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e-mail a hand-drawn sketch

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Winfield Hill, Aug 25, 2005.

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  1. The amount of effort required to email someone a hand-drawn sketch,
    and insure they can view it OK is excessive. Clearly I haven't yet
    found the optimum set of methods for this task. Suggestions? :>)
  2. Phil Hobbs

    Phil Hobbs Guest

    Draw it directly on a flatbed scanner with a felt pen, and flip the
    image before emailing it? (Drawing on the overhead projector used to
    work for one of my old professors.)


    Phil Hobbs
  3. Take your drawing, shove it in a Canon LiDE 80 USB scanner (which sits
    on edge right on your desk).

    Press the "file" button on the front of the scanner. Sit back very
    briefly while it opens the toolbox applet, scans the document in maybe
    10 seconds, creates a single-page PDF file and opens an explorer
    window showing the file name.

    Double click on the file and assure yourself it's okay. Close the file
    in Acrobat reader, drag it from the explorer window onto the the
    e-mail program and send it.

    Fast & easy. About as fast as faxing it.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  4. Spehro Pefhany wrote...
    Sounds good, but my desk space is *very* precious. That thing
    looks big, what's this "sits on edge" bit? How does that work?
  5. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    hp makes a similar "vertical standing" scanner, but I don't recall
    it's number right now. I wasn't impressed by its physical staunchness
    so I bought a conventional 3970 (around $90) when my ancient 5100C
    started making grinding noises.

    ...Jim Thompson
  6. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I just snap a pic with my trusty old Sony Mavica camera and send them
    a jpeg. It helps to do the sketch with a fat pen, but not mandatory.

    I'll do one right now... a sketch that's just now on my desktop (my
    physical desk, the one made out of wood.)

    OK, see abse. Maybe 1 minute or so total..

  7. mc

    mc Guest

    If it's a schematic, I can draw it faster in Visio (with my own extensive
    symbol set, but I understand Visio itself now gives you a decent one) faster
    than I can draw it by hand. Then save as GIF and you're done.

    Alternatively, draw on paper, scan to PDF using Adobe Acrobat and a scanner,
    and e-mail it.
  8. Richard H.

    Richard H. Guest

    We've got a smart Xerox copier at the office with a very handy
    mail-me-a-PDF feature. I use it for exactly that.

    At home, scanner to JPEG e-mail attachment. Just watch the resolution
    to keep from sending a giant file. Most scanners seem to have a
    one-button feature that pops up a PC utility, with this as one of the

  9. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    There was a patent attorney (Tendler was his last name, can't remember
    his first now) at Motorola who audio taped my description of a design
    and took photos of my white board as I talked.

    Best attorney I've ever known. So he quit Motorola, went back to New
    Hampshire, converted a barn into a home, and does a casual law
    practice from there ;-)

    Saved his wife with a Heimlich maneuver one night. A bunch of us
    sitting around their dining room table one evening gabbing away, and I
    was the only one who noticed her distress.

    Amazing how that sort of thing goes unnoticed. One time in the
    Honeywell Space Division cafeteria I choked on a napkin that was so
    cheap it fragmented as I wiped my mouth and I breathed in some of it.
    I stood up trying to free myself and finally forced a barf to get it
    loose. THEN people noticed ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  10. There is an included little plastic stand that clips onto the side of
    it, which reduces the frontage to about 5" or 6" (it sits almost
    vertical). Since the foot can go under the edge of an LCD or CRT
    monitor, it really only uses a few inches horizontally of desk space.

    Canon claims you can operate it in that position, but I always pull it
    out, lay it horizontal, then return it when done (clipping and
    unclipping the stand). Otherwise the sheet has a tendency to get
    off-square, which is really irritating.

    The other great thing it does is copying- saves going to a copy
    machine (for me, that's another location, for someone else it might be
    across the room). You just put the sheet in, hit the copy button, and
    a digital laser copy comes out of your laser printer. About 35 seconds
    button to tray for a super-quality 600 dpi b&w "bitmap" copy. Great
    for tax records and that sort of mundane thing. I keep the scanner to
    the left of my computer displays along with whatever emulators,
    programmers and so on that I'm working on, and the printer to the
    right, both within arm's reach. Another entire computer setup (two CPU
    boxes actually, and one of everything else) is to the left of the
    whole mess for communication with target systems, test program
    installation and other risky work.

    I used to have a huge and fat SCSI scanner that required its own power
    supply and had to be on another shelf to keep it out of the way. The
    software never worked all that well, and I dreaded having to send
    anyone anything using it. So far, this compact and inexpensive device
    does all the casual scanning I need to do (for the pro stuff, I've got
    a buddy with access to a serious $x00K drum scanner roughly the size
    of an Miata. ;-) ).

    They've really improved a lot (hardware and software) over the last
    few years. Andd its USB powered, so just *one* thin cable and no
    wall*wart. The only negative thing I can think of is that its a little
    flimsy and if you press too hard (for example to get the part near the
    binding of a databook without breaking the binding) it can actually
    jam the innards.

    BTW, you can get little drawers at places like Ikea that screw onto
    the bottom of desks. I use that for some other miscellaneous equipment
    that I have to access a few times a week.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  11. Guest

    If desk space is important to you, you could do what I have done. I
    soldered five 2" long finishing nails to the pins of a PC mount USB socket.
    Then I used a mallet to drive the nails through my skull into my visual cortex.
    I now plug my brain directly into my computer.

    This, together with a couple of driver files, allows me to dispense with
    my keyboard, mouse, scanner, speakers, and monitor. I see e-mails directly and
    can simply think of anything I want to send. I visualized this message in 10pt
    Courier New and I think I did a pretty good job too.

    Surfing the porn sites is a whole new experience.

    Jim "I think, therefore I communicate." Meyer
  12. wrote...
    Wow, Jim, thanks for the sharp answer, you really nailed that one!
  13. Leonard

    Leonard Guest

    I beleive you did.
  14. Well when I got my scanner last year, my computer ceased to be a desktop
    system. I put it on the floor, clearing up space on the desk.

    But, it happened to be a LiDE 20 USB scanner, and it came with a plastic
    gizmo so you can put the scanner on it's side (so the scanning surface
    is vertical or nearly so), providing for more desk space. I've not used
    it, mainly because I'm not scanning just sheets of paper.

  15. And you can get different color Sharpies, for that all important color

    It certainly makes more sense to sketch something with a pen and
    scan it (or digital photograph it), than to spend time doing ascii
    drawings, or even fiddle with a drawing program.

  16. nchernyy

    nchernyy Guest

    Take a high resolution picture of the hand drawn sketch with
    appropriate lighting and the camera set in closeup mode. Send in a
    image format that is widely supported.
  17. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest


    ...Jim Thompson
  18. Guest

    Amen! For simple stuff, I have not yet found the CAD or drawing program
    that is faster than a pen and paper. But then you have to get it into
    the computer.
    Have you ever tried using a pen input tablet? Wacom is a popular brand
    but there are others. You can get them in various sizes; I think the
    smallest one has about a 4"x5" (10x12 cm) active area. You "draw" on it
    with a plastic stylus similar to the ones used with PDAs. On the fancier
    models, you can flip the stylus around and use the blunt end to "erase".
    You can also set it up with some graphics programs (Photoshop, possibly
    others) to make fatter lines if you push harder. Note: Never lose the
    stylus. When you buy one of these, you are essentially buying a stylus
    with a free tablet included. In other words, stylus+tablet is maybe
    $100, while replacement stylus is $80. These are moderately popular in
    art and graphic design circles, so you may be able to find one on campus
    to test drive. I supported them for a couple of years and they seemed
    fairly durable, so a cheap used one from Ebarf may also be useful.
    Beyond that, I know there are whiteboards that digitize, but these are

    Matt Roberds

    PS I sent you $2.50 and a reminder email as you requested and I still
    haven't heard back. Did the price go up or did my order get lost? :)
  19. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Scan the sketch, print to PDF and you are done.
  20. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Scan to pdf.

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