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Old 12-31-2002, 01:12 PM   #1
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Question Computer / Accessories Purchase Advice Needed

I'm anxious to buy a scanner. I see them for prices from 29.00 to a couple of hundred. Whazzup with that?

My eventual planned uses are:
1) to post photos to places like this,
2) to archive thousands of photos and documents of many sizes and qualities.Saving them to floppys and eventually discs.
3) to manipulate photos to improve,crop,remove images,etc.
4) to make contact sheets from negatives (is this possible?)
5) to view negatives ??
6) other things I haven't even imagined.

I think, and have been told my puter is ancient and impotent. It has a 2nd generation Pentium chip. I think a Pentium 100. Minimal hardrive capacity (2GB I think) and I think either 32 or 64 RAM.

Am I gettin' ready to pizzinta the wind? ?
Any advice appreciated.

BTW I am obviously a computer cretin. And not bothered by it.
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Old 12-31-2002, 01:26 PM   #2
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Hi. I have a scanner and have yet to use it.I paid about $50 for it but I dont have it with me in RV so cant tell you what brand. Think they are all pretty much the same.I just got a really nice lap top from Gateway and really love it.The digital camera I have is what I really like.
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Old 12-31-2002, 01:38 PM   #3
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scanner reviews

more reviews

Hex, go to the pages above and start reading. there is seperate scanners for negatives. you will find allot of what you need there
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:06 PM   #4
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I have a Canon scanner and use it a lot, like it a lot, enough so that I have upgraded scanners over the years when I did my computer and the old one was not compatabile. Prices are like everything else, a lot to do with quality of the scanner and the image (resolution and color accuracy) you will get. Look at drum scanners, $200 won't buy a cheap part.

A couple of thoughts for you. Watch that the driver is compatible with the version of the OS you are using. If you are using an older computer it might not be supported.

Most pictures over the internet are relatively low quality. They will fit on a floppy, maybe 2 of them if they are not very big. You will not be able to scan at a very high quality if you are going to store on floppies; they will look ok small, but blow them and they will start to loose clarity.

For manipulation you will need a decent program, probably better than what comes with the scanner. To do this with any speed takes a fairly decent computer. Again, check your os for compatability, cpu speed, and a lot of them need cd rom drives.

John
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:30 PM   #5
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My take

From your description, I doubt that your computer will fit the bill. I think it is new computer time for several reasons:
1. Storage flexibility
2. Processing power
3. Interfaces
4. OS

The only really viable storage medium for a large number of photos is either CDs or Zip disks or a combination of both. You need a computer with enough speed to run a CD writer, internal or external, and/or with USB ports to attach Zip drive or CD writer. I wouldn't buy a computer today without USB ports.

You want not less than a 20 Gig disk and better 30 or more Gigs so that you can edit and compose your albums.. You should have Windows 98 or newer, preferably Windows XP, and enough RAM to run efficiently. At least 128 meg and better yet 256 meg or more. RAM is dirt cheap at the moment. The later Windows so that you have the drivers for the scanner and the storage media.

You can get a capable computer today for about $500 with everything I have listed. It may even come with a photo editing program. Mine did.

For photo editing, I recommend "Photoshop Elements" for less than $100 it is the biggest bargain around.

As for scanners, go to Frys or Best Buy and there are piles of decent scanners for about $60 and up. The under $100 scanners today are a lot higher resolution than my old $300 scanner. Any scanner by a reputable company should meet your needs.
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Old 12-31-2002, 03:05 PM   #6
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Computer / Accessories Purchase Advice Needed

Greetings Hex!

As a former public schools technology/computer coordinator, I can understand your predicament. From more than ten years of experience with such equipment, I can provide you with the following observations:


1.) Multifunction devices are wonderful from the standpoint of purchase, but so far as long-term durability/usefulness there are often a number of trade-offs that immediately become apparent. For instance, you mention a desire to have slide, negative, photo and document scanning capability. It is possible to purchase a flatbed scanner with all of these features, but in my experience these multifunction devices quickly become a maintenance headache regardless of brand. A good flatbed scanner can handle your paper documents and photos. It is possible to purchase a reasonably priced specialty scanner that just works with slides or negatives.

2.) There are a number of good brands out there, but the best brand may vary by location - - in other words, which of the various retailers are most apt to provide technical support as well as future repairs when necessary. In my area, Hewlet Packard printers and scanners are generally preferred due to locally available repairs and support. Ask around locally to try and determine the retailers with good product support reputations.

3.) For the applications that you are considering, it is nearly impossible to have too much RAM or Hard Disk capacity. Portable storage means such as rewritable CD-ROMS, memory sticks, etc. are also valuable additions to the setup.

4.) If you have a particular software package in mind, it pays to check with the manufacturer of the software to see if they recommend a particular scanner or particular features on the scanner that you choose.

5.) The sad truth of the matter is that your Pentium I/II 100 MhZ is going to be nearly unable to handle the applications to achieve the results that you want. Upgrades are available for the computer, but it still would not bring the machine up to the minimum standards required by most of today's scanner software and hardware. You will find that to function smoothly most of the scanning applications will require at least 128 MB or RAM and a Pentim III 350 MhZ or better processor. Most of the new scanners will also require a USB port which your machine likely does not posess - - it is possible to SCSI scanners, but they are somewhat more temperamental for the novice and also are about $75.00 more expensive than the main line USB scanners.

While they are a bit pricey, I would recommend Adobe Photo Shop as photo editing software. I recently purchased the most recent upgrade for my computer and am totally thrilled with its features and power. For scanning documents for long-term storage, I would recommend Adobe Acrobat (you will need Acrobat and not Acrobat Reader which is the free reader program that is broadcast throughout the Internet).

Good luck with your decision.

Kevin
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Old 12-31-2002, 04:00 PM   #7
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Good advice overlander64

However, Photoshop Elements isn't terribly pricey (I paid about $60) and, for the non-professional, Elements is about as good as it gets. I process a lot of photos in my part time work and I have never found Elements lacking. Elements, being fairly new, even has some features not in the $400 full PhotoShop package and is easier to use.

I actually got Elements free on my Sony laptop after I had already bought the program.

BTW, hex, buy a good book to go along with whatever photo editor you choose. It pays off in the long run in saving a lot of time and false starts.
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Old 01-01-2003, 09:10 AM   #8
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Talking

Go to macmall.com and order an older i mac.. the one on the pod.. takes up hardly any space in a rv etc and is ready for digital pictures, scanners etc. I photo and many other goodies come with it... Make sure it has OSX installed.... scanner of choice is epson 2450 can do everything. epson.com has a refurbed equipment with new warrenties.. can't do any better.. been doing this for 10 years.. email me at primatreat@mac.com for other info if you wish..
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Old 01-01-2003, 10:45 AM   #9
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cd burner too?

re:
2) to archive thousands of photos and documents of many sizes and qualities.Saving them to floppys and eventually discs.

You're gonna want to invest in a CD burner too, or else you'll be burning a lot of money on floppies or professional processing.

They're cheap these days - I come from the Apple side of the universe so I've never bought a standalone burner, but have a couple of nerdy friends if you want a recommendation.

And fwiw, I've always liked HP scanners.

H
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Old 01-01-2003, 11:27 AM   #10
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I'm from the Apple/Macintosh side as well. Use an iBook laptop with CD burner/DVD player. Absolutely love it. Travels with me all of the time. Take digital pictures with a Sony Mavica, saves on a floppy and I just plug in the floppy drive into the iBook via USB. Even have five hours of battery life, less if using CD/DVD drive.

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Old 01-01-2003, 12:35 PM   #11
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Thinking of Upgrading to an Apple

Or should I say SWITCH! But one thing I cannot seem to find that I must have is Mapping software. Delorme makes Street Atlas for Mac, but it is Ver 6.0, and won't run on OS X. Any ideas?
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Old 01-01-2003, 02:48 PM   #12
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I Have Not Made the Switch...

to OSX. My page layout program (PageMaker) is not OSX compatible and probably won't be ever because of InDesign. I'm not certain what 'mapping' software is used for. Can you explain?

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Old 01-02-2003, 08:05 AM   #13
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You can still run OS9 applications in OSX. Click on them and they will open 9 then the application. Next version of OSX will not support this per Apple.

What happened to Pagemaker was a crime in my mind. It was a mainstay program for years, Aldus didn't seem to care.

Mapping software is like Mapblast.com or Mapquest.com, but you can plan trips (enter start, stops, finish), follow progress if you have GPS, etc. Pretty slick, but I have heard no more Mac versions.

John
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:15 PM   #14
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Question New Computer Soon Questions

After years suffering with a web tv unit.
Von & I should be picking up our new computer very soon. We hope.
I had used PCs at public and college libraries when we were on the road and we had just never gotten around to knowing what we wanted, nor did (still don't) know enough to buy the right one. Priced the big 3 and found them all to be about 400 dollars to 600 more than what we decided to do below. Gateway sales folks were the most helpful and enjoyable. IOHO.

Friends suggested we could save by building one and that seems to be the case.
We set a goal of a capable unit for us at under $500 dollars but with Software we will go $120 over that.

Here is what we bought.
Gigabyte gaViaT600-L motherboard
on board 6 ch.sound, LAN,
USB 2.0,
512 memory stick Corsair 3200
Athalon 2600 Barton (512 Cache) chip
Sony 52x 32x 52x internal Burner
Western Digital 8mgBuffer 120Gig HD 7200rpm
floppy drive
Scuzzy ? card for our HP scanner which someone gave us used.
Modem (cable prices are robbery IOHO)
Luna case with 300 watt ower supply and 1 aux.side fan.& front USBs and audio in/out.

XP Home
Office Suite
Virus kit (Norton or McAfee)

Got to get a video card.
considering a Radeon 7500 w/ TV out.
Any advice? We don't plan on playing many games if any, but want to edit VHS tapes and someday DVDs
Later to add a DVD Rom and a TV tuner and 6way photo port.
Assuming this all works and we figure out how to use it, should this keep us abreast for the next 3 years???

Also will we need special software if we want to scan text and then edit that text?
Also how easy is it to scan newspaper text and photos? do they always bleed the reverse thru due to the light passing thru?

Thanks for any input in advance

S&V
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