Does anybody know if it is possible to share a USB scanner over the network? I have seen software that can claim to do just this, but being a cheapskate I don't really want to buy it - is there any free software out there that Google hasn't heard of?
Hmmm, that's great. Is there anything solely windows based? It's really for use between two computers located in our art room - so it doesn't seem worth the effort to build a dedicated linux server for them (maybe I'm just lazy).
Not that I've seen. There's plenty of other useful things you can do with that linux box once you've built it too.
At around ¬£30 for a USB scanner - is it worth spending anytime on it at all? Just buy them another scanner.
I don't know about software and certainly nothing free but if anyone else is looking for something like this then here's a few suggestions..
USB Servers (Keywords: Silex, USB, Server, keyspan) are probably the best approach..
You treat them much the same way as a printserver by hooking them up on the network and then installing the sofware/drivers on each of the machines you want to be able to access the unit.
Obviously only one computer can use the scanner at once and if there's one area for potential abuse this is it... Students and/or the forgettful, can easily lock up a scanner from any use by anyone else. To that end it's best not to install the scanner for use by all machines.
In terms of cost you're looking at around ¬£60+ for a single unit so it's not cheap.
Oh and in case you're planning on sharing a multifunctional printer (eg: Canon MP500 or Epson CX6600) then both the Keyspan USB server and Silex CX-2000U units will provide print server functionality as well as allowing use of the scanner by any PC's setup as described above.
As pointed out by other posters though, its not ideal and frankly unless you're dealing with a multifunctional (that you wish to share printing functionality for) or a high cost professional scanner.. you might as well buy other scanners and just install them on each individual machine.
Maybe it's just the northerner inside me that wants everything for free. It had never really occurred to me to buy two scanners!
For those who don't want to buy any hardware, I discovered that there is a program called ScanRn (freeware) which, when used in conjunction with ScanRnServer (not quite freeware) will add the scanner to the network...apparently.
If you have budget to burn, Epson have networkable scan unit for use with the Epson scanner range. Note phrase in this post is Budget to Burn! Its for the Epson Perfection scanner range (= sexpensive!)
Already burnt that money (a few years ago) - complete waste of time and effort. Might be better now but it is cheaper to buy a scanner for every PC.
It still has to be paid for.
You dont happen to work for them do you?
I install a cheap USB switcher, if the PCs are nearby. Haven't found anything for over the network use on Windows, though.
If the two machines are next to each other then a USB switch box should do the job - quick google finds this
If you have networked photocopiers then they can often be used as scanners as well - typically emailing the scanned image back to the user. The default is often to email as PDF but you can pick TIFF on the ones I've seen.
another alternative would be to dedicate one computer as the scanner computer - you're obviously going to have to physically take your image to the scanner so it's not a big deal to just sit at that machine to do the scan. Issues arise with where do you save the image. could be to a USB stick (lend it out and make sure you get it back at the end of the lesson; insist all users have them??) or a shared folder which anyone can write to and then just get back their file when they return to their own PC. Alternatively, some kind of upload system where they put int their username etc and it puts the file in their own user area.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)