If you don’t recognise this once indispensable piece of office equipment, I don’t blame you. Scanners haven’t been getting as much love – or as much use – as they once did. Still, it’s hard letting this one go, given how it arrived in my office.

About 20 years ago when I had an office in downtown Winnipeg, I needed a document scanner. A quick trip to an office supply store located the features and quality I was looking for, and the Canon CanoScan 8600F was promptly ordered.

Delivered a week later, I carefully read the instructions. “Unit will arrive locked. To unlock, do not flip the unit over. Reach underneath and unlock the switch in the top left corner.” Done.

Time to get scanning.

Except when I tried to use it, there was a loud clacking noise. Thinking it has been impacted en route, I called the help line and was told yes, by the sound of it, something was broken. Without further discussion, a replacement was on its way with a return package for the defective unit.

A week later, the replacement arrived, sans the return package. Again, I carefully unlocked the unit before using it, and again, a loud clacking noise. Again I rang the help line, yes, it was likely damaged en route, and yes they would replace it, with two return packages for the defective units.

A week later, the replacement arrived, sans the two return packages, and yes, the same problem as before. What are the odds!? This time I ignored the instructions and flipped each of the units over – where I soon discovered they had all been shipped unlocked, and I was, in fact, locking them before use.

When I contacted the help line to let them know, they insisted it was not possible. “All units are locked before shipping.” When I asked what they wanted me to do with the other two, they said they would send two return packages for those units right away.

Not surprisingly, those never arrived, and I was left with three excellent scanners. Suffice to say, two local non-profits with which I was involved at the time were very grateful for the donation.

My scanner has performed without breakdown or misfire for almost two decades, but unfortunately, the software is no longer available and I can’t upload the old program to my new computer. In any case, for the last few months, I’ve been using two apps on my phone – Adobe Scan for documents and PhotoScan for, well, photos – which is more convenient and way less time-consuming.

So, thank you Canon CanoScan 8600F, but you, my friend, are no longer required.