It is getting harder to continue using film. The range of emulsions available is getting smaller, and the companies selling chemicals and paper slowly disappearing but more than that it is also getting a lot harder to transfer film images to digital.

I mentioned that I am planning to buy a new PC. I mostly use MAC, but I need a PC to be able to continue using my Nikon scanners. I have three and each of them is an old SCSI unit. Easy, I thought. I’ll just buy a computer than has a PCI slot and install my old card. Download the latest driver and continue on my merry way.

Fort starters the only motherboards that still have old-style PCI slots tend to be the lower end of the scale … or the video card covers it and it can’t be used … but still I managed to find a couple that suited that had 2 PCI slots. Everything OK then? Er, no. Microsoft don’t really support Windows XP any more, and Nikon no longer support the scanners, so no up-to-date drivers there.

The SCSI card manufacturer then. Yes, if  I wanted to use 32 bit Windows 7 and remain limited to 4GB of RAM. No, if I wanted 64 bit … it’s not hard to guess what I was intending to use, is it? Countless hours on Google resulted in  information on a bodgy work-around that may or may not work in Vuescan (depending upon the state of the intestines of a sacrificed goat, or whether Mars or Venus is in the ascendant) and will probably, maybe, work with Silverfast.

All of this could be avoided if the manufacturers supported legacy equipment. I know the it knocks profits and you can’t expect to use obsolete equipment for ever arguments. But why not. It should be a moral duty of manufacturers to support the stuff they sell for as long as customers need it … or at least for the physical lifetime of the product.


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