My previous printer was an Epson Stylus Color 600 which worked quite well until the print head needed replacing. That was easy, the big problem was a program that was required to "realign" a new print head. Epson does not sell that to customers, you're supposed to send the printer to a repair facility to have that done at no small expense! I went ahead and replaced the printhead myself which worked well but couldn't print high resolution, it was a bit fuzzy.
That one was replaced with a HP V40 Officejet, which has bloated software, plenty of quirks (like the ones mentioned above), very limited updates and does not directly interface to my e-mail program. It is not particularly easy on ink, even on low settings and the cartridge cost....ridiculous! It also does not recognize DOS programs, of which I still use a number of, totally does not even recognize them. HP suggested emulating another HP printer for DOS, unfortunately that didn't work. It is an okay printer but I'm not sure I will go for another HP when the time comes.
I quite agree, HP should have kept the instrument division under HP and used another name for the printer division...which isn't doing all that well these days.... can't imagine why.
Maybe it's my "oldness" creeping in, and why I label myself as OLD_CURMUDGEON as my onscreen persona, BUT I have a philosophical problem w/ two sides of the coin. On one side, I'm tired of listening to the progressive mantra about "saving the Earth", filling the garbage dumps, etc., while the other side proclaims, "WOW, look what we designed yesterday morning. Now, let's change it for tomorrow morning!"
I know this may sound VERY anti-progress, but I can't help think about the music record industry. For decades, practically since the invention of the phonograph, 78 rpm was the standard, then came the 45, and the 33 1/3. While the 78 gave way to the longplaying capability of the 33, they too lasted for decades, peacefully coexisting w/ some modern media, tape, specifically. Then, all of a sudden we had an explosion! The music CD burst onto the scene, completely displacing ALL previous recording media. But, in effect, how long did the CD reign? And, then we had DVD, etc. All these are now measured in years, NOT decades! And, what's the result...... this "new" technology forces people to keep buying new stuff, even IF it's old stuff, for the sake of the medium that it is recorded on. And, so the landfills, the "environmental impact" expands!
I love the e-mail that I've seen several times about "How we recycled" decades ago. YES! We recycled..... we brought back soda & beer bottles for a cash reward, we washed diapers & reused them, and the list goes on and on. And, NOW we talk about recycling! That's a concept that dates to the Middle Ages in many respects.
I couldn't agree more about the corporate stupidity of changing the HP name for instruments! If, in their infinite wisdom, they wanted to enter a "commodity" market like printers, that product should have been given a new name.
I continue to buy Agilent instruments because they're extremely well-designed and have unmatched performance ... pricey yes, but you get what you pay for.
I've used their printers for many years (currently an "all-in-one") but I'm tiring of some characteristics they all seem to share. First is the noise, made worse by the seemingly endless "monkey motion" that goes on before printing starts. Second is their software ... some of the lamest, most un-intuitive, and overly complicated I've ever used. Using the scanner is just plain counter-intuitive! But, as is typical for anything computer-related, the emphasis seems to be adding more features than a competitor ... rather than making the "core" features intuitive and easy-to-use. Ahh, "what's a mother to do?"
We bought a Brother laser printer a couple of years ago and have had good experiences with it as well. My only complaint is that it has a counter on the toner cartriges and when you reach 3000 pages the printer stops working until you get a replacement, whether that color of toner is out or not. I was eventually able to find a key combination on the internet that lets you re-set the counter, so that problem is now solved. The up-front cost is a bit higher with this printer, but the per-page cost can't be beat.
We have an Epson All-In-One device, and it has run well for us. We seem to have better luck with ours than you. I will say that the Epson seems to use a lot of ink, and the cartridges are VERY expensive. The older HP printer cartridges were not quite as painful to replace.
Have a H-P IIIp, which still runs well (over 20 years old!) Use it with the DELL Tower w/ XP- S/P3, and on my DELL 486/33 w/ MS-DOS 5.0. Have NO problem w/ drivers, etc. BIGGEST problem is getting cartridges for it. Only place I found is in CA. No one even reloads them.... too bad, it's a good printer.
Oh, yeah, and also have an OKI 393 wide carriage..... that's over 20 years old also, and continues to pump out reports, when needed, ESPECIALLY now at tax time. Just use this one connected to the 486 though....
Have had a bunch of H-P inkjets in the office. They seem to breakdown about a week after the new supply of cartridges arrives, so now we have a storeroom full of new cartridges which are incompatible with the newer model printers. Have switched some workstations to BROTHER also..... they seem to be MORE stable. Maybe this is why H-P is in the financial doldrums....... What they should have done is made AGILENT the PC company, and kept H-P as the test equipment company, since it has a 70 year track record of producing very well designed bench test items.
OOPS!, almost forgot the EPSON inkjet that I used to design P.C. boards. Nozzles froze up after a bit of un-use. Good thing we had the "insurance" through OFFICE DEPOT.... got all the money back!
I had a similar problem with my Epson. I couldn't even use it if one of the inks was out, even if I wasn't using that ink color. And even when all the inks were full they still would malfunction and not print correctly on paper. Needless to say, I am not an Epson fan!
I was using an Epson scanner several years ago, and when upgrading the OS, I discovered that Epson had no driver (and no plans to develop one) for Windows 7. I already had a virtual machine installed with Linux (SuSE), so my solution was to open a Linux window, scan my material, and save it in a common drive shared between the virtual Linux machine and Windows. This worked quite well, and as vandamme mentioned, Linux is pretty good at supporting the older hardware.
You can run almost all the old equipment like printers and scanners with current Linux operating systems. (Some old webcams, maybe not.) Of course you need to have the right port on your computer; parallel ports are extinct now. But if it fits, plug it in and Linux runs the driver automatically.
The timid can download a nice Linux distro like Mint and burn it to a DVD or flash drive, and boot off that to test this. The less timid can install and dual-boot Linux along with Windows, or use a Virtual Machine or Wubi.
Since the end of dot matrix age, after several Epson machines, I've been a loyal HP inkjetter. Until this year, when I bought my first Brother. Not only was this a change in brand but also my first all-in-1 unit. Traditionally the all-in-1 offerings received worst all-around ratings (do all/master none). But Brother's recent offerings seemed to have a growing cult of HP converts, and I was curious. When I learned the machine* printed 11" x 17" -- for well under $200 -- I was hooked.
I've only had it for 3-mos., not nearly long enough for durability statements, but the ease of use, friendly product support**, print quality and ink cost/longevity are positively remarkable.
So while the original post teased (but never directly answered) "See Who emerged Victorious" I can say that, thanks to Brother, HP may not continue to be as victorious as they once were around this office.
* MFCJ4410DW Business Smart Multi-Function Inkjet and Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax.
** I wirelessly network the Brother to WIN7, OS-X and iOS and have had two occassions to contact Brother tech support (Tennessee-based call center, BTW). Wonderful experiences.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.