|Sarah demonstrating how to use the Flip Pal upside down|
I took the scanner for its first test drive at 8am Saturday while on the sideline of a soccer field. Yup, just me sitting there in a car getting ready to scan. Now that alone should tell you how amazing this is that you can be sitting in a car and use a flatbed scanner. I admit I really loved that total accessibility.
I am one of those really impatient people when it comes to technology. I don't want to sit and read all the instructions and start step by step. No, not me, I just pulled it open, scanned the first thing I could lay my hands on (my business card) and then pressed the green button to go! Voila - it worked and I had scanned! That simple.
Now, I don't recommend my approach. After I got over my rash impulse I stopped to read the brief but helpful instructions. They mentioned that before anything I should have set the time as soon as the scanner came on the first time. Since I totally skipped that part I am now at a loss for knowing how to change the time. It doesn't seem like you can change it later. I suppose my easiest solution will be to take out the batteries and simulate a fresh start.
Another thing I discovered was the USB - memory card converter. The Flip Pal comes with a little device that let's you plug into a USB slot and then insert your memory card into that to access the scans. This is particularly helpful as my new latptop did not come, regrettably, with a built in memory card slot.
Another small, really silly feature that I love is the slot on the back of the Flip Pal for a business card. While it may not prevent someone from stealing the scanner, it certainly goes a long way in helping honest folks get it back to you.
Help From Friends
I was able to explore on my own a bit and did a few scans at the two different resolutions but the fun really began later in the day at the NEAPG meeting.
Several other people at the meeting already had Flip Pals or just got them. Flip Pal guru Sarah Nesnow got us all on the right track with using the scanner.
First off, Sarah told us that the software for stitching photos together was located on the memory card. She gave us the very helpful heads up that if we switch to a larger memory card that we need to make sure to copy over the stitch software. So that's one question answered. I was really wondering where that software was hiding. I thought maybe I needed to download it or something.
Second, Sarah showed us the most amazing thing - how to scan microfilm. She actually held the Flip Pal right up to the computer screen and scanned it. Amazing. She showed us many microfilms scans she had done to prove the quality of how it comes out. I was astounded. That will be hugely helpful.
Lastly, she shared some examples of scans that were stitched together. I was very impressed because I couldn't see any lines. The only way I could tell was from the "overhanging cliffs" created at the edge of some photos were the scans didn't line up perfectly.
Coming Up with a Gift
The point of this "Simple Gift Blog Hop" is to demonstrate how the Flip Pal can be used to make family history gifts. I've got two thoughts in mind. The first is to scan a bunch of old family photos so that I can get a deck of cards made up. I saw that done somewhere on the internet. My second idea is to create a Christmas present for my Dad. Not sure yet what to do but I'm thinking maybe about focusing in on his grandparents. Let me know if you have any ideas.