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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm new to the community.

I've had my MacBook 160bg intel for a little under 2 years now, and have recently decided to use VM Fusion to get my printer and scanner working (was previously running to my Windows box to use them and I got fed up of that). My scanner is a Canon CanoScan N640P flatbed and has a 25-pin parallel port on the back as well as a power port. I've gotten a parallel-to-USB conversion cable so I can plug it into my mac. My printer is USB and has no trouble.

Installed XP through Fusion and Adobe CS3, loaded my printer drivers and whatnot. All is fine. A test print even proves my printer works in top form! My scanner installation disk was installed, not a problem...

Now that the scanner is plugged in, it tells me that the parallel port is used by another application. What can I do to solve this? I'm a college student in debt and buying a new scanner is kind of not an option at the moment -especially when the bloody thing worked just fine on my Windows desktop running the exact same copy of XP! Strange, eh?!

Anyway, I've tried downloading the scanner drivers from all manner of places (I never had to do it for the Windows machine, but maybe this situation is different, I don't know), and nothing is working. Winzip is being a brat and not letting me unzip files, .exe files keep showing up as needing to be unzipped (what a load of garbage!) and not letting me run them. And I'm not about to pay to use some shifty-looking driver-finding software.

Argh! I switched to macs to leave this crap behind!

If anyone has any tips or solutions, please, I'm all ears!
 

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Sell the scanner on ehMac. You may find legacy users who are interested in that sort of thing.

You'll need to participate here for a month or so, lots of time to rack up 30 posts asking questions, and saying stuff as important as the rest of us : ) .

Classifieds - ehMac.ca
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Get a new scanner. No point in investing time and money into a dead technology (parallel connectors). You can get decent flat beds for around $100 these days.
I don't have the budget for it right now (I think you missed the bit where I stated I'm a flat-broke college student), and furthermore, I don't see any reason why I should when it worked just fine on another Windows computer. I'm deadset on trying to make it work for me here, on my mac, because I have no other options right now.

But thank you for the reply nonetheless.
 

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Why don't you just use Adobe CS3 for OSX, rather than fooling around with running a vastly inferior product under a virtualization of a vastly inferior fake operating system? It just sounds like a lot of hassle , when you can just go direct and do it right, since you have a Mac already. It is a lot like putting a Chrysler engine into a Ford, then complaining about the Ford when the engine starts burning oil.

I['m not sure about the whole parallel deal either. It would be easier to have a modern scanner with a proper interface, rather than fooling with oddball old parallel ports. But then again, it could be a decent legacy device, so really, just get CS3 for the Mac and save yourself a lot of grief - since all of the grief will come from Windoze rather than anything to do with the Mac. To me, virtualizing or using BootCamp are just for those items that have no equivalent, to be used sparingly, because really, nothing is worse than Windoze.
 

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I should say, I do know how you feel.

I have a $2000 (well, in the early 90s it was $2000) Apple Personal LaserWriter NTR which prints 5000+ copies from a single cart--and it has a relatively new cart in it.

But it only has a serial port, parallel port and an AppleTalk port. Great when paired with a Macintosh IIsi !

A few years ago I sought an ethernet to serial adapter, found one (possibly on ehMac--hey, it's been a while) for $10 plus $10 shipping from Calgary. I learned how to make it work et voila, 5000 pristine laserprinter black and white pages at my disposal.

Perhaps that kind of device would help you as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Why don't you just use Adobe CS3 for OSX, rather than fooling around with running a vastly inferior product under a virtualization of a vastly inferior fake operating system? It just sounds like a lot of hassle , when you can just go direct and do it right, since you have a Mac already. It is a lot like putting a Chrysler engine into a Ford, then complaining about the Ford when the engine starts burning oil.

I['m not sure about the whole parallel deal either. It would be easier to have a modern scanner with a proper interface, rather than fooling with oddball old parallel ports. But then again, it could be a decent legacy device, so really, just get CS3 for the Mac and save yourself a lot of grief - since all of the grief will come from Windoze rather than anything to do with the Mac. To me, virtualizing or using BootCamp are just for those items that have no equivalent, to be used sparingly, because really, nothing is worse than Windoze.
It is a decent, functional (yeah ok, old, but it works and that's the point) scanner. But the model is unfortunately Windows-only. I have CS4 on my mac, and believe me, if I could hook up everything to my mac and use it natively, don't you think I would? I don't enjoy jumping through these hoops, lol, but these peripherals are circa-before I had a mac. So I'm stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I should say, I do know how you feel.

I have a $2000 (well, in the early 90s it was $2000) Apple Personal LaserWriter NTR which prints 5000+ copies from a single cart--and it has a relatively new cart in it.

But it only has a serial port, parallel port and an AppleTalk port. Great when paired with a Macintosh IIsi !

A few years ago I sought an ethernet to serial adapter, found one (possibly on ehMac--hey, it's been a while) for $10 plus $10 shipping from Calgary. I learned how to make it work et voila, 5000 pristine laserprinter black and white pages at my disposal.

Perhaps that kind of device would help you as well.
Huh. It's crazy enough to work. I'll check it out. :)
 

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Checking into the matter - it looks like your scanner is really a Windoze only scanner, meaning that the driver is also the scanning engine. Thus, you are restricted in a number of ways, in that you have to run a full version of Windoze, since the existing driver will not work under a virtualizer. Canon has also abandoned the model altogether, so they only have obsolete drivers on their site, with no updates. Checking around, two OSX utilities, VueScan and SilverFast, are no go with this scanner, since the scanner is specifically Windoze only. What is odd is that VueScan doesn't even support it in the Windoze version.

So with this scanner, you are restricted to old Windoze only, and will not be able to run off of OSX at all. Add to that the fact that within the virtualizer, you probably can not fake out the parallel converter. The driver expects a parallel port in hardware, and refuses to go any other way. There once was a project to provide a driver shim to "fix" this, but the project has long been abandoned, no doubt by the fact that a newer, more modern scanner that works with practical OSes is not particularly expensive.

You have two options - either lash it to some kind of Windoze box that had an actual parallel port (it can be something old, like Win95 or whatever, but it can't be new because this scanner will not do Fi$ta or Windoze 7even); or invest $30 into a more moden scanner with at least USB, and where drivers exist. The third option is, since you are at school, is to use the scanner in the Open Lab at your school.

A fair number of people have bashed their heads into the walls trying to rig these scanners up to do something useful - all attempts were futile. I am not one to suggest giving up on legacy equipment, but in this case, it should have been given up on before it was built in the first place, since all "Windoze-only" devices are inferior in all respects, and sucks away processor like no tomorrow because they thrift by not including a $2 microcontroller to do the dirty work. So instead of wasting a bunch of time trying to get some inferior hardware running - just pick up any decent old scanner for $20-40, like an Agfa Scan or something, which has actual drivers and can be connected to a modern computer...
 

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I don't have the budget for it right now (I think you missed the bit where I stated I'm a flat-broke college student), and furthermore, I don't see any reason why I should when it worked just fine on another Windows computer. I'm deadset on trying to make it work for me here, on my mac, because I have no other options right now.

But thank you for the reply nonetheless.
Macs were never set-up to use Parallel ports. They used SCSI or Appletalk connections up to about 1998 since then USB or FireWire.
 

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* I didn't read the whole thread...

I got one of these for my laser printer that only had serial ports, but works just fine and dandy.

Discontinued instruments - USB to Parallel adapter - TiePie engineering

It works...almost fine...

On occasion, I have to unplug and re-plug the USB connection to the AP Express I have it hooked to.

It's like the file gets stuck and unplugging the usb connection (NOT THE AP!!) suddenly lets it go through.

But hey, I get to use my laser printer and, again, aside from this quirk it's smooth as silk.

Might work for your scanner issue?
 

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I tried one of those to print to my Apple Personal LaserWriter NTR, but it couldn't translate anything to the printer, which is why I would up using the ethernet to serial adapter instead. USB to parallel would have been a lot easier.


* I didn't read the whole thread...

I got one of these for my laser printer that only had serial ports, but works just fine and dandy.

Discontinued instruments - USB to Parallel adapter - TiePie engineering

It works...almost fine...

On occasion, I have to unplug and re-plug the USB connection to the AP Express I have it hooked to.

It's like the file gets stuck and unplugging the usb connection (NOT THE AP!!) suddenly lets it go through.

But hey, I get to use my laser printer and, again, aside from this quirk it's smooth as silk.

Might work for your scanner issue?
 

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Apart from the port issue, consider downloading VueScan to see if it will drive the scanner. The developer is very attentive and might be inclined to build-in support for that model if you ask nicely ;) Until paid for, all scans are watermarked, but worth trying to see if it can be done. The N640U is not listed on the officially-supported page... but you never know...
 

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^^^
VueScan is a no-go with a N640U - that scanner has no data pump, which is actually done by the host CPU. It truly is a Windoze only scanner, and requires BIOS, so anything EFI based, like Intel Macs, are hosed. If it was one model up, the N650U, then it would entirely work, since it has all of the processing on board, and will entirely work with VueScan. For the same reason, SilverFast is also a no-go. This device will never be supported, Canon never released the microcoding needed to operate the machine, nor have they ever released device drivers for any other OS, nor will they ever release a driver that will work with anything newer than XP SP2 (SP3 users are hosed as well).

My suggestion is to scrap together $20 or so and buy something decent, that isn't oddball - and scanners like the Agfa are entirely find for such things, and they are available at very low costs; though something like an Epson will obviously handle higher resolutions and be a bit faster than the old but venerable Agfa.

People throw those old Canon scanners out for a reason - that being that they are oddball and no longer support any modern OS.

The OP has a few options - purchasing a decent used scanner at a reasonable price, or just using the scanner that will be available at the Open Lab at the school, or perhaps borrowing time on a buddy's scanner. There is another method, which is not pretty, but if one has a USB FaxModem - one could Fax it to themselves, if they have access to a Fax machine. Scans will be either 100 or 200 dpi (actually 96 or 192 dpi) - nasty, but it can be done on the cheap.
 

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This will probably end up being a double post as I put it in here before and it has disappeared probably when an earlier post which had also disappeared reappeared.:eek:

Anyways why go to all the brain damage of an adapter ~$20 and VueScan ~$50 CDN when a parallel connection is the only thing slower than that scanners scan speed. As Evan says for around $30-$40 you can pick up a good bottom end Epson USB scanner that will work as soon as you plug it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Alright, so after literally trawling through every electronics venue in my district (as per previous suggestion, to use an ethernet/parallel adapter) I came up empty. Either no one had the parts or everyone was convinced it wouldn't work anyway.

How dissatisfying.

1) Yes, I could very well use the scanners at the school labs, but that's assuming the labs are free (unlikely since my design program dept. is crammed to the brim), but I do freelance design outside of school, as well as graphic illustration commissions, so sometimes, 3am is when I REALLY NEED TO SCAN. And, well, the school isn't exactly accessible at 3am. :p

2) After a lot of tinkering and such, I've isolated the problem as hardware connectivity, and after speaking to all those people in the stores, I've begrudgingly realized there is pretty much not a hell of a lot I can do.

So I brought up the issue to The Parents. It's hard to swallow one's independence and pride, but they offered to pay for a new scanner up front and I would pay them back in increments every month. We pretty much looked at it as "well, neither you or the scanner is getting anything out of this," and scan quality is an issue so skimping on a $20 scanner didn't really impress them. (They have ...err.... high standards.) Also, that travel features prominently into my life as of next year, having peripherals that are easy to connect and use (ie: they go with you and just work) is a sane solution.

So, you guys and everyone else beat me into submission, lol.
I went and got a new scanner. The Canon LiDE200 which, thanks to price-matching and arguing to take my business elsewhere, I snagged at BestBuy for $93. It works natively in OSX, and I can import directly to Photoshop without hassle, plus it scans 600dpi in under 30 seconds -way to blow my mind!

By the way, I don't know what this Agfa scanner is that you speak of, but I haven't seen that brand name ever in my area. o.o

Anyhow, thanks a lot for all the support and advice. Maybe someone else out there will look at this thread and be able to learn something from it as well.
 
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