Saturday, April 1, 2006

HP Scanjet 2300c: too old for OS X?

I've had a HP Scanjet 2300c for a few years, and it's a nice enough scanner. (It's not super-fast, but I don't do a lot of scanning.) Today I wanted to connect it to my PowerBook G4 and scan in some documents to send by email. I tried. I failed. It seems the 2300c is not supported natively by OS X. What I very definitely don't want to do is download and install some multi-megabyte, proprietary "scanning and imaging suite" of applications from HP. Assuming one exists. All I want is a driver, or whatever it takes to let me use something simple like OS X's Image Capture application. That's it.

Following a link from Apple's website, I downloaded VueScan from Hamrick Software. It didn't see the Scanjet, but the best bit was being able to test it out using the Mac approach to software installation: download and mount a disk image, drag and drop to install, drag to Trash when it doesn't work. Done. There's no crap scattered about various system directories on my disk and there's no "Registry" to corrupt. I tried VueScan, it didn't work, and now it's gone. (In comparison, I probably have the assorted detritus of dozens of applications scattered about my PC's disk. Applications which mysteriously "couldn't completely uninstall" are the norm in the Windows universe.)

So, it's back to the PC to use HP's monolithic suite of bloatware to do a couple of pages of scanning. That's disappointing, but kind of countered by the fact I got to test out VueScan without pain because Mac OS X does things the Right Way.

4 comments:

  1. You might want to try the TWAIN SANE interface for OSX:

    http://www.ellert.se/twain-sane/

    I haven't had a chance to mess with it yet (I too have a 2300c that I'd like to be able to use with my PowerBook... beats having to buy another scanner when this one works), but the SANE project does support the 2300c. Apparently, this will allow you to use the scanner with Image Capture or any app that supports it (Photoshop, MS Word, etc.).

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  2. Thanks for the suggestion, fever606. I checked it out tonight, and I'm about to make a new post about it.

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  3. When I bought the scanner couple of years ago, there was a Win driver cd and a Mac driver cd in the box. I lost the cd, but have the driver installed on my 10.6 machine - working without problems.

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  4. I keep the original CD and paper instruction for 2300c and 3500c scanners. The CD contains no driver for Mac OS and the instruction clearly states that only 3500c can be used on Mac OS (not 2300c)

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