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Collateral Obsolescence



About a dozen years ago I (with the bank's assistance) bought a house. The bank was so gracious for my business they gave me a computer, or rather a gift certificate for the IBM PC Store for an amount equal to their bargain basement Aptiva Isparati. The computer was a dog (Citrix MediaGX processor) but it was marginally better than the 486DX2-66 I had. (And I knew the computer was a dog when I bought it, but as it was effectively free I didn't complain. However, I didn't throw good money after bad and buy any of the other dogs at the IBM PC Store.) It was also early on in the days of Win98 so I initially installed Win95 and later upgraded to Win98.


Anyway, somewhere around that time I also bought an IBM Ideascan 2000 flatbed scanner. IIRC it was a decent enough scanner (I was also working for IBM at the time, so might have gotten a discount). That is until I upgraded my PC and went to XP. The scanner wasn't broken, but without drivers it was a doorstop. (Not that you could use it as a doorstop as it didn't weigh much.) IBM had no interest in providing XP drivers, no money in doing so as they weren't selling that model (or anything else in home computers) anymore.


Fortunately, it turned out the scanner was a rebranded OEM model, so with a lot of digging and a little coaxing, I found a set of XP drivers which would work with the scanner. Sure I lost the use of the "one touch scan" buttons, and the software included with the scanner (which I never used anyways), but the scanner still worked. (At least when it didn't forget to turn on the CCFL.)


All was good until I upgraded my PC and went to Windows 7. Again the lack of drivers turned the scanner into a paperweight. This time the OEM didn't have new drivers. Nor did VueScan support it. I did manage to track down some Linux drivers, but they aren't up to date.


So over the weekend I bought a new Epson Perfection V330 scanner. Not because the Ideascan died, but because it was the victim of collateral obsolescence - not supported by current software.


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