Last days…

by Berck

Today I did the impossible. I made it work. I didn’t think I’d come anywhere near succeeding, but since I was being paid to try, I tried.

It is 40 page per minute Fujitsu industrial document scanner that my uncle bought countless years ago to archive stuff. He wanted me to make it work. This doesn’t sound too impossible until you realize that the interface is weird. Very weird. A serial connection for the computer to talk to the scanner and tell it what to do, and a video output from the scanner. Raw video output needs to be captured and processed. For this, a very expensive and complicated processing card is needed. He’s got one, but it’s old, and the company that makes it distributed an “end of life” notice in 1999 saying that they were no longer supporting it. Fortunately, they still had drivers and stuff on their web page. Unfortunately, you had the choice of windows 3.11, NT 4.0 or Windows 95. I wanted to use NT 4.0, but no one could locate an NT 4.0 disk. I’ve got one, but it’s in Dallas, and that doesn’t help much. So I installed windows 98 on a computer and tried to set it up for this purpose. I eventually made it work. I had to do all sorts of bad things to it to make it work. And it took me two days. But it works. And it’s impressive. Watching something turn 40 pages into 40 stored image files on a hard drive in one minute is just. Cool.

I’m done working, but I’m going to go up there tomorrow one last time to document stuff for them so they can try to figure out what’s going on when it breaks. I did this last time, and it didn’t seem like anyone paid much attention, but hey, it’s what they want.

And then they day after tomorrow I get to drive to Mobile. And then I get married.

I ordered a water pump for the miata today. The car is whining loudly and I’m almost positive it’s the water pump. It’s hard to prove it isn’t the alternator, but I don’t think it is. Unfortunately, replacing the water pump is something of an ordeal since it requires removing the timing belt. Since I did all of this 30,000 miles ago and it’s supposed to be good for 60,000 miles I’m not happy. I’m thinking that maybe I had the water pump/alternator belt on too tight and destroyed bearings in both of them. I’m not sure, but this is possible, and means it’s all my own stupid fault.

Comments are closed.