Saturday, October 27, 2012

Welcome to the machine


First impression of the machine

It was Friday evening 2 weeks after DHL delivery drama. The Reflecta DigitDia 5000 scanner was delivered to Ljubljana without further surprises and it was standing on the table besides my Mac in all the beauty; therefore Welcome to the machine from legendary Pink Floyd seems a proper greeting.

I installed the CyberView software, connected USB and power cables and powered it on. When switched on, the tray moves forward and backward and the changing arm moves in and out several times, obviously testing and calibrating the mechanics. But beware, this device is loud. Our Labrador dog, who does not especially like loud home appliances (besides cats and a small white neighbor’s dog, his biggest enemy is the vacuum cleaner) approached carefully, barked several times, decided it is safer to leave the beast alone and went away to the most distant corner of our apartment. Seconds later my wife and my daughter together declared: you are not going to use this thing here while I am at home! After some negotiation I was allowed to use it until Sunday evening, when the first consortium member (my name starts with M, which assigned me 5th position in the member’s queue) will start using it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

DHL delivery drama

A fair warning first, this post is a rant, if you are only interested in scanning, you may safely ignore it.

Yes, we have ordered our scanner at, or to be more precise, we tried to order it at I suppose everybody knows, that most of the goods sold on Amazon web sites are actually sold by other providers and Amazon is only a proxy. If you live in Germany and you are buying on, you are probably not interested in such details. But if you live in another country, a small country (like Slovenia) which does not deserve to have a local Amazon site, this is a very important fact. When an item is marked with “Verkauf und Versand durch”, like all the books, films and music are, you know, that it can be delivered to anywhere in Europe. But when it is sold by another company, you do not know if they will deliver it to your home address until the penultimate step of the ordering process.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dia scan consortium

The constitutional meeting

So here we are, five people (yes, not everybody came to the first meeting) with a common goal (to scan 1000's of our dia-slides) and many different ideas of how to do it.

Over two rounds of beer we agreed to constitute a dia-scan-consortium (if you came here by accident and don't quite follow what this is all about, please read introduction first) and on more precise definition of our future actions:
  • we will investigate the market for the best value for money scanner
  • we will share the costs of buying it
  • we will rotate the usage of the device
  • we will invite other friends to join 

Monday, October 15, 2012


Why am I writing this?

Earlier this year I have started to digitize my pictures archive. In other words I started to scan thousands of slides I have taken many years ago. I was not doing it alone; it was a common project with several friends with whom we were constantly sharing ideas, problems and solutions. While searching the net for answers during this work, I have never encountered a site or blog describing similar experience. Don’t get me wrong, all the information is there to find, but not the whole (from slides to organized digital archive) do it yourself process in one place.

I read many blogs, I even comment sometimes, but until now I was never writing one of my own. One day I suddenly felt the need to share with the world and this blog is the result. I will write about the experience we (me and my friends) collected when scanning the slides, about restoring of faded colors or scratched pictures, about hardware and software we used, about how to best organize digital picture's archive and marking the pictures with meta data, about the mistakes we have made and about all the fun we had (and still have) doing it.

If you enjoy reading this blog I am satisfied, if you are also scanning and it helped you with a good hint even better. If you agree or disagree with anything, or if you want to share your own experience, do not hesitate to comment!