Raising The Dead...
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Grandstanding Collector
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Joined: Jan 03, 2005
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Location: UK

Post Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 2:10 pm 

I was gonna raise an old dead topic, but couldn't find one to bump (although I know there is one somewhere on here; probably more than one).

I am moving my endeavors over to fully OCR enabled PDFs. As many of you know, I have been digitizing much of our hobby's non-digital products into PDF form over the past five or six years. Computer power, and the restricions of previous versions of Acrobat made older OCR enabled files somewhat clunky, and a little jumpy, as well as considerably large. Recent advances have come a long way to making good quality PDFs out of limited quality hardcopy, and it is now possible to OCR practically everything.

However, OCR enabled files have not shrunk over the intervening years, computer processing power has increased to the point where a 50mb PDF is handled with ease.

Why do I bring this up, you ask?

Computer processing power and the use of OCR are now at a stage where you can hold all your OCR enabled files in one folder (or on one harddrive) and search their contents on the fly. Acrobat will search every word in every OCR enabled PDF for the reference you are looking for, and computers now have the processing power and memory capacity to do this with ease.

Within a year or two, it will be faster to locate an author's name or a reference to a product in an advert in a  magazine on the computer than it will be to go flicking through the contents of your on the shelf library. I have just done a harddrive search (in Acrobat) for the phrase 'Games Workshop' and got 3128 hits in 22 minutes, within everything from TS! through UOs, a few Beholders and Brees, Earspoons, GMPs, some erronious GDWs, a variety of modules and rulebooks, Imagine, White Dwarf (naturally), and even the floorplans. All indexed and linked so you can click to open them. So, the digital revolution has some benefits. From now on I'll be enabling OCR in everyhting I preserve. My only regret is that the technology was not sufficiently capable in years gone by when I was in possession of some truely remarkable items.

Ho Hum. Never mind eh?

One day there will be a complete digital library of everything D&D. Completely searchable at the touch of a button. The bones of it are already here, and it's only going to grow and get faster.

This week I've been mostly eating . . . chicken and wild rice soup.

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