Monday, October 5, 2009

New Job, and New Scanner

First day at the new contract job. Apparently it takes over a week to requisition a work station, so I didn't have a computer to work on (this isn't the first time it's happened at a new job; at one place they forgot I was coming at all, and then my new boss couldn't remember my name). But my new co-worker and I toured the building and she introduced me to the Admin team members, and we reviewed the list of documents we will be working on. They are posted on the corporate intranet. And I figured out how to record a personal greeting on the phone. There's a Tim Hortons downstairs, and an underground walkway to the subway station. I can imagine that, with winter coming, the uphill walk to work and the downhill back will be (voice of Cloris Leachman as Frau Bl├╝cher in Young Frankenstein)...treacherous. (Remind me to write a note to myself to get a copy of that movie; it's one of my favourites.)

I just wrote about my old computer equipment but didn't mention my refurbished scanner (bought in 2000) was an Epson Perfection 636. Perfectly serviceable still, but when I upgraded the operating system from Win98 to WinXP the software drivers for it couldn't be updated. It took ages to find and download new software, but the $50US or so was worth it. It takes an 8.5 x 11" page. But the software only implies that it can scan negatives to positives. Either it's lying to me or I can't figure out how to work it.

I want to make family calendars as Christmas gifts this year, and I want to use old family pictures. A few months ago I bought a negative/slide scanner on eBay (FS-C1-VP-BX2 Film & Slide Digital Converter). But no how, no way could I install it on my Toshiba laptop. I gave the whole mess to my brother who was able to get it working on his laptop, but he's not very fond of it. And he's a lazy sod: he scanned exactly one image---from his and Mom's trip last year to Australia. I'll take it back and re-sell it on eBay.

So instead of trying to get him to scan old negatives, I'll get Mom to send me her selections of actual photos from multiple albums and I'll scan them and upload them to one of the custom calendar sites.

In the meantime, spending money I don't have again, I fell for a new HP Scanjet G3110 flatbed from Staples that also does slides and negatives (and bulky items: useful for online auctioneers). And it actually works! The bonus is that it plugs into a USB port so I can use it on the laptop. I can also scan to PDF and e-mail. So I'm happy now. Tra la!

Here's a scan of my girl Bwai from a negative strip using the Scanjet. If she looks blue, she is---she just had a shave. Note how her fat belly hangs over her back feet.

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