HP Win Printers
#57 Henry, Thursday, 06 May 2010 1:04 PM (Category: Hardware)
(Tags: printer hp laserjet linux)

Last year I bought HP LaserJet P1006 printer. I didn't do any research beforehand, and it came back and bit me. This is a nice small neat fast printer, very small footprint. Unfortunately, it's a Win printer. The bulk of the calculations are done on the computer and the final image is sent to the printer. This has two effects - it makes the printer very cheap to make, and it locks it out of Linux.

I did a lot of research last year and ended up at the foo2zjs website. This guy has developed drivers that help some winprinters work under Linux. I downloaded the driver, installed it, and it worked. And I went back and sent him some money.

Fast forward to last month and some really big Slackware updates. The printer stopped working. I don't know where or why, I was too bad-tempered to even research it. I don't want to use printers that require special drivers and are prone to just stopping working when things change. I don't want a brittle item in my systems. It's my fault, I should have done the research before I bought the printer. I needed a good solution to the problem so I could print again.

At home, I use a HP Laserjet 1300. This is a solid reliable printer that requires nothing special. It has PCL inside, and it just works for me. The toner lasts forever, it requires no maintenance, it's the best printer I ever bought. They don't make them anymore. Surprise.

I looked on eBay and found one that had only 4,000 pages printed, and I got it for $40 plus $25 shipping. Bonus - it was USB. It works fine. I sold the P1006 to someone who could use it, and now I don't have to think about printers again.

HP Laserjet 1300

Lesson learnt - always research hardware before buying to make sure it works with Linux.

Another hint about the HP Laserjet 1300s - the paper comes out the top, it's open at the top, so dust settles down and gets into the machine and screws up the rubber grippers. Keep the printer covered at all times. I use a shaped clear plastic cover, so dust won't settle inside and the printer will last longer without problems. My 1300 at home has been going strong for 6 years and looks and prints as good as new.