CardScan Executive 800c
by Robert Du Vernay
Excellent product. Where was this thing when I was working the Richmond - DC - Baltimore corridor...the time I wasted copying and entering data into my personalized spread sheet, the hours! If you don't already have one of these wonderful, small compact little machines, and you rely on the exchange of business cards... well then you certainly need to get one.
The CardScan Executive 800c card scanner, with its supporting software, is a well designed and choreographed interplay of scanned image to OCR engine to YOUR choice (cache) of data. Yes, you need to specify a destination FILE. CardScan Executive accurately scanned virtually every business card I could find and borrow (several 12+ years, mangled a bit, stained with coffee).
The only one it really screwed up on, was one from someone I know who still operates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but the English bits came thru nicely. Less than 10 seconds per card for the scan, but you must verify the captured data and placement. Oh, and it works with MAC OS 10.5.3+. Watch for the blue LED and the device is ready to roll, if it is showing red it is not yet ready.
It’s powered by the USB connection and runs very well under Windows 7 and back to Win 2000. The version which was supplied is V 8.0.5 - 1 is user expandable. Almost forgot, you can run this guy off your network! You can set up individual and/or shared contact data bases. Network operation requires a different available license arrangement.
The following is a blurb I copied from CardScan's info sheet and it says it all:
"Core product that enables you to scan business cards into an accurate and efficient address book and use and manage the contacts with CardScan contact-management features or copy contacts to other desktop Personal Information Managers (PIMs), handheld Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) and Windows Mobile devices (for example, SmartPhone)."
CardScan works with Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes, and ACT! and GoldMine which allows sync or export. It does not work with Windows 7 mail client. It is better when everyone is playing with the same deck. There is also an on-line access for those who must travel. So nice to be able to build a complete Outlook Contact card is less than 30 seconds…and access it anywhere in the world! It is somewhat tricky to sync and search.
I am very impressed with the accuracy over all. Since the invention of OCR a long time back, I am a believer. I would venture to say, the CardScan OCR engine was in my case 97+% accurate; the actual placement of some of the info was off in about 2+% of the cards. You do have the opportunity to Review/Verify at scan capture time; you must hit the verified button to complete the action. The OCR is remarkable. Save yourself a few dollars and just get the CardScan Executive version, it comes with both Windows and Mac software.
Installation is as simple as inserting the CD and go! You will see an entry in your primary menu and a desk top icon. Thereafter, when you initiate the CardScan product you will experience the REGISTER me please, nag screen. You might want to check for any software updates, once you are a registered user. You can register later, via the TOOL option in the main screen.
CardScan Executive 800c is on Amazon for about $230 or your local B&M store for a few dollars more. There is an extensive Help system available, and if that does not work, you can contact CardScan via e-mail. If you purchase directly from CardScan, you are offered a 30 day trial period - if you are not completely happy, send it back. Single user and multiple/network licenses are at www.cardscan.com.
Robert Du Vernay is a HAL-PC member, retired international executive and the Chief Instructor who conducts the Basic 101 presentations on each 1st Saturday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.