World Community Grid.

Introduction

Screen saver of World Community Grid
Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes the problem with accomplishing a charitable objective is not convincing people to support an endeavor but simply making them aware of the need and how they can be a part of the solution1 I do believe in the sickness of mankind – corporately and individually. In other words, I do not believe we are a blank slate capable of perfect good, but rather irretrievably corrupted, redeemable only via super-natural means. In such, I agree with traditional ideas on the depravity on man. However, too often the fact that we are sick has been used to describe us as dead. We yet bear a bit of that perfect image in which we were formed and while we will always make bad choices this does not preclude us from making good choices. Evangelicalism too often has failed to lead causes in arenas such as social justice because of a misuse of the concept of depravity. I consider myself solidly evangelical but unwilling to allow depravity to overcome ideas of social justice, charity, and humanity. It is a partial explanation of, but not a full picture, the nature and future of man.. I believe this is the case with the World Community Grid and I want to share with each of you about this exciting project that meets real needs and that each of us can painlessly participate in.

The Problem:

Humans cannot perform the calculations fast enough for many of the massive scientific and medical experiment currently in process. We need the assistance of computers to perform these massive calculations faster and reliably. Unfortunately, super-computers with massive processing power are in limited supply and expensive to either build or rent. This places a strain on medical and scientific researchers as they must secure extra funds or wait for computing resources to become available.

The Solution:

The World Community Grid allows individuals to install an application on their computer that essentially allows their computer to become part of a massive super-computer. Already hundreds of thousands of individuals participate, and well over a million machines are involved. Already we have contributed 195,000 years of processing power to various projects.

The Questions:

  • Will my computer run slower? Yes and no. In a strictly literal sense, it will – because its doing something else in the background. But in a realistic sense, there are generally no tangible changes in system performance. The software automatically reduces its resource utilization when you are actively utilizing the computer2 You can always turn off the application temporarily or permanently..
  • What sort of projects are these researchers working on? Cures/treatments for cancers, AIDs, muscular dystrophy, STDs, malaria, and flavivirus infections (e.g. West Nile encephalitis and yellow fever). The projects also model climate predictions and look for effective food hybrids (e.g. a more nutritious rice).

Conclusion:

Go to WorldCommunityGrid.org and sign up for a free account. Its easy, fun, and really makes a difference. In the U.S. alone we have a population of well over 200 million. Right now there are less than one million participants and we are already accomplishing amazing things. Join us for this exciting journey! If you have questions or encounter problems please enter them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer each one.

No More PaperPort, Join the Lucion FileCenter Revolution!

Introduction:

Flat-bed Scanner.
Flat-bed Scanner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scanners and scanning have come a long way from the old days. Now we have these wonderful MFP devices at affordable prices with document feeders available to consumers and small businesses – it is a wonderful world! But what about the whole process of taking the captured image and moving it to data storage, formatting it, sorting it, perhaps running some OCR against it?

In my experience MFPs and scanners generally come with some lite version of document scanning / management software – oftentimes an older version of Nuance’s PaperPort.

Recently I took in a homeless Dell MFP with some issues (like frequent jamming while printing). I knew it originally came with PaperPort, but it didn’t have it by the time I took it in – so I went looking. Yikes! PaperPort was on the expensive side and a trial wasn’t readily available. So this is my attempt to find the best solution. I began by doing a pretty extensive overview and in the end just fell head-over-heels for Lucion’s FileCenter…so I decided not to finish filling out all my charts and just let folks know I love FileCenter. It feels so much smoother and more intuitive than PaperPort (at least version 12 – the last version I have access too).

That said, I’m not using FileCenter right now. Why? Because the Professional version of the product is $200. 🙁 Sure, standard is only $50…but I want the professional…maybe I’ll wake up one day and the software fairy will leave a copy under my pillow…or maybe one day I’ll find that I really need an excellent application to perform document scanning and management – but right now, I don’t…and being a bit of a perfectionist, I don’t want the semi-good standard but the robust professional (I think their features are actually largely on parity with each other).

What do you think? Have you seen other options out there? Tried PaperPort 14? Hate FileCenter? Let me know in the comments!

Potential Alternatives:

Scanitto – An inexpensive, basic scanning solution. PaperMaster – Appears to have been discontinued.
Sohodox – Pricing starts at $199. GloboDox – Big brother to Sohodox, pricing starts at $399.
eDocOrganizer – Pricing starts at $50. Your suggestion goes he

Product Comparison:

When it comes down to it, there appear to be three main products in the arena – Nuance’s PaperPort, Lucion’s FileCenter, and ITAZ’s Sohodox. I’m going to compare PaperPort and FileCenter here – b/c I have only had time to use these two, and I have not had time to demo Sohodox.
In the following table you will note some X’s are bolded. This indicates that the feature is available in both the standard and professional editions of the software. You’ll also notice some X’s are italicized, this means a crippled version of the feature is available.

Company: Nuance Lucion
Software: PaperPort FileCenter
Standard License: $99.99 $49.95
Professional License: $199.99 $199.95
Current Version: 14 7
Scan To Searchable PDF X X
Scan Direct Utility X X
PDF Viewer X X
FormTyper X ?
ImageViewer X ?
Print to Image PDF X ?
Document Thumbnails X X
Stack/Unstack PDF X X
PDF Document Assembly X X
PDF Annotation X X
PDF Highlighting X X
Folder Management X X
Folder Notes X ?
Send-To Links X ?
Cloud Sync X ?
Nuance Cloud Connector# X ?
Web Bookmarks X ?
Scan and Open Button X ?
Scanner and Image Enhancement Tools (SET) X ?
Customizable Scanner Profiles X X
Capture Assistant X ?
Network Folders X X
Windows Context Menu Support X X
Jump to Recently Scanned/Viewed X ?
PDF Create Included# X ?
PDF Creation of Any Application File on Desktop X ?
Supports PDF 1.7 X ?
Supports PDF/A X ?
Supports MDF-MRC X ?
PDF Passwords X X
PDF Encryption X ?
SendTo OmniPage Workflow X ?
Bookmark and Organize Workspaces (Desktops) X ?
Scheduled All-In-One Indexing X ?
MFP Scanning with Desktop Delivery via Email & Folder X ?
SharePoint Connector X