Printer was and will be always a hot product to sell all along. Now as for the question of who emerges as the king wholeheartedly depends upon the user and its requirements. Still, if laser printers can be cheap then nothing will be able to beat it. http://www.surfschool.net
It is officially an anti-counterfitting measure, and a real life example of steganography. They use a pattern of single yellow (usually) dots scattered across the page, to encode the printers serial number. The idea is that if you run off your own batch of $20's, they will be able to prove that they were made by the specific printer they siezed from your spare bedroom.
I don't know if this is a requirement for sale these days, or voluntary action by the printer makers.
Oh yea, about that ancient printer -- don't forget hardware obsolescence - I haven't had a native parallel port for more than a decade, and of the last three, none have had a native serial port (one did provide one on its docking station). Yea, I know about USB adapters, but they don't work with things like a proprietary machine control system, that wants actual bits to twiddle.
I have an old printer that worked beautifully for many years. But when I changed from a Windows XP machine to Windows 7, a new printer driver available on the web didn't work. When that happens, it seems like there's not much you can do. I went to user forums and found that many users had the same problem, but no one seemed to have a solution.
Similar thing happened to me when I upgraded to Windows Vista. Our perfectly good Lexmark printer did not have a Vista driver at the time and I had to buy a completely new laseret printer. Word to the wise... when upgrading your operating system, check on driver compatibility for your existing printer.
I first experienced a variant of the problem years ago. My first laser printer was a NEC SuperScript 1260 that printed at 600x600 resolution, at a much better price point than anything else out there at that time. But, when Windows XP came out, NEC wouldn't release a driver for the printer, and you had to use the default windows driver, which limited the printer to 300x300. Somehow the old Win 9x driver did some magic to get the 600x600 resolution.
I also got bit again a few years ago for not doing my homework. I bought a new USB 2.0 flatbed scanner from Canon (CanoScan 4400F) and didn't check if it was compatitable with Linux. I hadn't had a problem with anything else not being supported under Linux but you guessed it; the chipset on the 4400F had no support (and still doesn't) under Linux. Oh well, the machine is still dual-boot, so I could use the scanner, but I primarily run Linux, so that was annoying.
Magazines and Web Sites that review printers should make special note of which brands supply updated drivers. It's a terrible waste to have to chuck a perfectly functional printer just because you have updated your operatign system. Manufacturers who cause this should lose business.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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