[Digitalarchivists] Update

newmy51 at gmail.com newmy51 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 18 05:25:32 UTC 2013

Hi DA,

I attended my homecoming meeting this past Thursday, and the Reetz scanner
looks f-ing rad.  Everything, from the weird sewing material light shade to
the paint job to the bungee cords, is Noisebridge color schemed with red
and black.  It is scanning like a champ with the current Python magic which
Dany and John put together (sorry if I'm forgetting anyone who also
contributed), though there seems to be a wee bit of lag in the turnaround
time between captures.  This could be OS specific (Dany mentions that it
was way worse on MacOS), or something else.  Add it to the troubleshooting
list.  The glare is *gone*.  Period.  We are at the OCR castle door with
battering rams in hand.

I will be bringing a tired old Toshiba Satellite to the next meeting which
we intend to recommission as the Reetz scanner's perma-terminal.  There's
an even more war-torn one already at Noisebridge which has a fried mobo but
a perfectly functional screen.  There was talk of affixing the LCD panel
somewhere on/inside the scanner to allow for easy viewing of each capture
and the overall GUI, with the rest of the unit attached nearby.  It
wouldn't take much more than adhesive-backed velcro squares to mount it
somewhere.  Then it's just a matter of lengthening the cords that run
between the display and the mobo.  It could provide the added benefit of
blocking some ambient light, but could just as likely introduce some
unwanted light of its own.  We'll see how it goes.

It remains to be seen when or if we will hear back from IA about their
promises to fork over a software package, so we're continuing under the
assumption that they may never deliver.  This isn't entirely bad news. By
virtue of writing and building everything ourselves, we've cultivated a
good deal of self-sustainability and familiarity with every aspect of the
scanner and its accompanying code, which makes us that much more able to
tweak/troubleshoot/document/distribute/discuss what we do.  That said, I've
not called or wrote Jude or any other IA Books Dept. people to remind them
of the software bundle they pledged to give us, mostly because they just
suffered a $600,000 fire, and I'm not in the habit of asking the bereaved
for menial favors.

We noticed last week that there's a large and pretty derelict space back
behind the kitchen sink.  In the interest of staking the Digital Archivist
flag within its forgotten walls, we are planning on bringing it up eminent
domain style at the next general meeting.  I won't be able to come due to
prior obligations, but someone should definitely be there.  We're guessing
it won't be a big deal, as it's currently a rat's next of f-ed up kitchen
equipment and miscellaneous junk.  If/when we can call it home, the
doorknob can be replaced (the current one is bashed to shit) and keys can
be distributed to the group.  Unlike the darkroom, we won't have to cater
the locking and unlocking of things to any schedules but our own.

Also, another 5mof is coming up this week.  Even if folks have heard much
of our shpeal before, it'd be good to hit 'em again with how great we are.
Maybe we brainstorm on something extra interesting to showcase...

More soon,

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