Monday, April 24, 2017

Scanning the Horizon. . . and Photos

Ever notice you can't do something unless you do something else first and end up chaining backwards into two weeks work? Last week, when the two most dangerous idiots on earth were playing chicken, some article or another mentioned that the Russians were sending soldiers and equipment towards the Russian/North Korean border which is all of about 17 km long.  Cool, I thought, I can do a blog on that because 20+ years ago I was in that  part of the world. I should have some pictures in one of my old photo albums which I brought with me to Ukraine. So I went looking for my pictures.  No luck.  All you get are the maps from Google below. Sorry.

Twenty years ago, I was partners in a Canadian genetics export company. Rumour had it that the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture of Jilin Province wanted to set up their own AI stud.  So my interpreter and I took a train from Changchun to Yanbian to meet with local officials. It turned out that what they wanted to do and what the bureaucrats in Changchun would allow (or fund) them to do were two different things.  We had some time to kill and they wanted to show us a new port city of which they were very proud.  The Tuman River forms the northern border with North Korea and there is a narrow neck of land where Chinese, North Korean and Russian borders all come together.

Rumour (the main source of information in China) had it that the World bank or some such was going to fund the dredging out of the Tuman River and create a deep water port.  So the Chinese had already built the port city in anticipation.  Brand shiny new empty city that would have build more than a few AI studs but IF the deep water port dream came true, someone stood to make millions.

The narrow neck of China between NK and Russia had been a source of contention between China and Russia and I was told that a few years before some 100,000 soldiers had shot it out in a small bush war. Too small to make the news, I guess. But the place was well protected with military posts and I knew that at any time there were binoculars and machine guns from three armies trained on me.




But as I sorted through my five huge albums, I decided they really should be scanned and the paper disposed of. My HP Photo Scanner 1000 can scan a 4x6 or 5x7 photo in under a minute.  Except it is older than dirt and no longer supported by HP.  I think the driver is for Windows XP so it doesn't work properly.  All the internet sites that promised new drivers linked back to HP who told me to PFO. This took half a day.

My Epson L355 printer scanner is a wonderful printer but scanning is horribly slow.  Da Vinci could paint the photos almost as fast as I could scan them.  But he is never around when I need him.

So today I started scanning.  My April 1991 trip to Kazakhstan SSR and the Canada Ukraine Beef Forage Project from 1999.  All the other photos fall in between.  By 2001 I had a digital camera.

Maybe there will be some blogs to be found in these scanned photos which are mostly China, Turkey and Ukraine.

10 comments:

  1. How many photos will you be scanning? Will this be a huge project?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Several hundred if I do them all. It will take forever

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have an old HP Deskjet 4140 printer, copier, scanner that cost under one hundred dollars that scans fast and efficiently. I believe they are even cheaper now than when I bought mine.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A new cheap flat bed scanner would cost me under $100 I expect. But I hate to spend the money when I have a scanner that works fine for the odd document. I have figured out how to scan three 4x6 at a time so that speeds things up. My old HP 5500 with a document feeder would have done the trick but it is so archaic I am not sure it would even hook up to my computer if I could find it. I'll just have to be patient, I guess

      Delete
  4. I'm eagerly looking forward to your scanned photos. I have tons of photos that should be scanned too. But when I went to our family reunion party in UK in 2015, I scanned all the old family photos, what a job, it took hours, but I'm so glad I did it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have started.
      My youngest brother and my sister have all mom and dad's old photos. They have scanned quite a few. Problem is unidentifiable people. No one left alive who knows who they are. Some are written on the back

      Delete
  5. Oh, don't remind me! I have thousands of photos and negatives that I want to scan, but I don't have the time, and I definitely don't want to spend the several thousand dollars it would cost to pay somebody else to do it. Maybe someday...

    You'll have some interesting photos in your collection, I'm sure - hope we'll get to see some!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are serious about scanning htem, this unit sounds like a great deal cheaper than having it custom done. Negatives, I don't know about.
      https://petapixel.com/2016/09/16/epson-unveils-worlds-fastest-photo-scanner-scans-one-print-per-second/
      See today's blog for a few of my scanned photos

      Delete
    2. Wow, that would be quite a bit cheaper than sending them out to be done, and a whole lot faster than using my flatbed scanner. Now if only there was a fast method for the negatives!

      Delete
  6. I miss my printer and scanner..especially the scanner..good luck.

    ReplyDelete