My First Book Scan: Programming Windows & Extending DOS

I scan magazines because I’m a prole that reads pulpy trash instead of proper literature, but @voltagex wanted a digital copy of some old PC books, so bought used copies of them from the USA and had them shipped directly to me to scan.

What arrived in my mailbox a few weeks later were well used copies of:

Scanning books is a little different to magazines, with the first challenge being that the books didn’t fit in my paper cutter!

It was an easy fix though. Just had to bend the book in half and run a sharp knife down the middle. This split it into two bits that easily fit in the paper cutter.

I also got to try out Scan Tailor Advanced for the first time. Designed primarily for non-destructive scanning (with camera contraptions like this), I used it do bulk operations like de-skewing, cropping and centering.

Unlike the magazines, I didn’t output these at 24-bit colour. The entire books are black and white text, with grayscale diagrams. So instead of wasting all that storage for colour that isn’t there, I saved them as grayscale TIFFs instead.

Because these are books, I was also able to add the ISBN to the metadata, that imported a bunch of other metadata like the publisher, topics and the publication date. Pretty cool!

Big thanks to @voltagex for sending these across – he gets a digital copy and the rest of the world gets one too!

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