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Windows 2000 vs the modern world, reloaded.

mars 18, 2024

Windows 2000 vs the modern world, reloaded.

Previously in “the elusive fully Virtualised Fuji SP3000 project”.

The team at Mori Film Lab felt rather defeated, after a specialist came all the way over from England to help them with the virtualisation of their medium format scanner, they were left with a non-functioning SP3000. With over 100 rolls to scan, their only solution was to redo a fresh install of Windows 2000 on their physical machine and run the SP3000 like it was designed to be, in a painfully slow way…

We’re now almost 6 months later, and as I am writing this, we don’t have one but two scanners running two beautifully virtualized machines each.

After last time’s defeat, Reiss from Optimize Services started working on different installations of the SP3000 software with the promise that he would find a functioning one. On our end, we ordered another set of new computers and processors to maximise our chances of success.

And Reiss came back, took our computers, started installing the different software, and after a few hours of work, we heard it. The beautiful whirring of a Fuji Frontier starting up. He did it, and he did it cleanly. After three years of trying, we now finally have a fully virtualised machine. Not just that, but thanks to the new VMs, we managed to resurrect our first SP3000 that had not been running for a couple of years due to some computer issues (we’re now saving that one for another special project 😉).

Running a virtualized SP3000 adds a lot of reliability to our workflow. First of all, it’s much faster. Using modern computers means we can now bypass the hardware limitations offered by a Windows 2000-compatible computer. Because of this, we are able to give the main computer 4x the amount of RAM and process images 3-4x faster. It also means that if something goes wrong with the software (or the hardware), we can just revert to a previous version of the VM, giving us much more peace of mind but also ensuring these machines can last for longer than they would otherwise.

But the most beautiful part is that we now have an export computer running a much more complete and modern software on Windows 7. This allows us more control over the images scanned as we can now fine-tune every aspect of your photos straight in the scanner. We also (finally) have native lossless TIFF exports! Meaning 0 loss of information when scanning. A true blessing!

For us, this truly feels like a win. It seems trivial, but when we first started the lab, it was a challenge we were really excited about. We spent hours doing research, buying and trying different components, talking to people from all over the world claiming they had the solution, but we were never able to get a stable, reliable solution. Because of this and because the lab was really picking up, we had to stop experimenting and shelf the project to focus on delivering your scans. We thought we’d never have the time to do this, but thanks to Reiss, the Virtualised SP3000 adventure has come to a beautiful ending.

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