Still scanning, after all these years

Keeping older equipment running is a bit of a challenge at times. Take our scanner, for instance: The Scitex Eversmart Pro II. We bought it new in 1998 (i think) for around $60,000, I think. Since then, Creo bought Scitex, and then Kodak bought Creo. Kodak kept up support of the device until about 8 years ago. And until just a year ago we could still buy parts from Kodak (It was hard though. The machines and parts were so rare that only one guy at Kodak ever knew what we were talking about. Ordering a part was an all-day affair. When we learned that “the Great Yellow Father” would be going through bankruptcy, we scrambled and bought all the stuff we’d need to keep the scanner going.

The scanner uses a SCSI interface, and software that only ran under OS 9. So we kept a g4, running os 9.4 and had a number of kludges in place to keep the scanner in our workflow. Sometime over the last 10 years, Kodak released a version of the scanner with a firewire connection instead of SCSI, and new software that would run under OS 10.5x (though that appears to be the end of the line). If I could get my hands on the software, and find some way to plug SCSI into a firewire port there would be a way to eliminate those kludges and make life a little easier for the poor scanner operator. Alas Ratoc, the last maker of a SCSI to Firewire adaptor announced in January that it would no longer offer it, as whoever made the SCSI controller chip no longer made it. All I had to do was find a used on on ebay or something.

The issue was forced upon us a few days ago, when the old G4 up and died. The motherboard was kablewey. No G4 with os9…. no way to scan.

Enter Genesis Equipment Corp. These guys have been selling and supporting used pre-press equipment for about as long as I have been in the business (that is…. a really long time). They could have sold me a new scanner… just like the one I had but with firewire for just under $10,000. Would have solved the problem, but left us broke. But guess what. They had both a Ratoc SCSI to FW adaptor AND the newer software. Yesterday I got a little box via fed-ex… and today… IT IS ALIVE!

I just complete my first scan on the new configuration, and boy am I happy! Faster, easier, no kludges… and I no longer have to look at that old computer.

Yes. We are still doing commercial quality high-end scans from reflective or transparent originals. We even still oil-mount transparencies that require a little extra TLC. As far as we know, this is the only high-end scanner operating in Northern Nevada. Certainly, it’t the only one being operated by a team who are truly experienced in commercial color separation. And if the phone calls and emails we get are any indication, it may be one of the last ones running in the western US.

Who needs high-end commercial scanning? Nowadays since commercial photographers shoot digitally, not many. But if you have a 35mm, 6×9, 4×5 or 8×10 transparency, or if you have an original piece of reflective art and need reproductions to by big and high quality… give us a call!

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