Answering All Your ISCSI Scanner Questions

The film scanner [xssfox] found, in the center of a table, with other stuff strewn across the table

iSCSI is a widely used protocol for exposing SCSI devices over a network connection, and some scanners have in the past been equipped with SCSI ports. So, could you have an iSCSI network scanner? [xssfox] details her journey making a Canoscan FS4000US film scanner work over iSCSI, sparked by someone’s overly-confident StackOverflow comment that it couldn’t be done. Nothing in the spec said it couldn’t actually work, however, and after figuring out a tentative architecture, a hardware setup was put together.

No flatbed scanners with SCSI ports could be found on the cheap, so a film scanner had to be procured. After figuring out a few hitches with the loading mechanism and getting a test image locally, it was time to try and build up the software setup, tearing through SCSI compatibility and cabling, driver and PCI pass-through woes, bluescreens, and intermediate software having dropped some of the necessary features by now. Still, [xssfox] eventually exported the scanner as an iSCSI target – and, on the other end of the network, successfully connected to it and completed a scan. The StackOverflow answer was wrong, after all.

It’s fun to see how far old technology can go, and get answers to questions you never knew you had. Whether you’re reminiscing about SCSI days or wondering what the technology about, we’ve talked about it aplenty, from a retrospective to modern-day experiments, repurposing old SCSI hardware for modern SATA ports, a Raspberry Pi implementation, an emulator, and a fair bit more.

We thank [Valentijn Sessink] and [adistuder] for sharing this with us!

17 thoughts on “Answering All Your ISCSI Scanner Questions

    1. The SCSI flat bed scanners that were donated probably went in the trash or ewaste in the last 20 years. They only seem to sell USB ones. Their online site shows ones from Epson, Canon and some company called “Visioneer”.

    2. The vast majority of the op-shops in Australia outright refuse anything with a power cord.

      St. Vincent De Paul has “Computers, printers and scanners” on the “What can’t I donate” list.

      Connecting2Australia says they “can’t take” computer equipment, printers and scanners.

      Salvation Army says they don’t accept “Computer monitors, printers, scanners and other hardware (unless brand new and still in packaging)”.

      Sacred Heart Mission says they will take electrical items / computer gear (unlike the others), but “some things are just too difficult to sell, such as … scanners/printers” and then links to the local government’s lookup for e-waste drop-off points.

    3. I haven’t seen a scanner at Goodwill in years. I suspect most of the people that bought scanners around Y2K have already parted with them in the last 15 years or so.

      It’s kinda like the Wii Fit balance boards – I used to see several each time I went, now I’m surprised when I encounter one every year or so.

  1. “Confusingly SCSI-2 refers to two different specifications – Wide and Narrow. Wide came about in 2003, while Narrow came out in 1994.”

    2003? That has to be a typo? SAS was 2004.

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