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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Printers
Needs a lot of improvement in printing
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horhota

Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat 22 Jan 2011, 20:57    Post subject:  Needs a lot of improvement in printing  

Over a year ago I tried Puppy Linux 4.3.1 I work in system development with mainframes and a lot of people ask me about alternatives to Windows. Puppy was interesting but it wouldn't work with any of the printers I have access to, at home or at work. So I put it away and waited to see if a new version came out. A few weeks ago I heard about Lucid Puppy 5.2, released mid-2010 and figured it would be better. Well, it still doesn't work with any of the printers and they are now a couple of years old. Searching the internet sites for something was a waste of time. All kinds of old printers but nothing new. Disappointing to say the least. Looking at the list of CUPS printers, I see stuff like Lexmark 4039 etc that haven't been around since the 90's! If you want this product to be a viable alternative to Windows I strongly suggest you improve the printing capabilities. Granted there are a lot of printers out there but that's nothing new and the good operating systems have always adjusted to them. I'd really like Puppy Linux to be useful but in its current state all I can tell people is to forget about it for now.
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6428
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun 23 Jan 2011, 01:51    Post subject:  

Quote:
it wouldn't work with any of the printers I have access to, at home or at work

What are the printers? Is the problem that there are no Linux drivers for them? Or that Puppy doesn't include the drivers? If it is the former, then complaining here won't do any good.
Quote:
Searching the internet sites for something was a waste of time.

Did you search here http://www.openprinting.org/printers?
If the printers aren't listed there maybe you should add them...
Quote:
Looking at the list of CUPS printers, I see stuff like Lexmark 4039 etc that haven't been around since the 90's!

So? Surely you don't think Linux support should stop for printers from the 90s - then what would people who still have these printers do?

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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4765
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Sun 23 Jan 2011, 09:47    Post subject: printing problem is driver problem  

horhota wrote:
Over a year ago I tried Puppy Linux 4.3.1.. Puppy was interesting but it wouldn't work with any of the printers I have access to, at home or at work.


Great to know you've appreciated Puppy. Smile

We are in the same boat, ie, 3 months ago in the office, a new printer with no Linux driver was purchased. I searched and there were drivers but it needed compiling. I followed the instructions (one of these is using devx-431.sfs) and everything was well for Puppy 4.3.1. [The solution was reached even when the printer box clearly said "Drivers for Windows included" (no mention of Linux drivers).]

If compiling stuff is new to you, you can ask for help here, and possibly the driver/s will be made available.

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horhota

Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan 2011, 13:35    Post subject: Needs a lot of improvement in printing  

To answer disciple, the two printers I tried were a Lexmark X2670 and HP ColorLaserJet CP1215. Lexmark support told me that Linux drivers "could be found on the web". I found some information but it talked about untarring this and installing that and then installing something else - I got lost in all the instructions. The open printing site offered some kind of package called foo2hp for the CP1215 but the install instructions are also complicated, even for someone with IT experience. The people I deal with want a simple one step "put in a CD or download an install file" kind of solution. That's what Linux and Puppy Linux need to provide if they want to be considered viable alternatives to Windows. I know dozens of people who would love to switch to Puppy Linux but if I were tell them that they needed to do something like this to do basic printing they would think I'm crazy. As far as the older printers are concerned, those drivers should still be available but people are a lot more agreeable to searching and doing extra work for a printer that's 10-20 years old than they are for a relatively new printer. Given the cost of ink cartridges and laser toner relative to the cost of new printers, people are more often buying new printers than supplies for old ones. Puppy Linux needs to focus on providing support for the newer printers and making them quick and easy to install. You can provide a lot of great features and ideas in an operating system but if people can't easily do something basic like print documents, the game is over. I don't like to put PuppyLinux down but, given the lack of printing, its just not worth using at this time. Hopefully the moderators/supporters of this forum will understand what I'm trying to say and draw it to the attention of the developers.
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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3220

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan 2011, 14:32    Post subject: Re: Needs a lot of improvement in printing  

horhota wrote:
To answer disciple, the two printers I tried were a Lexmark X2670 and HP ColorLaserJet CP1215. Lexmark support told me that Linux drivers "could be found on the web". I found some information but it talked about untarring this and installing that and then installing something else - I got lost in all the instructions. The open printing site offered some kind of package called foo2hp for the CP1215 but the install instructions are also complicated, even for someone with IT experience. The people I deal with want a simple one step "put in a CD or download an install file" kind of solution. That's what Linux and Puppy Linux need to provide if they want to be considered viable alternatives to Windows. I know dozens of people who would love to switch to Puppy Linux but if I were tell them that they needed to do something like this to do basic printing they would think I'm crazy. As far as the older printers are concerned, those drivers should still be available but people are a lot more agreeable to searching and doing extra work for a printer that's 10-20 years old than they are for a relatively new printer. Given the cost of ink cartridges and laser toner relative to the cost of new printers, people are more often buying new printers than supplies for old ones. Puppy Linux needs to focus on providing support for the newer printers and making them quick and easy to install. You can provide a lot of great features and ideas in an operating system but if people can't easily do something basic like print documents, the game is over. I don't like to put PuppyLinux down but, given the lack of printing, its just not worth using at this time. Hopefully the moderators/supporters of this forum will understand what I'm trying to say and draw it to the attention of the developers.

You can't expect all hardware that was made for windows to automatically work for linux out of the box. There is plenty of help on the forum, but there's a learning curve with any new OS.
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pemasu


Joined: 08 Jul 2009
Posts: 5463
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan 2011, 15:55    Post subject:  

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=439468#439468
Your HP Colorjet seems to be supported by this hpliplite package. It needs extra plugin though. Read the info in the thread.
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lluamco

Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 207
Location: Banyoles, Spain

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan 2011, 17:41    Post subject: HP ColorLaserJet CP1215  

There are reports that the HP ColorLaserJet CP1215 works using the
foo2zjs-hp-cp1215-i486.pet package. You can find it here:http://www.datafilehost.com/download-ca8c05e8.html It may also be useful installing foo2zjs-hotplug-i486.pet which I include as attachment to this post. Notice that this packages do NOT need hpliplite. I hope that helps.
foo2zjs-hotplug-i486.pet
Description 
pet

 Download 
Filename  foo2zjs-hotplug-i486.pet 
Filesize  2.97 KB 
Downloaded  399 Time(s) 
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9059
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan 2011, 18:42    Post subject: Re: Needs a lot of improvement in printing  

horhota wrote:
If you want this product to be a viable alternative to Windows I strongly suggest you improve the printing capabilities.


Wow. So much righteous indignation. On the other hand, a user here simply went to the Printers section, asked a question and got results.

If the driver works for you too, please reply back.

Last edited by rcrsn51 on Tue 25 Jan 2011, 12:17; edited 1 time in total
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pemasu


Joined: 08 Jul 2009
Posts: 5463
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan 2011, 02:26    Post subject:  

Even the misplaced and obscured help question is recognized in puppy forum. I would call that a feature of great support anyway.
120-150 mb iso should include as good hardware support as Windows 7 ?
When I installed Win 7, it took 28 Gb of hdd. Win 7 is slower, uses 2 times of battery time even with maximum battery savings, because there is not a way to shut down my dual graphics ATI. With puppy I can do that and double my battery time.
The bigger is not always the better. But there is a learning curve when you start with new linux distro. And puppy is somewhat unique.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2832
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan 2011, 03:34    Post subject:  

There's a learning curve with everything -- even Windows. It's just that with Windows, you've already mastered enough to be able to use it regularly.

My uncle (God rest his soul) never touched a computer in his life, as far as I can recall. He had been a vacuum-tube-radio engineer in his younger days, worked at RCA when that still meant something... but his life took a difficult turn and he had many troubled years before a sudden heart attack let him go on.

He was always afraid of computers; afraid not of their capability but of their perceived fragility. For a man from a time when electronics could be broken by hitting them too hard (not to mention that tubes are unimaginably unreliable compared to modern electronics of any kind), he was scared stiff that he would do something to the computer and it wouldn't be fixable.

For the altogether uninitiated to computers, such a device represents unimaginable complication requiring the learning of several new skills. To those used to one kind of software (say WordPerfect) learning a new type of software (say MS Word) is a steep uphill climb: old habits must be discarded and new ones formed as one learns to navigate and eventually use the new software.

Now take the way you operate an entire computer and change it completely, and --oh by the way-- learn all new software at the same time.

That's the learning curve for Linux, as it is usually perceived (well, in my experience, anyhow. YMMV.) Plus, those who've heard of Linux often think it's "a Windows for smart people" -- as if Windows use were limited exclusively to brain-damaged apes or something, lol.

It's true that many (I dare not say most) open-source programs are available for Windows, simply because of the de jour monopoly that Windows has. (In legal terms, de jour = incidental and de facto = legally enforced. Sorry, Mom's a retired attorney so it's bound to crop up in my vocabulary occasionally.)

But the point remains: it is difficult --at best-- to transition to Linux except all-at-once, and because of the (perceived) vast amounts of knowledge that one needs to relearn to do things The Linux Way.

As for me personally, I've learned to make that transition. I've got a long way to go, and I'm still learning the vocabulary, but I have only one thing holding me back from going to all Linux. I happen to be an artist as well as a computer nerd, and I use a program called CorelDRAW. Ya'll folks need something that works just as well (Inkscape is still a little primitive for me).

OK, I'll shut up now Laughing I've said my $0.02 worth.

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6428
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan 2011, 04:11    Post subject:  

jpeps wrote:
You can't expect all hardware that was made for windows to automatically work for linux out of the box.

pemasu wrote:
120-150 mb iso should include as good hardware support as Windows 7 ?

???
Come on guys. Windows doesn't have hardware support. It needs drivers disks for practically everything, and woe to you if you've lost the disks when you need to reinstall.

Quote:
Plus, those who've heard of Linux often think it's "a Windows for smart people" -- as if Windows use were limited exclusively to brain-damaged apes or something, lol.

Hey, that's quite good. I wouldn't say Windows "users", rather Windows "choosers" Wink
But to be honest, Windows isn't really that bad. Yes, it's insecure and bloated and each new version has an even less efficient UI. But it isn't because we're forced to use Windows that we waste loads of time at work everyday trying to figure out workarounds for stupid Microsoft bugs. Its because we're forced to use Office Rolling Eyes

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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3220

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan 2011, 18:36    Post subject:  

disciple wrote:
jpeps wrote:
You can't expect all hardware that was made for windows to automatically work for linux out of the box.

pemasu wrote:
120-150 mb iso should include as good hardware support as Windows 7 ?

???
Come on guys. Windows doesn't have hardware support. It needs drivers disks for practically everything, and woe to you if you've lost the disks when you need to reinstall.
Not like in the old days..Windows 7 is pretty good about finding/downloading drivers if they're not already included. Also, when was the last time you purchased a printer with a linux disk? I think windows users have become a bit spoiled. Many would probably find installing drivers from a disk overly taxing...precisely why there's money in going the way of bloat.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2832
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan 2011, 22:53    Post subject:  

<oldmanrant>
You young kids with your CD-ROMs and your iPods and your-- your-- augh! Get off my lawn!
</oldmanrant>

Just kidding. Actually, think about this. I have a Tandy (!) TRS-80 Model II Color Computer. The processor was made by a company you've probably never heard of (hint: they make mobile phones now) and ran at less than 1MHz unless you wanted to overclock it by hacking the clock generator.

I don't actually know what RAM capacity it has (there are three different possibilities) but the largest possible size would be about 64KB. Keep in mind that the OS needs some of this.

Further, the closest thing to a hard drive on this system was a pair of 8KB (!) ROM chips that held the Extended Color BASIC Editor, which was what you got in the way of an operating system.

As for disk drives, well, there were none in the basic system. You could hook up an audio cassette player and use it for sequential storage, which was slow, fickle, and subject to corruption or destruction if the tape stretched or broke. You could get 5.25" floppy drives for it, but they required a controller box and special cable. You could use a primitive modem... but that was over the phone line and was a LOT more expensive than nowadays. For the record, there WAS a hard drive setup made, but I've only seen pictures of it --once, on eBay-- and I therefore conclude that it was very, very rare. It was also probably less than 32MB in size.

You can probably see why the cartridges that you could get --cheaply-- to plug directly into the system were very popular.

"But how do you use something like that?" Simple. You program it. There were many magazines you could subscribe to which would provide you --once a month-- with a few nifty things to type into your wonderful magic machine.

My parents bought the particular system I own in 1988. I was two. I have five cartridges, two joysticks, and a whole box full of magazines and books on the system -- not to mention the computer itself! Age has taken its toll, although it has been very kind. I have lost the modem that was purchased for the system (I seem to recall taking it apart and then throwing out the remains) although I do have its power supply. The top of the case for the system proper is gone. But everything I have seems to be in working order.

How much do you think that system is worth? To me, a lot -- I have many fond memories of playing games on that thing well into its old age. It looks ancient and it's certainly not a flashy new system. But, sadly, that is not what we as a society seem to use anymore as a system of value. If I sold all my TRS-80 stuff on eBay to the highest bidder, right now, I would consider myself lucky to walk away with US$60 in my pocket.

Think about that while you stare at the screen on your flashy amazing new Windows (or Mac or Linux) computer.

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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
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Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan 2011, 23:57    Post subject:  

Since the post obviously has wandered too far off-topic, a little bit more going off the way is probably acceptable Very Happy

pemasu wrote:
Even the misplaced and obscured help question is recognized in puppy forum. I would call that a feature of great support anyway.
I couldn't agree more Very Happy

starhawk wrote:
I happen to be an artist as well as a computer nerd, and I use a program called CorelDRAW.
I'm sure you have heard of wine. Try it - you may be surprised Very Happy

jpeps wrote:
Not like in the old days..Windows 7 is pretty good about finding/downloading drivers if they're not already included. Also, when was the last time you purchased a printer with a linux disk? I think windows users have become a bit spoiled. Many would probably find installing drivers from a disk overly taxing...precisely why there's money in going the way of bloat.
Ah, I would disagree on the drivers causing the bloat - drivers are small in comparison to the "ding.wav" or "welcome-to-windows.avi" (or similar crap).
But I have to agree - one of the reason why Windows took off at all, was because it includes printer drivers, and because it provides a unified framework for printer manufacturers to make their drivers.
In DOS days, woe is the printer makers - they need to make and support drivers for each of the popular software - Lotus 123, WordStar, WordPerfect, Corel, ChiWriter, NewsMaster and any other popular software. Woe is the user if their software is not supported by the printer maker of their choice (you want to use a certain Kyocera printer with ChiWriter? Not in their supported list? Good luck then).
But with Windows, every printer maker can just make a printer for Windows. And every software maker can just use the common WIndows Printer API, without knowledge of the actual printer used. Thus any software can be used with any printers - as long as there is a Windows driver for it. And Windows 3.0 was released with *a lot* of drivers for common printers of the day.
Of course there was other factors but printer support was one of them.

Disclaimer - I don't print that much today. If I'm in the market for printers, the first thing I do would be to check Linux compatibility Very Happy

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
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Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 26 Jan 2011, 12:13    Post subject:  

jamesbond wrote:
I don't print that much today. If I'm in the market for printers, the first thing I do would be to check Linux compatibility

If horhota had read here before posting his criticism, he would have seen that Puppy supports a wide range of printers. In fact, if there is a Linux driver available, we can almost certainly make it work in Puppy.
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