Early adopters of Mac OS X can begin to scan natively in the OS, thanks to Hamrick Software, which has released an update to its scanner-driver software for Mac OS 8, 9 and X.

VueScan 7.1.9 works with most scanners, to produce high-quality scans. It supports batch scanning and offers full-colour management features. The drivers are available for download from the company.

It supports a variety of scanners from manufacturers including Minolta, Microtek, Nikon, Polaroid, Canon, Epson, Konika, HP and Umax. It also supports a number of FireWire scanners, many USB scanners and most SCSI scanners. It also supports FireWire-SCSI converters on Mac OS X 10.1.

Three versions of the software are available - for Linux, Mac OS and Windows. All three have been built from the same source code, company founder Ed Hamrick told Macworld. However, some system-dependent code is required, which needs to be acquired from Apple, he revealed.

Hamrick announced plans to cease development of Mac OS versions of his drivers last week. Following protests from Macintosh users, he changed his mind. His decision was originally inspired by Apple, which insisted that he pay $195 to acquire a software development kit (SDK) to link SCSI over FireWire scanners to Mac OS X 10.1 Macs.

"I finally got what I needed, but I have to say that dealing with Apple was singularly unpleasant," he revealed. "In the seven years I've developed software for Windows, I've never paid Microsoft a penny for an SDK."

The developer uses wxWindows for software development, so never uses any of Apple's Carbon calls (its officially-supported development tools). Hamrick only needs Apple's SDKs for operating system-dependent elements, such as SCSI, USB and FireWire. WxWindows is a free program for writing applications for multiple operating systems.

Heavily critical of Apple, Hamrick concludes: "I'd recommend that any Mac OS developer use the wxWindows library to insulate themselves from the Carbon API, and to assist them in producing solutions for several different operating systems simultaneously."