucked in via osmosis?

    and then have the book read back to me w/ Morgan Freeman as the narrator?

    Is there
    • Re:I want I want (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LihTox ( 754597 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:11PM (#29561273)

      It never hurts to ask; if there were an easy magic software solution to do X, wouldn't you rather find out about it now, instead of after doing X?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Odinlake ( 1057938 )
      This guy didn't ask for 'magic' but for software to perform a conceptually simple task. He got two or three concrete examples above. There are nuttier posts on /. you can go and make fun of.
    • I know I'm probably getting modded Troll for this one; but there isn't always always an easy (magic!) software solution for every little thing. Sometimes you still have to put the work in if you want quality.

      Good thing we haven't had any enlightened lazy people in the past who actually solved problems similar to this. If they had, we'd be able to keep things cool without having to constantly refill our iceboxes, calculate things without having to do them by hand or mentally, or even have a machine write t

  • I went out and got one of the Planon Pen Scanners. Depending on what you want, they can go all the way to 600 dpi in color. Check out their web site. You can also get bargains on refurbished earlier models if you only need B&W and up to 200 dpi. []
    • Yes. Forgot about these. They are pretty neat for just getting a couple of pages out a book. Scan quality is pretty good aswell
  • Not as fun as figuring out some massive kluge to do the job, but if it's a book that you can easily find used copies of just cut the binding off or remove the pages with a razor blade, and photograph them flat.
    Some of the ebook-torrent scans use that method. It destroys the book but makes for cleanly readable scans.

  • I would think you could correct for many of these issues by laying down several inches of foam, putting the book in place, and then pressing it down with a sheet of glass. Maybe with one more piece of foam to prop up the short side when you are at the beginning or end of the book. You know, kind of like what a scanner does...

    Of course, you'll still have to deal with lens effects like trapezoidal issues, or skew, but these I imagine are much easier to deal with than curl.

    Personally, I've switched to mostly
  • Load your raster files into OpenGL, apply them as a surface, then warp the surface until it appears flat to you. This is nothing more than what Google is doing automatically with lasers.
  • I'm sorry but this question is just ridiculous, or if not actually ridiculous then wasteful.

    Let me see if I understand this correctly: The author has photographed a selection of pages from a book that he wants to have available to read at his leisure. He doesn't want to carry the book around because it's too heavy, so what he wants to do, because the photographs aren't as pretty as scanned copies but scanned copies have artifacts of the scanning process, is to develop a home rig to scan the pages he's in

    • by o'reor ( 581921 )
      Let me rephrase this in caveman terms:

      Caveman Gaor hears fellow caveman Ourgah has piled buffalo meat on few branches tied together.

      Ourgah asks if there be some invention he calls "weal" to fix under his brancard and carry meat around with no effort.

      Gaor says problem solved long time ago: just pick a big piece of leather, wrap the meat in it, carry it around on your shoulder. Problem solved. Anything else, waste of time.

      There be worse fates than carrying heavy bag on your shoulders.

      Did I miss somethin

  • A bit expensive, but an accurate pdf (jpg, etc.) to text OCR. Urban legend has it, this is old Russian software developed by the KGB, and back in the Yeltsin era there was a free loss-leader demo making the rounds for Macintosh. I doubt that's still available, but even at $400 a pop, ABBYY FineReader is pretty good stuff, IMHO.
  • So you took pictures of a book instead of scanning and now you want software to flatten the images like a scanner would? /facepalm
  • Visit freecycle/freegle and arrange a free scanner instead of using the wrong software to fix problems caused by using the wrong hardware. Seriously. You'll be glad you did. In fact, I have a redundant scanner here, which I'll gladly mail to you at no more than shipping costs.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.