Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

As we say in the newspaper biz, an explainer

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With permission, I’m posting what I think is quite a clear explanation of the what, how and why on my scanner situation, courtesy of Will:

“So, as far as which option to download on the canon site, let me break it down for you quickly.

In order for your computer to tell a device what to do, it has to speak EXACTLY the same language as the device (metaphorically). That is, even speaking a dialect of the same language that is regionally specific won’t work. Even speaking the same dialect with a different accent won’t work (metaphorically, still). A “driver” is a piece of software that is written for your computer that (still metaphorically) implants the ability to speak the language of a specific device into the computer’s brain. Every device that you connect to your computer, whether it’s onboard or external (printer, modem, mouse, keyboard, monitor, CD drive, camera, scanner, you name it) has a driver file somewhere in your system that allows it to communicate properly with your computer.

That being said, every manufacturer of every device out there provides driver software for their devices for free download (that I’m aware of… anyone who doesn’t is foolish). That site that the canon link takes you to is just a list of all the different scanners that Canon makes or has ever made (within a certain reasonable time parameter). Therefore, all you have to do is to figure out which model of scanner you have. That number will almost always be on the side of the machine somewhere. Generally on scanners it will be right on the lid, front or side somewhere. Worst case scenario: you can’t find a model number anywhere. In that case, there will be a little tag somewhere on the machine with one or more serial numbers. If you punch one or more of those into google, one of them will pop up a reference to which model you’re dealing with – digression: this is WORST case scenario… normally the model number will be abundantly apparent. Once you know which machine you have, select the appropriate link from the list on the canon page.

The page it takes you to will inevitably ask you which OS (operating system, I know you know, but covering the bases) you’re running. You’re running Wiindows XP – any time you need basic info like that, btw, you can open your start menu, find “computer” on the purple part on the right, and right click it… select “properties” and it will tell you your OS, processor speed, amount of RAM, computer name, etc. Depending on the complexity of the device, you’ll have the option of downloading the driver and/or some software. You just need the driver. Find the link for the .exe file (an .exe file is one that is executable, that is it’s one that is a program that can run – that’s as opposed to a .doc document file that can only be read, or a .img file that is an image, or an .mp3 file that is a song, or a .wav that’s a movie, or a… you get the point… .exe files are programs that will run on your computer. That’s important to know.), and download it. Then open it up to run it, and voila! the driver will be installed, and your computer will recognize the scanner.

Key Concepts:

Computer needs a DRIVER program to interact with another device.

.exe files are PROGRAMS that will RUN on your computer (viruses are .exe files, so be sure you know what you’re downloading [Canon’s site can be trusted]).

The MODEL NUMBER of any device (including your cell phone, TV remote, printer, computer, car stereo, etc) can always be found with a minimum of digging and the help of Google.

Hopefully in this case, the why is as helpful as the how.



Written by geekypatty

November 10, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Misc Tech, Photo, Software

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