Ok, Greg here...
I've read a few of the post here.
I do computer consulting work for a living. (Mostly networks, security, and such.)
But I'm a big reader - always have been.
I'd like to perhaps convert my books to electronic format - or preserve other documents both in a full raw format, and also as OCR'd in something like PDF.
I've got a Kindle1 - a craigslist acquisition - until something better comes along. (The NotionInk tablet that's coming later in 2010 looks really like the general form of what I'd really like. Something a bit more general purpose than an EPaper device like Kindle/Nook et al, but still great for reading. Also a larger display that will handle PDF's of larger format stuff.)
Part of this reasoning is that I may well be headed back to school. I'm headed the opposite way than most of the posts I've seen here.
I'm probably going to head the other way - to psychology instead of tech. [I am much more suited for "feeling" and emotive based work, and as many of you know, Tech/IT isn't generally much of an emotive workspace.]
So, having those texts available, should I do the big plunge, would be nice.
But that's not the main basis for wanting to build my own scanner. (I've got a sheet fed duplex 50 IPM scanner now, but even then, you have to destroy the book to scan it. And it doesn't handle things like glossy magazine material well either.)
I just like having technical (really all my docs) available on the PC. I can share with friends more easily, and can search them more quickly. I can haul a library that will kill you to physically haul around in book form and look up what I want and need at will.
I also read widely. And having all that material together is nice. Sometimes my daughter wants to read Ann of Green Gables, and then I want to read Ender's Game. Where else but ebooks could you do this at will.
So, a friend and I (Portland Oregon in case anyone wonders where we are) are planning on building one to share. We would welcome any others in the neighborhood to join in. We'll try to make ours as portable as possible - so sharing it would be easier.
I'm also interested in developing a VM image that could be fairly hardware independent. It would allow for a lot easier collaboration.
Comments are welcome. (I'm at greg s at sloop . net - just remove those pesky spaces.)
Thanks for all everyone elses input. We'll see how far we make it in the next couple of months - I'm a notorious procrastinator and I get sidetracked a lot too. So, if we get a working unit anytime soon, it should be chalked up to a miracle.