Finding a Flatbed Scanner for Linux

Gary Schafer, 10 September 2017

If you run a computer using Linux as do I (I'm currently running Linux Mint 18 on an Intel Skylake-based computer), finding a flatbed scanner is a hit-or-miss thing. I've finally found a flatbed scanner that will work with my computer. It's an Epson Perfection V600. All I did to find one that works was to find a flatbed scanner that had the features I wanted (basic flatbed scanner, negatives, 35mm slides), then check the manufacturer website for Linux drivers. That was it. Epson has drivers for Linux, but they state upfront that they do not support Linux. What this means is that, if it works, great. If it doesn't, don't ask Epson for help.

The Epson V600 will work once you've installed Epson's drivers from their website. All you need after that is Xsane. To make things even easier, I purchased Vuescan. This is a program that will run on every operating system. It makes things easier and given the amount of scanning that I do, it was worth the price.

I've done some basic color photograph scans and the images look pretty good. This Epson is taking the place of a much-older Epson Perfection 2580. I'm going to wait to do a more in-depth review after I've had it awhile. I want to make sure that it lasts at least three months before I consider it worth a post.

The Sony ICD-PX312 Digital Audio Recorder and the "Hold" Problem

This is the recorder, showing the right side buttons.
This is the recorder, showing the left side buttons. The ON-OFF-HOLD button is on the right side of the image.
This is a slightly better picture showing the ON-OFF-HOLD button.
This is the top of the printed circuit board (PCB). The buttons are on the left, the connector for the liquid crystal display (LCD) is just to the right of the chip, and the microphone is on the right.
This is the bottom of the PCD. The on-off-hold switch is on the left, front (the orange slider), the micro SD slot is just to the right of the on-off-hold switch, and the audio connectors are on the right end.
Zoomed in image of the on-off-hold switch. The damaged area is just behind the switch.
Zoomed in image of the damaged section of the board. The on-off-hold switch is just off the bottom of the image.
Zoomed in image of the damaged part of the board on the other side. The battery acid appears to have leaked through the vias.

Gary Schafer, 4 September 2017

The wife used (note the past tense) a Sony ICD-PX312 digital audio recorder for work. A couple of days ago, when she turned it on, it came up with the message "Hold". She couldn't do anything else with it. Every time she pressed a button, the "Hold" message would pop up. A review of the manual for the recorder only stated that the recorder would be in "Hold" when the switch on the side was put into the "Hold" position. The user can put the switch into this position when she doesn't want to accidentally erase or change any of the recordings. The manual simply states that, to get out of this state, move the switch back to the center position.

The wife's recorder was stuck in "Hold". No amount of moving the switch between "Hold" and the center position would actually take the recorder off of "Hold". I removed the batteries, as suggested in an online forum. That didn't work, but it suggested a possible reason. I discovered that one of the batteries had leaked. The area of the leak was next to the on-off-hold switch. As there didn't seem to be any other way to resolve this problem, I began taking the recorder apart.

Let me point one thing out. The recorder does not come apart nicely. I broke several of the plastic tabs in the process of taking it apart.

Once I had the board apart, the reason for the "Hold" problem became clear. Right next to the on-off-hold switch on the board was an area that had been damaged. It appeared that the leaking battery fluid had dissolved part of the board. Several areas of the top layer of copper had been dissolved. The acid had even leaked through some of the vias and damaged the bottom layer. Long story short: The leaking battery acid damaged the board to the point where the "Hold" setting was shorted. No amount of cleaning was going to fix this problem. The board was irreparably damaged.

For those of you with the same problem (Sony ICD-PX312 record "stuck on hold"), this might help to explain it. Or not. All I know is that this was the problem for this particular recorder.

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