printer recommendations?

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Dec 4 03:29:55 UTC 2010

On Fri, 3 Dec 2010 19:26:43 -0700 (MST), Warren Block <wblock at> wrote:
> On Fri, 3 Dec 2010, Polytropon wrote:
> > I'm using a HP Laserjet 4000 duplex for more than 5 years now
> > at home, I'm happy with it, allthough it's a _huge_ printer
> > with all the accessories, but I don't care for that.
> It's only huge in comparison to smaller, lesser printers.  A LaserJet 
> 8000 makes a 4000 look small.

Not a big difference. Rotate printer 90 degree and make
sure it has enough (at least two) additional (!) paper
supply cartridges. :-)

> > Used office-class equipment, I can't emphasize it enough. The
> > HP Laserjet printers have a good "eco-mode standby behaviour",
> > so even energy costs are low, compared to the usual home consumer
> > ink-pee stuff where a seperate power supply consumes energy
> > even when the printer is "off" (haha).
> Office-class printers also have power switches, so they can be turned 
> off for zero power consumption.  Some home printers don't have a power 
> switch at all.

I thought it was obvious that REAL printers have REAL power
switches. But you're right of course: Power consumption is
zero when switched off, and you will notice that when using
the printer occassionally (compare cummulative standby to zero).

> The last time I used parallel on FreeBSD, it was slow...well, slower 
> than expected.  Haven't really tested USB printers for speed.  Ethernet 
> is superior in many ways.

The speed is acceptable, just the "error messages" are annoying,
started with FreeBSD 7, I think. I do feed PCL into the printer
as this is faster than PS, but recent office class printers do
provide good (and FAST!) PS support. An example for a well-designed
internal CPU is the Kyocera FS-3900DN which also supports
different "personalities"; it might be considered "expensive",
but it will pay.

Good networking printers usually do provide their own lpd, so
you can simply hand them the files according to the IP. The
system's lp* commands (lpr, lpq, lprm) then query the printer.
A simple entry in /etc/printcap is enough to make them work.
No "drivers", "USB access permissions" or other strange
stuff is needed.

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

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