Canon, a big player in scanners for years, recently introduced the CanoScan FB 630Ui, a diminutive $149 flat-bed machine targeting Mac users, but not for them exclusively.
The 630Ui is one of the first scanners to be connected and fully powered via the computer's USB port. This means there's only one cord to keep up with.
After placing a photo on the glass, the user pushes the scanner's only button to bring up the CanoScan Toolbox on the computer screen, a pretty cool and fast way to launch the software.
Canon's software allows scans to be sent directly to a printer, to e-mail or to a fax modem. Also included are an optical character recognition program for scanning text and a package for making greeting cards and calendars.
This 36-bit, single-pass scanner captures more than 68 billion colors at a resolution of 600 dpi. It weighs just over 3 pounds and is 10.1 inches wide, 14.7 inches long and 1.5 inches high.
A translucent blue cover is standard, though other iMac-inspired colors are available for $12.99 each. Another option is a $6.99 stand that holds the scanner vertically when not in use.
The CanoScan FB 630Ui is the easiest scanner I've used. I was processing images five minutes after unboxing it.
Canon doesn't leave out owners of Windows PCs. Windows 98 drivers and software are included.
Information: 800-652-2666 or www.ccsi.canon.com.
SecuGeu mouse puts peace of mind within finger's reach
As more and more sensitive business and personal information is stored on computers, hardware companies are betting you'll want biometric locks for your little secrets.
One of the first for consumers is SecuGen's EyeD Mouse II, about $100, which uses fingerprint comparisons to keep snoops at bay. SecuGen's mouse won Best Peripheral honors at the Comdex/Fall computer show, and many analysts are predicting a boom in such equipment.
Applications abound in households and small businesses, where children or employees can enter forbidden hard disk zones without much effort. Software with the EyeD Mouse allows users to record their fingerprints by pressing any finger onto a small glass plate on the mouse's side. An image of the print appears on screen, then your computer maps and stores the resulting data.
After rebooting, the SecuGen software takes over for the Windows password manager, requiring a matching fingerprint before the operating system can be accessed. The software can also guard specific files or folders. A screen saver feature locks down the desktop when you're away but still logged in.
The demonstration EyeD Mouse we tried worked flawlessly from start to finish. Of course, under long-term usage, glitches may appear as the mouse fingerprint glass becomes oily or scratched. SecuGen says its technology will resist such problems. Right now, the product is designed for Windows 95/98/NT 4.0. It requires both a parallel port and PS2 mouse port.
Information:408-573-0495 or www.secugen.com.