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finally did it

At Matthew's recommendation I've been mulling over the idea of a Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 for my document-handling needs. (His well-written review is here.) It is apparently a one-step document scanning/OCR solution that, when combined with certain other PDF-indexing software (memo to self: find such software for Windows RSN), lets you take all your paper, scan it, and shred it.

I have a packrat mentality and can not seem to bring myself to shred my old (circa 1998) credit card bills. I figure this is a way to make that possible, and get rid of a LOT of the paper cluttering up my room.

I finally went and looked and found a way to get the thing for about $75 less than I expected to pay ($350 instead of $425). Microsoft's search (live.com) has a deal where they kick back some of the referral bonus they get to the buyer, just plain old cash back. So I went and looked at the sites they had listed, and voila, newegg.com, $410 minus $10 cash back from the live.com bribe.

But when I clicked through, I saw that newegg.com has a cash-back rebate going on even as we speak, for $50! Looking through the fine print I can't find any way these two rebates conflict with each other... So $350 with free estimated next-day UPS shipping (3-day guaranteed). Makes all the waiting and agonizing seem worthwhile :)

We'll see how I feel after I have a ton of PDFs of old and new bills on my hard drive.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
I'll be interested to hear how the Windows experience varies. Managing taxes and a home purchase were made much easier having it all searchable. But, like you, a lot of the value for me was that I could finally shred electric bills from 1997 because I now have them scanned.

Plus, I do have at least one scan of a (dotmatrix) printout of a recipe from rec.food.recipes from 1993 and an acceptance letter to a summer internship from 1991.

Details on my experience with it: http://matthew.gray.org/2008/04/my-scansnap-workflow.html
May. 27th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
Solve the root problem!!!
While it is all incredibly fine and nice to get a new toy that makes storing documents easier and more space conscious... it seems to me that the root problem lies within and still remains unsolved. Every year, as soon as you are finished with your tax returns is a good time, shred all documents from the previous year with the exception of your tax documents and pay stubs/bank statements if you get those in a paper format. File those tax documents in a folder with your tax return from that year. That is really ALL that you need. I save receipts from major purchases with their warranty paperwork... and I also save payment stubs from car payments (if in paper format) until vehicle is paid off. Once you get your title in hand, shred those too. Stop the madness and change the mentality!!! Don't make your poor computer suffer from your packrattedness!
Jun. 16th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
Re: Solve the root problem!!!
Your smarmy condescension misses the point. :) I constantly find myself needing documents from preceding years, so throwing out "all documents from the previous year" is simply a non-option. Maybe it's "ALL" you need, but it's simply not the case for me, or many other people. There are way too many important papers that have a value past a year. Further, the sorting/categorizing effort of physical paperwork is far more time consuming than scanning/sorting/categorizing text-indexed PDFs.

Further, if your computer "suffer"s from a gig or two of PDFs, it may be time to upgrade.
Jun. 16th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
Re: Solve the root problem!!!
(whoops, didn't mean to post anonymously, I'll stand by my snippy reply)
May. 27th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
First you scan all your old credit card and bill statements.
Then you shred them.

... then you "accidentally" munge the hard drive.

Voila, packrat problem solved ;-)
May. 28th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Saying this with love and affection ... but ... DUDE! 1998! Throw them out! You never need them after you have paid them :).
May. 31st, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Let me know...
I looked into one of these late last year, and nearly took the plunge, but held off 'cause there's already too much random tech in my basement. I'm interested in hearing your first impressions...
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
You might also look into the NeatReceipts scanner line. There seem to be a few versions available, at least a 1.0 and a 3.0, for as little as ~$100, including one at CostCo (where I first saw it). It is supposedly focused on receipt scanning, with special software and a feed-through mechanism that probably works better for thermal-paper printouts than the SnapScan (and worse for other things; in particular, no batch-mode fill-hopper-and-leave mechanism). It's pretty portable, which is probably helpful to traveling businessmen but not so much to you and I.

I held off because I wanted in my secret, theoretical heart something that could cut down on the number of books I move from place to place. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to go so `e-book' just yet, but I'm definitely getting there.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )