B**** computer printers RANT

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HappyHacker

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I dumped my last colour printer (HP) as scanner would not work so most features would not work as it always wanted me to print an alignment page and scan it in!

I got a Cannon which works well with my old Windows 8 Pro computer. Wife wants to print colour documents from phone (android) so install Cannon print app. Works occasionally, gives undefined error sometimes and sometimes just does nothing, when it works printing works at the rate of an arthritic snail using a quill pen.

Go and get a cheap colour printer for her so she can print from her computer and phone (my printer is outside in my office). Avoiding Cannon I went for a HP despite my previous experience. I have just spent over an hour setting it up. It has to be set up using an app, I could not set it up from my computer as W8 etc is no longer supported so it will not run the setup. Instal it on wife's computer (don't get me started on WIndows 11) spent most of my time avoiding giving them all my information, avoiding marketing options etc, avoiding signing up to automatic ink refills etc. It knew my WiFi network password. Prints alignment page, I could not read instructions on first part page so had to use web to see instructions. I had to create a HP account to let it automatically register for warrantee etc.

Install HP app on my android phone. Tried to print a Gmail message to check it works. It tried to print and I found it used the same snail as Cannon then get message "Gmail blocked access to printer". The printer then sprung into life and printed part of a page which had not been scaled so the edges of the printing were missing. Read the reviews of the HP Android app and they were worse that the Cannon App reviews. Apparently Gmail will not allow the HP network to access gmail despite it printing from my phone!.

I have had less problems years ago when I would have had to go and get a floppy disc with the printer driver on and install the printer driver on each computer I was going to print from using the floppy disk

Why is it so much harder now?
This rant was much longer but I have deleted all the expletives
AAAaaaagggggghhhhhhhh
 
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25 years ago, HP printers were great and Just Worked (TM). Nowadays I wouldn't touch them with someone else's bargepole. A design imperative to make them work in all situations, poorly implemented, means they don't work in any situation.
You have my sympathy.
 
Your mistake was to go HP. No one in their right mind goes HP nowadays, unless they have deep pockets.

As for the phone - is it connecting correctly to your local (WiFi?) network - it won't connect over the Internet.
 
I sympathise, I have never had a printer behave as intended all the time. I have had canon, hp, epson, and now a xerox laser.
I think the canon was the most reliable but because I used it infrequently the head kept getting clogged etc.
This time I thought I would get a laser to avoid the ink issue. The printer prints fantastic if it decides it wants to. I have never had such trouble printing with a network device, also it is huge and takes up lots of space. And for some reason it keeps forgetting what size paper it is set to and jams up because it tries to print US letter size on A4, its madness.

It is crazy that printers are the worst network device as they were one of the first things to be used in this way.

Ollie
 
Having become completely fed up with the high cost of ink for an HP, I invested ~£100 extra in an Epson ink tank printer.

Still some hassle in getting it to talk to laptop and desktop - but a year on the ink tanks are still half full. A new ink refill tube (4 colours) can each be bought for ~£12 each and contain the equivalent of probably around 20 traditional ink jet cartridges.
 
Why is it so much harder now?
You must know the answer; Instead of just passing some data to a printer within one system, you're expecting to move data between different operating systems, via secure wireless networking.
Loads more complication than before.
 
I used to have an HP laserjet 4 and it was brilliant, there latest offerings are dismal. So many of these printers expect regular usage otherwise they tend to clog up so for occasional use big problems.

So who rates what printer these days ?
 
I've had HP printers for over 20 years and my current ALL IN ONE for 3 years. It is still working well and for the last 3 years I've been signed up for Instant Ink now paying £1.50 per month. The printer orders a new cartridge automatically and it arrives the next day or so in the post at the price above.
I like my HP printer.... Just sayin'' 👌
 
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I used to have an HP laserjet 4 and it was brilliant, there latest offerings are dismal. So many of these printers expect regular usage otherwise they tend to clog up so for occasional use big problems.

So who rates what printer these days ?
After disappointment with both the paper feed on my HP and the clogging of the nozzles I now have a Brother laser and it is very fast and spits out the printed sheet very well.Only B&W but that covers 98% of my needs.The novelty wore off wasting most of my very expensive ink printing test pages after a cleaning routine.A friend told me years ago that ink for inkjet printers costs about fifty times as much as a good single malt whisky and the printer I had was driving me to drink in any case-which compounded the problem.Had rude words achieved anything the booze would have remained in the cupboard.
 
As others here have said HP printers were great 20-25 years ago. I installed hundreds of them and customers loved them but it's a different story now. I've had a Brother all-in-one for the past 8 years and it has been great but if it died tomorrow I'm not sure what I'd replace it with.

I heard good things about Lexmark printers but I have little first-hand experience of them and they are now Chinese owned so I'm less inclined toward buying one. Canon seem to be very fickle, HP are just abysmal and Epson have somewhat lost their way. I think I'd probably look at Brother again given the good experience with my current one.
 
Our 12 year old HP wireless all in one is still going strong despite a lifetime of being fed cheap third party ink cartridges.
The windows driver has always been flakey when printing over the network but it still works on Win11.
 
I could never connect any of the Epson's I've had though wifi, so gave up, I use a usb cable and used to just take the laptop to the printer, plug in and print, but with getting a new laptop, the old one is left connected to the printer and anything that needs to be printer is put on a usb stick and taken to the old laptop. A couple of friends have offered to do the wifi thing, but I'm used to doing it like this, so I'll keep with it.
 
Having become completely fed up with the high cost of ink for an HP, I invested ~£100 extra in an Epson ink tank printer.

Still some hassle in getting it to talk to laptop and desktop - but a year on the ink tanks are still half full. A new ink refill tube (4 colours) can each be bought for ~£12 each and contain the equivalent of probably around 20 traditional ink jet cartridges.
This is one plus for the laser as well. It will print thousands of pages per cartridge and you can have them refilled with toner pretty cheap.
 
I'm still using an Epson old dot matrix (I only use it for printing receipts and the occasional documents, and for that it works fine...)

Luckily I still have a couple of spare ribbons left (I re-ink myself when when needed, so they really only need replacing when they literally 'wear through' lol)

Biggest issue is that it is that old, it still uses a centronics port, luckily one of my older towers still has one, as does one of the old laptops, so I can just use one of them and network share it lol
(I have been using it since the late 1980's and it is the only printer I have that just still keeps on simply working- been through probably a dozen or more inkjets in that time...)
Plus its running costs are tiny in comparison to an inkjet or laser...
(which is why I use it for receipts lol)

Sometimes the old methods are still the best...
 
After disappointment with both the paper feed on my HP and the clogging of the nozzles I now have a Brother laser and it is very fast and spits out the printed sheet very well.Only B&W but that covers 98% of my needs.The novelty wore off wasting most of my very expensive ink printing test pages after a cleaning routine.A friend told me years ago that ink for inkjet printers costs about fifty times as much as a good single malt whisky and the printer I had was driving me to drink in any case-which compounded the problem.Had rude words achieved anything the booze would have remained in the cupboard.
I had a brother laser mono printer when had a job visiting places most unmanned to audit items. The site needed a copy of the audit in the log book.
The brother was compact cheap to run and never hesitated. So if anyone needs a reliable mono printer. Thats the one ,:)
 
I can't remember whether this was changing from Win7 to 8, or 8 to 10, but I discovered that my flatbed Epson scanner would no longer work. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it : small footprint, little bigger than an A4 sheet, was recognised by the two different graphic design prog's I used, and produced OK results.
The reason it wouldn't work?
Driver file. Epson decided not to produce one.
What a waste.
I looked at the prices of the then-new scanners, only to find they'd gone through the roof. I didn't use one that often to substantiate the expense, so ended up buying a bloody old thing off eBay which was designed to work with Win95, but the driver file still works to this day!
 

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