Recommended – Evernote Scannable

Just a quick app recommendation today. Scanning documents to get them into digital form can be a pain. Not everyone has a scanner at home and they can take time to use.

Scannable by Evernote is a free app for iOS devices that uses your camera to scan documents. In the past this has resulted in fairly low quality scanning, but with the high quality cameras in iOS devices these days, coupled with more powerful processing of the image you can get incredibly clear scans in a flash. Oh and you don’t need to have an Evernote account to use it as it can scan to Camera Roll or email as well.

Capturing a document

Simply fire up the app and point it at the document you want to scan. Having the paper on a contrasting background helps. No need to take a photo or press any buttons. It grabs the image itself when ready.

As if that wasn’t enough magic, the app will now clean up the image. It removes skew, creases, folds etc. It really is amazing.

Once scanning is done just tap the tick icon and you can send the file wherever it needs to go. I personally do use Evernote so most of mine go there, but you can just as easily attach it to an email and send it.

Being at a meeting and being able to whip out your phone, quickly digitize a document and email it to one of the attendees right in front of them never fails to impress people.

Scannable Document on 11 Nov 2015, 17_06_26
The resulting scan

It has other features such as automatically recognising business cards and pulling the relevant contact details from them to easily add a contact.

If you have any interest in reducing the amount of paper in your life this free app is an absolute must. Get it now, have a quick nosey at their Getting Started guide and get stuck in.

My method for Windows system imaging

In our school we use FOG as our imaging system as I have mentioned before.

I like to keep a default image with an up to date installation of Windows 7 Pro, Office 2010 and other essential tools and utilities on it. Most of our smaller bits of software we push out to the machines using Group Policy.

The method I have found that works the best for us is to use VirtualBox to make a virtual machine with Windows 7 installed. The key to making this work with imaging systems is using Sysprep to strip out key machine information from the image so that it can be deployed on many makes and models of PC.Continue reading “My method for Windows system imaging”

Big week for geeks

It is set to be an exciting week for geeks. Tomorrow sees Apple holding their annual iPhone launch event and the Raspberry Pi foundation just launched their official 7 inch touch display for the Raspberry Pi.

Apple event

It is expected they will release a new iPhone, most likely a 6S, and the main new feature may be the new Force Touch technology first seen in the Apple Watch and the new trackpads on the Macbook and updated Macbook Pro. I am due an upgrade so I will be watching this one with special interest and credit card on hand.Continue reading “Big week for geeks”

iOS 9 – Features of note for education

So Apple’s iOS 9 operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPods is currently in open Public Beta and will be released to the general public en masse probably around mid September.

iOS 7 was a major visual change, iOS 8 had lots of work done behind the scenes and added new functionality with extensions and gave developers more options to let apps talk to each other.

iOS 9 is largely a polishing of iOS 8 with some welcome speed improvements for older devices and a few new features that the education crowd will appreciate. Here are a few which caught my attention.Continue reading “iOS 9 – Features of note for education”

Open source PC imaging with FOG

If you manage a large number of Windows PCs you will want a way to set them up as quickly and painlessly as possible.

There are many system imaging solutions out there (such as Symantec Ghost, Altiris etc) but these tend to be expensive. Working in education you learn quickly to find cheap or free solutions or even make one yourself. Imaging software can be complex, especially dealing with boot sectors and partition maps so I think I will leave that one with the experts!Continue reading “Open source PC imaging with FOG”

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