The nightmarish problem of installing a printer

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Wed Sep 22 00:26:16 UTC 2010

> From cpghost at  Tue Sep 21 12:34:21 2010
> Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2010 19:36:00 +0200
> Subject: Re: The nightmarish problem of installing a printer
> From: "C. P. Ghost" <cpghost at>
> To: Polytropon <freebsd at>
> Cc: Robert Bonomi <bonomi at>, freebsd-questions at
> On Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 5:43 PM, Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
> > On Tue, 21 Sep 2010 02:42:22 +0200, "C. P. Ghost" <cpghost at> wrote:
> >
> > Keep in mind there are stupid things in the world as patents,
> > intelellectual property, licensing fees and copyrighted secret
> > codes.
> Yes, that's indeed the real problem. A legal, not a technical one.
> > At the moment there was a program (or any other kind of
> > facility) that makes Winprinters accessible by *ANY* OS (not
> > only FreeBSD, but maybe all BSDs and Linusi and Solaris and
> > who knows what else), MICROS~1 would start violently screaming
> > as someone is eating from their cake. Keep in mind that Winprinters
> > are an important target platform for home users who PAY for
> > "Windows" and PAY for a "compatible" printer. They pay once
> > every two years or so. MICROS~1 and the printer manufacturers
> > can't stand it if one uses their products too long, as long-term
> > use does imply NO FURTHER SALES. And now imagine that a user
> > can fully use all features of a formerly-Winprinter all-in-one
> > ink pee copier scanner fax machine - where would be his need to
> > buy a "Windows" to do that as he can now use FreeBSD for free?
> As far as I understand this, Microsoft doesn't manufacture those
> winprinters, so why would they screem if those printers were able
> to run on other platform too?

A) *THEY* developed the interface specifications. They license printer
manufacurers to build to it.   They _would_ obejct if somebody used
their technology to compete against them.

B) As it is, to _use_ one of those printers, you *HAVE*TO*BY* a MS O/S.
   if one could use those printers -without- a MS O/S, that is a 
   'provable' loss in MS O/S sales -- one sales loss for -each- non-MS
   system that has such a printer attached.

> You can even see it the other way: for every winprinter manufactured
> (or, more precisely, for every windriver sold), Microsoft may get a
> fixed share due to patent royalties from the manufacturer. So, suppose
> a manufacturer sells more of his winprinters to BSD/Linux/Solaris/...
> folks because we had this shim, it would translate to more patent
> royalties to Microsoft too. So it is in Microsoft's interest not only NOT
> to kick and scream, but actually to encourage those winprinters
> by publishing the needed interfaces. It can only increase sales, and
> they will get more kickbacks from those additional sales.
> > Of course, this consideration is very far away from any technical
> > understanding - as typical for lawpersons who make money from
> > bullshit. :-)
> That's for sure. ;-)
> >> But the basic idea remains: the interfaces on both sides of the
> >> windriver binary blobs is pretty stable and (I think) not a secret at all.
> >
> > In that case, I would ask myself: Why hasn't it been done already?
> > If your assumption was right, it would already work. As it currently
> > does not work, I would check your assumption. :-)
> I don't know why it hasn't been done up to now. After all, this is nothing
> but an exercise in mapping one set of interfaces onto another set of
> interfaces. We've done this kind of interface matching with with the
> Linuxulator, NDIS is another good example, and the Wine guys are
> doing a great job too. I fail to see a compelling TECHNICAL reason
> why Windows drivers in general (and windrivers in particular) couldn't
> be docked to Unix systems. Of course, legal reasons are a different
> matter.
> > Polytropon
> > Magdeburg, Germany
> > Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
> > Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
> Regards,
> -cpghost.
> -- 
> Cordula's Web.

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