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Things that Annoy Me
So. HP decided that they wouldn't bother to release a printer driver for my printer (Business Inkjet 1100) for Snow Leopard. The printer is fine, still churning out average quality, low cost prints. The alternative open source driver is utter pants; will not duplex, returns no printer information, and finally failed to print landscape in my crunch just before Easter.

So, I'm searching for a new printer. I would, for obvious reasons, prefer not to buy HP again; I believe that not updating printer drivers for your sturdy printers is a Mortal Sin, particularly when I'm buying hundreds of pounds worth of your OUTRAGEOUSLY PRICED INK each year. And remember, boys and girls, this is one of the lowest cost inkjets ever.

So, I want auto duplex, and WiFi; both essential. It must work with Mac 10.6. I have a slight preference for not an all-in-one, as my elderly but high quality scanner still works well and besides, we have another all-in-one (high quality, 'medium' running costs (ie high), CD printing). I certainly don't want fax any more than I want an integral mangle; what *are* these printer manufacturers on?

Low running costs are essential. The difference between 5p and 10p per page for b&w with spot colour would represent £100 on the cost of 100 copies of a 20-page fanzine. So it needs to have high-yield cartridges (only twice the price of fresh human blood, but to be fair, much less likely to clog your print heads), and it needs to not do FUCKING STUPID SELF CLEANING ROUTINES that steal all your ink. Obviously, as I'm intending to print fanzines on it, it needs to be reasonably durable.

I am tentatively coming to the conclusion that the only printer on the market that fits the bill is the HP Officejet 8000 Pro. But I am happy to be proved wrong if you know better. And gosh I'm annoyed.

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There is another way to print on your old printer, which is to export PDFs and then print them from a Windows virtual machine.

Yep. Or I have a whole machine set up as a print server just because it isn't a USB printer!

I got the impression that the Phaser solid ink printers were not good at printing off the odd copy of something while sitting at my computer. Which I do do quite a lot of still, though less since having an iPhone.

It's fine if you leave it on all the time. When you turn it off the ink hardens, and it takes a while to melt the ink again when you turn it back on. I used bovil's printer for the newszine at a con. When he brought it to the con it was the first time he'd turned it off in over a year. He was kind of anxious, but it worked great.

Also, the 'fix' for it refusing to print landscape is to open a .pdf in Preview, hit splat-R to rotate it, and then print it. No, I don't understand that one, either.

You might want to look at Gelsprinter printers, sold by Ricoh amongst others. Allegedly fast, cheap consumables, high quality, and most of the better models have duplex and network built in. But I need to stress I haven't tried one personally, and that I don't have any info on Mac compatibility.

Sorry - looks like they are PC compatible only. My mistake.

Why not move to colour laser? Lower printing costs than inkjet and the prices have come down, down, down, down, at least here in America.

Probably not a solution for you

At the other end of the spectrum, my cheap and cheerful mono laser has no Snow Leopard driver as well, although Samsung are promising some Real Soon Now. Having being somewhat underwhelmed by Snow Leopard generally, I went back to Tiger.

Re: Probably not a solution for you

I like Snow Leopard on the whole, particularly the way it boxes Flash up so that when it crashes it doesn't bring down your browser. It's HP I'm angry with; if they'd said 'oops, we haven't sorted your drivers out yet' I'd be completely calm about this.

Re: Probably not a solution for you

Agreed. This is why I'm cutting Samsung some slack on the Snow Leopard drivers for my printer. Although, to be honest, _"real soon now"_ in September 2009 should really mean sometime before April 2010.

I have a Canon Pixma MP640, which is wireless, duplex, works with Snow Leopard (which apparently downloads the drivers automatically), and the reviews I can find refer to "low running costs", but I can't tell what that would translate into for you:

It's also top of PC Pro's a-list at the moment:

Thank you! Our other printer is the MP610, which is a previous version of this one. It is a lovely printer in many ways, and fine with Snow Leopard. But it uses masses of ink, and its successor model (the 630) was supposed to use much more ink than the 610. Lots of complaints about ink use for the 640.

The companies really are wicked. Having eventually been forced to report ink consumption on a standard basis per page, they increased the number of 'self-cleaning' routines, which, er, randomly spray ink.

My Business Inkjet 1100 never wasted ink and was incredibly economical. Had separate print heads too, which have never needed switching out. Harrumph.

Damn! Do let us know what your final solution is - we mostly use our B&W laser for printing, the inkjet gets used only for things that _need_ colour, which keeps printing costs down - but it'd be nice to know for next time.

There really ought to be a site that lists ink usage for printers!

Speaking of the price of HP ink, here's how the cost compares to crude oil, vodka, human blood, and other liquids.

Edited at 2010-04-08 09:30 am (UTC)

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