SCOUG OS/2 For You - August 1999
Perhaps you remember a couple of articles ago I mentioned the STI created bundle of the Epson ES 1000C scanner and STI native OS/2 drivers for $170. A few readers wrote with some questions about this pairing, so I checked with STI for some answers.
First, as I thought was clear in the article and on the STI web site, these scanners are SCSI and hence require a separate SCSI card. If you don't already have one for your computer, you should. They make a difference for peripherals like scanners, removable disk drives, and CD burners, being much more stable than parallel drivers, and better supported than USB devices. And I don't mean just under OS/2 -- there have been a lot of posts over on the Epson printer & scanner mail lists about problems running both a printer and scanner using parallel drivers under Windows 3.x, 95, & 98.
Unless you are running a fast SCSI hard drive or the latest 8x CD RW device, you don't need that $300 Adaptec 2940UW SCSI card - you can get an Adaptec 2906 PCI SCSI card for about $70, either mail order or at places like Fry's. Anyhow, if anyone thought this scanner/driver bundle supported parallel scanning under OS/2, or came with a free SCSI card, sorry, it doesn't. And while the scanner does work under Windows in parallel mode, I don't recommend it.
Second, I reported the Epson specs for the scanner as supporting 3 pass color scanning. The device does, but not under OS/2 with the STI Twain software. STI's drivers as released are 1 pass only for OS/2, and may not work 100% for all. As we speak STI is in beta testing for new Epson drivers, and the updates should be available this summer. Check their web site, and when they're available I will mention it here as well.
In the interim, you can of course use WinOS/2 with the Epson Windows 3.1 drivers for hi res color scanning if you have problems under OS/2. Finally, I checked and the trans-parency unit & document feeder for this scanner are way too expensive (as in more than the scanner/driver bundle itself, sigh). On the other hand, this is true for most of the older scanners, including my gee whiz Expression 636.
Stan Irish, author of the PMSANE front end, was kind enough to write. He pointed out that his graphical interface SANE is not a port -- he wrote it with VisiProREXX (arguably the best REXX GUI builder, now that Watcom VX REXX is dead). Sorry, Stan . He is also in the process of updating PMSANE, and the update should be available in time for next month's column. Keep up the great work, Stan!
As a general aside, you should check before buying a scanner. Recently I've had readers write with problems getting the Cannon CanoScan600 and a Nikon CoolScan. To make sure that your scanner will run under OS/2, check the sites for STI, CFM and SANE before you buy. Having said all this, I've "heard" that PMSANE may support the CoolScan soon, and I know that STI is working on a beta for the new HP 6200 series scanners (6200/6250), and I believe that CFM has a driver out...
On the software front, Embellish has just been updated to Version 2.02b. Check it out at www.dadaware.com. This and PMView are the two must -have shareware programs for OS/2. Each has strengths over the other, and both are well worth the registration fee (around $40 US). To date, I use PMView as my regular image editor, and have changed file associations to make it the default. I am still using an older version of Embellish, and have liked it especially for slide shows such as we have demoed at previous SCOUG events. Embellish also has more image manipulation effects, a la ColorWorks. Hopefully I'll get the new version in time to do a mini-review next month.
Wow, I'm out of space and haven't even had time to discuss full color output from the Lexmark Color 40 vs. the Epson Photo series. Well, I guess you'll just have to read the column next month.
Feedback is always welcome. You can reach me at
You might want to read last month's Ink.
By day, Tony Butka is a bureaucrat for Los Angeles County. In his other life he lives in a loft surrounded by computers, printers, and a host of vinyl records.
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