Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Printer!

Well, my trusty, 9-year old little Brother HL-1440 monochrome laser printer suffered a cerebral hemorrhage this morning when my step-son's girlfriend tried to print a huge document.

One of the sheets of paper in the tray was wrinkled, and when it fed, it caused a massive paper jam.

It jammed so badly that the rear paper exit door popped open!

After farting around with it for about an hour, and having other things planned for today, I bit the bullet and bought an HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color Laser printer.

Now since one of the things I had planned today was to clean up the Radio Room, and since I had to literally tear apart the shelf unit that has my (poor, dead) laser printer, Canon Color scanner, and a good portion of the test gear I keep in the shack, it was a nice way to kill two birds with one round.

I was a bit leery of buying this printer at first, since the Linux Printing page (now "OpenPrinting") didn't rate it very high, claiming some of the functions didn't work properly.

And in fact, I had already run down to Best Buy and purchased the replacement Brother sells for my little HL-1440, an HL-2270DW, which the Linux Printing page states "Works PERFECTLY".

While stumbling around the Best Buy, I had noticed the HP printer, and the fact it was on-sale, my wife's two favorite words.

After I got back home with the new Brother, I thought about it, and remembered HP is generally pretty good with Linux support.

Sure enough, I Googled for "linux hp laserjet pro 200", and it took me directly to the HP Open Source support pages for their printers. After reading a bit, I saw that they have far newer drivers for this printer than OpenPrinting does, so I took the Brother back, and exchanged it for the HP.

I think the main reason that OpenPrinting kind of slammed this model printer, is that the driver you get directly from HP uses a closed-source "Binary Blob" similar to how NVidia supports their video cards under Linux, and this greatly disturbs Open Source people.

So, back to Best Buy to exchange it.

While I support Open Source, I don't have a problem with a manufacturer using some proprietary, closed-source code in their drivers, as long as the product works "As Advertised".

I preconfigured the printer for the IP address I used on my network for the Brother, and headed over to the HP support page.

The HP driver downloaded from Source Forge, and when I ran it, I was impressed with how thoroughly it asked questions, checked the system, found and downloaded the required dependencies, built the software, and installed.

Good job, HP!

Oh....and since this printer has built-in networking, I was also able to retire the D-Link print server module I had plugged into the printer port on the Brother, and eliminate a piece of hardware.

Now to configure my wife's PC, and the future daughter-in-law's laptop, and I can call it a night.

And I got the Radio Room cleaned up, too!


  1. Happiness is a working printer.

  2. Always!

    I'll take the little Brother apart, remove the scrap of paper I know is jammed in there, clean it up inside and out, and donate it to the White Elephant sale my radio club has every year.

    It's got a new drum, a new toner cartridge, and I have another new toner cartridge on-the-shelf.

    It still has a lot of life left in it, but I've wanted a COLOR laser printer for sometime now.

  3. I've got to wonder if the proprietary HP goodies have to do with making sure you're a loyal HP replacement cartridge customer, like they do on all their other stuff for Winders these days.

  4. That's more of a hardware issue.

    One of the reasons I decided to buy this particular printer is that the toner cartridges cost about half of what other printers cost.

    I bought one 'extended life' toner cart today when I bought the printer, and I'll shop online for the color carts.

  5. Sounds like a productive day - and a good (and friendly) new printer is always a good thing.

  6. Many birds, one stone works WELL! :-) And HP does tend to last a while... (HPLJII lasted 20 years)


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