La belle histoire d’une machine à scanner les livres, faite maison par des hackeurs, amateurs et passionnés

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About this bookscanner [en]

jeudi 2 janvier 2014, par Benjamin Sonntag

This article is in English for our non-French readers.

This website is telling the story and scans of the DIYBookScanner, invented by Dan Reetz at the [1] forum and community.

The scanner we are talking about is located at La Quadrature du Net’s [2] office in Paris, France, and has been built by Benjamin Sonntag [3], manager at Octopuce [4], free software developer and co-founder of La Quadrature du Net

Please find below the lightning conference (5 minutes) that Benjamin gave at the 30c3, the 30th Chaos communication conference of the German CCC at Hamburg on December 2013.

For more information, here are the answer of some frequently asked questions, from the French FAQ :

- Which software are you using ?

For this bookscanner, we used only free software (as in free speech), mainly Debian GNU/Linux as operating system, CHDK and PTPCAM to drive the Canon photo cameras from USB, PHP and Bash scripts as languages for the software I created, and named Book Scanner Project Manager. Also Scantailor for the image enhancement and Tesseract OCR for the OCR.

- I live in Europe, can I find the parts of that bookscanner to buy it ?

Of Course ! Mark, who helped freeing part of Dan model, and participate actively to the community is selling some bookscanner kits, more or less ready to build you own scanner.

- I don’t live in Europe, can I find the parts of that bookscanner to buy it ?

Yes, Dan can sell you the kit to build the scanner anywhere in the world, go to his micro-shopping website for this (that’s where I bought the wood parts)

- Does your scanner automatically turns the pages ?

Sadly no, we chose to build a simple model, therefore a manual one. You must turn the pages with your own hands. This makes it a more simple design to build, and allow anybody to build this kind of scanner. Also, for fragile or ancient books, I don’t recommend using an automatic machine that may bend or tear a page while turning it.

If you are searching for a model which turns the pages automatically, I was lucky enough to see one (not finished at that time) from Google Books


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