notabi

Question regarding BookEdge Scanners

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Hello all,

I just recently joined as I won a couple auctions for some issues of Computer Games Strategy Plus:

  • No. 95 October 1998
  • No. 25 December 1992
  • No. 31 June 1993
  • No. 58 September 1995

(I can provide images of the eBay photos, I won't receive most of these until Monday 12th.)

The reason I acquired these various issues is that I needed them for a documentary I've been working on about Impressions Games. I've been utilizing Archive.org considerably and noticed that Computer Games Strategy Plus (among its various names over the years) is missing a ton of issues. So I'd like to help contribute by scanning these issues that I acquired.

I work as a librarian professionally at a major university so I have access to some really nice scanners. Specifically, iVina A3 BookEdge Scanner FB6280E (https://www.avision.com/motion.asp?lgid=2&menuid=10075&prodid=121298&cat=13) using software developed by KIC. They are specifically designed to digitize books among other things (like magazines!). Using the KIC software, it can automatically split images into separate pages with some pretty decent accuracy and up to around 600dpi. I can export into either PDF (Including searchable), PNG, and JPEG. 

However, I was reading "kitsunebi77's Guide to Magazine Preservation - Part 1: Pre-scan" and noticed the following: "Your magazine will be destroyed.  Yes, Virginia, all the mags you see here are scanned the same way - by placing the loose, de-bound pages into an ADF document scanner or else onto a flatbed."

You all have probably heard this song and dance a thousand times by now but I'd really like to not de-bound these magazines. However, would I still need to do this if I am using a BookEdge scanner? Has anyone had experience using them? Do they produce quality results with magazines?

I'd love to have some support with this so I can properly contribute.

Thank you!

 

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First of all, if you're looking for Computer Games: Strategy Plus, you should consider joining Kiwi's site at oldgamemags.  He's got 86 issues of that mag at the moment (with possibly more on the way - 4 new issues of CG:SP were added in the past month).  In fact if you like PC games in general, you really need to join Kiwi's site.  Phillyman and E-Day are scanning the hell out of some videogame mags recently, but god love 'em, they just didn't grow up playing PC games, so their interest in PC game magazines is low.  Thus, the site tends to focus on video games, and attracts a membership that is also primarily interested in video games.  So while we have the odd PC game mag pop up here and there, Kiwi's site is one with a much broader range of titles which include PC and other computer gaming titles (albeit far fewer USA mags than here).

That said, only one of those 4 mags you mentioned is currently available at his site, so if you scan them, that would be great. 

Regarding the scanner you mentioned, you're going to be the only one that can judge its effectiveness.  Give it a shot.  My warning that flatbed scanners are no good is directly addressing scanners which require the page to be laid flat on the glass.  If this one's scanning bed can be shoved into the gutter crack to get a flat edge-to-edge scan, then it may be able to produce acceptable results, I imagine.  Test it out when you can and let us know!

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Hey notabi,

When it comes to perfect binding the only way to truly preserve a magazine is to debind it which means destroying it to a certain extent. While it is possible to press a still bound magazine down (or have a machine do it which I’m assuming the book scanner you mentioned is capable of) you will definitely lose some of the page depending on how much glue was used in creating the perfect binding, and you will get shadows and extra bleed that won’t be present in a debound copy.

It should be noted that many people working in preservation and generating scanned issues make compromises that the general public won’t be concerned with. Plenty use paper cutters to slice off the binding which is of no use to me as it compromises full bleed pages, but that’s a concern of few I suppose. Some readers only care about that, reading the text, while some of us are concerned with the original graphic designers’ intent, which includes multiple people, the magazine’s layout artists plus the work of the artists who created the advertising. For me the art is as important as the words which is why I use the hair dryer method to debind, which “destroys” the magazine in a sense, though all the pages could still be placed in single sheet plastic and put in a three-ring binder lol

The best advice I can give is to read up about your scanner and see what it says about placing a full, bound magazine in it. If it seems like it won’t destroy what you don’t want destroyed then give it a try, post some example pages, and then go from there.

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Yeah, books or mags without graphics are the easiest, since generally every page simply has blank space on the gutter side of the page, which is the side that flatbed scanners generally have problems with.  So when there are graphics in that area (as is often the case with magazines), it gets trickier and usually requires debinding to get a scan that captures the entire page without distortion.

But again, this scanner claims to compensate for that, so all you can do is test it and hope that they're right.😉

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The Avision Bookedge scanner appears to be a nice flatbed scanner for those not wanting to debind their mags but with a truly hideous price tag although if you have access to one at work/library then go for it. The only way you will see how it outputs a quality image is by trying it and comparing the print copy with the resulting scanned image. I'm talking magazines with images here and not paperbacks etc.

In all fairness though, this thing should piss all over the rubbish scans you see on archive.org as far as quality is concerned so even if Retromags wouldn't use the scans if it doesn't meet their quality requirements you still have other options for where you could upload the scans too. Don't forget, sometimes it's just as much about the cropping/cleaning up of scans as opposed to the scan itself that determines how good the final product looks although all the editing in the world cannot fix a truly dud scan.

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1 hour ago, kitsunebi77 said:

First of all, if you're looking for Computer Games: Strategy Plus, you should consider joining Kiwi's site at oldgamemags.  He's got 86 issues of that mag at the moment (with possibly more on the way - 4 new issues of CG:SP were added in the past month).  In fact if you like PC games in general, you really need to join Kiwi's site.

Oh wow, thanks for letting me know, I'll have to definitely check that out.

1 hour ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Regarding the scanner you mentioned, you're going to be the only one that can judge its effectiveness.  Give it a shot.  My warning that flatbed scanners are no good is directly addressing scanners which require the page to be laid flat on the glass.  If this one's scanning bed can be shoved into the gutter crack to get a flat edge-to-edge scan, then it may be able to produce acceptable results, I imagine.  Test it out when you can and let us know!

I figured that would be the case. Still thought it would be worth asking if anyone here has experience with them. Will post test results next week.

Thanks for the help!

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59 minutes ago, KiwiArcader said:

The Avision Bookedge scanner appears to be a nice flatbed scanner for those not wanting to debind their mags but with a truly hideous price tag although if you have access to one at work/library then go for it.

Yeah, I'll do a test run and upload the results.

59 minutes ago, KiwiArcader said:

In all fairness though, this thing should piss all over the rubbish scans you see on archive.org as far as quality is concerned so even if Retromags wouldn't use the scans if it doesn't meet their quality requirements you still have other options for where you could upload the scans too.

I'm pretty confident that the results will be leagues ahead of some of those scans on Archive.org. For every good scanned magazine I look at there's at least another 10 which are barely readable.

1 hour ago, KiwiArcader said:

Don't forget, sometimes it's just as much about the cropping/cleaning up of scans as opposed to the scan itself that determines how good the final product looks although all the editing in the world cannot fix a truly dud scan.

I'll keep that in mind. Luckily a lot of the built-in software deals with at least the cropping aspect but when it comes to color correction I'll follow the editing guide and do the GIMP/Photoshop work. 

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Hello all,

Scanners at work apparently have a bug where they will straight up crash the entire system when trying to scan anything at 600dpi so that's on hold until the IT department gets on it (Editors Note: whenever they feel like it). But, I was able to do some very quick tests at 300dpi. Here are some of the results: https://drive.google.com/open?id=19vLvYFaWUocLSNagZl9LRSneQAh6Jupl

Test of No. 58: I do notice some bleed-in on the article pages which I assume I can fix by using black construction paper as the scanning guide suggests. I also think the pages might be a little too dark? Perhaps that's something that needs to be fixed during the editing process. However,  I think the cover page looks pretty darn good compared to most scans on Archive.org.

Test of No. 25: First off, the cover page is way too dark. Not sure if that's something to be fixed in the editing process of the scanner just isn't up to the task. Next, bleed-in, once again. Don't have any black construction paper around so I can't test that currently. Results of No.25 are pretty shoddy compared to No. 58.

As I hinted earlier, these haven't been edited at all--scanned and saved as JPEG. Unfortunately I cannot save as a TIFF due to the built in software.

I've briefly taken a look at the editing guide but I figured I should get feedback on the initial scans before moving forward.

Thank you!

 

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Most flatbed scanners don't produce images quite as nice as a good ADF - that's almost a given, so the dark and yellow pages with bleed through are not surprising.

A better test for this particular scanner is one that tests its unique abilities - namely, scanning a mag that is still bound.  To do that, you need to scan interior pages which have an image stretching all the way into the gutter binding (such as an advertisement) -- preferably two facing pages which join together as a single image.  That way we can see how good it is at capturing the gutter side of the page on a bound mag.

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