Hard copy your data - up to 3MB per A4 page

Rouxenator

Dank meme lord
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Oct 31, 2007
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So I have this 200kb file I want to take home, but I do not have my flash drive with me and I am too lazy to plug in my phone as use it as mass storage. I also do not feel like opening Outlook so emailing the file home is not an option.

The idea that I then got was what if you could print the data on a page and scan it later to build the file again. Thankfully someone has made just the solution : http://www.ollydbg.de/Paperbak/index.html

You may ask - why? Why, for heaven's sake, do I need to make paper backups, if there are so many alternative possibilities like CD-R's, DVD±R's, memory sticks, flash cards, hard disks, streamer tapes, ZIP drives, network storages, magnetooptical cartridges, and even 8-inch double-sided floppy disks formatted for DEC PDP-11? (I still have some). The answer is simple: you don't. However, by looking on CD or magnetic tape, you are not able to tell whether your data is readable or not. You must insert your medium into the drive (if you have one!) and try to read it.

Paper is different. Do you remember the punched cards? EBCDIC and all this stuff. For years, cards were the main storage medium for the source code. I agree that 100K+ programs were... unhandly, but hey, only real programmers dared to write applications of this size. And used cards were good as notepads, too. Punched tapes were also common. And even the most weird codings, like CDC or EBCDIC, were readable by humans (I mean, by real programmers).

Of course, bitmaps produced by PaperBack are also human-readable (with the small help of any decent microscope). I'm joking. What you need is a scanner attached to PC. Actual version is for Windows only, but it's free and open source, and there is nothing that prevents you from porting PaperBack to Linux or Mac, and the chances are good that it still will work under Windows XXXP or Trillenium Edition. And, of course, you can mail your printouts to the recipients anywhere in the world, even if they have no Internet access or live in the countries where such access is restricted by the regiment.

Can't wait to get home and scan in my 200kb A4 sheet ;)
 

The_Ogre

Honorary Master
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Apr 30, 2010
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Sounds interesting so I tried it out. But when I saw it required 14 pages for a 2 odd meg file I had to run to the printer to stop the job :D
 

Nerfherder

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Apr 21, 2008
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You want us to go back to the days of punch out data cards ?

No thanks.

So many other options available.... and less detrimental to trees
 

Rouxenator

Dank meme lord
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Nerf, I thought you of all people would love it since it offers encryption and is almost as backwards as blackberry :)
 

xumwun

Expert Member
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Jul 30, 2006
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GMail, Dropbox, Google drive ???
I'm quite sure any of those would be less effort than printing your file and then scanning it afterwards.
 

Rouxenator

Dank meme lord
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Oct 31, 2007
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Well it worked. I got home, downloaded the 227kb application to open the two 107MB bitmaps and in the end I had my 194kb zip file.

At first I tried a page printed at 300dpi with a scan requirement of 900dpi but it failed since I use the windows built in scanning interface and it only goes to 600dpi. Second try was with two pages printed at 200dpi with a scan requirement of 300dpi. There was a bit of error correction here and there but it was good enough to recreate my zip file.

Seems the application only works with 24bit and 8bit BMP files, so the smallest input bitmap that I could use was 23MB (6200x3800 8bit).

If you were wondering what the pages look like, here is a highly scaled down scan of the 2nd page :
page2.jpg


This is a 1:1 crop of it:
topleft.gif


Will I use this again? Perhaps if it is really small files yes, and if I have a lot of time on my hands :cool:
 
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Faultyboy

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Apr 7, 2012
Messages
141
you could use this if you trying to get a small app into a building that has security that doesn't allow usb's through the front door.. Elite Hax0r Mi$$ions.. haha.

Wait but how do you get the decoder in.... :-/
 
Last edited:

zippy

Honorary Master
Joined
May 31, 2005
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10,177
Well it worked. I got home, downloaded the 227kb application to open the two 107MB bitmaps and in the end I had my 194kb zip file.

At first I tried a page printed at 300dpi with a scan requirement of 900dpi but it failed since I use the windows built in scanning interface and it only goes to 600dpi. Second try was with two pages printed at 200dpi with a scan requirement of 300dpi. There was a bit of error correction here and there but it was good enough to recreate my zip file.

Seems the application only works with 24bit and 8bit BMP files, so the smallest input bitmap that I could use was 23MB (6200x3800 8bit).

If you were wondering what the pages look like, here is a highly scaled down scan of the 2nd page :
page2.jpg


This is a 1:1 crop of it:
topleft.gif


Will I use this again? Perhaps if it is really small files yes, and if I have a lot of time on my hands :cool:

and how is this less effort than clicking on the Outlook icon and emailing the file ?
 

Nerfherder

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Apr 21, 2008
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Nerf, I thought you of all people would love it since it offers encryption and is almost as backwards as blackberry :)
Oh ok... so because something has encryption its backwards ?


wow. Well that's like saying its mobile and has a big screen because it fits on on an a4 piece of paper....
 

Nerfherder

Honorary Master
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Apr 21, 2008
Messages
27,606
you could use this if you trying to get a small app into a building that has security that doesn't allow usb's through the front door.. Elite Hax0r Mi$$ions.. haha.

Wait but how do you get the decoder in.... :-/


Well often its more important to get the data out... so this could work if you wanted to steal something.
 

Faultyboy

Well-Known Member
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Apr 7, 2012
Messages
141
If you just printed the Hex equivalent of a file. How would it compare in the number of pages department? I know my scanner can scan ASCII and make it editable again, then just use a hex editor to save the data back to a file.. just thinking out loud..
 

Nerfherder

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Apr 21, 2008
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If you just printed the Hex equivalent of a file. How would it compare in the number of pages department? I know my scanner can scan ASCII and make it editable again, then just use a hex editor to save the data back to a file.. just thinking out loud..
You can but how many characters can you fit on a page ? not many...
Even if you made it very small then it still wouldn't be great.
 

koeksGHT

Dealer
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Aug 5, 2011
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11,858
If you really want to piss your boss off just start printing HD movies with all the printers at work :D
 

Rouxenator

Dank meme lord
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Oct 31, 2007
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I'm not recommending this for serious use, but I was a lot of fun. What amazed me most was firstly that I came up with such a crazy idea and secondly, perhaps most importantly, that someone already made the software to do it and it works perfectly.

You're never to old to learn something new - however crazy that might be.
 
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