After a day of messing around with my computer I discovered that the extreeme slowness with the HP setup program wasn’t so much HPs fault as it was the fault of a CD ROM data cable going bad on my PC. After several swaps of CD ROMs I discovered the problem and corrected it.
Things are running better now – but the HP driver still sucks.
Its interesting, when you first start the HP scanjet 4890 driver, you get this dialog – see the picture. It asks you what format to output your files, etc. The really sad thing about this dialog is that it will remember what you set the last time EXCEPT the file prefix you choose. This always defaults to "scan". I foolishly made the decision, since I was scanning slides, to set this to "Slide" on my first run. From now on, FOREVER, I have to reset this prefix to "Slide" to make the output file names match what I have already scanned. As far as I can tell there is NO WAY to make it remember this.
Its the little things – ya know.
Anyway I have managed to get some of my favorite slides in. If you want to scan slides any way different than the default settings I am afraid you will have to go to each slide selection on the preview, select that, and adjust your settings. You can save setting presets but its still not very fast. Each selection is treated as a seperate set of settings and I have simply not figured out any way to apply a non-default setting to all the selections at once – like a new default.
In fact, I noticed a bug here. If you have all the slides selected – see the picture of the slide preview – and zoom into the current selection and then load a presaved setting profile to save time, when you zoom back out you will find that all the other selections are discarded – you get to start all over! But if you zoom in and manually adjust your settings and then zoom back out, the selections are preserved.
Hows that for consistency!
Well, with a few days of playing around I have managed to get the job done. I have attached some of the slides I scanned with the default settings – you be the judge.
I still think I would like to try the Epson before deciding to stick with this machine. The good thing is that software is updatable. Maybe HP will update its driver and fix some of these bugs but I doubt it – unless a lot of other people scream in their blogs like I have, it won’t be in HPs interest to get it right – they’ll just make another scanner the same old crappy way.