[sane-devel] HP 8270 scanjet support

olin.sane.7ia at shivers.mail0.org olin.sane.7ia at shivers.mail0.org
Sat Jan 26 03:11:55 UTC 2008

   Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 17:09:20 -0500
   From: "m. allan noah" <kitno455 at gmail.com>
   On Jan 25, 2008 4:36 PM,  <olin.sane.7ia at shivers.mail0.org> wrote:

   it does not immediately hit any of our known chipset tests. that does
   not mean much however, as we cant test for everything. the next steps
   are to open the scanner and get some chip info, or perhaps better to
   take a trace using benoit's usbsnoop on windows, and post that on the
   web somewhere. perhaps someone here will recognize the protocol.

I am loathe to open the thing up, since I might end up returning it to Newegg.
It looks like I am stuck using this scanner through a vmware WinXP.

   > Sane seems to be one generation behind, across the board, in this niche.
   > Am I missing something?

   yes- you are missing that SANE is not generally a commercial
   enterprise, but rather a loose group of volunteers writing drivers for
   scanners in their spare time, usually with no help from the
   manufacturers. If you wish to use a scanner under SANE, it is best
   that you check for support BEFORE you buy, or be prepared to dig into
   a potentially lengthy reverse engineering process. It is also best
   that you put your money where you mouth is, and buy the machine not
   only because of it's specs or price, but also because of the level of
   support that the manufacturer gives to the community.

No, no, I get it. I support free software. I've written some, which you
may well use. I am definitely into this idea of rewarding manufacturers
who are open-source friendly by buying their products. I should have
checked the sane page before buying the scanner. And I apologise it I
raised any hackles with my post; I am very, very appreciative of people
who write free software, especially since there's no way I have the
expertise or time to go about doing my own sane backend for a scanner.

   to that end, i would personally buy a refurbished Fujitsu fi-5220C,
   ($1009 at pcnation.com). Fujitsu has been reasonable about providing
   documentation to me, and has kept the protocol of their larger
   machines pretty much the same for years. Something similar can be said
   for Epson, though they seem to have more new machines with an unknown
   protocol as of late. HP particularly is quite bad about changing
   protocol with every single model.

Great, this is a useful bit of intelligence for someone new to the
scanning-in-linux scene: Fujitsu products are the linux-friendly ones, yes?
(Perhaps there should be a list on the sane-project.org web pages saying
which scanners and companies work well with sane.)

While I'm writing, I discovered something else I didn't know about sub-$1000
scanners today. I thought the automatic document-feeders on these flatbed
scanners would work by feeding the document onto the glass, where it would
then be scanned in the standard flatbed way, by waving the scanner bar across
the bed. But that's not what seems to happen. What happens is that the the
scanner bar sits at the ADF end of the flatbed, and each page of the document
is fed past the bar in a tight U. Now, the cheapo ADF mechanism seems
very unlikely to have the kind of precision registration that the scanner
bar tracking mechanism would have, so I'm guessing that ADF-scanned documents
would come out lower quality than documents scanned by laying each sheet down
on the flatbed by hand.

Am I right?

If I am, what do you have to pay to get up to the class of machine whose ADF
works by positioning each page on the flatbed? Is that done?

Is this issue related to the ultrasound-sensor stuff that Fujitsu brags about
for their scanners, whatever that is?

Is there a place on the web where I could learn more about these issues?

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