Forwarding Address: OS X

Sunday, August 29, 2004

OS X and scanners...boy, I don't know.

I recently has the displeasure of trying to get a Microtek i320 USB scanner working with OS X 10.3.5. I'll take most of the blame, as I was the one that didn't check a single online review. Bad Pat, no doughnut!

This was by far, the most vile piece of software I have ever installed on an OS X box. I'm not exactly a novice and I pride myself with being able to trudge through even the worst software...but when you suspect the drivers of destroying your laptop display you know you are in for trouble. (Right now my trust TiBook is chained to an external monitor, but that's another story.)

So, as with most hardware you buy, the install CD is usually out of date. Again, something I should have checked, but didn't. So I download the latest and greatest from Microtek. It wasn't much better, in fact, it was just as bad. Now I'm sure a few of you are thinking that I'm a few gigs short of a terabyte for thinking that Microtek had anything to do with my display going out on me. But every time the drivers would load the external display would shut off as well. I only repeated this enough to be positive it was happening when the USB drivers were loading, lest I destroy my only CRT.

So I trotted back to BestBuy and picked up a HP scanjet 3970. It works fine. But I've noticed that scanning software for OS X doesn't really stack up well compared to it's Windows counterparts.


  • Have you tried Silverfast AI?

    By Anonymous, at 9:48 PM  

  • You could also try VueScan

    Their supported list doesn't specifically identify your models but you might get lucky. The specs seem to place it ahead of SilverFast in terms of features.

    By Anonymous, at 10:32 PM  

  • If you were to pick up an Epson scanner you'd get then benefits of both FireWire and native drivers.

    But it is true that in general scanner drivers have spent the last few years in a weird OS 9 limbo. I still can't fathom why Apple hasn't put more work into scanner compatibility. They could at least buy VueScan or something.

    By Brian W, at 10:36 PM  

  • Try the Cannon 8300, sure it has an out of date photoshop elements but the rest of the software works well and it scans multiple slides at a time.


    I agree though, we could use a bit of attention in this arena.

    By Mine, at 12:00 AM  

  • I gave up on OSX scanner drivers - I use VueScan with my Canon N650U. It's a stand-alone application that doesn't require any installation or drivers.

    By Mike, at 7:33 AM  

  • Hey, is that "boy, I don't know" a West Wing thing? As in "Crime... boy, I don't know."?

    By Erik @ The Sand Trap, at 11:03 AM  

  • i use a canon lide30 which works via extensions to photoshop. the interface is not the best but i've seen worse. my past experiences with other scanners were mediocre. kinda strange given the mac reputation as the favorite of the artsy-graphics-designer community.

    by the way, the canon lide30 is a great scanner. usb powered, very portable, and scans of fairly good quality (at least by my standards).


    By Anonymous, at 5:21 PM  

  • I gave up too and use Vuescan with my epson.

    By Anonymous, at 5:56 PM  

  • Erik: Yup...cuz when I found out that it fried my display, that's when I decided to kick its ass. ;-)

    By Patrick, at 10:05 PM  

  • I had an Lide30... after the 30th time of 'software con not communicate with scanner' driver problems I threw it across the office. This scanner doesn't play well with USB. I tried a SHORT USB cable, nogo. then one morning, oh, it works fine. fine for 3 months, then nope
    no worky for a month, then worky... bah, it flys good though.

    By Anonymous, at 2:01 PM  

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