Author Archives: Damian Hospital

What is Computer Output Microfilm (COM fiche)?

What is Computer Output Microfilm (COM)?

Computer Output Microfilm (COM) is a system that converts stored data directly to microfilm or microfiche. I know around ten people who used to sell Bell & Howell Computer Output Microfilm systems as far back as the 1960s to the 1980s. It almost seems to be a prerequisite for salespeople in the micrographics industry from that era.

com fiche

COM recorder

Computer Output Microfilm systems are still used today, mostly by organizations who need to store payroll, accounting, insurance, inventory, or employee data. Yet because most of these organizations have outputted the Computer Output Microfilm to microfiche, they have to manually search for a record and use a reader printer to save out a particular file.

computer output microfilm

Old diagram of COM creation (microfilm)

 

A more feasible option is to convert Computer Output Microfilm to digital image via Generation Imaging’s microfiche scanning services. Generation Imaging specializes in microfiche to PDF, TIFF, or JPEG conversions.

Using high quality/high production microfiche scanners, we convert the COM microfiche to digital. Generation Imaging provides this COM fiche scanning service to end users as well as other service bureau’s. Clients can choose from Adobe PDF format, Group 4 TIFF (tagged image file format), or greyscale JPEGs. PDFs and TIFFs can be wrapped in a multi-page file. Generation Imaging offers an optional OCR (optical character recognition) image processing and other indexing services (by folder or filename).

The end result of this entire process is a digital image which you could easily search the file containing records by name, account number, date, and/or social security number. Obviously this saves time and efficiency.

computer output media

COM Fiche

Definitions of COM

1. Computer Output Microfilm: microfilm containing data, which is created by a recorder from computer generated electrical signals.
2. Computer Output Microfilmer: a recorder which converts data from a computer into language and records it on microfilm.
3. Computer Output Microfilming: a method of converting data from a computer into language onto microfilm.

You can substitute “microfilm” with “microfiche“.

Do you have microfiche to convert to pdf or digital image?

If so, please contact us today for a free microfiche scanning quote. Let us digitize microfiche for you. Generation Imaging has wholesale scanning prices, and is run by a specialized experienced team. With over 30 years of experience, we have seen all types  of microfiche. We have top notch customer service and a quick turnaround. CONTACT US

3 Reasons to Convince Your Boss to Digitize Microfiche

Convert Microfiche to Images

If you work with microfiche and pull records as part of your job, you may have fantasized about a more efficient way of doing that. Perhaps you even use a microfiche reader printer or microfiche viewer to locate documents. Well, there is a way, and it is called microfiche scanning.

Converting analog media to digital image (i.e. microfiche conversion) has many benefits. Here are three obvious microfiche scanning benefits:

Immediate retrieval of your documents on your computer- I mean, seriously, you can have a little contest with your co-worker to see who can bring up a fiche document the fastest; you just use your mouse and she has to go digging through filing cabinets and use a microfiche viewer or reader. Microfiche scanning allows this quick retrieval.

No more losing microfiche- No longer will you be worried about your documents getting lost due to a misplaced fiche or small frame falling off. As someone who has working with microfiche for three decades I can attest to how one must pay close attention to where one leaves a microfiche card. With microfiche scanning, all of the images will be saved and you can make unlimited backups and copies, so you will never lose a card again.

Quick response to resolving issues- Imagine if you work at an insurance company or school and someone is requesting their records. In some cases your organization has been forced to give a 5-day turnaround time because someone has to find the fiche and use an old, faulty reader printer to print out on paper or create an image. With microfiche scanning all you would have to do is…use your mouse and keyboard to type the fiche ID or use your eyes to find a folder. Which method is more efficient?

reader printer

OLD School is not FAST

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Simple Ways To Digitize Negatives

Scan Negative Microfiche

If you need to digitize negatives from microfiche cards, there are options available for you. One good way to digitize negative is to use a microfiche to digital scanner. This scanner will digitize negatives from many different types of formats. You can then store the resulting images as jpegs, tiffs, pdfs right on your computer.

Digitize Negatives with a Microfilm SCanerOriginal negative microfiche are black. Duplicated microfiche are purple or blue. Positive microfiche are clear. Microfiche scanners have the ability to reverse the negative polarity, so the black background will become white. The default settings are clear white positive.

Negative Microfilm Strips

To digitize negatives from strips of old film, or from microfilm rolls, you basically follow the same process, but the microfilm scanner is different. To digitize negatives from film strips that roll in 100-foot rolls, the conversion is more automated than from short strips.

Log rolls are threaded through a microfilm scanners that then feed the microfilm on a continuous flow. But to digitize negatives from very short strips, each strip requires some one to load the negative on to the microfilm scanner one by one.

It is efficient to digitize negatives from small strips with a process that allows adjustments for variations of quality. This process allows is very handy to digitize negatives that have variations of contrast. You should not digitize negatives with one standard setup because this can lead to loss of quality in the resulting image. When adjustments are needed, you want to have the opportunity to make necessary equipment adjustments. CONTACT US

Historical Society Microfiche To Digital

Scanning Microfiche Containing Genealogical Records

Many historical and genealogical records are stored on microfiche cards. This is available to someone interested in the information for private and or historical uses. In many libraries and other locations around the United States, they have microfiche readers to help you find what you need.

Converting the microfiche to digital allows this process to be much easier. Microfiche to digital conversion is the process of scanning microfiche with high tech equipment, and creating an image that is stored on computers. Microfiche to digital conversion can make a big difference to genealogy researchers that are looking for specific information contained within a large collection of data.

history microfiche

Traditional Uses vs Digital Conversion

A good way to compare these processes is to consider the differences between the two formats and what can be accomplished with each. Traditional microfiche readers rely on you to manually locate the film, insert it into the reader, then finding the general area where your data may be, and then hunting for names as you would find a word in a book. A Microfiche to digital conversion creates digital images of the entire collection.

All the data is then stored in a computer and can be viewed as many time as you like. The scanning of microfiche to digital technology has been available for a few years and is the logical means for optimization. Microfiche readers and printers where great years ago, but the time it takes to find information is greatly reduced thanks to a microfiche to digital conversion process.

Searchable PDFs or Text Files

There is even better news. After the Microfiche to Digital process is complete, we can perform an OCR or, Optical Character Recognition, to the files. By doing this, all files that were converted from microfiche to digital can be data searched by simply typing a name in the computer. Imagine you are looking for persons name and you don’t know where it is within thousands of records. The value of microfiche scanning is realized when you are able to type in the name and have the computer bring up the page and point to the location where the name is found.Microfiche to Digital CONTACT US

Convert Microfiche to Digital Images (PDFs, TIFFs, JPGs)

Did Your Reader Printer Break?

When should one convert microfiche to digital images, such as PDFs, TIFFs, or JPGs? How about right now! Just recently the Mt. Vernon Clerk and Recorder office has suffered extensive water damage, and their microfiche machine no longer works. Generation Imaging has received numerous inquires from many government entities, school systems, and insurance companies that were using reader printers or Canon scanners which broke down.

If they don’t convert microfiche before an accident or mechanical failure, they would be unable to service the public or digitize the data. The huge advantage of using a microfiche scanning service bureau is that a company like Generation Imaging can convert microfiche to digital images much more quick than a slow reader printer or Canon scanner.

convert microfiche to pdfGood Microfiche Scanners

G.I. uses NextScan high speed microfiche scanners to convert microfiche to PDF, TIFF, or JPG, at various DPI, bi-tonal (black and white) or grayscale. Images can be converted through OCR (proprietary software) or indexed by directory or at the filename level. In other words, G.I. can create an image retrieval format for you to match your existing organization or create an entire new way to organize your images.

The key to avoiding disasters and getting involved in the tricky business of disaster recovery is to be proactive. The first step is to convert microfiche to digital. You may be surprised just how affordable the cost of microfiche scanning is with Generation Imaging.

Go Digital

The benefits of digitizing fiche are numerous: increased productivity, easy file transfers via e-mail, internet, FTP, networks, and printing; and the ability to copy images quickly.

Governments, private organizations, and individuals (researchers, veterans, genealogists, hobbyists) that have fiche should convert microfiche to digital images as soon as possible. CONTACT US