Sunday, May 16, 2010

Staggering Down Memory Lane.

I'm digging through HUNDREDS of family photos - old, new and WTF is it and why did anyone take it? It's fun, and exhausting, and I've barely scratched the surface of organization. I bitched to Boy about this today, and he responded that I could do this again in 20 years. Screw that. I plan to feign senility and make the kids do it.

I finally got my scanner figured out - this is the one that is part of my cheap-ass Lexmark all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/coffeemaker/microwave that cost less than $100 at Wal-Mart 3 years ago, which should have clued me in that it probably wasn't top of the line. After much searching, I unearthed the manual, and actually read it. Yeah, that's why RTFM is a step of last resort for me. I usually figure it out on my own without bothering, and the documentation didn't address the issue I had - which was that my scanner somehow made up an abbreviated name for my computer and then insisted it couldn't see it. After much experimentation, I found the place where I could tell it another name and select that as the scanning destination. But nowhere does the manual address deleting bogus destinations that don't show up in the list. It still prefers the destination it came up with on its own. It doesn't remember the real destination between scans, but at least it will now see the target if I remind it. Every. Single. Time.

Scanning is slow and laborious, almost comically so - I have to tell the scanner with EVERY SCAN (this is a discontinued Lexmark product - I can't imagine why) what computer it's scanning to (it's only connected to ONE, but it can't find it on its own) and what program to use to scan, and so forth.

iPhoto is an application option, but iPhoto couldn't open the image when I scanned it to "iPhoto," and responded with a sort of WTF?? error message. So I have to save it as a TIF file and then manipulate it in iPhoto and save it again. So it goes like this: Place photo on scanner. Remind scanner about its destination. Wait while it figures out what application it will use, and agree, and then hit the scan button. Find it in the Documents folder (yes, I did tell it it is a photo) and pull it into iPhoto, where the rest is easy. By the time I place a new photo on the scanner, it has forgotten everything it did before, and we start all over.

It's so bad it's funny, so I'm focusing on the old photos that are starting to fade first. Sorting the more current stuff has become a small hell - I have settled for labeled boxes, and sorting by the featured person, or place if there's no primary person, or pets, or whatever. It's better than the chaos I found. Ack! As it turns out, of the six big folders on the top shelf of the closet, only two and a box were envelopes of photos - others were random tax docs from the mid-80s, and professional manuals from a company my husband left in....1994? Yeah. Trash time! But there's a big heavy box of slides, and a steel box of old movies, and I would love to have all that transferred to digital. Of course, I also need to spend money on home repairs and travel to scout next city, so that is not a high priority. If I have to move those boxes yet again, so be it. At least I've cut the load by 2/3.

Sigh. I was going to post some wonderful vintage photos and the first one I tried wouldn't load. Yay, Cheap Scanner!


Linda said...

I think we have the same scanner. Really puts a damper on your priject enthusiasm, doesn't it?

Catherine said...

After much pain and suffering, I have eliminated ONE step - if I save it as a GIF right away, it eliminates the confusion on Blogger's end. But yeah, it makes me really choosy about scanning photos.