Is it time to retire the scanner ?

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Oct 22 22:41:10 UTC 2016

On Sat, 22 Oct 2016 21:39:23 +0000, Gerard Seibert wrote:
> On Sat, 22 Oct 2016 22:47:54 +0200, Polytropon stated:
> > On Sat, 22 Oct 2016 20:13:33 +0000, Gerard Seibert wrote:
> > > On Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:09:01 -0700, Mehmet Erol Sanliturk stated:
> > >   
> > > > For that try to buy single purpose devices : printer , scanner ,
> > > > etc. , not in combination .  
> > > 
> > > Logistically, that can become a nightmare. If you are employing
> > > cables, then that doubles, or triples or more the number of cables
> > > you need. Also, you need to increase the space needed to
> > > accommodate these multiple devices.  
> > 
> > Devices supporting network connections make things much
> > easier, be it Ethernet or WLAN. As soon as you don't have
> > to rely on USB, that's one big "black box" less.
> > 
> > Of course the "all in one" mentality fails as soon as you
> > want to upgrade a "component" which typically ends in
> > buying a whole new device, discarding all "components"
> > and increasing your "garbage footprint".
> I am not sure why I would want to upgrade a single component.
> > > I have a printer/scanner/FAX/copier all in one and love the fact
> > > that I don't have devices all over my office.  
> > 
> > It's useful as soon as _one_ part breaks. Out of ink?
> > You now cannot scan anymore. Paper jam? No sending a fax.
> > New "Windows" version? Sorry, no driver for you. Go away
> > and buy something new. ;-)
> Serious logic problems here. You don't need ink to scan, unless you are
> scanning and printing the document(s) simultaneously, in which case you
> would be screwed in either case. Using your model, a user would be
> forced to have ink on hand for both a scanner and printer. I sure hope
> they use the same ink.

Understanding problem on your side. Artificially constructed? :-)

The device "printer + scanner" refuses to work as it stops
in the status "no ink", so the device cannot print, and
also refuses to scan. The error is displayed, and you can
do nothing until you replace the ink cartridges (or printing
heads, depending on the device).

Similarly, "paper jam" causes the scanner component to
refuse working as the whole device is blocked in its

Seen several times with home consumer products.

Regarding the "upgrading" problem: When you need, for example,
a higher resolution scanner, or a better resolution printer,
or a duplexer, you cannot upgrade that component of the device
on its own - you need to replace it as a whole.

> Personally, I have not run into a problem with getting drivers for
> Windows products. I still have an old Panasonic Dot Matrix printer that
> is 20 years old and originally worked under Windows 95. It is still
> humming away today under Windows 10. I rarely use it, but it still
> works. In any case, at least Windows HAS a driver for the device.

Few months ago, I met a HP Laserjet 4000 which "Windows 10" did
not support anymore (and couldn't even detect it). There is no
support from HP anymore, and the built-in drivers don't work
(print jobs just disappear). Solution: HP universal PCL driver,
much slower, but works. :-)

The dotmatrix printer, unlike modern home consumer printers,
likely speaks ASCII ("text only") and therefore doesn't _need_
a driver to output text. For printing graphics, it probably
supports one of the few standards for dotmatrix graphics printing.
It seems that you are lucky and "Windows" hasn't declared them
"outdated" and still provides a compatible driver.

> I have to try and create a paper jam and see if I can FAX. Two separate
> paths, so I don't see why it would matter, but since it has never
> happened, I cannot say for sure. Again, if your FAX machine suffered a
> paper jam, you could not FAX for sure, so I fail to see your point.

Depends - you probably could still receive faxes (store them
in memory) and print them when it becomes possible. There are
also good devices where you can still obtain the fax as a PDF
file and download it to the computer to view it there, even
though it cannot be printed.

But my key argument was: If your all-in-one's _printer_ had
a paper jam, you could not _receive_ a fax. :-)

Broader view: If one component fails, the whole device becomes

> > > The problem here is that you are being forced to "dumb down" your
> > > system to accommodate FreeBSD's inability to support multi-function
> > > devices. That is like enabling a drunk. I refuse to follow that
> > > path.  
> > 
> > Depends. If you are lucky to buy the "right" hardware,
> > you get excellent results. For example, the Deskjet F380
> > works flawlessly on FreeBSD (both printer and scanner),
> > and it's super easy to setup via CUPS.
> I didn't check, but aren't the Deskjet series "ink pee" printers? From
> what I have been told, drivers for "ink pee" printers are pretty
> generic.

Sadly, they aren't, especially when you move away from HP and
chose something like, well... Canon, and it doesn't make a big
difference if it's ink-pee or black dust. ;-)

There are already ink-pee printers that support standard languages
like PDF (as a _printer_ language), which is good. Laser printers
have supported PCL and PS across manufacturers for decades, but
mostly in the office space; home consumer products ("host based
printers") require the PC (read: the driver) to preprocess the
printing data and turn them into something model-specific, like
"move printing head 1 mm and make a black dot" instead of "print
the letter 'A' here", you get the idea - the computer has to
control the printing mechanism more directly, this saves a lot
of money because the electronics inside the printer can be made
much dumber and therefore much cheaper).

> My Brother printers are all Laser printers. Far better printing
> quality. And no, CUPS does not have a driver for it. Brother does have
> a *.nix driver, and a scanner driver, but they have never been ported
> to FreeBSD.

You probably don't need a driver. From all the Brother laser printers
I have dealt with, most supported PCL, and some even PDF. PCL and PDF
aren't a problem on FreeBSD. My experience with those printers using
CUPS was usually good. In cases where Brother didn't provide a PPD,
a generic PCL driver would work out of the box.

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

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