Customer Support at IDEAL

August 29, 2007

Our company blog has been active for a couple of months now and I haven’t weighed in yet with my comments.  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Kevin Lilly and I’m the face behind the voice offering scanner support.  I take pride in supporting IDEAL / Contex scanners and always do my best to get you back up and running as quickly as possible when you have a problem. 

Many of your support questions can be answered in our knowledge base, so try there first.  If you can’t find what you need there, the fastest and easiest way to get personal response to your support question is via an email request..     It’s also helpful to know if your scanner is under warranty.  Warranty information can be found here.There is lots of other information available in the support section of our website.

On the personal side, when I’m not supporting Contex scanners, you can find me fishing or at the local hobby train store.  To talk about fishing or trains, email me at  To get your support questions answered, fill out our support form


Online Plan Rooms / Online Map Rooms

August 29, 2007

Why would anyone want to put ANY documents online, let alone the large format drawings commonly used by architects, engineers and the construction industry as well as large format maps used by various government agencies? First of all, aren’t there security problems?  Secondly, in the case of large format drawings, aren’t there viewing problems with large files? 

In the eight years that I’ve been designing, programming, customizing and proselytizing for online document storage, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked those questions.  Let’s put it this way…if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, with compounded interest, I’d be sitting at a mountain lake fishing today, instead of posting a blog entry about online planrooms, maprooms and archive centers.    Unfortunately, the questions have never come written on the back of currency…

So, let me reel my mind away from the mountain lake and back to the questions at hand.

First of all, why store online?  First and foremost – convenience of access. 

In the early days of online planrooms, it was the reprographers and their architect, engineer, construction (AEC) customer base who were the driving forces.  The AEC folks wanted a faster, easier way to manage construction bids.  The Reprographers wanted a new and better way to feed their printing business.  Since those early days, the concept of online plan  rooms has expanded, morphed and yet, basically remained the same…when your drawings are accessible online you can get to them when you need them, as long as you have access to the internet.

IDEAL’s plan rooms and map rooms feature Level 3 security and nearly instantaneous viewing with our patented InterNETIX, thin client technology.   

For examples of online plan rooms, check out: ,, .

For example of online map rooms, see these links: 

Ada County Case Study: to ADA County Map Store:past this url into your browser: on enter type in user name    public    password    public FEMA Case Study: to FEMA Map Store: 

Summer’s Over – Fall Tradeshows Begin

August 29, 2007

As we say goodbye to summer, IDEAL’s marketing department is gearing up for a busy fall tradeshow season.  Between now and November, we have six tradeshows scheduled.  Shows on tap include: GIS in the Rockies Conference, Central Reprographics Association Trade Show, Western Reprographics Association, ARMA, ERRA/SRA and Autodesk University.   If you’re in the neighborhood for any of the tradeshows above, drop by and see us.  We’ll have the latest in large format scanning and document management solutions.  You can see our booth numbers for each show here.    We regularly update our tradeshow list, so check out tradeshows on our website for updates.  If you can’t get to a tradeshow and want to learn more about IDEAL products or the industries we serve, join us for a webinar. Do you know of a tradeshow or conference we should consider attending?  Email me at

Using for Secure Online Storage of Scanned Aperture Cards

August 17, 2007

IDEAL recently took on the Wicks & Wilson C-250 ACS Aperture Card Scanner in our product line. This is a great little ACS for fast, high volume scanning of aperture card based engineering drawings and scientific documents.   Why scan aperture cards?  Some people scan them for use in conversion to CAD; some, for an easier way to archive and retrieve in a Product Data Management (PDM) application.  Without getting hung-up on technical details, the Wicks & Wilson C-250 can scan ISO aperture cards at 350 cards per hour at 200 dpi and 250 cards per hour at 400 dpi, so you can get some pretty good production out of this little beauty, especially if you take advantage of the batch processing feature.  As far as I know, the ACS C-250 offers the highest, truest resolution in its price class. 

I like to recommend storing scanned aperture card files (and scanned large format drawings) on What’s the advantage to storing your data on a site like First and foremost is the immediate availability of your drawings via a web browser, and it’s protected with Level 3 security, so your drawings are accessible only to those whom you have authorized.  This is one archiving solution that also has nearly instantaneous viewing, a feature that’s absolutely necessary when you’re dealing with large format files.

If you think online archiving is something you’d like to try, I recommend starting with a pilot project.  For information about or to set up a pilot project, contact me at