[Talk] Quality of commercial hardware

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Fri Jun 25 12:13:51 EST 2004

OK, I admit it, I gave in to the dark side.  A couple of months ago I
decided that "SANE" stood for "Scanner Access Not Easy" and that I
could accept using Microsoft to run a scanner, something like a tool
rather than an operating system.  So I bought a Canon "CanoScan" 9900F
scanner and tried to use it.

We'll skip over how incredibly painful it is to use Microsoft.
Suffice it to say that I found out how to set up Samba and store the
images directly on a real computer.  The real problem was in the
software supplied with scanner itself: Canon don't believe in
supplying product specs, and their own "driver" is so buggy that it's
almost useless.

You can read all the gory details at
http://www.lemis.com/grog/product-reviews/Canon-breakage.html.  In
summary, though:

- Canon acknowledge the problems I've been having, and they admit that
  they can't fix them yet.  The only thing they're prepared to do,
  though, is to refund my money.

- I have asked Canon for technical information about their product, in
  particular interface documentation.  They have refused.

- I have asked Canon for less critical technical information about
  their product, namely they claim that the device can do 48 bit
  scans, but I can't find any way to get it to do so.  Neither,
  apparently, can Canon support.  They promised to get back to me, but

- I've put in a complaint with the ACCC, who were quite interested.
  They consider that the claims, if substantiated, would indicate
  misleading and deceptive advertising (on the Internet, too!).  They
  confirm, however, that the only obligation Canon has towards me is a

I'm not really happy with a refund for a number of reasons:

1.  If I accept the refund, I have to go and find another scanner and
    go through the pain of installing either the Microsoft-based stuff
    that they supply (and who knows if it will be any better), or
    SANE, which in the past I have found a real pain.

2.  It seems that the scanner hardware is fine.  All I need is
    information on how to program it, and I can (despite my
    reservations) use SANE.

3.  I feel that the vendors are getting away too lightly with just
    refunding to people who make enough noise.  They should be made to
    fulfil the implied contract.

I'd be interested in any kind of discussion, including ideas on what
to replace the scanner with.

Note: I discard all HTML mail unseen.
Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key.
See complete headers for address and phone numbers.
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