Umax and Mac OS X

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
July 23rd, 2003 • 11:43 pm

I gave up on Umax supporting my USB scanner (an Astra 4000U) under Mac OS X a long time ago. (When I need to scan, I just fire up Classic and use the stand-alone VistaScan application, which works OK. It’s a pain, and there’s always a risk that a future UPDATE of Mac OS X will break the compatibility, but for now it works.)

Imagine my surprise, then, when I read the following in a MacInTouch reader report on Mac OS X quoting a Umax representative:

Thank you for taking the time to contact UMAX technical support.Unfortunately, there are no plans to develop and OS X compliant drivers for any of the Astra series or older consumer level scanners, with the exception of the Astra 4400/4450 and 4000U.

This is the first time I hear about Umax possibly supporting my scanner in Mac OS X! Could this be true? Well, when I checked the Mac OS X support page on the Umax UK web site, I found nothing about the Astra 4000U or 4400/4450.

And that page also says We expect independant developers to release OS X compatible drivers to support the older range of scanners over the course of the next few months. Given that the last time this page was edited is August 29, 2002, I am not raising my hopes too high. Intriguing nonetheless.

6 Responses to “Umax and Mac OS X”

  1. Pierre Igot says:

    Unfortunately, VueScan’s author has stated quite clearly that he has no plans to support USB Umax Astra scanners such as mine (and lower end models). Apparently, there’s something in their design that makes them different from all the other scanners that he supports.

  2. MacDesigner says:

    Have you tried using VueScan? I used it to make my old Umax SCSI Scanner available in OS X. You can get a demo version from If it works properly for you, you can pay the shareware fee and register allowing you unlimited free upgrades. It’s not just drivers, it’s a complete scanning solution, with a lot of advanced settings. But it also has a easy scan mode with minimal settings available. I’ve had very good results with it. Here are some personal pictures I used VueScan to get on my website.

    My .Mac Page

    Here’s a direct link to the VueScan page on VT:


    It’s been a very well received program, and is updated consistently for compatibility with an ever growing list of scanners.

  3. Gianni says:

    LaserSoft Silverfast 6 does support my UMAX Astra USB consumer level product!

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    Last time I checked, LaserSoft still didn’t support my particular UMAX Astra 4000U model. In any case, the software is so expensive that I might as well buy a new scanner.

  5. christopher says:

    The problem with the Umax scanner is that Ed at VueScan cannot reverse engineer the thing. And Umax is not forthcoming about the underlying code, despite them having said they expect “third party vendors to develop software that supports them.” Apparently, they won’t be getting any help from Umax on that…

  6. Pierre Igot says:

    I gave up on Umax a long time ago. (Still use the scanner occasionally through Classic, though.) When I really need a scanner, I’ll buy a new one.

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