Archive for January, 2008

Avision, Kodak, Visioneer and Xerox scanner on Mac OS X

Friday, January 18th, 2008

For quite some time ExactCODE was shipping a Mac OS X TWAIN driver for Avision document scanners. However, with ExactScan version 2 the device support was now extended to cover many Kodak and most Visioneer and Xerox document scanners as well!

This includes, but not limited to the devices: Avision: AV121, AV122, AV210 C2, AV220 C2, AV610 C2, AV3200 SU, AV3750 SU, AV3850SU, AV8050U, AV8350, FB2080E, FB6080E - Kodak: i30, i40, i55, i65 - Visioneer: Patriot 430, Patriot 470, 9450 USB, 9650, 9750 PDF, Patriot 680, Patriot 780 - Xerox: DocuMate 152, DocuMate 250, DocuMate 252, DocuMate 262, DocuMate 272, DocuMate 510, DocuMate 520, DocuMate 632, DocuMate 752.

However, ExactScan 2 is not just about more devices: Under the hood it was completely redesigned and rewritten from scratch to allow monitoring the current scanner’s hardware buttons and profile selection and perform scans to be invoken by a fingertip on the scanner.

Also new are a bunch of ExactCODE’s image enhancement algorithms for automatic and intelligent binarization of images for massive long term archiving, very accurate and fully automatic auto-crop and de-skew as well as faster sharpening, de-screening and more.

This way ExactScan matured from a classic TWAIN data source it was in version 1, to a full blown image processing suite that also runs persistently in the background to monitor scanner actions, interface with existing TWAIN applications non-the-less and comes with sophisticated, state-of-the-art image processing.

Designed for Apple’s Mac OS X.
Made by ExactCODE in Germany.

MacBook Air - quite under the expectations

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Now, after all the year++ of waiting for a smaller MacBook, like the size of the former 12″ PowerBook “sub-notebook”, Apple wants to sell us the MacBook Air? Nice try but they should have tried a little harder - at least my expectations are not really satisfied:

  • Form: A wedge shaped - something one expects from Sony and Dell? It’s not as simple and stylish as the last designs.
  • Keyboard: Black keyboard in an Alu case? Not without reasons the external Alu keyboard has white keys - this really does not match into the line … Imagine the external Alu keyboard connected to the “Air”, …
  • Ports: Too few ports! At least 2 USB ports are a must, and where is Firewire? - Especially with the need of an external drive (which, however, is good ™ I was waiting for this space reduction for quite some time already) a little more connectivity would be welcome.
  • Ethernet: Or, the lack of it. Much fun opening professional image, audio and video files from a network server, think Photoshop or Video editing or just copying those huge Xcode project folders around
  • The moving ports door: To break apart sooner than later. At least it is not a rubber clutter as Sony is using.
  • Battery: Built-in battery? So no second battery for longer traveling abroad and bring-in plus service fee every year when the battery is worn out
  • Speaker: Mono? What? Still living in the 70′th of the last century? As if back side, display reflecting stereo speakers of the lower price MacBook would have added much to the size …
  • Screen frame: Why the heck does this “world’s thinest” laptop come with such a big frame around the display that already looks so ugly on the MacBook? As small as on the Pro’s the frame should have been.
  • Air: Built-in 3G (UMTS) would have made the thing even more wireless in the Air abroad.
  • Name: Air? Why not MacBook nano or mini? Such a name would have fitted so much more into Apple’s current cooperate naming scheme.

In my opinion the 3D models and photoshop’ed images floating the net for some time where better designed. Maybe Apple should google for Mac mockups for inspiration more often …

So still waiting for the perfect sub-notebook to fill the gap still left open.