I/O Magic takes color scanning on road with MobileScanI/O...

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June 21, 1999|By Knight Ridder / Tribune

I/O Magic takes color scanning on road with MobileScan

I/O Magic's MobileScan, the first portable color scanner with a rechargeable battery pack, is one neat gadget for your laptop.

It's a sheet-fed scanner, meaning that documents or photos are fed onto transport rollers that move them across the scan heads. From there, images are transferred to your computer.

The $199 MobileScan has a resolution of 300 dots per inch and worked great, with a standard TWAIN interface that allows it to function within programs such as Adobe Photoshop.

Software includes MGI Photosuite and Xerox's TextBridge Classic for optical character recognition (OCR).

While the MobileScan performed well, installation can be a headache that might intimidate beginners.

While the MobileScan performed well, installation can be a headache that might intimidate beginners.

The MobileScan needs your computer's printer port to be switched to enhanced parallel port mode (EPP). This is determined in your computer's BIOS through the Setup routine.

The parallel port on my Dell Latitude laptop did not have an EPP mode, and although I/O Magic's support staff answered my questions promptly, I couldn't make my laptop compatible even with an updated BIOS. I had to find a computer with an EPP setting before I could use the scanner.

If your computer has a Universal Serial Bus port, I'd wait until I/O Magic releases its USB model this summer. An iMac version is due at year-end.

Information: 949-727-7466 or www.iomagic.com

-- Jim Rossman

Glove Radar measures speed of pitches to find best

The sound of a ball popping a mitt is the most glorious in baseball. How fast the ball got there can reveal much more than just whether a pitcher has serious heat.

New to the field of velocity-measuring devices is the $79.95 Glove Radar from Sports Sensors Inc. Its premise is that knowing the speed of a softball or baseball is important in developing proper training techniques. Proper training, in turn, will help players enhance their abilities while reducing the chance of injury.

The 3-ounce, triangular Glove Radar is tethered to the back of the catcher's mitt and calculates speed through Doppler radar technology.

Cincinnati-based Sports Sensors says its product is accurate to within 1 mph of more expensive radar guns.

Not that 1 mph would make a difference to my big-league chances: The device measured my fastball at only 62 mph.

It took five minutes to tie it to my glove and worked like a charm, despite its bad news about my ability.

Pushing Glove Radar's single button once powers up the lithium battery; another tap readies the device to read the velocity on a liquid crystal display.

Information: 800-589-3805 or www.gloveradar.com

-- Rick Barrick

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