I am looking to buy a scanner to scan in all of my paperwork (e.g. Reports, manuals, Tax Returns, Receipts, etc.), and could use some advice...
1.) How much do I have to spend to get a decent scanner?
2.) At what DPI would I need to scan something like a cash register receipt, so I can see it on my monitor AND re-print it if needed?
3.) Is it better to scan Textual Documents in as a PDF or a GIF? (I may be building a PHP application to manage all of my receipts, so for that, a JPEG, GIF, or PNG would be better...)
4.) Any other advice?
I can tell you that I spend $50 at walmart and picke dup a canon mp495. I can scan receipts, pictures, etc, without any issues at 300 DPI, even better at 600.
As for what format you go with, it is really up to you and what you want to work with. My scanner's app brings them in automatically as jpg, I think, but really any format should work. (I prefer an image format over pdf, as pdf is more for a document, not an image).
1) About $100
2) 150dpi or so is fine for such things
3) Certainly not gif, and for text documents I find pdf much more useful when you start mailing them to the tax guy, making a multi-page document, etc.
4) OCR is working pretty well these days. I don't know if I'd use it or not in your case, but you might look into it.