Re: Are scanners slow?
When I was creating a Web site for a legal services company, they bought a Dell with an home-quality HP scanner. The Dell ran WiIndows 2000 Pro, had 512M RAM and a bazillion GB hard drive. It took up to three minutes for the scanner to scan the first page and at least a minute per page thereafter. The problem was the way HP integrated the USB port into the scanning process which worked for home-based users where speed was not a problem. That "home-quality" scanner did produce nice high-resoution scans, but at a snails pace. The speed solution was solved by revertign back to an older high-end parallel port scanner.
I am surprised at how slow it seems to scan. To do a color scan (8 1/2 by 11 color magazine page) at 600 dpi takes over three minutes. A color scan at 300 dpi takes nearly two minutes. A gray scale scan at 600 dpi takes about a minute and a half. Gray scale at 300 dpi takes 40 seconds.
A color scan at 1200 dpi takes at least five minutes, if not longer. 2400 dpi takes forever. Of course, I'm not sure I really need to scan anything at 1200 dpi -- I'm scanning old ad copy to put in .pdf files to send to clients, and at 1200 dpi the files are already humongous. But it would be nice if 600 dpi scanning (or even 300 dpi scanning) was two or three times faster.
In my home office, I have a Gateway humongo machine with a super-fast processor, gobs of RAM (over a Gigabyte), tons of hard drive space, Windows XP Pro and a new HP Scanjet 5500c connected via a USB 2.0 port. Things happen real fast, proving that HP has solved their USB port problem for this model scanner. However, you may have more than just a configuration problem.
I recommend packing as much RAM into your machine as possible and making sure you have the hard drive space to support large graphic files. Capturing an 8x10 at 2400 dpi makes for huge files. Less expensive scanners may have the fine resolution, but they often do not have the horsepower to do those high-resolution scans at a decent speed, i.e., they are not production machines. Likewise, most home machines do not have the hard drive space or RAM to process those files at a decent speed (if at all). If you want high resolution and speed too, you just might have to fork over a few more dollars for a business versus a home scanner and a computer system that can handle it.
Al Geist, Geist Associates
From Concept to Completion
Technical Writing, Publishing, Video, Web Design, Graphic Arts
Voice 907-317-3194 Fax 907-622-2321
www.geistassociates.com al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
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