I made my choice, or part of it; I haven't spent half the allocated money, but I plan a bookstore trip. I got a color scanner, a ``Canon Solutions LiDE 80'', with 2400 by 4800 dots-per-inch optical resolution and provisions for scanning 35 mm film, in case I suddenly need to. It's slim, can be mounted sideways, and has a nice faintly gold top, and that hinged cover for scanning books.
My first experiment was to whimsically scan the instruction book cover. Next was the page from Charlie Brown's Second Super Book of Questions And Answers: About the Earth and Space ... from Plants to Planets autographed by Apollo 17 Lunar Module Pilot Harrison H Schmitt. When he signed we agreed this picture was most likely from Apollo 15, and almost certainly of the Commander, so there are two ways it can't be him, but it was close enough. The next scan is for porsupah; it's a Life Science Library: Giant Molecules picture of a kitten perched atop a slab of RTV 615 silicone and a 4000 degrees Fahrenheit flame. The picture seems to have been made with the intention of someday being a Livejournal user icon.
I don't know what I'll do next, but it would put the palmtop question on hold indefinitely ... except I noted on a Mac OS X Rumors site claims a new Apple palmtop has entered usability testing and been drawing rave reviews. Steve Jobs may be an obsessive-compulsive control freak, but his designs are compatible with my personality, so this is interesting.
Trivia: The United States electrical network was so strained by World War II defense production that power line-driven clocks in New York City and Los Angeles could get as much as 20 seconds out of synchronization over the course of hours. Source: Life Science Library: Time, Samuel A Goudsmit, Robert Claiborne.
Currently Reading: The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution, 1926-1930, Scott Eyman.