May 31, 2004

disposable printers - plug and...?

When we got back from our vacation this weekend (which we will blog about soon...) we were faced with the thought of printing out our digital pictures. I, in my eternal cost-consciousness, bought some knock-off ink cartridges for our Canon S820 printer... and it's never looked worse. It printed incredible pictures when we first got it. So, in researching OEM ink for the Canon, I found it would cost us $60 to $80 to replace them.

HP Photosmart 7260 photo printer - HP Photosmart Photo PrintersA quick trip to produced a deal on the HP Photosmart 7260 at Office Depot for $50 after rebate (maybe as low as $30 if the second rebate works,) ink included.

I got it home and pulled out all of the packing, installed the ink cartridges and drivers and then plugged it into the iBook. I used the HP driver software to print a test page and then fired up iPhoto to print a 4x6" borderless print.

Nothing. The print monitor program that came with the printer showed the job starting... and then stopping on its own before anything printed.

I plugged and unplugged, opened and closed, and rebooted, to no avail. I went to HP's "live support" area and found out that I would have to call their toll free number because they didn't offer Macintosh support online. The iBook was not going to print.

So I got our PC, installed the drivers, plugged in the printer, and it worked. No problems. Those elephants out there may remember that we have an HP PC, so that might explain part of it.

The solution on the iBook was to go to HP's site and download new drivers. The ones that shipped with the printer only supported 10.2.x. However, there's wasn't any clear indication that the drivers needed to be downloaded for 10.3.3.

You can draw your own moral from the story: either that Apple is terrible about breaking driver support from version to version, or HP is bad about supporting OS X. Or, that this is a waste of a blog entry and I should just get about the business of printing photos (since it works with both computers now.)

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