Scanning Fiche

From: Andrew Davie <>
Date: Sun Dec 6 21:57:49 1998

I guess I'm being a bit whimsical.

But I was intrigued and impressed with the recent NASA super-resolution
images, generated from the Pathfinder pictures. The basic gist of it, as
far as I understand it, is that given an unchanging target (the fiche, for
example), you can build up a much higher resolution image than your scanner
is capable of simply by making multiple scans and processing them together.
Each will be offset from the others by fractions of a pixel (assuming you
move the fiche ;). Software to combine multiple lores images into a highres
image would be fairly straightforward.

I guess the more scans you do, the better resolution you can obtain. Yes,
its tedious - but should work.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Richman <>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Monday, December 07, 1998 2:38 PM
Subject: Re: Scanning Fiche

>We installed a document imaging system at my office about a year ago; it
>has a Kodak double-sided paper scanner and a fiche scanner. The fiche
>scanner (admittedly low-budget compared to the $50K+ fully-automated
>scanner) is called a "ScreenScan". It's basically a standard fiche
>reader with what looks like the guts of a flatbed scanner mounted across
>the front. You insert a sheet of fiche, position and focus the page you
>want, and hit the "scan" button. It scans a linear image sensor array
>like the one in a flatbed scanner down the screen from top to bottom, at
>pretty much standard flatbed scanning speed. I think it's set up to do
>200 or 300dpi; not the world's sharpest images, but most of this stuff
>is just for backup records of stuff that happened 20 years ago, so it's
>not critical that it be pretty - just readable. I wouldn't be surprised
>if you could rig up something like this pretty easily yourself; pick up
>one of the fiche viewers that they can't give away at most university
>and government auctions, get a cheap flatbed scanner (even pretty good
>new ones can be had for under $100), take the mechanism out of the case,
>and bolt it to the front of the fiche viewer. You'd have to remove or
>disable the light source, since the bulb in the fiche viewer provides
>the illumination. I don't think you'd even have to mess with the focal
>length much; the fiche viewers normally do a rear-projection on frosted
>glass, and the scanner is set up to focus on a sheet of paper an inch or
>two away from the sensor, so with a spacer or two it should just work.
>That sounds like an interesting enough project that I might even build
>one if I had anything on fiche to scan. (I'm more interested in getting
>my 2,000-3,000 science fiction and computer books on CD-ROM, personally,
>but I have yet to come up with a non-destructive method that's
>reasonably fast. I could take them to work, use the hydraulic paper
>cutter in the print shop to cut the spines off all of them, and then jam
>them through the auto-feeder on the Kodak scanner, but I'd hate to.
>I've even gone as far as scanning all sides of a couple of books and
>using a 3D drawing program to make a rotatable, zoomable "virtual book"
>that I could put on a "virtual shelf" in a "virtual library" and use as
>an index to the scanned text, but there's still something about touching
>an actual paper book that I can't let go of...)
>On Sun, 6 Dec 1998 15:15:17 -0800, Zane H. Healy wrote:
>>While this might be considered more than a little off topic, I don't think
>>so, since a lot of us have classic computer documentation in the form of
>>MicroFiche. Does anyone know of a method of scanning this stuff into a
>>computer, or any idea as to what resolution of a scanner such a project
>>would require?
> -Bill Richman (
> - Home of the COSMAC Elf
> Simulator, Fun with Molten Metal, Orphaned Robots, and Technological
Received on Sun Dec 06 1998 - 21:57:49 GMT

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