Printer



  • I've just tried using my office printer for the first time. Here's how the printer works:

    1. Warm up. I'm not sure what it's doing, but its fans sound like a jet engine for about 3 minutes.
    2. Spit a single page at an incredible speed. I've never seen a printer that can print a single page at anywhere close to this speed, ignoring warm up time.
    3. Cool down. It's important not to overheat, so it starts its fans again for about a minute
    4. Stay quiet for a minute. The first time this happened, I went to check if my print job was done (it was 4-5 minutes after I'd sent it, after all), only to find the first page sitting there alone and the printer still processing the oh-so-complicated print job.
    5. Repeat the entire process for the second page.
    6. Repeat the entire process for the third page.
    7. Repeat the entire process for the four page.
    8. Run out of memory. Print this out: (Wooden table and bad focus were not part of the printer's output, they were added manually by myself)

    I'm feeling lucky my document is only 6 pages long and I don't have to partition it too much for this printer to accept it...



  •  Seems a Windows postscript driver trying to download truetype fonts to the printer..



  • If it is a PDF you are printing from, try selecting the "print as image" option. This will make your print jobs much bigger, but some printers (especially seen this on expensive Lxmrk models) will print it much faster and not run into allocation errors any more...

    TRWTF is the printer driver manufacturer of course.



  • Obligatory.


    Speaking of stupid printer drivers, Kyocera is probably high up there - their full-featured "KX" driver pretty much requires you to have either a ramdisk configured in the printer, or a hard disk installed (in the printer) if you want to print multiple copies of large jobs. The printers are equipped with 128MB of RAM by default, which is enough for a 4MB ramdisk, which can store about 3-4 pages. You could disable ramdisk usage in older drivers, and the job would simply be sent to the printer multiple times, but they "fixed" that in the newest ones, resulting in 1 copy getting printed, then an error page. Of course, you can't use regular RAM or hard drives in the printers - you have to buy special, which cost about 4 times more.



  • Yep. Ran into this before. Big Kyocera machine, running the KX driver, printing about one page per few minutes. Complete with full warmup/cooldown cycle each iteration!

    But, it wasn't the printer, the problem turned out to be the transmit speed on the connected machine topping out in the single-digit Kbyte/sec range. Over Ethernet. Wtf?

    I
    actually never figured out exactly why- I suspected the network adapter, but it worked fine when I booted it from a linux CD; poked
    around with drivers a bit, gave up, reinstalled Windows, and it was all
    fine.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @SamC said:

    But, it wasn't the printer, the problem turned out to be the transmit speed on the connected machine topping out in the single-digit Kbyte/sec range. Over Ethernet. Wtf?
    Maybe it's converting the information to the audio data that would be sent over a 28k8 modem and then streaming that over Ethernet to the printer?



  • @SamC said:

    the problem turned out to be the transmit speed on the connected machine topping out in the single-digit Kbyte/sec range. Over Ethernet. Wtf?

    I
    actually never figured out exactly why- I suspected the network adapter, but it worked fine when I booted it from a linux CD; poked
    around with drivers a bit, gave up, reinstalled Windows, and it was all fine.

    I switched the school computers from Adobe Reader 7 to Foxit Reader after I got sick of Adobe Reader 7 taking for friggin' ever to do anything and went looking around for a replacement. Having seen Foxit spring into action in about half a second from double-click and offer annotation and text selection features that Reader didn't have, I was instantly sold. The fact that the Foxit installer was about 1/10 the size of the Adobe one was icing on a very nice cake.

    That was the same year the new student report writing package from WTF Data Derangement got installed. Web-based, it supplied the finished reports as PDFs for printing and holy crap did they print slowly. Exactly as you described: the data would just sort of ooze across the network and the printer would regularly cycle in and out of sleep mode. Printing the whole school's 350 reports took hours. and hours and hours. and hours.

    Two years of this taught me to dread report-printing day. And then one day I happened to reprint one kid's report from a machine where one of the teachers had inadvertently installed Adobe Reader 5 as bundleware with something else... and it Just Printed. So I did a couple more. And they Just Printed. And it became apparent that the incredible printer sloth I'd been blaming WTF Data Derangement for had in fact been Foxit Reader's fault all along.

    I've gone back to Adobe Reader XI now. It looks even more like Jabba the Hutt than Reader 7 did, but it actually starts very nearly as fast as Foxit and it never, never, never sluggifies a print job.



  • One of the advantages of Linux is that printer "drivers" are 1) controlled in userspace by CUPS, not part of the kernel and 2) can be in generic PCL/PostScript/whatever form, instead of needing to be tailored to a specific printer.

    These reverse-engineered drivers are necessary because hardware manufacturers rarely support Linux, but, since they're written by software developers instead of hardware developers, their quality is 100x better, even though they're reverse-engineered.

    OSX is the same way, although instead of community-produced RE'd drivers, Apple just dumps a wheelbarrow of cash in front of HP/Adobe/whatever to license the actual PCL/PostScript/what have you and writes the drivers itself. Apple is probably the only company that understands both hardware and software... Microsoft probably understands both but is so big they hate wasting time/money on writing their own drivers when the hardware manufacturers do it for them.

    (Though considering how good the Nexus devices and the Windows Surface are, it's possible that software companies do understand hardware but hate making it themselves.)



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    2) can be in generic PCL/PostScript/whatever form, instead of needing to be tailored to a specific printer.

    You realize that is true in Windows also, yes?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    2) can be in generic PCL/PostScript/whatever form, instead of needing to be tailored to a specific printer.

    You realize that is true in Windows also, yes?

    Once you find the super secret HP driver that lets you do that, yes.



  • @SamC said:

    poked
    around with drivers a bit, gave up, reinstalled Windows, and it was all
    fine.
     

    "I rebuilt my house and found that pesky plumbing problem with the toilet had gone away...."



  • @ender said:

    Obligatory.
    This one's almost bringing me to tears

    Error
    Unable to print SomeBlackAndWhiteDocument.doc
    because your printer is currently out of Cyan.

    My stupid Epson fucktard printer does exactly that (and it actually is cyan I'm out of right now), even though the driver has an option to only use black ink!
    And to add insult to injury, the really colorful window (with yellow buttons and stuff) displaying the ink cartridge fill level and online order information has a button saying "print this window"! Raaaaage!

    The irony here is that I've decided in favor of this model because it has separate color cartridges...
    (And of course because the HP, Brother, Lexmark,... I had before made me hate humanity, too)



  • @flabdablet said:

    I switched the school computers from Adobe Reader 7 to Foxit Reader after I got sick of Adobe Reader 7 taking for friggin' ever to do anything and went looking around for a replacement. Having seen Foxit spring into action in about half a second from double-click and offer annotation and text selection features that Reader didn't have, I was instantly sold.
    I remember that time - everybody was sold on how fast Foxit started, but I did some comparisons, and while Adobe took 10-20 seconds to load, it was actually much faster at rendering PDFs once it was loaded. Scrolling around was nearly instant, while in FoxIt I could watch simple pages draw, and more complex documents took several seconds to display after scrolling.


    Speaking of KX and Adobe, an user today had something funny happen: they tried printing some PDF documents, but when they printed, parts of the page were missing (these were all scans, eg. one of them was a scan of a passport and a piece of paper with 3 lines of handwritten text - showed fine on screen, but when printed the second line of text, the photo and some symbols from the passport were missing on the paper). Replacing the KX driver with KPDL made these PDFs print out normally.
    @MiffTheFox said:
    One of the advantages of Linux is that printer "drivers" are 1) controlled in userspace by CUPS, not part of the kernel and 2) can be in generic PCL/PostScript/whatever form, instead of needing to be tailored to a specific printer.
    Printer drivers in Windows have been user-space since Windows 2000 (so-called Type 3 drivers).



  • TRWTF is inkjet printers. Unless you’re using it for photos on photo paper and can’t just use the local drugstore or wally world self-server photo station for some reason, you should be using a laser printer. If you print only rarely, then that’s even more reason to use a laser printer, because you don’t try to print for the first time in three months, get a shitty print the first time, clean the heads, change one or more ink cartridges because cleaning used up the last of the ink, print again, do a deep clean because the heads are still dried up, change another cartridge, then finally get a good print. If you print a lot, then you should be using a laser printer because toners are made from plastic which is made from oil and are generally cheaper than ink which, from the price per gallon, is apparently made from unicorn jizz.



  • This thread is making me wonder if I have something like this going on with my own printer, as it's done the same thing (minus warming and cooling anyway) for some time. Perhaps its time to look into updating something...

    @Sir Twist said:

    TRWTF is inkjet printers. Unless you’re using it for photos on photo paper and can’t just use the local drugstore or wally world self-server photo station for some reason, you should be using a laser printer. If you print only rarely, then that’s even more reason to use a laser printer, because you don’t try to print for the first time in three months, get a shitty print the first time, clean the heads, change one or more ink cartridges because cleaning used up the last of the ink, print again, do a deep clean because the heads are still dried up, change another cartridge, then finally get a good print. If you print a lot, then you should be using a laser printer because toners are made from plastic which is made from oil and are generally cheaper than ink which, from the price per gallon, is apparently made from unicorn jizz.


    Except that laser toner is expensive, and assaninely expensive if you want color. Not to mention I could get ten inkjets for the price of one color laser, and frankly, inkjets make nicer looking documents.



  • @Master Chief said:

    Except that laser toner is expensive, and assaninely expensive if you want color. Not to mention I could get ten inkjets for the price of one color laser, and frankly, inkjets make nicer looking documents.
    Guess what? Color laser printers became really cheap in the last few years (admittedly, inkjets are cheaper until you have to buy the first replacement cartridge), and toners for them aren't expensive either (and when you compare per-page price with inkjets, laser printers are way cheaper).


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