Follow Up re. Nikon LS-1000 scanner
After installing my new Adaptec 2903B PCI SCSI Card ($9 from ebay), the LS-1000 immediately did everything it's supposed to without further configuration.
So far as getting a good scan - that was a different matter! Various sessions using the Xsane frontend yielded only two good slide scans which were in fact excellent in terms of sharpness and balance. For an amateur the interface seems so flaky and convoluted that I was unable to replicate these successes. All other scans are out of focus and bloom terribly. As the preview action ends, the so-far decent looking image suddenly becomes over everything - bright, contrast, saturation. No matter how I adjust the sliders, the ensuing full res scan is the same over everything, out of focus mess.
I also tried the free version of VueScan. This gave good results when it worked but most of the time it froze up. Admittedly my PC is somewhat ancient - Dell Veriton 7600G running PcLinuxOs KDE 2012.02.
Finally I accidentally discovered a sane frontend called Simple Scan. Simple it really is but the results were very acceptable after tweeking in Gimp. I don't think Simple Scan is doing the LS-1000 auto focus as Xsane and VueScan did, but I see almost no difference upon comparing the good samples I saved.
So I'll probably stick with Simple Scan for now but would much appreciate any hints for using Xsane from anyone who has come to terms with it.