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Share Usb Devices

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The logic doesn't elude me, but there are practical limits (or so it seems to me) to what can be accomplished with a device like a scanner over a network. How about this as an alternative: you could network your parent's computers together using something like Network Magic and then share the folder to which scanned images are sent. The advantage of Network Magic is that anyone can use it to share folders and devices (not USB scanners, though, as far as I can tell). So, even if your parents' computer skills are basic, they should have no problem with it. In this scenario, you're mum would scan an image using your dad's computer and scanner (or ask him to scan something for her if he's sitting next to her) and then access the image from her computer. Actually, it's pretty simple to accomplish this using the features built-in to Win2k/XP/Vista but, at least with 2k and XP, I've found things a bit flaky and have had to get my hands dirty a few times to repair shares and things. With Network Magic, connections are stable and if they do break the GUI is simple enough that my wife can sort things out if I am not around.

My final (and quite random) thought: you're mum should still be able to do most of the heavy lifiting involved, if dad is busy on his computer) - she just has to load the negative into the scanner and press a button on the front of it. All dad should have to do is accept the scan...

I need some ibuprofen and strong coffee! :stars:

Carol Haynes:
if they have a scanner that cost 350 Pounds,
presumably it's a very good one so  -
sharing would be attractive
-tomos (June 05, 2007, 10:01 AM)
--- End quote ---

Maybe a very good scanner - but you don't need fantastic quality images to put things on eBay. What ever you upload to eBay is going to be downsized to 72dpi and a size that the eBay gurus like.

You only really need a drammatically good quality scanner if you want to produce profession quality copies of photographs - or scan negatives at professional quality (in which case you get a dedicated negative scanner which will cost a lot more than £350).

The second Canon scanner I pointed to has an optical resolution of 9600 x 4800 dpi - which is more than adequate for practically anything most people would want to do and is more than adequate for negatives.

Its mainly there are not many cheap scanners that do a A5 Sized negitive Which is a old glass plate image, most scanners only do 35mm negitives.

My parents sell alot of old negitives, and where details need to be shown, hence the price of the only scanner that will do is over £350.

And it wont be downsized on ebay, as we use my Webhost to show images where buyers can click the image to show a high res image on the host for that item, no images get listed by Ebay.

Looks like its not £350+ anymore, Was when we 1st got it.

Now £270 But still alot..
Epson Perfection 4990 Photo

But dad is interested in Epson Perfection V700 PHOTO which is £350+ Or the pro is £400+  Mad i know.. for a scanner, but only ones that do the sized negitive they need

Carol Haynes:
Can you not simply scan the A5 negative like any other document and then 'develop' the image in a graphics application? Inverting colours from negative to positive should be an easy one click fix. Then you should be able to use any scanner to do the job.

Hmmm ... just been looking and it isn't non-trivial.

How about the USB hub approach - still cheaper than sharing software.

Failing that you could use Windows to set up a share folder which both compters can access. If you want to make it easy to access you can even assign that folder a drive letter so that it looks like a hard disc in Windows Explorer and is accessed in exactly the same way.

Another alternative is a USB switch that allows you to select which computer has access - but I am not sure how much they would cost.

Having said that - the Intellidriver software (scanner edition) should do what you want for £11.

Why not download it and have a play and buy it is you are happy. There is a demo download at

I get the impression Vista Business and Ultimate will let you share scanners just like printers, but I haven't tried it yet. I took my scanner apart, and for one reason or another it only worked once after I put it back together (I actually think it's a software problem though). Anyway, I can definitely see the point of a networked scanner...
1. Wait for the scanner... Scanning a full image in high resolution takes a long ass time. It you were able to use the scanner software you could do a test scan, find the area where you want detail so you only take the time to scan that.
2. Wait for the network... High resolution images are quite large, transferring them over a network could get annoying
3. No switching programs... Sometimes you don't want the scanned image for long, File > Import > TWAIN from within your graphics program is a lot more convenient than browsing to a folder and opening an image.
4. Obviously 2 computers that are next to eachother, with equal access to a shared scanner makes a lot of sense. I personally like to get my documents as close to square before scanning them which takes a lot of adjusting. If you had to do a full scan before every adjustment it would take many times longer.

I'm with Carol here, if all you need is "a scanner" than go for a cheap one. I used to have a Visioneer 9020, cost me something like $100 IIRC. By the time I bought my current scanner I could have bought it for like $20. My current scanner was $250 retail (Epson Perfection 4490) I didn't pay that much though. I think I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in scan quality. But, if you need a large bed, or better negative scanning, you gotta get what you gotta get.

I wonder if a USB KVM switch (~$30) would work?
Or something like this thing


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