Dimage Scan Dual - request for Tech Info

Mathias Koerber (mathias@koerber.org)
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 15:08:42 +0800 (SGT)

Blk 405, #10-689
Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
Tel: +65 / 5524250
email: mathias@koerber.org

To: Mr Jesmond Soh
Minolta Camera Servive

Fax: +65 / 732 5631
Tel: +65 / 732 9910

Date: 26 March 1998

Mr Soh,

I would like to thank you for your telephone call in response to my
first fax, and for the offer to help me obtain the necessary documents
regarding the Minolta Dimage Scan Dual Film Scanner.

As explained in the earlier fax, I recently (December 97) bought such a
unit and I am quite happy with it. However, ths scanner is only supported
under the Windows Operating Systems on a PC or on the Macintosh.

Alas, my PC at home is not usually used with Windows (3.1 or 95), as I
have other requirements, and thus use the Linux Operating system
(see http://www.linux.org).

I would very much like to be able to use the scanner with Linux, to avoid
having to always re-boot into Win95 only to scan a few pictures.

There is an effort underways to provide a unified interface to graphical
input devices for UNIX operating systems (of which Linux is one), which
current supports quite a number of scanners and digital cameras.
(Just porting the TWAIN interface used in the Macintosh and
Windows is not possible, as TWAIN does not cleanly separate
the scanner access from the windowing system, and is thus not
portable, this is also explained at the SANE homepage (see below))

This effort is called SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy), and more information
about it is available on its homepage: http://www.mostang.com/sane

Here is a list of the currently available drivers for SANE:

sane-canon for Canon scanners
sane-coolscan for Nikon Coolscan film scanners
sane-dmc for the Polaroid Digital Microscope Camera
sane-epson for Epson scanners
sane-hp for HP scanners
sane-microtek for Microtek scanners
sane-mustek for Mustek scanners
sane-pint for PINT-interface
sane-pnm for testing applications
sane-qcam for QuickCam cameras
sane-s9036 for Siemens 9036 scanners
sane-snapscan for Agfa SnapScan scanners (pre-beta)
sane-tamarack for Tamarack and ESCOM scanners
sane-umax for UMAX scanners and Linotype Hell Jade (see also author's -home page)

here is a list of Operating systems which SANE works on:

AIX 4.1
Apollo Domain/OS
FreeBSD v2.2.5/v3.0
FreeBSD v3.0
FreeSCO OpenServer 5
HP-UX v9.05
IRIX v5.2
Linux/Alpha v2.0
Linux/m68k v2.0
Linux/SPARC v2.0
Linux/x86 v2.0
Solaris/SPARC v5.5.1
SunOS/SPARC v4.1.4

Note, that Linux alone is estimated to have more than 3 million
users worldwide (see http://counter.li.org for the basis and
reasoning for this claim and for the hard data). The other
operating systems like Solaris, AIX and Digital Unix are also very
widespread, especially in the workstation market.

Obviously, it would not be in Minolta's interest to ignore this
sizeable market. However, currently no Minolta Scanner Backend
is available for SANE, and users of Linux (and the other systems listed
above) will have to choose some other scanner..

The main reason why there is no Minolta Backend is that the necessary
information is not (freely, easily) available, and that Minolta
also has not seen fit to provide a SANE backend (yet).

If this information was made available to the SANE community, there are
a number of programmers waiting to attempt the development of the
driver. (This is how most if not all of the current SANE backends
have been developed, as a community effort).

I would thus like to request that Minolta make available the necessary
documents to the SANE community, or alternative that Minolta pitch in to
this effort and develop their own driver for SANE (for more information
see the SANE homepage listed above)..

I myself would be one of the developers attempting such a driver..

Without knowing too many details I think the following would be the
information required:

1. The SCSI commandset used to control the scanner
(incl the APS cartridge) including all
parameters, options and returncodes.
2. The data formats used by the scanner (native graphics
format etc)
3. If it exists, the Programmers guide for the device.

I would again thank you for your assistance

Best regards

Mathias Koerber

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