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Tom Swift’s Electronic Magic Highlighter
aka  Wizcom Technologies QuicklLink Pen

Those of use who are constantly reading journals, textbooks, manuals and magazines filled with little snippets of information that we would like to remember are well aware that we are often pretty lazy.  If we don’t write them down on a piece of paper ( later lost), we often forget about them only to later regret we don’t have the references available.  That can be solved with the QuickLink pen. As an avid user of this 5-6 ounce little marvel for the past 6 months, I can assure the reader that it works pretty much as advertised. It is nothing more that a complete OCR solution with a great deal of memory (up to 1000 pages of scanned text) in a handheld pen-style form.  With a less than 15 minute “learning curve” you can scan whole pages, or more likely, whole sentences of information with great accuracy and have them stored in the pen. It can scan type from 6-22 points in almost any style and even lets you enter manually input individuals letters by scanning a optical mark keyboard on the bottom of its standard sturdy little carrying case. While it doesn’t like colored backgrounds or drop caps, It is even smart enough to scan from right to left, befitting a device that can do OCR in English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish to date with more languages being added. (See the company website at www.wizcomtech.com for the list.) It is powered by 2 AAA batteries and has user-upgradeable firmware.

Once you have scanned text, URLS, names addresses, etc., you transfer them to your PC and the Quicklink desktop by infrared link, serial cable, or an optional (extra cost) USB link. I find it most handy to transfer information to my Palm Vx via the infrared link. Although untested by this reviewer the company claims that the QuickLink can scan business cards and create an address book Their claim of scanning tables well enough to input data into spreadsheets was not supporting by my cursory testing but may well be true with further practice. The support for the product is very good with prompt toll-free phone help during weekdays and very accessible web site. In summary, the $179 MSRP (about $130 street) is well worth it for the note taker who hates typing or scanning whole pages for the two or three real sentences that are important. It beats underlining and highlighting pages every time. A good tool for the student or those who write a good deal and is a recommended buy as long as you can agree to never tell anyone that you enjoy using this device. Remember it is REAL WORK at all times!

FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS:

Size: ergonomic 6 inches x 1 x 1, lightweight 3 ounces
Captures up to 1000 pages of data
Recognizes 6-22 point size text, bold, italic, underlined, inverted text.
An Opticard lets you input text manually.
Auto detects text for instant scanning. Just roll and scan.
Uses either infrared (IrDA) or the Serial Port (9 pin) to transfer data easily.
USB adapter available (at additional charge) Note: it is Xircom branded and works with other serial devices as well.
Optical character recognition at 97% (based on standard font and size average) Preference setting for higher numerical and inverted text recognition level.
If you are using Rechargeable Batteries, we recommend using these two types: Radio Shack NI-Cadm, and GP Ni-Me-Hydr.

System Requirements for QuickLink Desktop Application:

Windows 95/98 and Windows NT (also works with Windows 2000 computers, but not officially supported)
CD-ROM Drive (for Desktop Application)
16 MB of RAM
8 MB available hard disk space
Available communications port if serial connection desired

Comes complete with:

2 MB ROM memory and 2 MB integrated flash memory
Socket for Flash Memory Cards - 4 MB upgrade (others as they become available) QuickLink Desktop Software
User Manual
Tutorial Video on CD
Quick Reference Card
PC Data Cable (RS 232, 9 pin)
Carrying Case (plastic) with Opticard
2 "AAA" batteries

Shep Gorman, PhD
Staff of Nassau Community Collage
LIPCUG Member

 

 

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