A COMPACT SCANNER

Visioneer has introduced the latest and best ever in its long series of page scanners. It is sleek, efficient and can reproduce anything from color photographs to hand-scribbled notes. It can scan a page in six seconds. Once scanned into your computer, you can e-mail, edit or file it away.

The Strobe XP 220 is 11 inches wide and a little over 2 inches high and deep. That’s compact enough to sit behind a keyboard or take with you on the road. Feed a page or a clipping through the top, and it is pulled through at a steady rate.

The default scanning resolution is 600 dpi (dots per inch), which is higher than the default on most scanners. A new technology called Kofax VRS improves the clarity and orientation of every image scanned. It can take nearly illegible shipping labels and hand-scrawled notes that used to come up simple as black blobbs and bring them in clear and sharp.

But that’s not all you get, as they say on late-night TV. The Strobe scanner comes with two other programs that have been big hits with users. The first is ScanSoft’s PaperPort, which has been around for a dozen years or more and is a delight to use. What it does is organize scans and create screens of thumbnail images so you can tell at a glance where ┬ásome document or picture is. Move the thumbnail images around with the mouse and you can create folders and collections.

These software bundles are wonderful enhancements to any scanner. We can remember when OmniPage Pro alone used to cost over $500, and now the whole Strobe XP 220 package sells for less than $300. It works perfectly with Windows XP and nearly so with Vista; an updated Vista driver is in the testing phase. More info at Visioneer.com.

The Organization and Its Chart

You may not get a kick out of this, but Joy loved it. It’s called OrgPlus Live, and it’s an online version of OrgPlus, the program used by many of America’s largest companies to create and continually update organization charts.

Now we know, we know — there are lots of programs that can create organization charts. Some of them are free or very low-cost shareware. You can even do it with a template in Microsoft Word. But you won’t get this kind of sophistication: You can add photos, descriptions and endlessly expand subcategories to include all kinds of new functions and offices. You can drag and drop departments and employees from one organizational structure to another. (For a real simple model, Joy is planning to create a chart for her women’s club to include photos of each board member. Then she’ll post it to the club’s Web site as a PDF file.)

If all this leaves you wondering whether you can use it or not, you can try it for free for 14 days if you go to OrgPlusLive.com. If you sign up, it costs $10 a month. Alternatively, you can buy the OrgPlus program for $190 or you can get OrgPlus Express, a lighter version, as a free program from download.com.

Comments are closed.