MUSTEK ScanExpress A3 USB 1200 PRO and SANE


  The search

What I had to start with ...

There's always a bit of apprehension when firing up a new peripheral on GNU/Linux, not that it's all bad, hopeless or unmanageable, but because you never really know for sure if the manufacturer has been cooperating with the OSS-community on drivers for the product you've bought. More often than not things works pretty easy, almost plug 'n' play, but when things have snagged up it tends to linger for years on end.

So I was a bit apprehensive when connecting this scanner to my laptop; Mustek isn't in my best book when it comes to driver support, and sure enough we are having issues ...
It was not hopeless, or so it seemed; there was a back-end that Mustek claimed to support this scanner, but the source in SANE is locked to one single scanner variant from Mustek. What initially bugged me with this situation was that Mustek supplied source code until 2005, and since then they've only published binaries ... Why this change of heart?

I were about to start nagging the resident SANE-developers, querying why it had been accepted a hacked version of Musteks source into SANE's distribution, and if this may have been the reason why Mustek gave 'us' up in 2005? But I reconsidered and decided to take up this source and fix it in a way that makes it more palatable for Mustek. A bold mission, I know, but without common ground nothing worth noting usually happens.

I started with searching the net for references to what might have happened, what might be achievable, who have been doing what lately, and whether there are original sources available for Musteks current binary driver package.

Published: 18/11-2017 (Gjermund Skogstad)

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