Wow seriously. And all this time I thought openbook got finereader version nine and omnipage sixteen. And they say that they have the latest versions of recognition technology. I wonder how they can get away with that. I guess we'll have to wait for kurzweil version twelve for the latest in that department. Any word on that?
Julia----- Original Message ----- From: "Monica Willyard" <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 12:38 PM Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Become A Black Belt Submitter
Hi, Julia. I hate to break it to you, but Openbook just got the scanning engine Kurzweil 11 has had for a year. It's not new except to Openbook users. It also lacks two features that I think are critical for producing great scans. If my message sounds kind of negative, it's because I'm pretty upset with the way FS has handled the content and release of Openbook 8. I've used Openbook since the DOS days, paying for every upgrade... until now! Openbook 8 still doesn't let you know immediately if a page has scanned badly. This feature in Kurzweil allows a person to take care of the issue during scanning instead of waiting until later when the print book may no longer be available. Kurzweil has had this feature for years! The other feature Openbook 8 lacks is the optimization feature that helps a person choose the best brightness, contrast, and resolution for each book since no two books are the same. You just have to guess and scan a few pages to see how you're doing. Openbook doesn't give you feedback, so you have to read these scanned pages and try to figure out what's wrong if they aren't coming out well. This is why many of the ark books on step 1 are in such bad shape. The submitters got no help or feedback while scanning, and they submitted a grand ol' mess. Mike, Lori, and Scott are exceptions to this since they read their scans as they go. In general, I groan when I see an ark book on step 1 because I know it has a good chance of being messy. I also know that they will have to do a lot more work to learn to scan well, and I feel sad about that. By the time they learn about this, they're already locked into the product and can't usually afford to switch to Kurzweil. This is what I experienced when I started volunteering for Bookshare. I own Openbook 7, and I was so disgusted by the features they chose to add to version 8 that I didn't bother buying an upgrade. They added eye candy instead of tools that help people get work done. According to their own press release, over half of the changes they made were for the benefit of sighted trainers. I was so annoyed with their presenter that I left the presentation and decided that I won't bother investing in Openbook anymore unless they get someone who understands scanning to head up that project. Right now, the man in charge of it is clueless about scanning books and even told me that documents over 100 pages are exceptionally large files for a blind person to scan. What a twit! I know that Jim, the CEO of Bookshare, created Openbook. It used to be a flagship product worth owning. Freedom Scientific bought it several years ago. It isn't keeping pace with our needs anymore, and I think FS should be ashamed of charging so much for eye candy.Ok, I'm getting off my soapbox now. Anyone want some hazelnut cream coffee?-- Monica Willyard Visit my blog at http://www.scannersguild.com To unsubscribe from this list send a blank Email to bksvol-discuss-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxput the word 'unsubscribe' by itself in the subject line. To get a list of available commands, put the word 'help' by itself in the subject line.
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