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Old 08-30-2006, 08:00 PM
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old manual scanning?

I have just received a 1949 Oldsmobile shop manual that is in nearly mint condition. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to go about scanning it? I don't want to break the back by flattening it in my flatbed scanner. What kind of setup with a camera or what kind of scanner do I need?

(BTW, the first page says the price was "One Dollar and Fifty Cents").

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Old 08-30-2006, 08:13 PM
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a long time ago, b4 flatbed scanners there were handheld scanners that you drug across a page and could scan up to 8" wide I think. my dad had 1. they may still make them, havn't seen 1 in years
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:41 PM
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Keith Hardy, who works on an ship doing under water topog, does a lot of the scanning of old manuals for the OLD ONLINE CHEVY MANUALS site. He is a member here and his handle is khardy . PM him and see if he has any tips. He works offshore for extended periods so he may take a while to get back to you.

Here is a post by him:

More Online Manuals

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Last edited by home brew; 08-30-2006 at 11:44 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
a long time ago, b4 flatbed scanners there were handheld scanners that you drug across a page and could scan up to 8" wide I think. my dad had 1. they may still make them, havn't seen 1 in years
That reminded me that I have one of those in a junk box. I dragged it out, but it's only 4" wide and uses some non-standard, proprietary interface.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by home brew
Keith Hardy, who works on an ship doing under water topog, does a lot of the scanning of old manuals for the OLD ONLINE CHEVY MANUALS site. He is a member here and his handle is khardy . PM him and see if he has any tips. He works offshore for extended periods so he may take a while to get back to you.

Here is a post by him:

More Online Manuals
Thanks, home brew. chevy.tocmp.com saved me a lot of aggravation with windows and such, by having The Fisher Body manual for 1949 online.

I'm hoping to find a way to get high resolution scans without damaging the book. If I rig up a holder and frame for my camera, I can take a photo of each page, but that only gets me about 180 dpi (2048/11 and 1536/8.5). 600 dpi would be about right.

There are dedicated book scanners available at $20,000+. Maybe a couple of the monkeyboys would be willing to give up 1 of their "petrosexual" cross-country parties in order to donate such a scanner to some worthy charity, like for instance, hotrodders.com, for the purpose of scanning in old books related to cars.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:15 AM
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What do y'all think about unbinding the manual for scanning the pages? Would there be a mob of p-o'ed old car buffs burning effigies in my yard if I cut the binding on a 57 year old factory shop manual?

I've learned, since my opening post, that this is not good enough for "near mint" condition. It sure is in lots better condition than any other shop manual I own.

Some photos of the manual are attached. Note the color diagram for fourth gear in the Hydramatic.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:07 AM
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Try and find a good digital camera that has a picture page setting.

I have a Kodak EasyShare DX7630 6.1 Mega Pixels and it can take very sharpe pictures of paper material.

I have used it to digitize actual paper photographs.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:45 AM
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If it's not good enough to be mint, then what I would do is go ahead and break the binding (carefully) and get the book re-bound after scanning it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58Chev
Try and find a good digital camera that has a picture page setting.

I have a Kodak EasyShare DX7630 6.1 Mega Pixels and it can take very sharpe pictures of paper material.

I have used it to digitize actual paper photographs.
Nice camera, but even at its largest image size of 2856 x 2142 a photo of an 8.5"x11" page yields a resolution of 252x259 dots per inch. That's considerably better than the 180x186 dpi that my Casio can do, but still less than half what I'm after.

Project Gutenberg does a lot of book scanning and they recommend 600x600 to make OCR easier. I'm not trying to do OCR, but if I'm going to scan over 400 pages, I'd like to make sure the scans are good enough for someone else to convert to text.

So far as I've been able to find out, GM didn't renew the copyright on this book so it should now be in the public domain. That means it can be posted online for anyone to use. I'll make sure it gets to Keith Hardy, too.

I was able to remove the glued cover by just sliding my pocket knife blade gently along the glue line. The bulk of the book is held together by 3 big staples. I haven't screwed up the courage to take those out yet. I'm going to rearrange things so my scanner can be right beside me. Xsane ( http://www.xsane.org ) will be set up to auto-name the images and maintain a consistent crop, brightness, etc., so all I'll have to do is change the page and click.
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Caprice
If it's not good enough to be mint, then what I would do is go ahead and break the binding (carefully) and get the book re-bound after scanning it.
That's just what I'm going to do. It eases my mind to know I'm not the only one to come to that conclusion. Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:42 PM
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I've seen people advertising manuals that they have made available on CD. Not sure if yours was one of them. Nice that you are going to put yours in the public domain.

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Old 09-01-2006, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by home brew
I've seen people advertising manuals that they have made available on CD. Not sure if yours was one of them. Nice that you are going to put yours in the public domain.
I've seen those CDs, too, and the advertisers waved big red capes at me: "Windows only" and "patented user interface".

There is absolutely nothing about the data that requires the use of one operating system or another and I really hate it when vendors are so dumb as to think MS is the only system in the world. I use GNU/Linux and have friends who use Macs. The only reason for that "Windows only" tag is stupidity. It's like trying to sell a tire gauge "for Packards only".

Software patents are another sore point; all they do is put fences and toll booths around math. It's not like patenting something you can drop on your foot. The fact that Amazon can patent clicking on a web page to read a cookie shows how far removed from reality our patent system is. Compare that to the patents on the Bosch fuel injection, for example.

That's why I went looking for a paper manual. So far, I haven't found any records showing that GM renewed the copyright when it expired in 1978. If they didn't, it means the manual is now in public domain and I can post it online as I scan it. That will make sure that anyone who can access the images, regardless of what software they use for that access, can have and use this information. Once uploaded in a standard image format, it's pretty well guaranteed to be permanently available.

[edited to add:]
BTW, would you happen to know who to contact at GM to ask about expired or renewed copyrights on shop manuals? If I could get their answer, it would be a lot more certain than digging around the mess of U.S. Copyright office records.

Last edited by grouch; 09-01-2006 at 08:49 AM. Reason: to add a question
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:05 AM
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Hi Grouch,
Man, that's going to be a monumental task using a flat-bed single-page scanner. Each page will be a seperate file, and at 600 dpi ... the file sizes are going to be huge ... taking up a ton of disk space.

I have an HP Officejet 5610 (printer, copier, fax, scanner) that has an ADF -- automated document feeder. The ADF has a capacity of about 30 pages.

I also use a program called "Paper-Port" for use in scanning/saving files.

As the pages go through the ADF, they "stack" up on the Paperport desktop. All 30 pages would be in one stack, and I believe that several stacks could be combined. I would think that using the books "sections" would be the logical approach.

After the scanning is complete, it could then be "printed" to an Adobe .PDF file ... which is a format that could be used to share this document on a cross-platform basis (Windows / Mac) Of course this requires Adobe Acrobat Pro ... which I also happen to have.

If this is something that you really want to do, and are willing to spend some money and time on, PM me ... I have a few othere ideas.
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Old 09-01-2006, 11:03 AM
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Have you tried getting a hold of Keith Hardy. He said in his post (August 8) on this site that he was going to be around for the next six weeks to two months.

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Old 09-01-2006, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
Hi Grouch,
Man, that's going to be a monumental task using a flat-bed single-page scanner. Each page will be a seperate file, and at 600 dpi ... the file sizes are going to be huge ... taking up a ton of disk space.

I have an HP Officejet 5610 (printer, copier, fax, scanner) that has an ADF -- automated document feeder. The ADF has a capacity of about 30 pages.

I also use a program called "Paper-Port" for use in scanning/saving files.

As the pages go through the ADF, they "stack" up on the Paperport desktop. All 30 pages would be in one stack, and I believe that several stacks could be combined. I would think that using the books "sections" would be the logical approach.

After the scanning is complete, it could then be "printed" to an Adobe .PDF file ... which is a format that could be used to share this document on a cross-platform basis (Windows / Mac) Of course this requires Adobe Acrobat Pro ... which I also happen to have.

If this is something that you really want to do, and are willing to spend some money and time on, PM me ... I have a few othere ideas.
Thanks, 66GMC.

I'll be using Xsane for the scanning and it will simply auto-increment the file names. It will only be about 440 files, including the covers.

I will save in the lossless png format. Since PDF is an ISO standard, it would be a decent format for preserving the pages as they are, but an image file offers more flexibility in editing. (I used Gimp to colorize a scan of a black and white wiring diagram for a tractor and the print-out was a big help in the garage). PDFs can be made from the PNG images, if anyone wants to do so.

The file sizes are not really a worry. I have 100G or so of space spread over several computers. PNG compresses quite well, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by home brew
Have you tried getting a hold of Keith Hardy. He said in his post (August 8) on this site that he was going to be around for the next six weeks to two months.
Not yet, but then I haven't even pulled the staples from the book. I have to move my scanner to a nice, lazy position for all that page flipping. Once I have them scanned and uploaded to my website, I'll email him so they can be copied from one webserver to another. That will be a lot faster than trying to upload them from my home computers to his webserver. (I'm willing to let uploads and downloads run for however long they take, but no need to maintain a connection to his server for a week or so at my dialup speed).

Once I start scanning, I'll create a directory on my website for the manual and just rsync each time I have some images done. It won't be like the guy who held some maps for 'ransom' --

Quote:
Ransom payments set maps free

BY Aliya Sternstein

A person in Marlboro, Vt., has raised enough money to centralize all official government topographic maps online for free public downloading from the Internet.

[...]

Q: Are the maps in any danger?

A: The maps are comfortable. I have them tied up and blindfolded, but they are fed regularly and given several bathroom breaks a day. I have no intention of harming the maps. Just meet the ransom, and no maps get hurt.
http://www.fcw.com/article95833-08-29-06-Web
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