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December 1, 2016

Feeding My Scanner Addiction

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

It’s not that I scan a lot of things. I prefer to have a scanner as a peripheral because occasionally I like to scan a document or photo.

PDF documents exist where you can fill in the blanks, but a few of my clients require that I fill in a printed document, sign it, then scan it as a PDF to send back to them. I don’t mind doing so, and it’s not that often, but for that task I need a scanner.

I also scan my books’ covers when they come in, so that I can adorn the support pages here on Wambooli.

And occasionally, I scan in old photos. I wanted to scan slides (transparencies) and old film negatives, but my previous scanner didn’t come with the gizmo that lets me do that. When the software began crashing consistently, I decided to get a new scanner. It will probably be my sixth.

Scanners are inexpensive. A typical scanner runs between $50 and $80. It comes with scanning software, which reads the image on the glass and saves it in a common graphics file format. Scanners also come with ORC software to read documents, though for a low-end scanner, the results are spotty.

For my new scanner, I purchased an Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner. It ran just under $200. For an even higher price, scanners offer more speed plus maybe a document feeder. I didn’t need those options, so the $200 model seemed best.

The V600 features an illuminated lid, which allows me to scan film and transparencies. I’ve been sitting on slides of my overseas trips for years, waiting to scan them in. The slide scanning services charge way too much, so I figure I can scan my slides over time and eventually digitize them all.

So far, the scanner has performed well, but I’m grossly disappointed with its interface.

Like many scanners, the V600 has “quick” buttons on the front. Press the button and the scanner examines the original and generates a digital copy for you. That’s neat, but the buttons on the V600 don’t work. At all. So I use the scanner software that comes with the V600.

In Figure 1, you see the scanner software interface. For some reason, the programmers chose to use non-scalable fonts. (It looks worse on the screen; the image’s resolution smooths out the fonts.) The program works and does a good job, but the interface makes it look cheap. That’s sad because the device works well; on that front, I’m not disappointed.

Figure 1. The Epson Scan software interface.(Click to view full-size)

Figure 1. The Epson Scan software interface.
(Click to view full-size)

I’m not returning the scanner because of its silly software interface or that the buttons (which I wouldn’t use anyway) don’t work. I just wish that Epson paid more attention to the scanner software.

2 Comments

  1. Hmmm, I have never actually worn a scanner out, I for one don’t use it very often, in fact I only replaced the cheapo I had due to the fact that my main PC (this one) does not have a parraellel port, I had to upgrade to a (cheaper) Cannon which has better software and a USB plug. I have never been tempted with a combined printer and scanner though…

    Comment by glennp — December 2, 2016 @ 11:03 am

  2. The scanner story continues… I had to return the model. The software was bad but tolerable, but eventually a green streak appeared on the scans. Upon reviewing the forums, it’s a common defect that Epson knows about. The new scanner, a Canon, arrives today.

    Comment by admin — December 2, 2016 @ 11:10 am

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