I'm attempting to make use of this scanner (Dymo Cardscan 800): enter image description here

It has no generic or publicly available drivers for any version of MacOS (or Windows, for that matter). The makers intend for you to use their software... and yesterday I stumbled across a copy (demo, I get 100 scans before it locks me out). I tested it on Sierra, and it works.

In the dotapp bundle, I see several executables. Only one is executable from the command line. That one just launches the application, gui and all.

However, in the Frameworks folder, there is one named "Alpha.framework". And within that, I have another Resource bundle for it named "alpha.drv.bundle". It's just a resource bundle, but in it are a bunch of .string files, which have error messages you might expect out of a scanner driver.

I was wondering if this was some internal driver that could maybe be extracted and used generally. But I have no clue where scanner drivers are in the OS, or what form they take.

Using the proprietary software (even were I to buy a license) would be miserable... it doesn't save the scans. It OCRs them immediately, deletes the image file, and that's it (found where it puts the image file... I see it flicker into existence and then it's gone before you can click). Hoping for a minor miracle.

  • OK, they live in /Library/Image Capture/Devices/. They are compiled apps with code signature.
    – Tetsujin
    May 28, 2017 at 6:54
  • I've deleted the comments not directly relating to the question, please use a chat room if you want to continue the discussion.
    – nohillside
    May 28, 2017 at 7:57
  • As for the question itself, it's kind of difficult to answer right now because having the drivers won't really help you here. One way out of this could be to look for ways to save the image file before the software deletes it again.
    – nohillside
    May 28, 2017 at 8:03
  • @patrix The software is crud, $200... I only have the demo. There's no way to poll the directory often enough to always catch the file before it nukes it. I'd end up doing that on the tens of milliseconds to get it even to 95%, and my machine would melt into a puddle. I don't even want their dumb app, it's just the scanner's pretty nice for my purpose hardware-wise. Only reason I even installed it was to confirm that the hardware was functional. It's marketed towards an entirely different use case, and the maker has no plans or intentions to worry about any other.
    – John O
    May 28, 2017 at 8:15
  • 1
    @JohnO, straying a little from the topic, but you might be able to play with the permissions of the directory where the images are temporarily stored, to prevent deletion. (chown root:wheel DIRECTORY; chmod 1777 DIRECTORY). If the directory is used for other files, it will probably cause trouble. And, even if it is only used by the scanner software, there's no guarantee that it won't cause the app to hang on itself. But, maybe worth a try.
    – Kent
    May 29, 2017 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


Scanner drivers are located in /Library/Image Capture/Devices/ as Tetsujin so helpfully points out.

These scanner drivers are App bundles, but quite a bit different than regular applications. An executable binary is inside Contents/MacOS, along with the obligatory plists, Resources, etc. Even so, they're typically quite a bit more barren than an actual Application bundle.

If Tetsujin wants to include an answer here, please upvote his rather than mine since mine is basically just repeating information that I got from him.

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