Rental of Fujitsu ScanSnap (or Similar) in Chicago Area? Or General Advice?
November 21, 2009 8:20 PM   Subscribe

At some point in the future, I'd like to follow the recommendations of some various sites I've seen online and scan most of my paper archives to PDF. It looks like this would be the best solution (I'm a Mac user) – or, at least, that's the device I've seen recommended a few million times. However, I really can't see having the discretionary $417+ to purchase this device, not for a very, very long time. Does anyone offer this device for rental? (I live in Chicago.) Is there a RipDigital equivalent for this kind of thing (a very long time ago, they did the initial move of my music from CDs to MP3s)? Are there cheaper alternatives that are just as good?
posted by WCityMike to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A service like RipDigital would likely charge you very much more than the ScanSnap would cost, unless your paper documents are very limited in number. The going price is about .07 -.12 per page.

I know of no one who rents these machines out.
posted by yclipse at 8:29 PM on November 21, 2009

Search eBay or CL for an older model SnapScan that will certainly sell for less than $417. FWIW, I've used a few of these and the software is decently-written for the Mac; it's not some craptastic and half-functional port from Windows. It can sometimes take Fujitsu to release compatibility updates, but they do.
posted by at 8:39 PM on November 21, 2009

Oh, and not all models of SnapScan are compatible with Macintosh. There's a list here of which models are supported by the SnapScan for Macintosh software.
posted by at 8:45 PM on November 21, 2009

Why not just buy a regular cheapo scanner and do this? For less than $100, you can get a slim Canon scanner. I recently digitized a ton of documents and having a flatbed scanner did not slow me down that much.

Also, there are far more privacy implications when it comes to sending documents (compared to CDs) to a service.
posted by special-k at 8:56 PM on November 21, 2009

Yea, there are services that will do it for you (mostly aimed at document productions in litigation), though you're either doing a small enough set that they would only barely tolerate your business, or you should just spend the $400.
posted by raf at 11:28 PM on November 21, 2009

Home use: Canon has multifunctional devices, e.g. the MX850, which do batch scans (of say 25 pages). Most important: their scanner software has OCR built-in, so that e.g. Spotlight should index them automatically. Maybe one of your friends has one?

Office use: many copiers have a batch-scanning function, too and send the result to an email address. Try your office, your university or your copyshop.

Professional use: Archivista is providing a solution for a huge number of pages. They have hard- and software, but the latter is available as a free solution (without OCR), too.
posted by oxit at 2:15 AM on November 22, 2009

Hire someone to do it for you. Send them the source material, guidelines, etc. and pay them a fee per page - not the cheapest way, but might be cheaper than the machine depending on the amount.
posted by chrisinseoul at 3:20 AM on November 22, 2009

Response by poster: Odinsdream, I really appreciate the kindness of the offer, but it'd probably cost a few hundred dollars in postage to send you the paper. :)

I think I may just need to bite the bullet and buy one when it becomes a financially wise move, and stick with my paper filing in the meantime.
posted by WCityMike at 5:32 PM on November 22, 2009

Best answer: OfficeDrop appears to be a potential answer, via someone else's Ask Unclutterer question.
posted by WCityMike at 12:10 PM on April 30, 2010

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