Tag Archives: scanner

Goodbye Canon IP4500, Hello Canon MG3240 Hardware | My Life 30 JUL 2013

Canon PIXMA MG3250 printerSo the other day I got a rather amusing e-mail in my inbox from my beloved Chantelle, which pretty much went along the lines of “f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*cking printer not printing, die, die, die, f*cking f*ck f*ck f*ck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

Needless to say, I chuckled out aloud, shared the e-mail’s contents with my colleagues who had inquired as to why I was chuckling out aloud, and then shot back a reply saying that it was probably the Ubuntu desktop machine playing up again and I’ll have a look when I get home after work.

So Chantelle went off on her delivery without a printed invoice and I got home after work and looked at the printer.

Sure enough, just as she had described it in her e-mail, my trusty old Canon PIXMA IP4500 printer that I had received as a going away present from the UCTRF (University of Cape Town Retirement Fund) back when I left the employ of Commerce I.T. in 2008 was as dead as a doornail. No power, indicating that the power supply unit had most likely gone.

But hey, the printer IS five years old, which is pretty ancient in terms of personal computing then.

Taking this fact into account, I immediately decided that I would rather buy a new printer than sink money into getting the old one repaired, and so took to the Internet to source something new – and it didn’t take very long before I found what I was looking for: the gorgeous beast that is the Canon PIXMA MG3240!

Going for the ridiculously cheap price of R650 at Chaos Computers (I had to get it from the Willowbridge branch, seeing as the Somerset Mall branch has recently closed down), the Canon MG3240 is a multi-function desktop printer, which basically means that it is a lovechild born from the holy union between a printer and a scanner, in other words, it prints, it scans and it copies.

Even better, it is a wireless printer, meaning that once you’ve connected it to your home’s wireless network using the software supplied, pretty much any device with printing capabilities can send a print job over to it, meaning that my Windows laptop, Ubuntu desktop and even Android tablet (it comes with built in AirPrint support) can happily all print on the same printer – borderless if you want and without any annoying cables to get in the way!

Another pretty cool feature is its Auto Duplex Print capability, which basically means it prints the first page, sucks the page back in, and then automatically prints on the other side, without any intervention from you whatsoever! (Seriously cool, it had me giggling out aloud when I realized that you could set it up to do this and then did it for the very first time).

The only real negative that I can mark against the nifty little home inkjet printer is the fact that it only uses two cartridges, namely a black and a multi-colour, which obviously means wastage as you can’t replace individual colours as they run out.

Nevertheless, given the fact that the only printing we ever do is for Chantelle’s invoices, they ought to last long enough as it is, and like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really have anything against switching to generics or just a refill service if the proper stuff proves to be too expensive (it’s the old razors and razorblades story after all).

Anyway, all in all this is a great little printer for home usage, and the extra functionality of the scanner and wireless printing makes it an excellent addition if you don’t exactly have lots of space on your working desk in the first place.

Definitely a product which I can recommend, and I guess I can now finally pawn off my standalone Canon LiDE 100 scanner – which basically sits all by itself, packed away in an unused cupboard anyway…

Related link: http://www.canon.co.za/For_Home/Product_Finder/Multifunctionals/Inkjet/PIXMA_MG3240/

Android App: QuickMark Barcode Scanner CodeUnit 26 OCT 2011

Although I don’t do a lot of barcode or QR code scanning myself in my personal capacity, my development work does necessitate having a barcode scanner on my Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Ace.

My favourite barcode scanning app at the moment is QuickMark Barcode Scanner from SimpleAct Inc., a free mobile app that allows auto-scanning of multiple barcode formates from your phone. (Quick Code, QR Code, Data Matrix, EAN 8/13, Code39, Code128, Interleaved 2of5 in case you were wondering.)

The scanning is pretty accurate, and depending on the data retrieved from the scanned code, it allows you to either store the data as a new contact, write the data to a file, or direct the phone’s browser at the captured URL. It also saves a history of your scans.

There are a number of scan source options available to you, including the device’s camera (the most common use), an image file containing a barcode, a webpage containing embedded barcodes or even just plain old manual input.

Works a charm, easy to use and set up, and coming in at the low, low price of free, it is well, well worth the effort of grabbing!

Search for QuickMark Barcode Scanner in the market place to download and install!

Ubuntu and My Canon LiDE 100 Scanner Personal Musings 19 DEC 2010

At last, I’ve finally gotten my Canon LiDE 100 Scanner to operate under Ubuntu thanks to the excellent work from the outstanding SANE and some dedicated forum answer masters.

One of the reasons for my little scanner not getting as much action over the course of this year as what I might have liked it to was the fact that no Linux drivers were available for it, meaning that it would only work on my Windows XP laptop, the machine most seldom used in my house.

However, thanks to the instructions I have lovingly saved up on CodeUnit for future reference, the little fighter is now operating at full speed, having already allowed us to publish the little ink footprints of Jessica for the world to see.

Nice! :)

Related Link: http://www.codeunit.co.za/2010/12/19/ubuntu-and-the-canon-lide-100-scanner-fix/

Ubuntu and the Canon LiDE 100 Scanner Fix CodeUnit 19 DEC 2010

Earlier this year I treated myself and purchased a Canon LiDE 100 USB Scanner (which ashamedly hasn’t seen all that much use for the rest of the year). As much as I like the little low cost fighter, one of my biggest gripes was that Canon hadn’t released any Linux drivers for the device, and because the code is proprietary, it wasn’t likely to get Linux support any time soon.

Well thankfully all of that has now changed and the wonderful SANE project has gone ahead and added driver support for the Canon LiDE 100… though getting it to work requires a little bit of effort on your part!

First, you need to grab the relevant USB libraries. So open up a terminal and enter:

sudo apt-get install libusb-dev build-essential libsane-dev

Next, grab the SANE backends from GIT. To do this, you need git-core, so:

sudo apt-get install git-core

Using the installed GIT, grab the necessary SANE backends with the following command:

git clone git://git.debian.org/sane/sane-backends.git

This grabs the necessary backends and puts them in a folder called sane-backends located in your home folder. Now switch to this directory and compile:

cd sane-backends
./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var
make
sudo make install

Note that the make command might take a while to complete. Anyway, now that everything is installed, only root can currently scan, so we’ll need to change this with some permissions:

sudo gedit /lib/udev/rules.d/40-libsane.rules

Add the following 2 lines to the bottom of the file:

# Canon CanoScan Lide 100
ATTRS{idVendor}==”04a9″, ATTRS{idProduct}==”1904″, ENV{libsane_matched}=”yes”

Save your changes, close gedit and reboot your machine.

And hey presto, all of a sudden Xsane picks up your scanner and you are back in business. Nifty! :)

(Tested on a installation of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat)

Canon LiDE 100 Scanner Personal Musings 21 APR 2010

Alright, now we’re in business!

My delivery from Take 2 arrived two days ago and I am now a proud owner of a beautiful black Canon LiDE 100 standalone scanner.

I mentioned the reasons for wanting a scanner previously in these pages and now that I have one, I can made the jump backwards of returning to producing my art on paper and then transferring it to the digital world instead of working completely digitally from step 1. Needless to say, this should bring some more natural lines to the table and I’m excited to be putting pen to paper once again!

And now on to the scanner itself.

It is actually quite a sexy piece of hardware you know, light, slim and sleek in it’s black finish, though it does suffer a bit from those horrible looking grey plastic buttons they went and planted on the front of the thing.

On the performance front, the Canon LiDE 100 is one of the cheaper models available so it won’t exactly knock your socks off in terms of speed, but it delivers solid and relatively fine grain scanning with numerous quality options available to you through the bundled application.

It can handle 2400x4800dpi resolution with 48-bit colour and the four cheesily named “EZ” buttons allow you to copy, scan, email or PDF at the touch of a button. The scanning lid is one of those Z-lid contraptions that allows you to deal with thicker document scans, though it probably wouldn’t handle something hefty like War & Peace of course.

As for my favourite part of the whole device, the scanner runs off a standalone Hi-Speed USB connection, meaning that it transfers data through and draws power from a single USB cable – no extra power cables lying around to trip over on the floor then!

So in short, I’m very happy with this purchase that works well and looks rather nice on my desk. The only qualm I do have is the fact that Canon has released no Linux drivers for the scanner and because they keep the driver code proprietary, no third party has yet been able to reproduce a usable driver for the Canon LiDE 100 under Linux – which of course means that is bye bye Ubuntu box and hello Windows laptop for all my scanning now. :(

The High Price of Standalone Scanners Personal Musings 16 APR 2010

I’ve decided that I need to lay my hands on a scanner.

The reason is pretty simple. A while back I moved to the straight digital path after laying my hands on a drawing tablet to use at home for my own purposes. Doing everything via the digital route definitely has its advantages in terms of speed for time to completion, but in the process I’ve noticed that what I produce is well… diminished in quality to say the least.

The problem of course lies rooted in a couple of factors, so I’ll try and lay them out here. First off is the whole breaking of the visual from the hand movements thing that comes with using a tablet, followed by the fair inability to naturally change hand orientation at will. Now of course, these could be circumvented by using a tablet system like an Apple iPad or even shelling out for a Wacom Cintiq product, but seeing as this is completely a free time hobby which I don’t pay all that much attention to, shelling out that kind of cash just doesn’t seem justifiable to me or my wife! After those two biggies, next comes the feel of the whole affair (nothing really beats pencil on paper), as well as to an extent the joy of seeing your work right in front of you, no matter where you may be.

Sure there are some great software and hardware solutions to tackle all of these, but like I said, I’m not really willing to spend a lot of money on this hobby of mine, so those are pretty much out of the question.

So the solution is of course to go back to pencil and paper, sketch out the drawing and then scan it in, before finally switching to the good old tablet to handle “inking”, colouring and of course lettering.

A slower process, but one which should definitely make the resulting pencils look a whole lot less stiff.

But here’s my bugbear then. Why in the world are standalone scanners so expensive?!? They’ve definitely gone up in price since the last time I purchased one (which was way back when admittedly), and are actually more expensive to buy in the standalone format than as part of an all-in-one scanner/fax/printer combo!

I’ve already got a printer, I don’t need another. All I want is a scanner you know…