Backing Up And Scanning For Fun And Profit
By Terry L. Brock
Ease of use often beats complexity with technology. Many times we see systems that can “do everything” but are so complicated that you have to have a Masters degree in computer science to fully utilize them.
Cyberlink Dvd Solutions
Recently I had the chance to install and use CyberLink’s new DVD Solution. It is one of those rare tools that provides the ability to handle complexity yet with ease of use that is jaw-dropping. It is an incredibly simple tool for creating CDs and DVDs (and a lot more) but it handles tasks that you’ll want with your computer with aplomb.
The program will play CDs, DVDs and provide a rich-media experience. However, I wanted to use it for some practical matters of backing up specific files to CD and DVD. One of the features of the program is the InstantBurn program. This program has some building-block type icons (in kindergarten colors, no less) that can be activated to sit on your desktop. When you want to backup select files, you can open your My Documents folder and then drag the files individually or in groups over to the icon. The system shows how much you’ve sent and how much space is available on your CD-t-be-burned as you add the files.
Then when you want to create the CD of backup files, you click and it creates the CD.
Keep in mind that I’m used to more complicated, difficult systems. So when someone says something is “easy” my jaded journalist buttons are flashing like a Christmas tree. When I saw Cyberlink’s DVD Solution working, even this jaded journalist was impressed (and that’s hard to accomplish).
I was able to create CD backups of essential Word documents, MP3 audio files, my WMV and AVI video files and more with a few clicks of the mouse.
When it really paid off was when I was able to free up needed hard disk space on my notebook computer and store the CDs elsewhere. Then when I needed one of those projects with several files a couple of weeks later, I reached for my CDs containing the backed-up files, reloaded them by copying and “Voila!” it was ready to roll.
You can also use DVD Solution to create some simple video production tasks. If you don’t have a video editing program, this tool gives you the ability to create simple videos. I’ve found these videos to be real time-savers to capture essential steps for getting office tasks done. No, they’re not Hollywood-quality motion pictures, but they are great references for tasks that have to be done over and over.
Recently we acquired a new CD duplicator and printer. Jason, my technical support assistant, had the usual task of “Figuring out how this dang thing works and then tech Terry.” Jason worked with the CD duplicator for a while then when he had it down, I grabbed a little video camcorder to record all the necessary steps. With that video in hand, I can now refer to it when I have to do something rather than relying on Jason. With a tool like DVD Solution, you can create DVDs of your in-office tasks so that training becomes automated and much easier.
You can also create DVDs that can be created and sent to various offices for new product introductions and demonstrating how to use various tools that are unique to your situation.
The program becomes a complete solution for tasks related to slide show creation so you can add music, pictures and more to computer-based slide shows (for conventions and gatherings) as well as on DVDs.
For $59.95 it is hard to beat this little package. If you have a lot of files that need to be stored and backed up, this is a great tool. The ability to also create and edit video productions is a bonus.
DVD Solution, Cyberlink (www.gocyberlink.com), $59.95
Scansoft Scores Another Hit With Ominipage 15
OmniPage has been a hit for a long time with scanning. With their new release of OmniPage 15 they have tweaked it further. I recently installed OminiPage 15 and used it for several tasks.
Text scanning was faster than before. I didn’t measure it like the guys with the white coats do in laboratories, but I found that it grabbed the text of a full page in about one minute for a simple magazine scan. This text was then editable in Microsoft Word with minor adjustments.
Scanning photos was pretty straightforward I used my HP All-In-One OfficeJet and with OmniPage 15 I had the pictures I needed.
However, one of the most useful features I found was the ability to batch create PDF files. I had a directory of many past articles. In the past I created these in a Word format and then created them individually as PDF files. With the feature in OmniPage 15 I designated an entire directory of several hundred articles and it created numerous PDF files automatically. While it was doing it’s job, I was able to do other things around the office monitoring its progress.
This is a simple but highly useful program that is a must-have for any office that does a lot of scanning and uses PDF files extensively. A great tool for scanning and more, it is worth investigating.
Both of these programs provide ease of use yet they also handle some rather complex tasks that can save you time and effort. The investment in purchase can save hours and hours of time for the busy entrepreneur and salesperson.
OmniPage 15 Professional, ScanSoft, $99.00 (www.scansoft.com)
Terry Brock is a marketing coach who helps business owners market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days using the right rules and tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com.
Copyright © 2005, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Biz Journals to use in regular publication.