Homebrew, $300 book-scanner

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20 Responses to “Homebrew, $300 book-scanner”

  1. Piers W says:

    Google’s scanners don’t turn the pages either:

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/12/06/google-books-adds-hand-scans/

  2. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    ^Yes!

  3. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    If Dan Reetz didn’t exist, it would be necessary for Cory Doctorow to invent him.
    —Author Robin Sloan, The Future of the Book: Bringing Book Scanning Home, October 12, 2009

  4. aelfscine says:

    That does not look like a thing that scans books. That looks like a thing you strap a man to, and come back to find a pile of blood and viscera.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      That does not look like a thing that scans books. That looks like a thing you strap a man to, and come back to find a pile of blood and viscera.

      My first thought was, “Get away from her, you bitch!!!”

  5. Clif Marsiglio says:

    “I do tend to agree that the major motivation, if not accomplishment, seems to have been to pirate textbooks, rather than to build a cheap book scanner.”

    You know the interesting thing is I try to get eBook rips of all my texts — but I pay for all of them. Why? Because the authors of these works deserve to get paid for them (I wrote / edited a chapter years ago in one text…sadly, it was a ‘future horizons on…’ chapter and my work was removed / revised from subsequent versions). Does it pay a lot? No…the publishers get the bulk of the $$$, but I knew the score going in…authors deserve to get paid for their works regardless.

    Honestly, I would GLADLY build one of these devices if it meant I could get text into my computer rapidly…this semester, I have about 1500 pages of graduate level psychology texts to carry around, along with almost that much undergrad chemistry.

    Sadly, you are right — the vast majority of students are going to use this as just another way to screw the folks that write books like these and the publishers that strive to keep the texts current. If people would respect intellectual properties things like this would actually be more common place.

    I think I’m going to spend a few days over the holidays and see how hard one of these is to build…my Nook should be here and I want to get my books on it by next semester.

  6. Robert says:

    The motivation may have originally been to scan textbooks, but that’s not only what it’s used for. See here for uses by actual users: http://halfbakedmaker.org/2009/12/01/book-scanning/

  7. Anonymous says:

    So working 24/7 I could digitize my books in about 138 days. Sweet!

  8. Anonymous says:

    cool, but interesting enough the technical hurdle to overcome has been the ability to turn pages without damaging or skipping pages automatically, not the mechanistic scanning of said page.

  9. zaimond says:

    awesome. i would love to have all my college books digitized. maybe i should start working on this..

    thanks cory!

  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s a neat project, but I think we all need to ask ourselves something.
    If we don’t build anything in the US.
    And we have to ship in more natural resources than we export.
    And most of our economy is based off of IP.
    Where are we going to be as a country when writing a book makes you no money?

    Money doesn’t come out of nowhere. As a country, we have to decide where we make our money, then we need to make sure we safeguard it. (Yes, that means protecting it from the RIAA)

  11. hadlock says:

    I think the main idea here is that with a little bit of teamwork, you and your classmates can split the cost of one ridiculously overpriced college textbook 100 ways by giving each person a digital copy (PDF) of the book. Technically only one person can look at the PDF at a time of course but that’s outside the scope of this article ;) Make sure to tag the file with the ISBN number in the file name… thanks in advance.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The BookLiberator project is prototyping different models of scanners in this mold and developing custom software to bring open source book scanning and post processing to the masses. We’re doing what Daniel did, but making it turnkey. We’ll have kits available soon, as well as a design that you can build yourself with simple hand tools out of cheap parts from the hardware store.

    BookLiberator.com – doing for books what the cd ripper did for music

  13. Pope Ratzo says:

    Wait, you mean it doesn’t turn the pages? Pffft!

    Seriously, this is a nice bit of work.

  14. kattw says:

    I do tend to agree that the major motivation, if not accomplishment, seems to have been to pirate textbooks, rather than to build a cheap book scanner. And while I/we may disagree with textbook prices, that in and of itself doesn’t actually make it legal to copy the books. They don’t even have DRM or other big evils to complain about, just standard, well worked copyright law protecting them.

    That being said, it’d be cooler if it spewed fire. All build at home stuff should gush fire from SOMEWHERE.

  15. pidg says:

    Hint for students: go to your University library the moment you’re told what books you need, and get them free. Worked for me (and most students are lazy enough not to bother putting holds on books that aren’t there).

  16. Anonymous says:

    The bookscanner invention would be quite a help to booksellers who are often asked to scan the copyright page or a page containing “points” or errors that determine the value of a book.

  17. Hagarack says:

    Has anyone told the guys over at Project Gutenberg?

  18. grikdog says:

    Crirninal loehavior?

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