Sunday, May 31, 2015

Scan with a Mouse! An Interview with Ellen from Shop the Hound

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at the Alberta Genealogical Society Conference in Edmonton. This was a great conference and while I was there I was able to talk to Ellen Thompson-Jennings from Shop the Hound. She demonstrated the Zcan+ scanner mouse to me and of course I had to buy it.

Shopping Bag by phanlop88. Image courtesy of

Now, Ellen is offering a very special deal to my readers. This deal is especially great if you are in the US, since Ellen's store is in Canada and right now the conversion rate favors the American dollar. She's offering $10.00 off anything in the store on orders totaling $85.00 (Canadian) or more. Just use the code Gena at checkout. That's a fantastic deal on the mouse scanner or anything else you want. (Thanks Ellen!)

So I wanted to share more about Shop the Hound and the mouse scanner with everyone so here's an interview I did with Ellen.

Gena: Shop the Hound offers various resources for family historians. Please tell us a little more about your online store.

Ellen: I'm a genealogist and both my husband and myself, love techy things. My first item was the Flip-Pal when I saw it the first year it was introduced at Roots Tech. I had to have one and I had to sell them. I didn't even have a store then.

Then it just grew, as we found other tools; like Zcan+, Picture Keepers, Eye-Fi Cards and now we have a lot of other items including some new jewelry. My son says I'm a magpie and that might be true.

Gena: We met at the Alberta Genealogy Society conference where you demonstrated the Zcan+ scanner mouse. Can you talk a little bit about its features?

Ellen: The Zcan+ is a mouse and a scanner:

  • It is PC and Mac compatible
  • It scans at 400 dpi and it has OCR (Optical Character Recognition in 199 languages)
  • Scan photos, recipes, kids drawings and share on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or email instantly
  • Scan and save as PNG, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PDF, Excel, Word and TXT
  • Scan and with the Apps you can send to Evernote, Dropbox, Google Search Image, Google Translate or to a QR Code Reader. Or just save to your computer.

Gena: What do you use the scanner for?

Ellen: I've used it to scan photos and documents. I've scanned text and then put that text in my genealogy program. Why type things when you can scan them?

When I sold my house last year and I was on vacation camping I scanned the legal papers and sent them to the lawyer.

You can scan recipes and save it in word and now you can add your own ingredients. My husband used it to scan an old spreadsheet he had that he no longer had a copy of and saved it back into Microsoft Excel. (no formulas but the information was still there).

Gena: What makes this mouse better than some of the other personal scanners on the market?

Ellen: There are wand scanners and to be honest I've never used one. But from what I understand if you don't have a steady hand you have to start  over. With the Zcan+ it's very forgiving. I always say if the image is wonky you can just slide over that spot again. You don't have to start over.

I know many genealogist are using Flip-Pal and I love mine and wouldn't give it up but I use it and my Zcan+. They each have their own application. If you don't have a laptop or you just don't want to take your computer you don't have to,  just take your Flip-Pal.

It's especially great when you go to a country where the power source isn't the same as at home. Or when my dad gave me a box of photos I could scan while I was watching TV.

But if your at home on your PC or if you out and about with your laptop then you can use your Zcan+. As I said it depends on what your doing each has their own uses.

We carry both the USB version as well as a wireless model of the Zcan+.  If you still want to use your own wireless mouse and the Zcan+ you can there isn't a conflict.

Thanks Ellen!

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