On Scanners and SCSI

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Good Bloggy!
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One of the best things about the TT is that it has both internal and external SCSI as standard. Given that ACSI-SCSI host adapters for the ST now cost more than the ST itself, that is no small benefit. Although many modern Atarians take the view that SCSI is no longer that useful, since SCSI hard drives are now relatively rare and more expensive than IDE devices, and SCSI ZIP drives have been replaced by ACSI SD card readers such as the UltraSatan. However, when it comes to scanners (and to some degree, CD burners) on the Atari, SCSI is still king. There is no USB TWAIN support on the Atari platform at all. So, if you need to do image editing on Atari, SCSI is a godsend.

So out comes my tank-like Epson GT-6500! And it really is a tank, carrying it definitely is a two arm job. The back panel is all metal and no dinky little AC adapter built into a plug… three prong AC power straight into what – judging by the weight – is the electrical substation for a modest provincial town sitting at the back of the scanner. 16 DIP switches and a great big metal bolt to lock the head for traveling. However, compared to setting up a USB scanner on Windows, it’s remarkably simple in TOS.

Thanks to the good folks over at Atari Forum for pointing me toward the driver disk to download. Copy it onto your hard drive (doesn’t matter where!). Hook up the scanner (obviously making sure the SCSI ID isn’t already being used by another device) and power on. Run GTLook 2. Up comes a GEM dialog box asking if your scanner is SCSI, Paralell or Serial. Tell it, stick what you want to scan in the scanner, hit “preview” …and off you go! I was ready for a night of battle, but it literally took me less than 5 minutes.

Here’s one I did earlier;)

 

It’s worth noting that GT Look supports TT-Low 256 colour mode, which helps with previews. Obviously, the software can scan in true colour (24-bit), even if the resolution you are in can’t support it. This scan is 24-bit, though the TT was running in TT-Medium (640×480 16 colours) at the time. The software supports monochrome, greyscale and true colour modes, at anything up to 600dpi, with exports in Tiff, Tiff v5, and Targa formats.

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