Tag Archives: Technology

Personal Computing tip: Scanning Documents with Adobe Acrobat Pro 8

At home, I possess an ADF-enabled printer (ADF stands for “automated document feeder“), the HP OfficeJet J6480 which lets me scan documents without resorting to manually feeding all pages of the document by hand. Using HP’s software, scanning multipage documents is painless. However, if you still own a printer without this ADF-feature like a certain HP PSC 750 printer, I feel slightly sorry for you (unless you have a dedicated workhorse scanner). This ancient puppy has a flatbed which means I can’t leave the computer until I have manually scanned all the pages into the computer. The purpose of this post is to note what I have done to help ease the frustration of keeping multipage documents in 1 scanned (.pdf) file and walk you through the steps & possible pitfalls.

Previously, I would simply scan each page of my document via the built-in Windows 7 “Fax and Scan” utility. Sidenote: Access Windows fax and scan by hitting the “Windows” button and typing “scan”. You should see this image:
Built-in Windows Fax and Scan

This method saves scanned items as .jpg files. If I scanned 10 pages, I would end up with 10 .jpg files. My next step towards consolidating all 10 jpg files would be to combine them into 1 .pdf document using Adobe Acrobat Pro version 8 (I refuse to “upgrade”). The entire scanning and converting process used to take over 5 minutes, but I figured out an easier way to streamline the process. Here’s my new method:

Scanning Multipage Documents with Adobe Acrobat Pro 8 (on Windows 7)

  1. Step One: Fire Up Adobe Acrobat Pro (version 8): Click on the “Create PDF” button as shown in the image below. The option you want is “from Scanner” so click on that.
    Create a document in Adobe Acrobat 8
  2. Step Two: Select Your Scanning Device Depending on your printer, all you may need to do is: “Select your scanning device” as shown in this image below. If you haven’t installed your printer yet, follow the instructions on your users’ manual to get that important step squared away.
    Select Your Scanning Device - Adobe Acrobat 8
  3. Step Three: Changing Scanning Settings: With Adobe Acrobat 8’s document creation via scanner feature, you have the option of (depending on your printer’s capabilities):
    • Choosing how the documents get scanned i.e. 1-side or both sides.
      Scanning One or Both Sides
    • Color mode i.e. black/white, grayscale or in color.
      Color Mode for Scanning Documents in Adobe Acrobat Pro 8
    • Scanning resolution. A common DPI for print documents is 300DPI. Any higher makes the scanning process longer and in my case, makes the printer more likely to wig out and fail halfway. 600DPI is as high as I’ve dared to go.
      Changing DPI for Scanning in Adobe Acrobat Pro 8

    In truth, there are WAY more options than you need to concern yourself with if you want a simple foolproof method of scanning a paper document to a portable document format (PDF, get it? :P).

  4. Step Four: Start Scanning: Once you have completed Step Three, press the “Scan” button and you will be prompted to write in a name for the .pdf file you are about to create.

Possible Problems.

  1. There’s something about HP printers …: HP printers are ‘well’ supported on Windows 7 … if you agree with HP’s need for you to install their suite of products on your computer just to get the printing and scanning functions working properly. Not to be misleading, my (discontinued) HP OfficeJet J6480 will work even when treated as a plug-and-play device; The operating system (Windows 7) found drivers for it when I connected via USB, etc, but I since found that accessing the more advanced features of my printer required fiddling so I caved in and downloaded the 115.77 megabyte basic printer driver installation program from HP’s website. The full featured driver for my printer weighs in at 246.43 megabytes.


    HP Printer Driver Download Size for HP Officejet J6480

    All of this to say: you might need to download either the basic printer driver from HP’s website or if you don’t care about installing yet another piece of bloatware, go ahead and download the full featured driver. In fact, if you’re using HP products, please be intimately familiar with this website: http://hp.com/go/support and if possible, have a fridge sticker with your HP product’s serial or product number. On this website, you will find software/firmware updates that even the HP Update or HP Support Assistant won’t pick up on.

  2. Printer Blues:With the HP PSC 750, I ran into a problem where the printer/scanner would get hung up and flash a message about a “scanner failure”. What happened was either the printer or Adobe Acrobat 8 would get stuck after I completed Step Four even so using the built-in Windows Fax and Scan option worked so I knew the printer/scanner *was* working. I was able to resolve the issue by altering the scanner options up at Step One.

    By default, Adobe Acrobat *hides* the native scanning interface that you get with Windows Fax and Scan tool. By changing the setting in the image to “Show Scanner’s Native Interface”, I was able to get my printer/scanner and Adobe working for the greater good again. 😛

    Adobe Acrobat 8 scanner options

If you found this too long to read, here’s your takeaway: Invest in a printer that had an automated document feeder with double-sided printing capability. With the right software, and yes, this might mean downloading your manufacturer’s bloatware, you may never need to manually change pages for scanning again.

Software Update v.3.28 for the Nokia E71x and modest Improvements to Ovi Maps

So, after using the ATT Tilt phone for awhile (read less than 2 months), I went back to using the Nokia E71x phone. Why? For starters, I discovered that I did *not* become more productive primarily because of the slide-out keyboard which is a good idea in theory, but not in practice. Secondly, for whatever reason, there was NO way I could turn off the touchscreen option in the ATT Tilt phone when making a phone call so a lot of times, my phone calls ended rather abruptly because I’d accidentally hit the “End” button. *sigh*

Needless to say, I was very nervous about returning to the Symbian 60 platform. I remembered very clearly how much installing Ovi Maps was a PITA (pain in the ass), but I decided to brave the headwinds (so to speak). It is my pleasure to report that times have changed with the installation of Ovi Maps to this phone and I’d like to go over some improvements that I’ve experienced since the time I dumped the E71x for ATT Tilt and now.

A quick summary of this post:

  1. No need to go through all the drama of this post anymore. Using Ovi Suite and your USB cord, Ovi Maps 3.0 will install just fine on your phone.
  2. Firmware updates are out for the Nokia E71 and E71x phone. It’s version 3.28 for the Nokia E71x and I’ve installed it on my phone. It works fine, I haven’t noticed any major UI changes and sadly, GPS fixes are still just as slow. Sorry! I don’t have a data plan with ATT so don’t fret if you don’t have a data plan either.

e71x-updatedfirmware.png
e71xdeets.png

  • Previously, I used the Nokia PC Suite software for synchronizing, editing, saving my contacts/appointments/tasks, etc. It worked fine, but I remember reading online that Nokia was pushing the Ovi Suite as a more streamlined way doing the above tasks. So, I recently reinstalled Windows 7 on my laptop and instead of installing the Nokia PC Suite software, I installed the Nokia Ovi Suite software. One of the first things that it did was alert me that the software on my Nokia E71x was out-of-date. Whoa!! If you recall, the version shipped with the E71x is v. 3.27 and the Ovi Suite software told me there was v. 3.28 available to upgrade. Now, I’m not crazy, but the thought of doing firmware upgrades on my phone makes me queasy because so. many. things. can go wrong. Before I go on, I’d like to share my story of how I successfully installed this update:
    • First, find out what firmware version you are running because these instructions are for the E71x phones with version 3.27. If you are already syncing with the Ovi Suite software, then check the “Updates” tab and you’ll be told what software version your phone is running. Another way to find out what firmware version you’re running (in Windows 7) is to go to your “Devices and Printers” section and rightclick on the “E71x” device and check the properties tab which also tells you your IMEI number. You will have to have connected your E71x phone in either Mass Storage mode or Image transfer mode to get the E71x” device to show up which is different from the phone
    • Second, please plug your charger into your phone. This is a long-ish process and you don’t want to be running out of battery life or else you’ll end up with a nice coaster
    • Third (and possible most important) Please backup your phone. You can use the Ovi suite software to do this. If you haven’t connected your phone to your PC at all, then install the Ovi Suite software first and follow the instructions to connect your phone via USB. If you’ve already connected your phone to your PC and are using the Nokia PC Suite software, feel free to download the Ovi Suite software and completely uninstall the Nokia PC Suite software. Again, please make sure you have a backup of ALL your phone’s data using the Ovi Suite software. It creates a .nbu file holding the image of your phone’s files. In addition to backing up my phone, I usually export my contact and appointments from Microsoft Outlo0k 2007 just to be on the safe side.
    • Click on the “Updates” tab and you’ll be instructed not to panic if your Windows PC shows your phone connecting and disconnecting rapidly. At one point, the driver installation process appears to have stalled and I simply removed my battery, removed my charger, remove the USB cord and rebooted the phone. After, I put the phone back together (battery, charger and USB cord into the computer), I hit the “retry” button or whatever it instructs you to do after rebooting the phone. Whatever you do, don’t panic if you see an image like this:e71x-firmware.png
    • Long story short, if you feel the installation has stalled, remove the usb plug from your phone, remove battery and charger. Put those items back in and restart the installation.

    So once I updated my phone’s software, I rebooted the Nokia E71x and began the process of synchronizing my contacts/appointments/texts etc with Microsoft Outlook 2007. Here’s what my device manager says about the firmware update:

    Software version: V 03.28
    Software version date: 17-08-09
    Custom version: PI01.01
    Custom version date: 08-18-09
    Language set: 6000.01
    ModeL E71x
    Type: RM-462

    Overall, my return to the E71x hasn’t been too bad. I don’t miss accidentally hanging up calls as I did with the ATT Tilt phone which (shockingly) didn’t have an option to deactivate the touchscreen feature while in a call. Anyway, enjoy and feel free to browse my series of posts about the Nokia E71x through the “Nokia E71x” tag .

Dualbooting Windows 7 and Ubuntu

So, I decided to take another stab at the Ubuntu/Linux Operating System and this time around, i decided that it would be best to have separate physical hard disks as opposed to partitioning ONE hard disk. The process has become less frightening for me because I’m learning to read the prompts & not be scared of hitting the “cancel” button. 🙂 I installed Windows 7 first because it’s much easier to do the dualboot when Windows is on the disk already. Installing Ubuntu 9.10 was painless particularly because I had separate hard disks. BUT I ran into an issue when I decided to switch my installations of Ubuntu and Windows 7 around i.e. moving Windows 7 to the larger hard disk.

I assumed that since the larger hard disk had been wiped clean, Windows 7 would take care of the NTFS formatting that was needed and whatnots. Well, Windows 7 refused to install because it detected the presence of a “System” partition on the computer. Based on what I’ve since learned, the system partition holds the files needed to boot up Windows and this partition needed to be removed. Thankfully, this was an easy fix although I had began to panic slightly. Simply firing up your Disk Management tool (by going to “Adminstrator Tools” and clicking on “Computer management”) and reformatting the disk that holds the system volume. Again, please make sure you don’t have data residing on this disk or that you have backed up any data you care to retain. Once I got rid of the old system partition created by a previous Ubuntu installation, the installation of Windows 7 was able to proceed seamlessly.

Be aware that GRUB (GNU Grand Unified Bootloader) will replace the boot manager for Windows 7 and you will need to be physically present at your computer to select your Windows 7 operating system if you want to boot up into Windows 7. Otherwise, Ubuntu will automatically load. Cheers!