In response to a column I wrote a few months ago about using USB scanners under Windows 2000, I received a lot of requests for information about using more traditional SCSI-connected scanners with Win2K.

To do a little research, I contacted Microtek, the maker of the USB scanner I wrote about, and asked for a good, midrange (less than $2000) SCSI-connected scanner that I could use with Win2K. In response, the company sent me the ArtixScan 1100 ($1995 retail—less than $1500 on the street). The scanner came with a SCSI adapter and used a SCSI 1-style connector. I didn't have a SCSI 2–SCSI 1 adapter handy, so I stuck the supplied Adaptec controller into one of my Win2K systems. The system recognized the controller without trouble, so I attached the ArtixScan and powered it up. Plug and Play (PnP) detected the scanner and asked me for the driver. I gave it the supplied CD-ROM, and that was it. All of the software that was bundled with the scanner worked fine, and I must admit that SCSI-based scanning was significantly faster than USB scanning. The ArtixScan's higher resolution was also nice, and the scanner has a cool setup that lets you scan negatives and slides (in various sizes up to 8"x10") without using the glass bed.

After scanning a lot of 35mm negatives in 1k x 2k resolution, I made the mistake of scanning an 8"x10" image the same way. The resulting 1.86GB file was a bit too large to edit easily, but I've found that as long as I pay attention to the size, resolution, and selected file type, I can create quite useful images using the ArtixScan. I was also happy to see that using SCSI-based scanners was no more difficult than USB-attached devices. If you're in the market for a $1500 scanner with good support for negatives and transparencies, the ArtixScan is worth a look.

Last week's tip:
I have a correction to last week's tip about changing the title of the Internet Explorer (IE) window; the correct name for the new value is "Window Title," not "Windows Title" (no "s"). I apologize for the typo and appreciate all the feedback I received.

A couple of readers pointed out that if you make the value a REG_EXPAND_SZ data type, you can use environment variables, such as %ComputerName%, to define the string that will display.

On to this week's tip:
Microsoft has realized that in concatenating service packs and hotfixes, you can undo some of the security fixes that the hotfixes were supposed to fix in the first place. To keep an eye on this possible problem, go here and download and install the application (Q282784_W2K_SP3_x86_en.EXE - 113 Kb). You can then run Qfecheck.exe at the command line.

QFECHECK \[/l\[:location\] /v /q /?\]
  /l  Log output to machinename.log in current directory
  location  Use specified location to store the log file
  /v  Verbose output
  /q  Quiet mode
  /?  This help

Running the report generates results such as the following:

Windows 2000 Hotfix Validation Report for \\TESTSYSTEM
Report Date: 3/21/2001  1:39am

Current Service Pack Level:  Service Pack 1

Hotfixes Identified:
Q259524:  Current on system.
Q282784:  Current on system.