Genealogy Gadgets and Gizmos 8

By Allison Dolan Premium

High-tech highlighter
If your hand ever cramps up from copying too many records or you’ve grown weary of hauling books to the photocopy machine, Siemens’ Pocket Reader might make your family history research easier—or at least less physically demanding.

This portable hand-held scanner looks like an oversized highlighter marker. It reads printed material line by line and stores it until you get back to your computer. Then, by attaching a cable, you automatically download the text to your PC or Macintosh, where you can edit it and paste it into word processing documents, e-mail messages or spreadsheets.

The Pocket Reader recognizes typefaces between 8 and 16 points and is even multi-lingual—it can read English, German, Italian, French and Spanish. Its $99.95 price tag includes a carrying case. For more information on the Pocket Reader or to order, see