Jan 4, 2017

Howtek D4000 Drum Scanner Update #1

Had some developments in the ongoing saga of the Howtek D4000 drum scanner. Turns out that my Mac G4 tower is just about perfect for this setup. Still has OS 9.2.2 installed on it, looks like it was never used so is very clean and orderly. The OS X has been updated to 10.4.11 (Tiger) but I believe I could update it to 10.5.8 with no issues. I may do that down the road.

Short recap of my setup:

MDD (Mirrored Drive Doors) Mac G4 tower with OS 10.4.11 and OS 9.2.2
Howtek D4000 drum scanner, was at R531 and now at R535 firmware
Trident 3.5.5 and 4, both downloaded from Aztek's site
Aurora 3.0

I had been trying to run some of the freeware/demo versions of software attainable at the Aztek website's Howtek support section but was unable to get any of their programs to talk to the scanner.

Getting it booted directly into OS 9 gave the drivers a direct shot rather than trying to work through OS X's Classic emulation and so it could talk to the scanner. I updated the firmware through MacUtil 3.7 to the R535 version (last released). As I'm writing this, Aurora 4.0 is doing a pre-scan and I will see if it gives the heavy errors (what look like skipped lines, blurring along high contrast edges and generally less than the quality I have seen in other scans).

Jan 1, 2017

Howtek D4000 Drum Scanner Intro Post

I have a friend, let's call him JF. JF works at a southern California camera store and so sees lots of interesting and unique pieces of gear come through as the owners want to trade up or clean house.

One of the more unique and interesting pieces he saw was a drum scanner, made sometime in the 1990s by Howtek. This company is still around and still actively services these relics, and they still are top of the class for image quality when it comes to digitizing negatives and slides. JF had someone give the store/him one of these models plus a whole bunch of accessories but it wasn't the right timing for him to be able to put it to use so he passed it on to me and I dragged it recently to New Mexico along with a Mac G4 tower to drive it.

Quick breakdown of specs:
-Scan area of roughly 10x11"
-4000 true DPI scanning resolution. Lots of consumer scanners (anything flatbed) will claim that high or higher but drum scanner pixels are worth 2-5 flat bed scanner pixels.
-Basically the top of the line for digitizing anything not already made of pixels.