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By: Beth Flunker firstname.lastname@example.org
That said, I would like to tell you why I am enthusiastic
about the HP6200 scanner. First of all, when my old sheetfed scanner died (I had
used it in WIN-OS2 for several years) I began some intensive research. The criteria
for my search for a new scanner were the following: 1) it had to work in OS/2; 2)
it had to be SCSI, for best and fastest throughput; 3) I really needed 8 1/2 x 14
scanning, because of existing documents and artwork here in this country; 4) it
had to be under $500 because I was going to have someone bring it when they visited
from the US, and that is the limit for things you can bring in without being taxed.
First I checked all the OS/2 graphics programs I had,
and downloaded a few more demos. I read all the readme's and help files, visited
lots of web sites and compiled a list of scanners that were recommended. I also
read all the info about CFM TWAIN, Sane, and STI drivers. After compiling my list,
the choice was narrowed down to Microtek, Umax or HP.
At that point I spent time with Pricewatch
- http://www.pricewatch.com and Computer
Shopper's - http://www.computershopper.com comparative shopping on the internet.
Computer Shopper also gives links to reviews of products, so I read all the reviews
I could find. I also began to notice which scanners came with SCSI cards, and which
didn't. I pulled out the manual for the SCSI card I had installed with my CD-RW.
It was a no-brand, but the manual seemed to indicate that I could connect other
peripherals to the same card. I got some advice on the e-mail lists about that,
since I knew nothing about SCSI. (Thanks to some fine OS/2 users, I am a lot smarter
about SCSI now!)
Finally, I decided on the HP6250 because it seemed
to be the most advanced scanner supported by OS/2 at the time. This scanner is the
same as the 6200 except that it has an automatic document loader, which you can
use if you want to. The scanner is for letter size paper, and for that reason has
a smaller footprint, but it has the ability to scan legal size documents using the
document feeder. In that case the paper moves past the light, rather than the light
moving over the page. It has 600dpi optical resolution, with up to 9600 dpi interpolated.
I appreciate the smaller footprint of this scanner, while keeping the ability to
scan legal size pages when necessary. I thought that might be a function only available
in Windows, but Impos/2 allows the use of the document loader, although not quite
as automatic as in Windows.
The manual is complete and shows how to connect to
SCSI and set the proper termination. The 6200 and 6250 models are SCSI compatible,
but don't come with a SCSI adapter or cable. I had ordered the correct cable when
I ordered the scanner, so there were no problems. I have my CD-RW, a Plextor CD,
and the scanner all connected to the same PEL-1600 SCSI card, and everything works
The setup was quick, and worked at the first try.
I did set it up in WIN95 at the time, and it worked predictably. I have since reinstalled
it in WIN98, with no problems. There are only two features in Windows that don't
work in OS/2. There is a green lever on the front of the scanner which, when pushed,
will launch the basic HP scanning software in Windows. From there you can scan and
print or save to file, mimicking a photo copier if you want. I personally don't
use that feature much, preferring to scan right into my graphics program in order
to work with the image. However, in OS/2 the same functions can be handled by CopyShop/2,
although you can't use the little green lever! But you can scan, reduce or enlarge
at will, and save or print your image - giving you the equivalent of a photocopy
machine in your computer.
The other feature is the automatic document loader.
In Windows, you can load a number of pages, provided they are all about the same
width, and the scanner will scan each one in turn, saving them to files, each with
a number. This might be handy for someone who does a lot of OCR work. In OS/2, using
Impos/2, you can send documents through the scanner using the loader, only you have
to click the mouse for each one to start.
The scanner performs as promised. Resolution is excellent,
copies are clear, and it is a matter of "set it and forget it". I don't
pay much attention to the scanner except to clean the glass now and then to keep
the copies free of extra marks. It powers on when you boot up, but the light comes
on only when you scan, at which time there is a 30 second warm-up period. Subsequent
scans have no warm-up unless you wait a long time between scans, during which time
the light switches itself off.
In OS/2, the scanner works with the Sane drivers,
and the PMSane front end to them, it works with the drivers included in ImageScan/2,
in CopyShop/2, and in Impos/2. I'm sure it works with the twain drivers, I've just
never tried them. I do most of my work in Impos/2, because the program happens to
do what I have to do most, and is set up to my liking. If I scan color photos or
artwork, I like to manipulate color in PMView 2000. Color exchanging works best
in StarOffice, believe it or not! If your favorite graphics programs are Photographics,
Pmview or some of the others, you will need the CFM twain drivers.
Just to make this review as complete as I could, I downloaded the CFM Twain
driver demo (http://www.cfm.de/En/eprodukte_twain_all.htm).
Installation went fine, and the scanner worked with the dirver. Only, now I know
why some are complaining. The scan is much slower with CFM, and peaks the cpu monitor
during the whole time. So I uninstalled the driver again. But you can add that
experience to the review. In my opinion, the other drivers are better for this scanner.
The only flaw I have found, both in Windows and OS/2,
is that when you mark the preview scan to select the part you want to actually scan,
it scans a little short on the top end. After a few retries, I have now learned
to give extra room on the top of the scan, and never have any problems. That might
be a problem of my video card, or of faulty calibration in the scanner itself.
I have seen mention of a scanner using up a lot of
CPU cycles, but I have never had that problem, even when scanning at higher resolutions.
People who are new to scanning often think they need
a high resolution. There is a web site that really explains how much resolution
we need for everyday printing, and what we might need for professional printing.
There is also a book you can get which summarizes the web site, and gives many examples.
I bought the book, and recommend it for those who haven't a lot of graphics experience.The
web site is http://scantips.com/
and the book is offered there.
A quick check of PriceWatch shows the HP6200 going
for just under $300, with the HP6250 around $325. Both the USB and SCSI connections
are on the same scanner, so if you want to use USB (probably only under Windows)
you need the correct cable.
CFM TWAIN - http://www.cfm.de/En/eprodukte_twain_all.htm
CopyShop/2 - http://www.tbsny.com/os2/index.htm
HP 6200C Scanjet - http://www.scanjet.hp.com/products/classics/6200c/Default.htm
HP 6250C Scanjet - http://www.scanjet.hp.com/products/classics/6250c/Default.htm
ImageScan/2 - http://www.farrel.pair.com/prod02.htm
Impos/2 - http://www.indelible-blue.com/ibapps/products.nsf/by+partnumber/CMP20
PMView - http://www.pmview.com
STI TWAIN - Solutions Tecnology Inc - http://www.stiscan.com