Scan a Bed Time Story for Me, Daddy

This is up there among the lamest products of the year: a scanner that will convert a book to speech. Well actually, it sounds quite good. I’d imagined a device that could flip the pages over while you sit back nursing a Scotch. When everything’s done the scanner converts the text to “high quality speech …

Continue reading ‘Scan a Bed Time Story for Me, Daddy’ »

An Answer to Our Scanning Prayers?

  I’m always amazed at how weak the market for scanners is. The devices aren’t always that good, and the software that accompanies them is generally speaking pretty awful. Those that were once good, like PaperMaster, are now dead. So it’s good to hear that NeatReceipts, once interested mainly in, well, scanning receipts, is now …

Continue reading ‘An Answer to Our Scanning Prayers?’ »

A Beginner’s Guide to Scanning

(This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, written mostly for newcomers to personal technology, and syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. Editors interested in carrying the service please feel free to email me.) A lot of folk ask me whether they should buy a scanner: those things that take bits …

Continue reading ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Scanning’ »

Seeing Your Files in Three Dimension

This kind of thing has got to be the future of files and folders so long as we have files and folders: the Innolab 3D File Manager from Adam Miezianko, Kristopher Rambish, Karen Fung, Zavnura Pingkan at Boston University. (Thanks, visualcomplexity.com) This design is like a ferris wheel which organises contents by their relationships rather than …

Continue reading ‘Seeing Your Files in Three Dimension’ »

The PaperPort View

Further to my column in this week’s WSJ.com/AWSJ on PaperPort Pro and PaperMaster Pro, here are some e-mailed answers from Bob Anderson (ScanSoft Regional Director Asia Pacific and Japan) in response to my questions about PaperPort Pro: 1) What are the improvements in version 10 (PaperPort Professional 10) over previous versions? A) Faster and easier folder …

Continue reading ‘The PaperPort View’ »

Inke The Inkjet Refiller Goes After The Big Boys

My favourite inkjet refill machine, the Singaporean-made Inke, is going for the big time. A release from the company says that Inke islaunching versions compatible with 305 different kinds of printers and 12 brands including HP, Lexmark, Samsung, Kodak, Compaq, Sharp, Sony, NewGen Sys, Apple, Pitney Bowes and Apollo. They are as follows: INKE LX-70 to …

Continue reading ‘Inke The Inkjet Refiller Goes After The Big Boys’ »

Voice Commands, Singapore Style

Here’s more on voice recognition replacing touch-tone menus. Is it a good thing? ScanSoft have teamed up today with Unified Communications –  ’the leading provider of proprietary telecommunication solutions in Asia’ — to launch OneVoice, a ‘voice portal application’ for Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel). OneVoice is a speech-activated service that uses ScanSoft’s SpeechWorks speech recognition and …

Continue reading ‘Voice Commands, Singapore Style’ »

View: Why Are Printers So Tricky?

 I’ve written before about how printer manufacturers gouge us by selling us cheap printers but expensive cartridges. But either I’m missing something or these guys won’t stop at anything to make a bit more cash: I noticed for the first time yesterday that, with my HP DeskJet 640c, if I change the settings to print …

Continue reading ‘View: Why Are Printers So Tricky?’ »

News: IBM Pursues The Fold Out Computer

 I’ve always thought this would be the way forward: fold out computers. Now IBM are onto it, according to ZDNet.   One of their more promising designs, ZDNet says, uses a dual screen, connected by a single hinge, which provides a total display area closer to that used on desktop PCs when the device is …

Continue reading ‘News: IBM Pursues The Fold Out Computer’ »