Ubuntu Scanning

My wife has recently gone back to college, and, seeing as she’ll need it much more than I do, I gave her my shiny, beloved MacBook. As compensation, I’ve got her old PC, running Ubuntu, which looks great on my 22 inch monitor. How long this will last, I don’t know. I’ve just recently started writing seriously again, and moving all of my “really important stuff” into Linux should give me lots to comment about as I note the differences between OS X and Ubuntu. However, I’ve heard rumor of MacBook Pro product refreshes… hummm….

The first difference worth noting between the MacBook and Ubuntu was a very pleasant one. I needed to scan a couple of photographs and give them to my wife, but I hadn’t bothered to connect my HP PSC 1510 all-in-one to the Linux box, and I didn’t have the correct drivers installed on the Mac at the time. But, I did notice the XSane Image Scanner application listed under Graphics in the Ubuntu menu, so I thought, I’ll give it a shot.

I’m glad I did. XSane automatically detected the HP, and was able to scan the photographs to the desktop with no problem whatsoever. From there, I fired up the Gimp to crop the photos and dropped them into Thunderbird to email them to the wife. From scanning the images to emailing them out took about five minutes… tops. During this time I would have probably still been waiting for the massive HP software download to finish on the Mac. However, the HP software does seem to have a few features that I wish XSane had (like image resizing before scanning), but for pure functionality and performance, Ubuntu wins this round.

Step One: Plug it in Step Two: Use it. Step Three: That’s it, no step three.

That’s how computers are supposed to work. This is amazing, considering that eight years ago Linux had a tough time identifying even internal hardware.