BarneyScan 35mm Scanner

Now that I had a budget to buy digital devices, some of them were starting to arrive in early 1989. BarneyScan was the first to market with a desktop 35mm scanner aimed at desktop publishing. About the size of a breadmaker, it was a pretty simple unit. Connecting it to the Mac was NOT. It turns out it used a somewhat obscure interface in the desktop world, called "gpib" which stands for General Purpose Interface Bus. Fortunately, a card was included with the scanner. Unfortunately, the BarneyScan software couldn't be used without the card installed.

It really was a pretty poor quality scanner. The lens was not very good, and focusing was a chore. You had to adjust the focus with a thumbwheel, let it rescan the image again, and then adjust some again, rinse and repeat. Very frustrating to work with. I finally could create some high resolution scans to play with. We were in the early stages of development of a large format color thermal printer, and needed a way to digitize images for testing. One issue we had to deal with, was the fact that the MacII only had a maximum of 8mb of RAM at that time. The printer required images of 9mb to fill the 8x10 buffer and 12mb to fill the 10 x 10 buffer. The Mac imaging programs of the day couldn't access enough RAM for those image sizes. Fortunately, despite it's other flaws, BarneyScan's proprietary software provided the answer. That solution was BarneyScanXP.

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