sane snapscan and epson 3590 photo + rpm weirdness

I’ve recently upgraded to debian lenny. Unfortunately after this upgrade my epson 3590 scanner stopped working. After some googling around I managed to find an rpm package with the binary firmware image. But the package converter alien would not let me convert the file, the message was

Unpacking of ‘iscan-firmware-’ failed at /usr/share/perl5/Alien/Package/ line 155.

After some more searching I found debian bugs 518348 and 509444 of which the latter contains a workaround: Seems that the rpm format changed to a compressed format that can be unpacked with lzma. Now unpacking was possible — after all I was only interested in the firmware file — and now my scanner is working again… For the record, unpacking was done as follows:

mkdir iscan-firmware-
rpm2cpio iscan-firmware-
| lzma -d | (cd iscan-firmware-;
cpio –extract –make-directories
–no-absolute-filenames –preserve-modification-time)