9 Feb 2012

Flip-Pal Finally

Well I’ve done it. I’ve purchased myself a Flip-Pal (or Flip-Flop as my non-genealogical friends took to calling it). I got mine whilst I was in New York City over the weekend after wanting one since they came out in the States. 

At the time I bought mine you could only get it online either direct from the Flip-Pal website (www.flip-pal.com) or from Amazon.com and due to a problem with imputing a non-USA address I had to get mine from Amazon. A friend of a friend agreed to take delivery for me as I didn’t feel comfortable getting it delivered to the hotel before we arrived. I have been informed by Flip-Pal that they have rectified this issue. 

I've also been informed by Debbie Kennett (@DebbieKennett) that a company called My Heritage My History (edit 22:23 10-Feb-2012; note to self don't blog jet-lagged. Thanks Flip-Pal Facebook) now stock the scanner and they will be a Who Do You Think You Are Live 2012. You can buy one online from here: http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Flip-Pal-scanner.html

Other places may also stock them but I've not done a thorough search. <- Twitter has just shown me that they're also stocked by Family Tree Folk here: http://www.familytreefolk.co.uk/page_11211.html (edit 21:50 09-Feb-2012)

This is what it looked like in the box: 

Although it didn't stay in the box for very long! 

So what’s the fuss I hear you ask? The Flip-Pal is brilliant in that you can scan anything, any size due to the ‘stitching software’. 

When you take the scanner out of the box you get a little ‘quick start’ guide, a 2GB memory card, 4 AA batteries (just had to amend that as I cannot count!) and a memory card to USB adapter so you can transfer the images easily. The memory card comes loaded with the Flip-Pal toolbox which is the desktop launcher for the stitching software, tutorials and various other useful information.

To test the scanner I have scanned in a Faux-Certificate that was sent to me through the Guild’s marriage challenge (another great reason to join the Guild). This is an A4 piece of paper. 

You can set the scanner at 300 or 600 dpi. I have mine set at 600 dpi. The scanner has guide marks on it so you know where you are, however with an A4 sheet you can use the sides of the sheet as a guide. 

Below you can see the four separate images. 

Now previously I would have ‘stitched’ these together by hand using paint. It is very time consuming and very annoying when you sneeze / cough / get distracted and ‘drop’ the image in the wrong place. This process would normally take 5 to 10 minutes for each image depending on the complexity of the stitch. 

Using the Flip-Pal software this is done automatically but just selecting the images. 

Below you can see the first ‘stitched’ imaged. As you can see the sides are a bit wonky but that is most definitely due to my inability to scan in a straight line (I can’t even draw a straight line with a ruler!) but it hasn’t affected the final image. 

A quick crop and the final scan is complete. Taking 2 to 3 minutes in total I can declare I love my Flip-Flop! 

A couple of other reviews of the Flip-Pal can be found over at Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and also a 2-part review for lots of detail and screen shots over at Long Lost Relatives

Disclaimer: I am not employed by Flip-Pal, Amazon or My-History (but if they wanted me to be a tester for cool products my contact details are around!). I love my Flip-Pal and I say this without receiving any incentives, discounts or whatnots from any company that sells this delicious product.