My wife bought a scanner around the turn of the century. It’s old, but has always worked well. It’s a Canon LIDE 50, which should come as no surprise. Canon generally makes good hardware. The only problem is that Canon hasn’t made a new driver for it since Windows XP.
I’ve thought of keeping an XP box around for scanning, but wondered if there was a better way. Turns out there is. Thanks to this blog post I know the LIDE 60 drivers work fine, so we can keep the scanner even as we leave XP behind. That’s great, because I hate tossing perfectly usable hardware just because it’s old.
So if you have an old scanner, Google it. There may very well be a close-enough driver out there for it that you can use with a bit of tweaking. And if not, and you don’t mind paying $40, there’s VueScan, which works with 2,400 different scanners and all three (yes, three!) major operating systems. So you can use old weird scanners with Mac OS X or Linux if you want. And $40 is probably less than a new comparable scanner will cost.