OVER 2 YOU 185 (22/06/04)
I am working on our parish history and am collecting old photos and
postcards from residents. These are being scanned into a computer and archived
on CD. However, some older residents refuse to allow these photographs out of
their house. Is there such a thing as a self contained portable scanner or can
anyone suggest an alternative, capable of storing high quality images?
Mike Temple, via email
Assuming that your
correspondent doesn’t have a laptop the obvious answer is to use a camera
(either digital or film based, most photo labs can convert film to digital if
necessary). To copy the photos use a camera stand, there are quite a few books
and articles on the web that explain how to do this. If he does have access to a laptop there are a couple of USB
powered portable scanners, from Pentax and Travelscan to name two.
David Wall, Nantwich
Hewlett Packard has a new
portable scanner, called PhotoSmart 1200, which retails at £75. It is
battery powered and can take copies up to 10cm x 15cm. It connects to a PC or
laptop using a USB lead. Images can be saved to SD, MultiMedia Card or CF and has
3 levels of image quality, 300, 600 & 1200dpi. The lid can be removed for
scanning from albums or books and it weighs just 680gms.
Adrian W Fieldhouse, via
Probably the best way to
capture these pictures is to use a digital camera. Ideally it should have a
macro setting. The picture should be taken out of doors in daylight, with a
bright cloudy sky -- to give even lighting and no glare. There’s no need
to frame the picture accurately as you can crop it on the PC later.
Bruce Bovill, via email
The Minolta Dimage A2
digital camera will give you near perfect results every time using the anti
shake and manual exposure facilities in extra fine or tiff recording mode.
Images can be transferred to the PC using the Compact Flash card, via a card
Max Leigh, via email
A digital camera with a
resolution of 4 megapixels or more, used in macro mode in good ambient lighting
(do not use flash) will produce an image almost indistinguishable from the
original. Some care will need to be exercised in getting the
correct distance between the image to be photographed and the camera. The
photographs can then be edited in photo editing software, cropping and
enlarging as required. I have just tried taking a photograph of a
photograph with my Olympus C-450 Zoom, which gave excellent
Michael Dewhurst, via
ECG PC OK?
Is it possible to convert a PC to emulate an ECG machine?
C. Burgess, Hemel Hempstead
Burgess can plug a Meditech E-lite module into his PC to record
a full 12 lead ECG. They are, however, somewhat expensive at around £1200
+VAT from PMS Instruments http://www.pmsinstruments.co.uk/. There
are other simpler units available from PMS which might suit his requirements
like the Merlin ECG event recorder watch which records up to 15 minutes of
single channel ECG and then downloads the recording to a PC.
Nicholes, Senior Medical Engineering
Officer, Barnsley District General Hospital
Technically it’s not
difficult and displaying and recording ECG data is not a particularly onerous
task for a PC, even a relatively old machine, however, the real problem lies
with the interface between the patient and the PC. The majority of
‘professional’ ECG machines have 12 sensor leads, which need to be connected to
very sensitive amplifiers to boost the extremely weak signals. Several DIY PC
electrocardiogram projects have appeared, Electronics Today Australia (http://www.electronicsaustralia.com.au/)
published on a few years
ago, the magazine close down a while ago but you may find some information in
the web site archives. There’s also an
interesting article in Scientific American magazine on home ECG experiments,
you’ll find it at: www.sciam.com, type ‘ecg’ into the Search
Paul Saunders, via email
You will find a range of
PC-based ECG devices at:
However, I fear they may be
a bit too expensive for the average home user!
C. Douglas, via email
Check out the ‘Universal
ECG’ adaptors for laptops, pocket PCs and organisers at:
NewFiles/EKGCard.html. You’ll also find a rather exotic Wi-Fi ECG card at
the following web site: http://www.mortara.com/oem_pcecgcard.htm
Mike Samuels, via email
I want to print directly onto C4 envelopes (the ones which take
unfolded A4 sheets). My own printer
won't quite take C4. I've measured the
apertures of every printer on display in PC World and I can't find one there!
A4 is the standard paper size; surely lots of people must use C4
envelopes. Yes, I know you can print
onto labels but does anyone know of a fairly simple printer (laser or inkjet),
which goes the extra centimetre?
Charles Nevick, Norwich
My 6 year old HP DeskJet
720C has the option to print this size, though I have never tried it with an
envelope it prints the address on to A4 paper in the correct position.
Charles Nevick need not
look at the very expensive printers mentioned recently. I have an Epson Stylus
Colour 760, which is now 2-3 years old and cost less than £100, which will
print addresses on C4 envelopes in portrait layout. In
fact the printer still has around 10 mm of available width beyond the C4
Sandy Shepherd, Southwell,
We bought an HP 1220C in
December 2000 for this reason. It has proved dependable and quiet but
please be aware the printer management software will not work over an USB
connection. The printer has been around for a while and there is a lot of
correspondence on the net about this problem but as of last week HP still
hadn't updated the software. So I recommend using a parallel cable.
Alan Dawes, via email
CD ROM CATALOGUE
I would like to put my
company’s products onto a CD-ROM catalogue. I want to be able simply to put in
the product data and pictures and then
have a program turn it into an easily browsed catalogue that will auto-start
when inserted into a CD player. I expect to have to do some layout and graphic
design, but I would prefer to avoid having to create the structure, produce a
search engine and work out how to auto-start the CD. Is there such an
application or possibly a plug-in for a web-authoring program that would do the
Colin Bignell, via email
Catalogue Builder from Bemax
automatically converts your images and text files into a structured, easy to
use catalogue, providing your customers with fast and convenient access to your
product portfolio. For further information go to: www.bemax.co.uk
Arthur Smith, via email
CAN YOU HELP?
Can anyone suggest a
program that can design and print CD labels and jewel case inserts? In
particular I want one that will print information on the spine of the insert
card so they can be differentiated in a storage rack.
Paul Mangan, via email
As a budding astronomer with a very small telescope my attempts at
stargazing are continually frustrated by cloud cover and light pollution. I
remember reading somewhere that members of the public would one day be able to
access live images from large telescopes around the world, via the web, does
anyone have any more information?
Chris Miller. Via email