Personal Scanning

Over the course of the last two years I have acquired three different scanners, all with different purposes.  For both personal and professional reasons, I decided that I needed all three.

 

I have a Canon flat bed scanner. This is an older scanner, identical to the one that I used when I worked for the DOD. It’s great for historic documents, especially odd sized ones from World War II.  I use it for anything that is fragile or could not be scanned through the feeder scanner. The computer application I use is basic, like the scanner, but it is works for certain things.  However, it is not good for books or things that are thick because of the way that the top flattens to the glass.

 

I have an HP feed scanner. This is great for copies of records or records that are newer and can be scanned. Receipts and personal tax records for instance are prefect for this type of scanner. When  working on my book, “Men Beyond the Stones” I used this scanner to digitize all the files that I received from the National Personnel Records Facility (NPRC). That way I could put the paper records away while still using the information I needed from the scans.

 

Realizing that I had documents that I couldn’t scan using either my flatbed or feed scanner, and moving forward with my digitization business, I decided I needed something more robust.  Also, I wanted to use some of the records that the local museum had in their archival collections. That meant that I couldn’t check the documents out, but I didn’t want to write at the library. I decided to purchase a larger scanner that has the capacity to scan books and larger items.

 

in the box

 

As a collector of military books as well as antique books, I immediately wanted to test this scanner’s capabilities.  I have a submarine book that I have been looking at for a while, trying to figure out the best way to preserve it while also using it as a reference. I decided this was the perfect place to test the scanner.  Something odd shaped, old, and somewhat brittle to preserve.

 

Sub Data

 

I set it up in the living room on the coffee table so I could watch tv with my daughter and scan. It worked perfectly, and I now have a full scanned copy of this book on my hard drive, waiting for me to use. As I am using this for my personal use, while still maintaining ownership of the original, I am not violating copyright law.

 

Scanning Sub.jpg

 

Not all scanning has to be important, or even immediately useful.  For example, I have used my feed scanner and my Canon scanner to scan recipes.  Were they old?  No.  Were they important?  Not specifically.  But was it convenient for me?  Absolutely.

 

Over the course of two years I acquired many food magazines, from my mother, my aunt, and personal subscriptions. I decided that I didn’t want the magazines just cluttering up my house and so I went through them and tore out all the recipes that I am interested in, or that my family would eat.

 

After I took them out of the magazine, I had a stack of papers. Scanned, saved, and put on my computer for future use.  Just like that!

 

If you are interested in having documents, images, or recipes scanned, please reach out to us via our contact page to see how we can best assist you.

 

Until next time, happy scanning!

Working from Home

Many people tell me “You’re so lucky to work from home.” Yes, I am lucky, but it is not all rainbows and unicorns, and if you are considering working from home, I recommend you really think about it before making that decision.

In my case, I can work primarily from my home, both in my freelance research as well as my scanning job. However, there are many times that I go out of the house to scan documents, or to meet with a client. That means packing up everything and making sure I don’t forget something.

 

 

I do worry about forgetting something so I check and double check to make sure I have all cords, cables, and anything else that I may need to help complete my project. The above image is from the first day that I went to work on a project at the library. More information about that project can be found here.  I took more then I needed, but did I know that? Of course I didn’t, because I would rather be over-prepared and not need something, as opposed to showing up under-prepared, and looking incapable to the client.

 

Outside of work related issues with working from home, you also have the personal issues to take into consideration. Picking up the middle schooler when she isn’t feeling well? Check. Picking up my brother’s kids or watching them in a pinch when both my brother and his wife are working? Check. Waking up early to go meet a plumber for my brother? Check.  People will often expect that “You don’t work” simply because your schedule such that you are home all day.

The flexibility is nice, but sometimes that also means when something happens, you need to drop your work and do it. If you’re someone who likes to have a set schedule, but also the flexibility of working from home one solution that some people implement is working from home while maintaining some form of space away from their house. Also, be sure to have a separate part of the house as a home office. You shut yourself in the office and your family knows this means you are working.  This also differentiates your work space from the space that you are relaxing at home in.  Do either of these things always work? No, especially when you have household responsibilities such as vacuuming or dogs to be let in and out.

 

For me it’s great, I wake up when I want to, depending on my schedule for the day, and I can sit on my couch with my cat while I type. This obviously doesn’t always work, but often it does. Other times it can be aggravating because I have deadlines, but other responsibilities require my attention.

 

The biggest issue I have is the work to home balance. When you work from home there is always some form of work you could be doing. I really set schedules and make sure that I have a good balance. This means that sometimes things don’t get done immediately, but it means more time with my family doing family things.

 

Fiscally you have to consider working from home versus working outside of the home. Some jobs transfer great from outside the home to inside, others do not. If choosing from going to an employer to freelance or working as an independent contractor there are many things to consider. Insurance premiums, tax payments, and social security are all things that should be considered before taking the plunge. Don’t forget, independent contractors don’t get taxes taken out of their checks so remember to make quarterly payments to the IRS or you risk owing money when you file your taxes. Additionally, insurance premiums can cost more as an independent contractor than it would through an employer.

 

Before taking the plunge and quitting your out of the home job for something at home, make sure that it is something you can do. Also, if you do decide to work from the home, set schedules and limits. Set money aside for taxes or insurance premiums, and make sure that you are protected.

 

If you think that Schellinger Research can assist you with a project, please reach out via our contact us page.

 

Until next time, Happy working!