Solution to CardMinder data fields, with the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 scanner

I absolutely love the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 duplex scanner. I don’t want to do a review here of either the scanner or much of the software that comes with the scanner, but I need to post the solution to a vexing problem with the CardMinder software used to OCR business cards and then save and sync the data.

The CardMinder software does a pretty good job with the OCR, but it only gets 4 data fields: Full Name, Company, Phone Number, and E-mail [Address]. But what about the other data on the card? such as the Address, or the Job Title, or the Website? There’s a “ribbon” bar that’s supposed to help you add such fields after using your cursor to box the desired text data, but an error message pops up and disappears so fast that it’s impossible to know why it isn’t working. The user manual isn’t helpful, and neither is the support website. A web search merely pulls up lots of people pointing out this limitation/bug.

But, when in doubt, read the Help file. Sure enough, in the Troubleshooting section there’s an answer, and after you check the appropriate boxes, the data fields will be visible (and filled with OCR’d text if present and sensed properly). The answer:

Items for recognition are not shown

Items for recognition are not shown.
Items to Check / Resolution
In the [CardMinder Options (Itemized Records)] dialog box, select the items to be recognized or exported.
Follow the procedure below:

  1. Click in the CardMinder window.
    The Application Menu appears.
  2. Click the [Options] button.
    The [CardMinder Options] dialog box appears.
  3. Click [Itemized Records].
    The contents of the [Itemized Records] are shown in the [CardMinder Options] dialog box.
  4. Select items.
    The check boxes for selected items are shown as .
    The check boxes for cleared items are shown as .
  5. Click the [OK] button.
    Checked items are set to be exported to another application.
See also
  • Changing the Items to Export to Another Application

Every decision we make is important

I just finished Washington’s Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History) by David Hackett Fischer. I was engrossed… had so many fascinating revelations, it replaces the the cartoonish history we all learned in high school, even college (e.g., the Hessians were not drunk from Christmas revelry).

I don’t have time to do a review, but I’d like to mention a few points.  First, part of Washington’s brilliance was his ability to be flexible in many ways, not the least of which was learning how to lead a mix of essentially foreigners (Virginians, New Englanders, backwoodsmen, etc.) all in the Continental Army, and then utilizing that army well with the local militias, especially in New Jersey.

Second, Thomas Paine isn’t given enough credit in saving the Revolution.  After the failures in Long Island and New York, with the army fatally shrinking (soldiers were leaving when their enlistment contracts ended) and public opinion at absolute lows, the entire War might have ended in December 1776. Paine saw the low morale and on December 23, 1776, published his first Crisis article, which began as follows:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

His words re-lit the fire in soldiers and civilians and helped enable the victories at Trenton and Princeton.

Third, the author weaves a compelling vision of the successes of December ’76 through March ’77 as a web of independent decisions.  From Washington to Cornwallis, from sergeants to privates, from Hessian and British pillagers to outraged New Jersey civilians….the entire American success was not a top-down engagement.

Every American ought to read this book.

Diet/disease links are health care issues!

I’ve always been irritated by our dietary guidelines being based on marketing instead of science.  Perhaps now is the time to implement some changes, and T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. have suggested three relatively low cost measures:

Mike Anderson has authored another brilliant, meticulously documented book/DVD, and as usual they’re affordably priced.  If you want to take control of your health and avoid or reverse heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other diseases, then get a copy of his books/DVDs and make the changes in your diet:

UFO hoax is revealed!

Kudos to Joe Rudy and Chris Russo who pulled off the whole thing!

As someone who cringes at the pseudoscience pedalled by hucksters and believed by the average person (who’s proud to be scientifically illiterate), it’s good to see such exposés as often as possible.

The UFO was five 3-ft balloons with flares attached by fishing line, so this is perfect:

The icing on the cake came when the popular History Channel show UFO Hunters featured the Morristown UFO as their main story one week. Bill Birnes, the lead investigator of the show and the publisher of UFO Magazine, declared definitively that the Morristown UFO could not have been flares or Chinese lanterns.

Gee, what evidence did you use, Mr. Birnes, to deduce the lights were not flares.  You, sir, are a disgrace to our gene pool.  UFO Magazine….indeed.

Apartments not ALWAYS safe bet for investors

“Demand for apartments is falling as local employers slash jobs and more renters double up or move back home with parents.” (Job losses hurt suburban [Chicago] apartment occupancy, rents)

It’s more important than ever for multifamily property investors to choose the appropriate (1) property, (2) financing, (3) rehab team, and (4) property management firm.

Solar Roadways to the economic rescue!

From Solar Roadways:

I especially like the cost calculations (The Numbers) and the list of benefits (Benefits).

Of course, my lingering question about ANY large-area solar implementation is do we know what will happen when the sun’s energy is collected for electricity INSTEAD of letting it heat the ground, i.e., will the climate cool slightly or will the effect be negligible?

SBA has increased the LTV and lowered the fees

The following statement was issued Monday (sorry for the delay!) by Acting Administrator Darryl K. Hairston of the U.S. Small Business Administration following the announcement by President Barack Obama of important steps being taken by the SBA and the U.S. Department of Treasury to address the economic challenges facing small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.

“U.S. small businesses employ about half our nation’s workers and over the last decade have created about 70 percent of all new jobs. But their access to credit and lending markets has dried up, making it harder every day for small businesses to keep their doors open and their employees working. American small businesses are one of the strongest engines for economic prosperity in the world, and we can’t let this crisis continue to undermine their growth and potential. Today President Obama reiterated his belief that we owe it to America’s small businesses to be the partner they need in the midst of this crisis. At SBA, we couldn’t agree more.

“SBA this week is implementing two key provisions laid out in the Recovery Act – we are temporarily eliminating certain loan fees and raising guarantees on some 7(a) loans up to 90 percent. With these critical steps by SBA, and the Treasury Department’s commitment of up to $15 billion aimed at getting lending markets flowing again, we are standing up with small business owners across this country and telling them how we are going to put much-needed capital in their hands.

“We hope small businesses will take the opportunity to ask their banks about the SBA loans that might be available to them. And, we encourage community banks and other lenders to work with us to reach as many qualified borrowers as we can during these difficult times.”

Beginning this week, the SBA will:

• Temporarily raise guarantees to up to 90 percent on SBA’s 7(a) loan program, through calendar year 2009, or until the funds are exhausted. This increase in guarantee levels will help provide banks with the greater confidence they need to extend credit during the current recession, will mean more capital available to small business owners around the country.

• Temporarily eliminate fees for borrowers on SBA 7(a) loans and for both borrowers and lenders on 504 Certified Development Company loans, through calendar year 2009, or until the funds are exhausted. This will mean more capital available to small businesses at a lower cost. The fee elimination is retroactive to February 17, the day the Recovery Act was signed. SBA is developing a mechanism for refunding fees paid on loans since then.

Additionally, the President announced that the Treasury Department will commit up to $15 billion to help unlock the frozen credit markets by purchasing small business loan securities currently frozen on the secondary market. By purchasing these securities, it will unlock these secondary markets, and in turn, free up more capital to jumpstart lending for small business owners. The SBA has worked closely with the Treasury Department to address the need to unlock these secondary markets for SBA loans.

So if you think these changes make your scenario now fund-able, contact me and we’ll crunch the numbers.

Twitter now affects the courts!

Tweets from jury deliberation room give losing side some straws to grasp at: Courts will have to crack down on that I think, but such tweets don’t really show bias at all.

Here’s a great use of Twitter in the court room: A good reporter can make you feel as if you’re right there amidst the action….or boredom. :-)

Great text-to-image plugin

Thank you, Milan, who wrote a great WordPress plugin which easily converts a text string to a tiny image (which helps prevent spam-bots from scraping email addresses and phone numbers and from auto-logging into sites to create spam comments for seo). I use it on my Contact page.

 And I did that by typing 5 characters before the sentence and 6 after. Very simple. (Actually, the site’s style sheets will control the exact placement of the image, so in my case I had to float it left (the default style here is right float.)) Here’s the link to the plugin:

Hello world!

Well….I’ve finally given up on the idea of porting all old blog posts to this WordPress platform. No big loss really, except I’ll try to dig out some of the useful posts and paste them here. Onward and upward!