The Old Man and the C


I threw out a scanner today. The computer kind, for scanning photos. Just chucked it right into the big, commercial dumpster in our building. It probably cost $500 when it was new.

The scanner, which belonged to my previous roommate, was missing a power cord, instructions, software, and any iota of resale value. So into the bin.

It was hard to do; I love gear, all things digital. If it’s encased in plastic and has a button or a little green light on it somewhere, I will play with it. But this Old Man of the C was a SCSI scanner, and the sorry truth is that nobody even HAS a SCSI port these days. SCSI (pronounced “scuzzy”) used to be the fastest external connection you could get, and since scanning transfers so much data, SCSI scanners were the top-of-the-line, jiffy-quick option of the late 80s and early 90s. But cheap, ubiquitous USB connections are today’s standard, and plenty fast. I own a USB scanner.

It’s sad, really. I think of the engineers, marketing and salespeople running around years ago flogging this product as state-of-the-art. And now it lays in state.

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