Ace Monster Toys Visit by Daniel Reetz of

I blogged the other day about the DIY Book Scanner that we’ve been working on at Ace Monster Toys, which we’ve gotten it roughly a third finished.

Daniel Reetz of, who invented it, saw the post as he has an ongoing Google alert set for the site. It turns out that he is in the Bay Area from Los Angeles this week for the Internet Archive for Personal Digital Archiving conference, where he is speaking. Dan arranged to come over to AMT to meet us last night during our weekly meeting. He pointed out that while he sees pictures of a lot of book scanner builds on his website, he very rarely gets to see them in the flesh and meet people building them. Myles, whom I am helping with this project, had some specific questions on the build so it turned out to be fortuitous that he was available.

Dan made it over after experiencing some of the joys of San Francisco traffic (he actually got out of the car he was in with a friend partway to the East Bay and got onto BART in order to get to AMT in a timely manner). We showed him around the space and showed him the book scanner progress. He then showed us some LED lights that he’s been working on for the book scanners to improve the light and to use less power.

Very Bright Lights

After some chatting, he agreed to do a dry run of his talk at the conference today so we got to hear his take on the direction and implications of digital photography and its ongoing development, which was extremely cool.

Daniel Reetz Lecturing

He also showed us some of his other work in digital photography, part of which got him his current job as an engineer instead of this kind of thing just being a personal obsession. Of particular interest (and what got people’s attention) was his Large Light Field Camera Array. You can check out his blog for many more of his projects and interests.

All in all, it was quite cool and appreciated to have him come by and visit us at AMT.

Update: Daniel gave his official presentation of his talk at the personal archiving conference the next day and the video is online now for those interested in seeing it.