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Added introductory material for NAPS2

Kenneth John Odle 7 months ago
  1. 20


@ -300,6 +300,26 @@ As I said way back in the first issue, I define a hack as ``an appropriate appli
\chapter{Not Another PDF Scanner}
Way back in issue \#1 of this zine\footnote{Which is only three issues ago, but considering that I published it in 2021, it seems \textit{like} a long time ago. I really need to get my act together and get these out on a more regular basis.} I talked about a workflow for scanning documents because I am trying to be as digital as possible.
In that article ``A Scanner Darkly, but with a workflow'' I mentioned that I used one piece of commercial software (VueScan) because it did what no FOSS\footnote{Free and Open Source} software could do: work with my printer and also sort pages effectively when my scanner's ADF\footnote{Automatic Document Feeder} does not duplex (i.e., it does not flip pages over to scan the other side). And while it is great software, and I did not mind paying the \$100 for a one-year subscription to it (the software company behind it is pretty much a father and son team), I didn't like being dependent on it.
The reasoning is simple. If a company decides to stop producing a product, that's it; you're done. I used to have a great plugin on my WordPress sites that added social media sharing icons to each post. The company that made it got bought out by Oracle. You might think this is a great thing, because Oracle is a big huge company with a lot of resources. But often, when big huge companies buy small independent companies, they are only interested in one or two of their products, and let the rest go. And this is exactly what happened. Oracle suddenly decided they weren't going to support this plugin and it just stopped working. The company's webpage for the plugin redirected to an Oracle page that basically said ``fuck off'' and little more. No explanation, no recommendations of similar plugins, nothing.
At least when FOSS software projects get abandoned or the original developers get better paying jobs delivering pizza, there is always the chance that someone else will take over the project. Better yet, you—yes, \textit{you}—can donate money to the project to help support it.
I first found out about NAPS2\footnote{\kref{}{}} because I had downloaded a book from the Internet Archive\footnote{\textit{Inherit the Stars} by James P. Hogan, which you can read at \kref{}{\\ils/inheritstars00jame}} and the pages were very, very yellowed. (It had been scanned from a pulp paperback printed on cheap paper with a high acid content. How seldom we plan for the future!)
I was looking for a way to lighten the background of the pages so that it would be easier to read. My usual solution for this would be to open the pdf in GIMP, opening each page as a separate layer. I could then figure out the settings for one page, convert that into a script (GIMP is scriptable!), apply that script to every single layer, and export the entire thing as a pdf, remembering to tick the box that says to export layers as pages, and also to do it in reverse order.
That's not a huge amount of work, but it's still—work. Surely, there has to be a more automated way to do this, no?
I searched and I searched, and I was rewarded for that search. Someone mentioned that a program called NAPS2 had this very feature. The name didn't hurt at all—at this point in my life, I am very much in favor of naps, unlike the five year old version of me.
Even better, NAPS2 had an ``interleave'' feature, which meant that I didn't need to use \texttt{pdftk} to do that.\footnote{To be fair, this is a feature which VueScan also eventually added at some point.} So scanning longer two-sided documents suddenly became a lot easier.
The only problem was that NAPS2 offered \textit{four} versions of this command: interleave, deinterleave, alternate interleave, and alternate deinterleave. (These are very neatly contained under the ``Reorder'' icon in the main menu.) I knew one of those was what I needed; I just needed to figure out which.
\caption{The document as originally drawn}