Thursday, January 17, 2008


There can be few things quite so irritating as reading the morning paper, and finding that one of the more popular actors of the day has apparently borrowed your hairstyle. I don't wear my hair quite that long, and my white forelock isn't quite that large, but mine is a family thing - my brother has it, too. Mr Depp's forelock is makeup for a character, and not a very nice one at that. The film opens next week: I wait to see if anyone I know is foolish enough to comment.

I sat the Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate exam (JNO-341) last week, and passed (100%, all the study paid off), so I can think about something other than routers for a while.

What I'm thinking about at the moment is which Mac to buy next. To be honest, the MacWorld announcements were not all I was hoping for: I love the look of the MacBook Air, but the spec is just too low for me. I bought a MacBook Pro last year (I'm using it now), and I can't justify spending such a large amount of money for a machine with a slower processor and half the RAM. If I was still working for Sun (thank God I'm not!), with a lot of travel for work, I'd probably be more enthused by the thought of an ultra lightweight Mac. But I only carry my laptop bag from the house to the car, and from the car park to the office; if I need to carry a lot of additional tools or equipment, I have a laptop bag with wheels. So, much as I desire to possess those slim, shiny curves, I have to decline at this point. So I think my next purchase had better be an iMac, to replace my ancient Dell PC.

The Dell is definitely on its last legs: still running Windows 2000, getting very slow, and I think the hard disk is going to fail soon. So I'm going to replace it with an iMac, and run VMware Fusion for access to other operating systems. But the one problem that I cannot get past is my scanner - a Canoscan 9900F. Canon evidently don't intend to update the drivers: they will only support Leopard on a range of their newer models, and I can't get the drivers to install in my VM of Windows XP. So I suppose I shall have to buy a new scanner. Somehow I don't think I shall be buying another Canon!

I believe that Adobe are releasing or have released their new Mac product, but I don't think I shall be buying it. I've come across Pixelmator, which seems to do everything that I want to do at a bargain price. Furthermore, right now you can get Pixelmator and a bundle of other goodies from MacHeist, for the princely sum of $US49, 25% of which goes to charity. The bundle includes 12 applications, but it's only available for about 6 more days, so don't delay.


Steve J said...


Stumbled on your blog after a google search on tagging. Interestingly, at that time I had whittled my cataloguing down to the same applications as your good self, ie Curio and EagleFiler.

Since then I have actually dropped the latter and simplified even further to Curio/Finder and most importantly the latest versions of Leap. With b7 it has completed pushed aside all the tagging apps I had spent a small fortune on, as well as EagleFiler. I just got sick of having too many Inboxes and silos.

On the scanner front, just go straight to the Fujitsu ScanSnap for Mac 510M. A simply wondrous, but somewhat expensive scanner. Over the past year I have purchased scanners from Canon, AVision and the ScanSnap and this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. The only place you can get in Australia is at The Scanner Shop in Melbourne (1300 651 014 - Looks like they only sell the earlier model the 500M though.

Best of luck.

Steve Jamieson

Steve Kelly said...

I had a similar problem with a Canon flatbed scanner. I tried Vuescan, from which worked. Canon said my scanner wasn't supported. It works perfectly with Vuescan. Also, under Windows, the Vuescan software is about a third faster scanning in 8.5x11 pictures. The software is $39.95 for the non-professional version. Much cheaper than Fusion, Parallels or a new scanner.

Melodie Neal said...

I looked at Vuescan, and for a moment I thought it would solve my problem. But a read of the release notes made it clear that to support the 9900F, Vuescan requires the Canon ScanGear software to be installed. It would appear that some Canon scanners are directly supported, but some require the Canon drivers to be installed. For me, VMware is the only way at the moment. Pity, I liked the look of Vuescan.




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