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Alexander Wolfe
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Patience is a virtue, but. . .
Alexander Wolfe   7/12/2011 1:34:18 PM
You're a very patient person, Rob. I would've thrown in the towel and attempted to glue the spines back on those old data books. I would respectfully suggest that most any scanner could be a subject for a "Monkeys" column. I don't think I've ever used a scanner that did not have some idiosyncrasy where, when you totalled up value of the amount of time spent messing around with the scanner, you could have gone out and spent less to have a third party convert the source material to electronic format. What it boils down to is scanners are really only worth it for converting old family photos, where the sentimental value = priceless.



Ivan Kirkpatrick
User Rank
Long term design quality
Ivan Kirkpatrick   7/12/2011 1:43:39 PM
Apparently HP pays the Monkeys well.  So well in fact they are exceptionally enthusiastic.  It would also seem they have been at work there long enough to be not only diligent but thorough, creative and they exhibit considerable skill and experience.

I am continually amazed to find problems cropping up in machines that have worked very well in the past but for some reason someone altered the design.  The new change most likely was an attempt to make the part less costly but it seems testing is frequently given short shrift.

My personal exposure to this was with a 1995 Suburban.  I really liked that car a lot.  I figured the chevy 350 engine was a tried and true design and would be either cheap to fix or more likely not subject to breakdowns.  Well the engine was fine, but the transmission gave up after 80K miles.  The rebuild was expensive at about $2K and the shop told me there were 20 pages of changes, bulletins and mods required to overhaul the transmission.

I really am surprised when a company takes a design that is working really well over millions of production units and tinkers with it and effectively destroys the fine reputation they had built up over that many years.  At the very least, proven designs should not be altered without extensive testing and verification that the new design is really better.  And by better I do not mean cheaper.  It is false economy to depend soley on cost of manufacture to evaluate a design and not take into account the potential to negatively impact the reputation of a company or product.

I never heard the final word on what happened to Toyota's famous quality control but that is another case in point.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Re: Long term design quality
Alexander Wolfe   7/12/2011 4:46:33 PM
A great point, ivank2139. Design for disassembly as well as design for repairability are as important as solid reliability. As for the ECNs and mods on the transmission, that's in some sense part of the price for a long-lived design. Seems like there should be a way to revision the manual so the techs don't have to pick through all that material -- which adds more opportunity for errors -- for a rebuild.

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Redesigning for cost
jmiller   7/13/2011 10:56:34 PM
One of the great failures of U.S. industry is how often the redesign team is not more integrated with the original design team.  I sometimes doubt if the redesign or cost out team ever consults the original design team, test plan, quality verification plan, service or any other connection to the original design.  I think quite often the redesign is also done by less experienced engineers that are shortly out of college looking for and working at their first job.  It's sad because we get used to and accept the fact that a 350 chevy is going to be as good as the one that we all knew and loved.  And, little known to us, it along with so many of our other beloved staples of reliatbilty have been cost reduced to a point of diminishing quality

William K.
User Rank
Monkeys and the HP scanner
William K.   7/25/2011 9:34:29 PM
My solution to the problems with an HP printer was to scrap the device and purchase a Cannon brand 4-in-1 package. Not only does it perform flawlesly, but the ink is much cheaper and available at a discount seller. 

I do still have an HP1320 laser printer to print PC board artwork on "magazine paper", which then the page is ironed onto a blank board and the resulting pattern can be etched. Unfortunately I can't get the driver for this printer to install now with Windows XP. I don't know if the problem is monkeys or demons.

Does anybody have a clue?

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The key word here is VISTA!
oldtimer8080   7/26/2011 12:24:07 AM
HP HAD...I repeat HAD good printer, plotter and scanner products that worked well and did the job under PREVIOUS versions of M$ software and O/Ses. I know, my collection of older hardware still works well from NT 3 to NT 5 ( AKA Ww2000 ) operating systems.

Then M$ literally put a gun to every manufacturers head and demanded that the driver suite that was BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE ( mostly in XP too ) would be rebuilt and the original APIs would be severed. This issue was because of the DRM demands of Gates, the RIAA and MPAA...

These demands even came at the CHIP LEVEL...Which also broke the chips too.

Google " tilt bits " if you want the gory hardware details...

So suddenly a bunch of good hardware was rendered obsolete...

Which is why I still have ( and use ) my old ( LEGAL ) copies of AutoCad....

And earlier system that run 98se, W2000 and XP have the same vintage software and games....

If you really want screaming performance, try putting that old stuff on a new machine.....

And if you really want to dump the new/old compatibility issue, go to LINUX ( old stuff still runs on new hardware/OS ) and set up VMs with your old M$ O/S...You DO have the COA and docs, right?

Linux is at the W2000 point in useability today....

User Rank
Re: scanners, printers, drivers, penguins
vandamme   7/26/2011 7:32:26 AM
Seems like I have a whole cellar full of gadgets that won't work with Vista or Windows 7. But I found that usually the driver installation in Linux consists of 1) Plugging in the device........use it! Last night I scanned 200 pages using Xscan and our "old" scanner (using my new laptop and Ubuntu 11.04, in the cellar, where it's cool). The HP Windows driver (for XP) was a real PIA to use. Our new HP printer/scanner is not much better. Don't these people ever test them for useability?

User Rank
Re: Patience is a virtue, but. . .
Plexus   7/26/2011 9:10:06 AM
I agree.  I understand the need/desire to put books in electronic format.  But I couldn't help but chuckle at the irony here: The author spends copius amounts of time not only scanning 300K pages, but also dealing with the gremlins and shortfalls of "electronic" devices.  Then posts a detailed depiction on DesignNews about his "electronic" device woes, but cuts the splines off his books and puts them in an "electronic" format anyway.  I hope for his sake his "electronic" storage media is more robust.....otherwise we might see a follow-up story.  Using a scanner for this kind of volume is like Lance Armstrong trying to win a race with a tricycle.

User Rank
diybookscanner, and better scanner software!!!
kereed   7/26/2011 11:42:08 AM
I will not go into why I would not cut the splines on my originals, or attempt scanning 300,000 documents on a flatbed scanner...

1. For this size project, look to what college kids created for scanning their textbooks with.  It's a two camera textbook copier that interfaces with open source software.  Even Google invited him to give a talk to their project team that copies old books (Google books?).  This would be a faster solution without tearing aprt your originals.




2. To be able to use your 'old' scanner on your newer OS (cross platform like Mac, Win 7, and Linux), I was recommended Vuescan. http://www.hamrick.com/ This was written by a guy who understood how a flatbed scanner is communicated with, and he has written a universal software package to interface most scanners.  I have used it for 4 different scanners, all in one, etc.  It's $29, but I opted for the $79 price tag so I can update it forever.  One software package on any platform for most scanners (see his list).  I use it at work on my 10+ year old HP scanjet 6200C on Win7.

User Rank
HP printers
hbentzinger   7/26/2011 12:39:30 PM
I have Windows 7 and a HP Photsmart Premium Priner that are filled with monkey designs. 

When i got the unit, there were constant problems.  It would not print a document with multilple pages in consecutive order.  Since I like to print on both sides, this made it impossible to put the pages in order.  If I wanted to put page numbers on each page, it would number every other page.   It would not print addresses on envelopes.  To solve the problem HP told me to download a special printer driver. and use it for such things as printing envelopes. 

For some reason the printer decided to act like a printer and worked fine for about a year.  Several days ago, it decided not to print envelopes, instead oit operates the photo printing slide and prints addresses on photo paper.   After lots of tries, tried the special driveragain  and that prints envelopes.  However since i cannot change drivers after printing out a letter, I cannot print envelpes without going back to the beginning and selecting the special driver.  A real time saver. 

I am not sure whether the problem is an HP problem or Micorsoft problem.  I mistakenly put Windows 7 on the computer and as a result access to the internet is always a problem, in addition to many others.  Sometimes the internet willl not start when the computer is turned on.  Sometimes the internet connection will be lost when in use.  To date I have always been able to recover the internet by restarting the computer.  Another time saver.

I have had computers and printers for many years. The total number of problems in all the previous years do not come close to the problems with Windows 7, Office 2007 and my HP Printer. 

Incidentally, both are not out of warranty, so I am expected to pay for service now. I prefer to keep the problems as a reminder of how to ruin good products.

My recommendataion is to keep Windows XP, use Open Office and keep your old HP printer.


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