Canon printer and TurboPrint

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu May 28 17:41:01 UTC 2009

On Thu, 28 May 2009 19:09:09 +0200, cpghost <cpghost at> wrote:
> Basically put: you get what you pay for.

That was true in the past, but today, it's much more complicated
than just regularing an article's quality over the price. You
can - without any problems - get crap for (too) much money. You
pay for a brand name, or a standard's name, but you get crap.

I've seen a good example recently: A DVD recorder built (or
at least sold) by a company name most users are familiar with,
which quitted working after 1 year of regular use, and a
similar recorder by a manufacturer that's not so widely known,
which still works today. The known one was nearly 100 Euro
more expensive than the unknown one.

> Classic (non-win) printers do
> have circuitry on board to process PCL or PostScript, whereas
> el-cheapo win-printers come without this circuitry, and delegate
> pagesetting to a software driver.

Exactly. Even el-anachronismo dotmatrix printers could turn
simple text, transmitted to the parallel port, into printed
form. Today's el-stupido printers can't.

Can't print easily, but pretend to be more than they are (in
terms of overall quality, to which I add support for standards
or at least existance of a proper BSD driver): The include
a printer, a scanner, a fax machine and who knows what else...

> Same for modems vs. win-modems.

Exacltly. Those leave more to do for the computer that controls
it, and generates much more work for the processor, while the
easier variant would just be to transfer the data to the
device and let it print, even if it's "just" PCL.

> Of course, all this is well-known for a long time now. But what's
> worrying, is that economics of scale make it increasingly difficult to
> locate classic printers (and modems).

Yes. In most cases, you stick to 2nd hand office-class equipment.
It's bigger, may make more noise, but the history teaches that
it makes you more happy. :-)

> Fortunatly, they are still being
> made here and there, but for how long?

Customers do control this. A nice example are the IBM model M
keyboards. There are manufacturers that provide the quality and
the layout (without advertising keys) of these keyboards. (I'm
glad to own some of the original IBM ones, they will live longer
than I will.)

> What will we do a few years
> down the road in an environment where win-${device}s are ubiquitous?

Scenario A is to keep using used older equipment and to keep it
running by adequate means.

Scenario B is to use means of emulation and virtualization.

But more likely, this won't happen.
History has told, future will tell.

> Ultimately, we'll need a full-featured windowsolator a la NDISwrapper
> et al., so that we can use the Windows-only drivers natively on
> FreeBSD/{i386,amd64}.

That would conform to scenario B, but I'm sure we won't have to
think about it very much, because "Windows" is not the world. :-)

> At least x86-based systems will then work,
> although ARM and other platforms would still be left out in the cold.

Does "Windows" run on ARM? I'm sure UNIX does.

With the upcoming interest in ARM-based Netbooks 'n stuff I think
it will be less and less important. Today, Linux is more interesting
to industry and to enterprises than "Windows" is. I do see this in
Germany: "Windows" is considered more and more to be old-fashioned
(not very much in fact, but slightly increasing).

I hope this trend continues, so printer manufacturers (and those
that built other stuff used together with computers) will change
their attitude towards interoperability and standards.

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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