A Lamentation for Yogi

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Kellemora
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A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 16 Sep 2016, 12:25

Hi Yogi

I know you are a Windows guy, but perhaps you may know what the heck my problem is.

If I step back in time to Debian 6, I had several printers and they all worked perfectly.
When I upgraded to Debian 7, although the printers would print, they would stall after each print job, normally with the phrase "IDLE - Sending Data to Printer." A simple Pause Printer, followed by a Resume Printer, would clear the machine so you could print again.
When I upgraded to Debian 8, I tried several printers, including HP, Canon, Epson, & Brother, before I finally found a Konica/Minolta that would Print, but with the same stall problem as mentioned above.

I changed to Debian 8 MATE desktop, only because I like it better than the new Gnome or Gnome Classic which I used to use.
The Konica/Minolta printed just fine, but as I said, with the stall after each print job.

I have a few friends who are running OS's like Ubuntu, Linux MINT, and Fedora I think it is, RedHats free version.
All of them have bought the Canon LBP7110Cw because it worked perfectly for them until recently.
Now they seem to have the same problem I do with the stall after printing. Except in my case, I cannot get the printer to print at all.
I run the LOG program to see where the error is and it shows no errors. The LOG has a lot of data I don't understand, but it shows the data going to the printer, and the printer shows Successful. Except for the part that says something like, printer shows state is in waiting.

When I installed the Drivers, it showed all Dependencies were met. But this is not new.
I've added i386 architecture as one attempt, also added several lib files as suggested on a few websites, then when they did not work or change anything, removed them so they didn't cause other problems.

The reason I bought a new printer is my Konica reached it's end of life, and is now six years old. Time for new!
What I liked about the Canon was how simple it is to change toner, and the imaging drum is part of each toner cartridge. Which makes the cartridges slightly higher in price, but I have low cost sources for new, non exchange toner cartridges.

I also tried removing all the printers and let the Plug n Pray find them and install the drivers. It installed the same drivers I already had installed. So Plug n Pray failed as usual, hi hi...

Unless you have an idea, no need to comment on this.

TTUL
Gary

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 16 Sep 2016, 19:14

You didn't REALLY think I could ignore this even if I had no direct experience, did you? :lol:

Most of my Linux experience is with Ubuntu with various desktops installed (Mint with Cinnamon is my favorite). One system is a flavor of Debian, but it is not your typical everyday PC user type environment. It has a lot of security testing build in, most of which I have no idea how it works. To be honest I don't know what flavor kernel is in that system, but I can find out if you need to know. At any rate, I just want to say that I've been very lucky with my printers in all my Linux environments. I've tested every single one of them but only use the current Ubuntu LTS version often enough to print more than one page from time to time. No problems to speak of. I just let the OS install whatever driver it finds appropriate, and voila!

I have to tell you something you won't like, but I found to be true. I too had tried several printers in my past adventures and at one point decided to get away from HP. I had problems with the Canon printers I tried, and as far as the Epsom goes, they don't even write drivers for Linux. In my search for solutions I ran across a comment or two regarding HP. They claimed that HP is the only company that has reliable drivers for Linux. It probably is due to their extensive history with printers and Unix/Linux. As you know those tech forums are just full of opinion and little fact, but I reverted back to HP printing and have not had a problem since.

I don't think you have to give up on Canon, and I doubt very much that the desktop environment has anything to do with printing. It's all in the kernel and the modules (updates/drivers) you attach to it. You need to forego all that good forum advice and head on over to the Canon web site. Hopefully there is a way to blast through their tech support and get in contact with one of the software engineers who actually knows something about the print driver you are trying to use. I hate to say it but open source has it's flaws and this is one of them. Anybody and their cousin can go in and modify the system/drivers to suit THEIR needs. It's wonderful that you can customize software to that extent up to the point where it doesn't work in your particular rig. Then YOU have to go into the source code and write something that works for you. That's more or less what I'm suggesting by contacting the software engineers at Canon. I bet they know of this problem and have a solution, but it's not fully tested in the wild. They will be happy to share it with you for the mere price of giving them feedback.

You could do something radical (maybe even repulsive) for the way your network functions. You could attach a dedicate Windows print server. If the drivers for Linux are the problem, this is one way to get around that issue. Bad drivers plague Windows as well. Many problems are cause by misbehaved drivers, and the same answer applies to Windows as I'm suggesting for Linux. Get some good drivers and be amazed at how well things work. Then again, there are printers close to the same as the model you have. You can force installation of drivers for those "close enough" models to see if one of them work. If it does, then that is all the more reason to get on a Canon engineer's case and have them update your broken driver.

I will offer one afterthought that might be of benefit. The main reason I left HP printing was due to the firmware in their printer. After I owned it a certain number of years, it issued an error message after printing a single page. I had to go into the printer to clear the error flag and then it would print the rest of the job. The error would come back at the next reboot. This, to me, was clearly programmed into to firmware in order to get people to buy a different printer. Well I did, but it wasn't HP. Unfortunately, I am now siding with that anonymous comment about HP being the only company who can write a decent Linux driver. The moral of this story is to be sure your printer's firmware is up to date as well as the print drivers in your OS.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 17 Sep 2016, 13:07

Thanks Yogi

I've actually made matters worse by messing around and trying some of the things which worked for other people.
I now get an entirely different and complex error message, and messed up my computer to the point the printers which were working on it, no longer work at all.

I installed i386 architecture and something like 75 new files on my X64 machine.
I could not remove some of those files as it said they were in use by the database, so went through all the steps to get everything i386 off the machine.

I have several OSs on my hard drive, and installed the printer on each one to see if it worked.
It worked to print on all of them, but needed a reboot after each job to clear the IDLE - Sending Data to Printer error.

When I mess up my computer like this, I will often use an empty partition and reinstall the OS from scratch and try it from a clean install. More often than not, this fixes all the problems I caused, but then I have to install all the other stuff I use.

I know Ubuntu and Linux Mint are turnkey systems, so have a lot of things installed that Debian itself does not install.
Even so, I still prefer Debian because I can set it up the way I like it by using the Mate desktop.
There are drawbacks to this also, because it reports Gnome not in use, which is required for some programs I use, so I have to install the parts of Gnome it needs to function properly.

I DO HAVE ONE QUESTION YOU MIGHT KNOW or be able to help with.
I'm not adverse to installing the printer on a Windows computer, and print through the LAN.
HOWEVER, I thought in order to do so, I still had to have the Drivers for that printer available to CUPS, so would still be in the same boat, as far as getting data to the printer.

I have an old XP machine here without LAN I tried the printer on. It said NO XP drivers exist for this printer, so I tried an older driver and the printer printed just fine, including the service program that shows toner levels and machine settings. I printed a PDF and three documents and it worked fine on everything under Windows XP.

I needed do some serious printing, so just copied my ODT files to a SanDisk first, then read from the SanDisk with Windows XP and did the printing on the machine with no LAN capability.

By the way, this printer works via WiFi also, but my WiFi is in the house, too far away.
I wonder if it will communicate with the WiFi card in the Silver Yogi without going through the router?

Have a great day Yogi!

TTUL
Gary

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 17 Sep 2016, 14:45

I feel your pain, Gary. I've been there myself a time or two and had to reinstall the entire OS from scratch to make things better. The only solace I had from all the trouble is that I usually learned something in the process. If I didn't learn something I at least had a lot of documentation from the research.

My understanding of network printing wasn't as good as I thought it was. I thought you could simply use Samba and let the Windows server take care of the drivers. It's slightly more complicated than that and you are correct about the need for CUPS. Take a look at this article. You may not want to experiment with shared printing, but it also explains what you need to make things work on the Linux side. There are a few alternatives. The downside is that you may have to edit CUPS manually. It's not difficult and the article gives a fair explanation of how to do it.

The way you describe the problem I'd say it's a spooling problem which is something CUPS is supposed to take care of. Be sure you have compatible versions of CUPS and Linux kernels installed. I know you love to mix and match. In the final analysis you are likely to discover it's truly the driver for your Canon that is lacking something. I still think direct communication with somebody at Canon will be your best bet, but I also know you like to tinker.

It is possible to set up peer to peer file sharing on your network. I've seen it explained in Windows, but I am certain you can do it in Linux as well. The wireless card adds a degree of complexity and will slow down communications when compared to hard wires. You could try that, but then your printer would be tied to only a single machine. My router and my NAS both have print server capability so that you might find viable options if you have something similar. But, I'm guessing the root cause of the problem is the Debian drivers in your workstation. It seems odd that Canon would not have good drivers for Debian. Both companies have been around for a long time and should work well together.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 18 Sep 2016, 12:29

Hi Yogi

I received an e-mail from Canon Support this morning, and you don't want to hear the fuming response I gave to this idiot.

His response was Terse. This is a quote from the e-mail.
"At this time, Debian drivers are not available for this printer. I apologize for the inconvenience this causes you."

When I went to get the above quote from the e-mail, I received a second response already. Dig this response!
"You are correct that a Linux driver is available for your LBP7110Cw.
Please note, while considering the desire to provide the best possible support for Canon's products, Canon must make decisions on which products to support when new operating systems are introduced. Currently, Canon has decided to support only the Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh operating systems.
The [Linux] UFRII LT Printer Driver Ver.1.30 driver package includes code components that were not written by Canon USA or its affiliates. In addition, Linux exists in many different versions, and the driver cannot be tested against all of them. Thus, Canon USA is not able to provide a support for this driver software. The driver is provided "AS IS". "

Funny thing is, they support Debian/Mint, and Debian/Ubuntu, but not Debian the other two are built on top of. This makes no sense to me!

Looks like I'll be returning the printer and extra cartridges.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 18 Sep 2016, 18:42

All I can say is WOW. That's not the response I expected you to get, but it is a very clear response.

I've run into a bias against Linux a few times in my vast (written with crossed fingers) experiences with operating systems. I was stunned when I discovered Epsom doesn't support any version of Linux and does not offer any drivers from anybody who does. I wish I knew that before I bought the Epsom to replace my HP printer, but fortunately I was able to sell it on E-bay for about half the purchase price. I've also run into a bias against Linux with my ASUS motherboard. I speced out the system and ordered all the components and then discovered a comment on their web site saying my particular motherboard was for Windows only. It's a gamers platform and I was not too surprised. However, I went to their forums and found a few comments from people who had success with Linux installations. I went ahead with the build and eventually was able to get Ubuntu to work. The only reason for that is because the Ubuntu jocks wrote Ethernet drivers for the Intel chips I have on my mobo. Every so often I have problems booting into one of my Linux partitions, and the timedate stamp in Windows is always reset to GMT after an excursion into the Linux world. Other than that it's been problem free.

I have seen the argument that Linux isn't worth the time (read that negligible profit return) to support. I know you don't agree with the statistics, but why should a company care about 2% of the market when it's making a killing in the remaining 98%. In my case I ate some crow and went back to HP printers on the hope of the rumor that I mentioned above. HP is known for the quality of their Unix/Linux print drivers. In that regard I've not been disappointed with them. The lesson to be learned here is to investigate what is available BEFORE making a purchase. From a business perspective us Linux people are in the minority, and I empathize 100% with the comments about the infinite number of distributions. It is difficult to certify all of them.

The bottom line? caveat emptor!

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 19 Sep 2016, 11:56

Hi Yogi

I got stuck with a Windows ONLY Mobo when I used a new computer store to build a computer for me.
He did swap everything out at no additional cost to me, but I'm sure he made a bundle, because the replacement items were cheaper across the board.

Thereafter, I always went back to my computer store who speaks Linux. Most of the machines they build, although for Windows customers, are all Linux capable. They refuse to buy anything in the way of Mobo's that are Windows only.

I'm returning the Canon Printer and getting a full credit. The cartridges however will cost me 20 dollar return fee for shipping and handling.

Looks like I will have to eat Crow also!

Had a nice long talk with an HP representative. Almost all of their color laser printers will work on Linux, and they even have drivers for Debian 8.5 which is the latest upgrade.

The guy actually listened to the story on why I wouldn't have anything HP in my house.
About their high-end scanner I purchased, and later purchased the HP computer they said would work perfectly with it.
We talked about what I do with the printer, my low fixed income, etc.
He suggested an HP Color Laser Jet Pro M452dn, and also advised I buy it through Amazon for a better deal than I can get from HP. Then he floored me with on offer I couldn't refuse. Said he was authorized to send me a one-hundred dollar HP gift certificate I can use with Amazon, as a peace offering for all the unresolved trouble I had in the past.

What I don't like about this particular printer is the high toner cost, which makes the cost per page higher than most printers.
But then, I don't do much heavy printing work, except for color box labels.

The M452 comes in models nw, dn, & dw.
When I look at the specs for each, it is hard to understand what they are talking about the differences are. And I think the website is also giving the wrong information.
dw is wireless, which I don't need.
dn is supposed to be double sided printing, also something I don't need.
nw seems to be the one most suitable for my purposes. But the ads show double sided printing for this model.
I dug a little deeper, because if it has the double sided mechanism inside, which is just something else to go wrong, then I would opt for the dn model.
However, after I downloaded the operations manual for the dn and the nw, there is no buttons or settings for doing double sided printing on the nw model. Then I found it. On the nw printer, double sided is done manually. Ergo it is NOT a double sided printer.

It's a shame the Canon only worked on Linux Mint, because I really like how it worked, and how the toner went in.

The M452 uses HP 410A toner cartridges, or HP410X for high yield.
I'm told aftermarket cartridges will work in the machine, with only a notice that the cartridge is not OEM popping up. It won't block the printer from working.

With the gift card, I can get the M452nw for 85 bucks, or the M452dn for 99 bucks. NEW w/free shipping.

What do you think of this printer?

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 19 Sep 2016, 20:22

Hi Again Yogi

Although I'm not real fond of all-in-one machines, since I'm going with HP this time, it seems the Laser Jet Pro M277dw is the machine of choice for Debian 8.5 users, and others of course.

The HP website shows it is not supported on Debian, but the HPLIP.com website shows it as being fully supported, including the Scanner.

This machine has a lower cost per page and higher ratings than the M452dw, it is also more than double the price.

I've been looking for a new scanner for quite some time and have batted zero on one for Debian 8.
The all-in-one inkjet I was using for scanning only works if it has ink in it, and I don't use it to print with. What ink was in it was used up by its own refresh cycles. Sad... They lock out the scanner if the ink is empty.

Do you think I would be better off with this older model printer?

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 20 Sep 2016, 08:31

I see a few differences between the M277 and the M452 printers so that the answer to which is the best depends on what you are looking for. The most obvious difference is that the M277 is an AIO printer and the M452 is not. You are being asked to pay a substantial price for the All In One functionality, $329 (after discount) verses the $199 for an M452. Both are wireless capable but the M452 seems to have an Internet accessible print server built in while the more expensive machine is confined to your LAN. Also, I did a quick look for cartridges and discovered a set of 4 for the M277 cant' be had for less than $135 while you can get a set of 4 to run the M452 for about $85. Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on how you shop. My numbers are just for comparison purposes.

The cost to buy is one factor and I'm having a hard time seeing how the cost per page is cheaper with the M277. Cost per page is a misleading number anyway given that it all depends on how much ink you spray onto a given document. I'm also a bit confused because the more expensive M277 has an 800MHz processor at it's core while the M452 runs at 1200MHz. Yet, the M277 can print more per minute than the M452. I guess that goes to show it's not what you have but how you use it that matters. The M452 processor must be bogged down running the Internet server, but unless you are doing commercial size printing these days I don't think processor speed will make a difference. It does affect cost, however, as does the amount of RAM in each printer.

In your case software is also an issue. It looks like both machines will work on Debian. I'm thinking it's up to Debian to supply the drivers for it's 8.6 distro which seems to be almost guaranteed for the M277, but only a good likelihood for the M452.

the M277 seems like a more robust machine than the M452, but the price is roughly 70% greater as well. That higher price buys you faster output and All In One functionality, which you say you don't need. The M452 seems to be better equipped for remote printing off various mobile devices, with or without an internet. I think you are getting more than you want from each machine and the bottom line is going to be Debian 8.6 print driver support. I'd say do some research and see if you can find anybody who actually is running the M452 on Debian 8.6. If you find such people, then the M452 seems to be more suited to your circumstances. If you can't find said people, then you will sleep much better with the M277 in your office.

My approach to HP (and others) printers is slightly different than yours. I do like the AIO capability and have used it frequently along with the scan to text software that is often provided free. You and I happen to know that HP can afford to actually give away their printers if you promise to buy their ink. Just about all the printer profits comes from the ink you buy after the sale. So, I'd go for the cheapest printer that has my bare minimum performance features and pay close attention to what the cost of ink (toner) is. The one with the less expensive upkeep costs gets my attention.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 20 Sep 2016, 11:49

Thanks Yogi -

Normally I would buy a straight printer, but I'm currently without a working scanner, and I had asked about flatbed scanners, which is why the M277dw came up. Since most scanners do not work on Linux, I never bothered to check out the all-in-one printers, especially lasers.

Seems to me, the more functions you add to something, even duplex printing, the more things can go wrong with a unit, which is why I've stuck with straight printers.

If I read things right, this printer will not scan to PC, but will scan to a stick plugged into the machine.

I have not checked the price yet, because you have to put it in a shopping cart to see the final price, but I'm guessing it will come in around 225 to 250 bucks, or at least I'm hoping anyhow.

I found more places selling the HP201x aftermarket new cartridges than I did for the MP410x cartridges. I normally don't buy OEM or Refurbished, only new aftermarket. My normal supplier is slightly higher than those I found through Amazon, but I've never had a single problem with any cartridge from them. Greensky is the cheapest I've ever found, but I can't say they were the best I've ever used either.

I wish that Canon I had here worked on my particular Distro because I really like how it worked.
I'm hoping the M277dw has a similar system, toner cartridges in a pull out drawer.
I will research more before ordering though.
The M277dw is an older machine and has one heck of a lot of Linux users on almost all Distro's.
I think it is the HPLIP group that makes things better for HP printers.
If I'm write, this particular printer does not require the Q3 or Q4 Options, whatever that is.

Thank you for your time and expertise Yogi!

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 21 Sep 2016, 11:03

Hi Yogi - Looks like I keep going up price wise. Considering the HP477fdn now.
It uses the HP410X cartridges, same as their newest and cheapest model.
I talked to company I get my aftermarket cartridges from, and they said the HP410A or X cartridges are the latest and much higher quality. If I bought a printer which uses the HP201A or X cartridges, they don't hold as much toner, and the imaging drum is of a lower quality also. They don't refill or rebuild, only buy new empty cartridges.
The main reason I called them is I saw posts about HP setting their printers to not allow aftermarket cartridges, which would be illegal for them to do. The refiller guaranteed their cartridges would work in any of the printers I have been considering.

I also got bad news today from UPS. They discarded my last outbound shipment when it reached Salt Lake City.
25 years of shipping the same items without a problem, and my shipment before last they discarded on case, and now this one they discarded the entire shipment, and their insurance always has an excuse not to cover the claim.
If I didn't need the money so bad, I would just stop making this product, because I don't make much from it anyhow.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 22 Sep 2016, 08:26

Gary ~ I took a quick look at the HP477fdn and two things stood out for their absence, a wireless Internet connection and any mention of supporting Linux OS. They do claim Mac OS X support, but that's not the same as Debian.

HP's tactics regarding ink/toner supplies is what made me turn to somebody else after many years of contentment. Having the software development background that I do, I get very suspicious of anything that is software/firmware reliant. When my HP laser printer gave up the ghost I switched to a Canon inkjet. That was sweet but the print head was guaranteed to have a short lifetime due to ink drying up inside them. I read about a guy who fixed clogged print heads by soaking them for a day or two in WD40. That sounded better than buying new heads, but I didn't want to be bothered with that much maintenance. I went back to HP and one of their ink jet printers. The ink cartridges then had electronics inside them, which means the motherboard was able to survey them. I thought that was pretty fancy until I started getting messages that the ink supply is low and I better replace the cartridge. They were adamant about using HP original cartridges and warned that the warranty could be voided if you don't. They heavily implied that most assuredly the quality of the printing would suffer. None of that bothered me because I wasn't interested in warranty repairs - I'd just buy a new one. I got some aftermarket ink and immediately got a message from my printer that I was using unauthorized ink at my own risk.

I had that HP printer for quite some time and then received a notice that I was part of a class action law suit against HP. It seems that they were giving warnings to replace ink prematurely. Many people didn't wait until the cartridge actually went dry. They replaced them when the warning came up. Some judge ruled that was a naughty thing for HP to do, and HP sat in the corner for a few hours as punishment. They offered anyone who bought ink for the printers a cash credit if you bought your next round of cartridges in the HP store. I was due about $1.25, I think, and laughed at the settlement. I continued to use the aftermarket ink and ran them dry before I would replace a cartridge. As a side note, the print heads on the HP never dried out like the ones on the Canon. However, one day I got an "internal error" message when I tried to print something. Only the first page would print and that held true even after a power reset. After doing some research I found out that you can punch in some service codes (similar to what you can do with your cell phone) and clear the error message flag. That worked fine until the next power cycle. The implication was that due to my not using authorized ink, the printer was somehow defective now. The printer obviously was keeping track of how much I printed, and it was programmed to die whether it was brain dead or not.

So it is today. You can't buy dumb ink cartridges anymore. This is not an entirely bad situation because the smarts does come in handy for maintenance and print qualilty tweaking. But, it can also be programed to commit suicide. At one point early on HP printers did in fact refuse to work if you did not have authorized ink from HP in them. The legality of that was clarified early in the game, but HP never amended their warnings. The ink vendors, however, clearly quoted the law and assured me I could use their product without reprisals from HP. So, HP was forced to change the firmware to not kill the printer if you didn't use their ink, but they still nagged you with the warning that you are proceeding at your own risk.

As mentioned above, the cost of maintenance is a primary consideration when I buy printers. The availability of drivers is never negotiable. The drivers are available and working, or not. Like you, I need the Linux support and now only consider printers where it is clearly available. It's funny in a way because most of the printing I do in Linux is a test page to tell me the print software is set up correctly, not much else. Grudgingly HP is now allowing you to use ink they did not sell you personally. I'd be willing to guess they do sell licenses to ink vendors, but that's another story altogether.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 22 Sep 2016, 14:39

Hi Yogi

I used Lexmark ink-jets 24 of them to be exact, to do bulk printing, and their cartridges were fed from sealed quart bottles of ink.
I did own a high speed crash printer, but when it broke, I could not get my orders out in time, thus the reason for going with 24 ink jets I could refill on the fly. At the time I needed this flexibility, Lexmark fit the bill.

I currently have an all-in-one ink jet I bought solely to cancel check (which it couldn't do) and for the scanner. It uses a Lexmark 14 for the black, which is not refillable. However, you can buy a Lexmark 14A for a higher price which is refillable. But once I ran out of bulk ink I just quit using the scanner.

Like Canon, HP does not support Linux, except through HPLIP.com who writes all the Linux drivers for HP products.

When I was looking at the HP M452, they had three models nw, dn, & dw. At that time I didn't want a duplexer, so was considering the nw, which just happens to be wireless. I don't need the wireless part, and the nw was the cheapest. It uses MP410A or X toner cartridges.

Next I looked at the M277dw. Again, I didn't need the wireless part, but this model also had the lowest price, and did have a duplexer. This one uses HP201A or X toner cartridges.

Most recently I looked at the HP477fdn, which is also listed as HP M477fdn, which I assume is the same machine. It has fax, which I don't need, but does have a double sided scanner, double sided printing, and connects via LAN or USB. I normally use USB anyhow. It too uses the MP410A or X cartridges.

All three printers I named above show they have full driver support, including the scanner, using an HPLIP driver.

I think it is the Magnuson/Moss Warranty Act that protects your use of aftermarket cartridges. They cannot make an ink-jet or laser printer that cannot use aftermarket cartridges. It used to be that using aftermarket cartridges or refilling your own could not void the warranty either, but I believe this part was overturned, due to some machines having built-in print heads. If you clog up the machines with replaceable print heads, the manufacturer does not have to replace the print heads. But they still must cover all the rest of the machine under warranty, if you want to bother with getting warranty repairs. It is usually cheaper in the long run to just toss the machine and buy another one.

My only real reason for looking at the HP 477fdn, was because I do need a new scanner. And since the HPLIP driver shows full functionality of the scanner, and specifies Debian 8.5 as an OS that is fully supported. I thought well an extra hundred bucks and I finally have a scanner.

I'll post the results from the HPLIP website:
This first one is the support response for the M452nw and the second for the M477fdn.

You have selected Debian 8.5 using the HP Color LaserJet Pro m452nw.
Debian 8.5 supplies HPLIP 3.16.8 and it does support your printer.
As the version of HPLIP supplied with your operating system supports your printer, you may continue to use that version of HPLIP.

You have selected Debian 8.5 using the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP m477 Fdn.
Debian 8.5 supplies HPLIP 3.16.8 and it does support your printer.
As the version of HPLIP supplied with your operating system supports your printer, you may continue to use that version of HPLIP.

I cannot copy the necessary lines from the fax, scan, & print tables, so will add the link to that page here, if you want to have a look.
http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/su ... erjet.html

After all this research, I think I'm going to go with the cheapest original selection, the M452nw, since I've had a couple of financial setbacks this week. UPS destroyed and discarded 1/2 of one of my shipments. So I have to take the thousand dollar hit as usual. It will cost me close to 800 bucks to replace this order for the customer. So there goes a fancier printer.

Have a great day Yogi!

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Kellemora
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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 04 Oct 2016, 11:29

Hi Yogi
I went ahead and bought the HP Color Laser Jet Pro MFP M477fdn
Everything on it works great, it doesn't matter whether I'm using it on Windows or Linux, it functions the same with the HPLIP driver.
After running it through its paces and trying everything out, I was more than pleased with my purchase.
I printed out several documents, like newsletters filled with images and they came out perfect.

However, I hit a major bug that seems to plague every HP printer ever made.
You cannot turn off their automatic halftone.
In other words, you cannot print USPS or UPS mailing labels on an HP printer from PDF files, because they are automatically halftoned.
Books converted to PDF so CreateSpace can print them, cannot be printed on HP printers, because all the text is halftoned.
Trying to print a photo by itself, from any photo format comes out halftoned and horrible looking.
I realize laser printers are not for printing photographs, but my Konica/Minolta did so with no problems, and close to photo quality on the right paper.

I can place a photo in a document to get it to print the way I want it to print, but HP provides no way to properly print out a photo or any type of image file.

So, it looks like I will still have to buy ink for my old Lexmark so I can print out the USPS and UPS shipping labels.

I still like this printer though, and perhaps down the road I will find a way to overcome the bugs in their internal operating program. For normal printing, scanning, and copying, even double sided, it is awesome, and lightning fast.

Shame it can't print PDF text documents as text.

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yogi
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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 04 Oct 2016, 13:36

Hi Gary
I must say that you have some interesting problems with your high tech machines. I am only vaguely aware of what half tone printing is all about and never thought of printing in any other context. My introduction to it goes way back to the days when I was exposed to offset lithography. If you are not using a plotter, is there any other way to print other than using dots?

Well, apparently there is. I did a search on "hp printer halftones" and was amazed at the results. Most of the people using HP printers seem to be having problems turning it on; you are the only person I've read who wants to turn it off. Apparently in the case of HP printers it's related to it's PostScript capabilities, but some people seem to have found settings in the preferences. The impression I have is that some HP printers can do half tones and others cannot. You were just lucky(?) to have printers that always could.

I've seen those UPS/USPS labels of which you speak and don't understand why putting them in .pdf format makes them unprintable. I'm guessing that if the file format is the problem, there are alternatives (bitmaps, raw, png, etc) to what Adobe made standard. The need to print such labels is so embedded into everyday business that I find it hard to believe HP would not offer a way to do it in just about all their products. If you find a solution to your particular problem, I'd be interested in knowing what it is.

Dennis

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Kellemora
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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 05 Oct 2016, 10:58

Hi Yogi
I CAN print the UPS and USPS labels, but instead of coming out in black, they come out in halftone.
There are only two half tone settings Normal and Detail. I think these are 110, 220 lines.

If I take a normal picture and print it directly on the HP from an image file, like jpg, gif, png, etc.
It comes out looking like a cheap newspaper on the Normal Setting, only slightly better on the Detail Setting, and setting the print to PHOTO.

However, if I take that same image and import it to a Document, then it prints out as it should, halftoned at around 600 lines, so it looks right. I don't expect a laser printer to produce photo quality prints, since they are not designed for that purpose.

Both my Konica/Minolta laser, and an older Lexmark, made great prints of pictures, and did the UPS and USPS labels properly.

All of my formatted for print books are saved as PDF files, this is what POD printers like CreateSpace require.
But if I try printing them on the HP printer, the text comes out halftoned.

Like you, I found folks who could not turn on halftone screens, but no one who knows how to turn them off.

As far as my books go, I still have the original document files I can print from. But as far as printing shipping labels, the newer HP printers can no longer do this properly. Nor can many other of the newer printers, I learned this from UPS.

If I learn anything I will let you know.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 05 Oct 2016, 13:02

HP Support seems to supply the answer to your question. It's the same as you already know, but it's nice to see an official declaration from the source. The solution for you apparently is pretty much what I suggested about converting the labels to another format by using a third party software package. I'm guessing Gimp can do it.

This is yet one more example of where you are butting heads with what is generally accepted (and expected) by the average user. Your needs are not average, unfortunately. It's unfortunate because HP can't cater to your special interests. I never had a need to play with the LPI settings but I can see if you increase them to some fantastic number, such as 600 LPI, you could eliminate the spaces causing the gray appearance. I guess dithering and angle have something to do with it too, but that's a lot of tinkering just to print a label. Print the labels to a file and change the file format to .bmp or .png. I have a feeling that will work.

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Kellemora
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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 06 Oct 2016, 11:59

Hi Yogi

Yes, I've seen their answer. I guessed wrong when I said 110 and 220 lines, I see it is 155, and 212 lines.

Yes, GIMP can separate the pages of a PDF with one page on each layer so you can extract the images, one at a time. At this point you can save them in any format. I've tried them all and the HP printer still prints images as halftones, no matter what format you use.

Now, if I go yet one more step and import those images into a Document, such as Libre or Open Office Writer, then they will print correctly on the HP printers. I wonder why because neither of these Writing programs take control of the printers internal printing features.

I double checked to make sure I did not have EconoPrint turned on, or printing images in Draft mode.

I did learn on thing interesting when talking to my toner supplier.
The amount of toner in HP cartridges for their newer lines of printers is considerably less than for the older printers, for the same expected page count. So if a cartridge is rated for 2,300 pages, on a newer cartridge for the latest machines, the amount of toner is equivalent to a 1,800 page toner cartridge. Nevertheless, he suggests going with 5,000 page toner cartridges because the ratio of toner to page count is slightly higher than in the 2,300 page cartridges. Also the drums are a higher quality.

Last night I printed out an 8 page newsletter, and compared it to the same newsletter printed on the Konica/Minolta. This was a document file, not a PDF, the text was sharper on the HP, but the images were better on the K/M.
Then I printed out the same newsletter as a PDF on both the HP and the K/M.
As I expected, the HP halftoned the entire newsletter, text and all, it looked horrible.
The K/M had little to no difference between the pages printed from the ODT file or from the PDF file, both looked great.

Still makes me wonder WHY images in a document file come out right, but the same images printed as images look so horrible on the HP. I think they messed up with whatever they did to downgrade their product so drastically.
Other than that, this really is a great printer. Fast as blue blazes.
Since all of my box color labels w/images are in DOC or ODT formats, they come out as expected.
So I guess that is the key. Insert images to a DOC or ODT file first, then print, and they come out right.
Trouble is, you can't do that with USPS and UPS labels, without spending an hour or more working with them.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 23 Oct 2016, 13:44

Although I will keep the HP printer, I found yet another major flaw in it's internal software.

I went to print out a letter on my business stationary, and an invoice I've used for over ten years.

The HP printer cannot properly print either document. It places white boxes in the letterhead where text is in transparent text boxes over the graphical background image.

I double checked every possible setting, and even tried a few other settings, all to no avail.

I had to get these items done and in the mail this morning, so I switched back to my Konica/Minolta and they printed out perfectly, well almost, the Konica/Minolta is getting old and has a few minor streaks. But the point is, it handled documents with transparent backgrounds without a problem, printed UPS labels without a problem, printed graphics without a problem.
The HP printer can do NONE of these things properly.
But at least it can scan and copy nearly perfectly, features I need.

I also tried to print the same documents using both a Windows XP and a Windows 10 computer. It's not a problem with the computer or print driver, it is a flaw in the internal software in the latest HP printers, and seems to affect most of them made after 2012...

Although I'm keeping this printer for it's other features, as far as using it to print important stuff, I'm going to have to go out and buy another Konica/Minolta, Brother, or some other laser printer that actually works.
In other words, BURNED by HP again! One would think a 400 dollar printer could actually print properly.

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Re: A Lamentation for Yogi

Post by yogi » 23 Oct 2016, 16:52

The problem you are describing has a familiar ring to it, but not in my experiences with printers per se. I've seen similar problems with transparency and overlays when trying to create HTML web pages. The transparent attribute seems to be particularly obnoxious. I have no explanation for why HP is giving you an improper rendering as opposed to the Konica. Perhaps one is using HTML and the other is not ... nahhhh.

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