I was horsing around in a thrift this afternoon and ran across a kind of unusual looking scanner. It was about half again thicker than most flatbed scanners and weighed about 15 lbs! It said Epson Expression 636 on the front. I looked on the back and noticed it was a parallel + SCSI combo interface. Normally I would not have given it a second thought, I have perfectly fine old Scanmaker E3, and besides I use a digital camera more these days than a flat bed.
But something about this scanner and the bulletproof way it was constructed said “I was very, very expensive back in the day.”
So, I paid five dollars for it and took it home. I looked it up online and apparently this thing once went for around $ 800., and is a quasi-professional scanner. I cleaned it up, hooked it up, downloaded the Epson TWAIN drivers and XP recognized and installed it automatically. I threw some 3x5 Photos on the scanner and began to use it.
I discovered it’s insanely fast even at high resolutions. The perfection and spot on accuracy of scanned colors is well beyond any scanner I have owned previously. It’s not brand new, but it is one awesome piece of hardware. The most interesting thing is that I expected it to be slow and clunky because it’s a few years old, but it’s a lot faster and smoother than the $ 100- $200 USB scanners I have used, and the results are far better even though the newer scanners have theoretically higher resolution.