I was feeling burned-out today. In fact, I’ve been feeling like that all week, after expending a prodigious amount of effort on the search engine I’ve been developing. Around 3 pm, I started a long spidering job on the server, and decided to take the rest of the afternoon off to recuperate.

I went shopping in Brussels, and picked up a number of small things that I had been needing for a while, like a watch battery. At last, I can tell the time once more! I also had a long wander around the new Media Markt store in Rue Neuve/Nieuwstraat, where I picked up a new scanner.

My old scanner, a Genius that I bought cheaply second-hand from an emigrating friend, no longer works. Well, the scanner does, but the power supply doesn’t, and attempts to replace it with a generic unit result in lines of noise across the picture. It obviously has some stringent regulation needs that can’t be met by your average everyday PSU.

My new scanner is a CanoScan LiDE 20. It’s small and slim, and draws its power directly from the USB connection. It’s nice to be able to stow it away when not in use and only need to hook up one wire. It’s also reassuring to think that there’s no PSU to fail this time!

Many new scanners, printers, and image editors (Adobe Photoshop CS, notably) include black-box banknote detection algorithms that either corrupt such images, refuse to scan them, nag the user, or all three at once, so I wanted to test my scanner. Not for illegal purposes, you understand, but purely in the interests of scientific enquiry. I’m pleased to see that the scanner scans anything that is put inside it—the way it should work. And you never know when it might come in handy in the future, if my career goes downhill...