Fed up making several scans to get your favourite photo into your Amiga? Then build your own A4 flat bed scanner!
|Only since the advent of the powerful
home computers that are so predominant today has publishing really come to the masses. In
the good old days when you wanted a simple poster designed and printed, you either had to
employ somebody to do it for you, or, assuming you had access to a printing press, you did
it yourself - a very messy job indeed!
As computer mainframe systems became more powerful, a new type of computer package was developed from the already countless word processors on the market - the page layout package.
However, these packages only really became viable to newspaper and magazine publishers, but in due course, their prices plummeted whilst their features multiplied and system requirements became less demanding.
Now, most owners of home computers have some form of page layout package, whether it be a humble word processor with graphic support or a full-blown fully-fledged desktop publishing system.
Unfortunately, being interested in desktop publishing (DTP) can be a very expensive hobby indeed with decent software costing about £150 per package (and that's just the discounted prices!) and decent hardware costing, well, you would be cheaper buying and insuring an XR3i!
Unfortunately, there isn't really any way that you can skimp on DTP equipment as it really is a case of you get what you pay for. Even to produce the parish paper or the flamboyant flyer it can be a costly business to equip yourself - on top of the computer, you need to buy more memory, a hard drive and a decent printer.
However, do not despair! By following the simple step-by-step guide below, you can make your own A4 flat-bed scanner for less than the cost of the controlling software of those fiddly wee hand held efforts. Although the scans are a grey-scale image, the software for the scanner saves the images to disk as IFF files which can be loaded into any IFF-compatible paint package such as Deluxe Paint and colour added to enhance the image.
A word of caution, though. The script for the software is written in the new ARexxII programming language and as such will not work with the version of ARexx supplied with Workbench 2.0.
The usual words of warning apply - by mucking about with cables, wires, computers and the such like, you might just end up frying yourself.
A4 photocopier (try borrowing the one
from the office)
That's all for the now. Next month, I'll tell all you communications freaks how you can enter the fascinating world of comms by building your very own modem.
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