Friday, December 16, 2005

I've been pondering the networking component of my camera. The manual is not very clear. They rarely are.

After considering it for a while, I started to play with it again. The other day I wore myself out screwing around with it. I wore the battery out too. Somewhere I read a review in which the reviewer pondered the value of the AC Adaptor. This would have been a good time to have one.

Yesterday, having had enough of the camera for a while, I decided to re-install my printer drivers. I have a Brother MFC-210 multi-function centre. I've always had problems getting it to do anything except print and photocopy. The scanning and OCR were unreliable. Unreliable in this context means that I could get them to work until I needed them to work.

I uninstalled the printer and scanner drivers. I then downloaded new stuff from the Brother web site. Incidentally, their website has changed and not for the better. It's hard to find a product and then it uses a tiny little window to deliver any information about that product. I didn't notice anyway to expand the window.

Over about an hour, I got the machine to print, scan and convert text. The software it uses for the latter is from a company called Abbyysoft. Their application is called FineReader. It is embedded in a programme called Presto!PageManager from NewSoftInc. The combination is a little clunky. That being said, I'm using version 4 and they are now up to version 7. Mac support is spotty though and I would be unwilling to upgrade to something newer.

In the end though, it works. Abbyysoft OCR works well. It converted two scans with zero errors. It even accurately caught the missing space after a comma in one place in the text. This is a great improvement over my past experiences with some variant of OmniPage. I'd be willing to buy this if I had a genuine need for it. I don't work with written documents however so… I just looked at their website. The last Mac version was v5 which was released in November 2001. It did not run natively under OS X.

Why is this at all important? Because in order to do these things, I had to take the printer off wireless and plug it directly into my PowerBook. Then I had to go back to the network once the drivers were in place. Yuck!

Anyways, it all worked after a brief struggle. The process forced me to go through all of the problems with wireless connectivity again. Thus, when I went back to the camera, it all made sense.

Yesterday, I read that the camera would only work on WEP networks. That's not true. It will work with WPA networks. I'm not sure if this is as secure as it would be if it were WPA2 so I'll need to do some more reading.

I connected to the Mac, launched the wireless configurator. Deleted the old profiles. Created a new profile using WEP. Tested it, it worked. Changed the router to WPA2. Created another profile using WPA. Tested it, it worked. This took no more than five minutes to configure and test.

Anyways, today I was able to activate the auto-transfer mode. Take a picture, watch it appear on the computer. Only takes a second or so. The images are only about 350KB in size as I'm not using maximum resolution.

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