Scanners in Windows 2000. While those two pompous, arrogant gits were out romping about and insulting one another, I was helping Gatermann put together an all-SCSI Windows 2000 system. I talked about that earlier this week. After much wrestling, we got the system booting and working, but his expensive Canon film scanner, which was the reason for all of this adventuring in the first place–his eclectic mix of Ultra160 and SCSI-2 and internal and external components was too much for his old card to handle–wouldn’t work under 2000. It worked fine in Win98, however. But if you’re scanning film, you’re pretty serious about your work, and 2000’s lack of stability is bad enough, while Win98’s lack of stability is enraging.
Side note: His scanner worked just fine in Linux with SANE and GIMP. The SANE driver was alpha-quality, but once he figured out the mislabeled buttons, it worked. Though flawed, it was no worse than a lot of drivers people ship for Windows, and it wasn’t any harder to set up either. Not bad, especially considering what he paid for it.
Gatermann, being a resourceful sort, did a search on Google groups and found a suggestion that he update his ASPI drivers. Since he had an Adaptec card, he could freely download and use Adaptec’s ASPI layer. He did, and the scanner started working.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that to get a scanner going, but it’s been a long time since I’ve set up a SCSI scanner too.
Debian. At work on Friday, I booted the computer on my desk into Linux out of protest (more on that later… a lot more) and I figured while I was in Linux reading and responding to e-mail and keeping up with the usual news sources (I wasn’t having to do any NT administration at the time, which was why I was able to protest), I’d run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. I run Debian Unstable at work, because Debian Unstable, though it’s considered alpha, is still every bit as stable as the stuff Mandrake and Red Hat have been pushing out the door the past 18 months. It’s also about as close to cutting-edge as I want to live on. Well, it had been a while since I did an update, and I was pleasantly surprised to find I suddenly had antialiased text in Galeon. That’s been my only gripe about Galeon until recently; the fonts looked OK, but they looked a whole lot better in Windows or on a Mac. The quality of the antialiasing still isn’t as good as in Windows, which in turn isn’t as good as on the Mac, but it’s better than none at all.
Galeon was already faster than any Windows-based browser I’d seen, but a recent Galeon build combined with the 0.99 build of Mozilla seemed even faster, and Web sites that previously didn’t render quite right (like Dan’s Data now rendered the same way as in that big, ugly browser from that monopolist in Redmond.
I expect with these last couple of updates, I’ll be spending even more time in Linux from here on out. I already have a full-time Linux station, but I use it about half the time and my Windows 2000 station about half the time. I may limit the Windows 2000 station to video editing very soon. And with some of the cool video programs out there for Linux now, it may share time. I suspect I’ll be doing editing on the Windows box, post-production on the Linux box, and then outputting the results to tape on the Windows box.