SnoopyFuzzy200.jpgI have two dogs, mini­ature Daschunds. They’re about 6 inches tall at the shoulder and about 14 inches longs. Wein­er dogs. Dox­ies. I now have a scan­ner, and it’s a Dox­ie too! It’s about 2 inches tall, and about 10 inches long. Appro­pri­ately named. But the name doesn’t do justice to the scan­ner itself. The Dox­ie is one cool and power­ful little scan­ner in a very tiny pack­age. Because it’s got such a small form factor, the Dox­ie is highly port­able — No extern­al power sup­ply. If you’re a road war­ri­or you’ll appre­ci­ate that you’re only pack­ing the scan­ner and the USB cable, and not anoth­er power brick.


As with many devices these days, the real soph­ist­ic­a­tion is in the soft­ware run­ning on the com­puter; from most cas­u­al user’s per­spect­ives, there appears to be little dif­fer­ence in the hard­ware actu­ally cap­tur­ing the image. Rather, it’s the usab­il­ity and func­tion­al­ity of the soft­ware that’s import­ant. The folks at Appar­ent Corp. (the makers of the Dox­ie) have really worked hard to inject some ‘spir­it’ into the Dox­ie scan­ning software.


You’ll first encounter this spir­it when you real­ize that there’s no driver disc or install­a­tion soft­ware in the box. Rather, you point your browser at and down­load the appro­pri­ate install­a­tion soft­ware (Mac or Win­dows). Always the most recent ver­sion, rather than one that could have been burned to the CD and packed with the unit when it was man­u­fac­tured a few months ago. A very smart move.

After run­ning the install soft­ware and per­form­ing a simple cal­ib­ra­tion routine with the included cal­ib­ra­tion sheets, you’re ready to scan doc­u­ments or images. The Dox­ie will scan in most pop­u­lar res­ol­u­tions and doc­u­ment sizes (up to 8.5” width).
But scan­ning is only part of the equa­tion. It’s what you can do with it after­ward that makes things really interesting.
[Above — 8×10 scan of old inkjet photo in Dox­ie’s scan/format dia­logue box]

With most tra­di­tion­al scan­ning solu­tions, you’re able to dump the scan into a file on your desktop or hard drive, or auto­ma­gic­ally import it into some image edit­ing or OCR software.

Dox­ie lets you store your stuff in the cloud(s). Either the free Dox­ie Cloud ser­vices, or Flickr, Ever­note, Google Docs, Pick­nik, Scribd
etc. You simply add the ser­vice to Doxie’s Cloud Pref­er­ences, and then with one click of the mouse you’re able to send your image dir­ectly to the ser­vice of your choice. A great time-sav­ing feature.


Now, if you’re scan­ning text, you may be scan­ning text you’d want to edit. Well, that gets a bit tough­er. Doxie’s not optim­ized for that, but the applic­a­tions it plugs in to may be. Google Docs, Ever­note and Adobe Acrobat all have some semb­lance of OCR cap­ab­il­ity. Your mileage may vary. I scanned in this Fanspeak Gloss­ary from an old fan­zine I had kick­ing around from the late ‘70s. You’d be amazed at what a ‘blog’ was back then :smileyhappy:


One oth­er little issue cropped up from time to time — that of image align­ment. Occa­sion­ally, when scan­ning a smal­ler busi­ness card or photo, the image impor­ted would be slightly askew. Easy enough to fix, either by res­can­ning or rotat­ing in an image edit­ing pro­gram. Sim­il­ar issues occur with many scan­ners with built in sheet feeders.


And finally, kudos to the mar­ket­ing team. Sure, the Dox­ie comes adorned with a ĂŒber-cute set of pink hearts, but that may not be to everyone’s taste. Recog­niz­ing that, they’ve also shipped a set of styl­ish adhes­ive skins that let you per­son­al­ize your Dox­ie — I’m par­tial to the MacIn­tosh tartan.

So, to wrap this up, the Dox­ie is a small, port­able, and highly effi­cient per­son­al scan­ner. It works, and works well. If you have the need, take a Dox­ie for a walk :smileyhappy:

This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.

By Brad Grier geek.hack

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