Posts Tagged ‘business’

HP ScanJet on Mac OS X (or any scanner, for that matter)

December 30, 2008

Using a USB legacy scanner for Mac OS X can be accomplished with this set of TWAIN/SANE tools based on the SANE implementation for *NIXes.

Since it took me a while to find what I needed to get my old HP ScanJet 5470c to work on Mac OS X (10.5), I wanted to post this link accompanied by some of the keywords for scanners that others may use (so they’ll have an easier time finding it on search engines):

This site lists several binary packages which should make your scanner work for you, too … after you installed them in the following order:

  1. gettext
  2. libusb
  3. SANE backends (installs all, even though you may only need the HP 54XX one)
  4. SANE Preference Pane
  5. TWAIN SANE Interface

After installing all these, go to the SANE Preference Pane and disable all the backends you don’t need (at least that’s what I did; it works for me, but I don’t know if it’s necessary). Next I clicked on Configure and then OK; without this step, apparently, the SANE/TWAIN interface is not activated. After closing the preference pane and entering my password to store the settings, I opened Image Capture. A preview dialog popped up and my already connected scanner did a quick preview scan.¬†From there I was able to scan the document on the flatbed.

If this does not happen for you, make sure your scanner is properly connected. By going to the Apple Menu > About This Mac > More Info, you get access to the System Profiler. One of the last entries in the left column under hardware should be USB. After selecting this entry, the right panel should show the USB Device Tree. Make sure your scanner shows up in that list.

If that still does not help, try restarting your Mac, although that should not be necessary.

I presume this works for pretty much any scanner listed in SANE’s Supported Devices List, but it may be of particular interest for legacy devices such as:

Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 2100c, 2200c, 2300c, 3300c, 3400c, 3500c, 3530c, 3570c, 3800c, 3970c, 4070 Photosmart, 4100c, 4200c, 4200cse, 4200cxi, 4300c, 4300c Silitek, 4370c, 5200c, 5300c, 5370c, 5400c, 5470c, 5490c, 5550c, 5590c, 6200c, 6250c, 6300c, 6350c, 6390c, 7400c, 7450c, 7490c, 7650c, 8200c, 8250c, 8290c, G3010

Update: Some people have commented with problems on Snow Leopard. One commenter suggested that VueScan works, but it’s not free. You can probably find a used scanner that does work on craigslist for less than what VueScan costs.


From No Clue to 3 Websites with Django in 1 week

July 18, 2008

I started “40 hours ago” without much knowledge of Python or Django (I had played with both for a couple hours a while back). Now I have three mini-sites using the Django framework live.

Thus, my first few experiences with Django on Python have been remarkable. Read the rest of this entry »

Sooner or later, I will host this blog myself …

February 5, 2008

… and am making this mental note here for my own purposes: WordPress Configuration

Outsourcing with Elance, Guru &

February 3, 2008

Different freelancer networks have different strengths (duh!). Use them in combination.

I have been using Elance in the past to invite other people to help me on projects. Now I had a very urgent fulfillment request from one of my clients and needed some business research done in less than 3 days from posting the project to final delivery. For all web development-related projects I posted on Elance in the past, I had received bids within minutes of making the project description public, but no-one responded to this research request within a few hours. So I decided to give two other places I knew about a first chance: Guru &

I got bids on both within the first hour or so and ended up with 5 or more bids on each. Both providers in the U.S. and abroad had similar prices, with the top-rated ones all bidding essentially the same amount (at the upper end of the limit I had set for the project). I found both sites more cumbersome to use than Elance, but GetAFreelancer seems to have a lot more provider diversity and Guru is more established and mature. GetAFreelancer also makes the buyer pay for transaction fees, which I find inappropriate. But maybe the margins for providers are better there and therefore the providers more motivated? The future will tell.

The real proof is going to be in the pudding, which will be delivered by the end of tomorrow. Lets see whether the project winner can meet expectations. My success with Elance providers has been “mixed.”

Update: The provider I picked with Guru delivered decent work. Not quite what I expected for the money I paid, but the client was happy (which is really all that counts). I read recently (I wish I’d remember where) that in order to successfully delegate, I will have to accept that the job is only going to be done 80% as good as if I had done it myself and account for that gap. In this case it was close. I got maybe 60% to 65% of what I asked for (partially because of the tight deadline), so I had to fudge it a little to make it work.

This experience also teaches me that I need to “train” the client better to not to ask me for stuff “last minute”.