Top Commercial OCR/ICR Engines in the World

What is OCR? It’s short for optimal character recognition. ICR is a form of OCR but meant for reading handwritten characters. OCR is essential in any business process where documents are scanned and extracted for text or metadata in order to classify them.

From five years of experience with OCR engines, the following are the recommendations in order:

There are also open source, free OCR engines such as Tesseract, which was released by staff from UNLV  oddly enough.

Surprisingly, there are many modern libraries that do on-the-fly OCRing on mobile phones. Such technology has many benefits for both the consumer and business user.

 

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PCs are Not Dead

With the industry going mobile, I figured that I could show my true loyalty to the desktop by building my own. I already own several laptops, tablets and phones. What I didn’t own was a very powerful PC.

Hardware

  • Corsair Carbide Series 200R Mid-Tower ATX Case
  • Samsung 120 GB SSD
  • Seagate 2TB SATA HD
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 1GB
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H Motherboard
  • Intel i7 4770K
  • Kingston 8GB Memory
  • Corsair CX600 600W PSU
  • 2 120mm Side Fans
  • DVD/RW Drive

The final cost for all this hardware was about $1000 with rebates from the Micro Center in Tustin, CA. After 4 hours of tedious installation, my UEFI bios booted up just fine.

Boot Loader

Getting Windows 8 Pro and Linux to work together in UEFI environment was  actually very simple. Just install Windows 8 first, disable UEFI in the bios, then install Ubuntu as a second option. Now, I can dual boot into Linux and Windows.

I’m very happy that Windows boots to desktop in under 6 seconds (even when fast boot is disabled) and the case fans make hardly any noise.

The solid state drive is really amazing. I wish I could have gotten a bigger drive for my operating systems. Although almost all of my data resides in the 1 TB drive (I split the 2TB in half for each OS), some of my work relies on code in a source repository that assumes the repository is on the C:\ Drive. Therefore, I have to have a few gigs of data on the local drive.

Ideally, a 200+ GB SSD drive would have been better so that then I can have additional VMs on that drive, like a Mac OSX partion so that I can use XCode. Getting Mac OSX to boot legally inside of a virtual machine is another headache of its own.

Software

  • Tortoise SVN
  • SourceTree (Git Client)
  • VirtualBox
  • FileZilla FTP
  • Sublime Text
  • Notepad++
  • Start8 and Fences by StarDock
  • DropBox
  • Chrome
  • Paint.NET (with PSD plugin)
  • Fiddler
  • Beyond Compare
  • XAMP: for hosting LAMP on Windows
  • Visual Studio 2010, 2012
  • Intelli J
  • Aptana
  • Eclipse
  • iTunes
  • Steam

Gaming

I wouldn’t build such a fast computer without trying it on a few good classic games.
I’ve found that with a mid-level video card and a high-end CPU, all modern games play very well on high detail settings.

  • Half Life 2
  • Portal 2
  • Aliens vs. Predator
  • Far Cry 3
  • Diablo III
  • Starcraft 2
  • Hawken
  • Seious Sam 2
  • Quake 4
  • Doom 3
  • Fez