Thursday, 23 December 2010

Car insurance renewal made easy with Linux

The boom in car insurance this year has meant my insurance premium is just over £200 up from the previous year but had I stayed with my current insurer the increase would have been over £300.

Moving from one insurance company to another often means sending proof of your no claims discount (NCD) and about a week after purchasing my new car insurance Aviva sent a request asking for such.

Although surprisingly Aviva gave me two options,

1. Send the proof of NCD by post, or

2. Email it

It is nice to see companies taking advantage of modern day technology and I decided to go for the modern approach and email it. (My printer was out of ink anyway)

This obviously means scanning my proof of NCD, a big problem with Windows 7 and Vista.

My scanner, a Canon CanoScan N650U is only supported in Windows XP which I no longer use. The scanner happens to be a good few years old but for occasional use works extremely well.

Linux however, fully supports my ageing old scanner. In the past I have used Xsane and Gimp until now.

I noticed a scanning application called Simple Scan in Fedora 14, curious to see how well it works I launched the program and immediately knew this program had my name on it. I like simple and this program really is simple.

Simple Scan, a no nonsense program

 Click on the scan button and that is it. The preferences (Document > Preferences) contain DPI settings.

What is really cool about Simple Scan is scanning as a Text file automatically saves the document as a PDF file, exactly what I wanted.

You can switch between scan modes by clicking on the little down arrow next to the scan button.

But but...this is even more interesting, viewing the about information.

Who says Canoncial doesn't submit anything upstream?

So Linux was able to save me money on printer ink, postage fees, a new scanner and scanning software. Overall making my car insurance renewal easy.

Windows 7, your PC simplified

Linux, your life simplified!