Our printer finally died.  Or actually, it didn't really die, but required more money, so I decided (somewhat hesitantly, since the HP Laserjet 6L is the best printer ever made, according to most sources) to replace it.  The 6L lasted 13 years, so the longest lasting printer I've had since the Epson dot-matrix we had while growing up, which of course, still works.  We've only been able to have one page in the input feeder for years, and when I replaced the fuser a year or two ago, I didn't realize that I could have gotten some new gears to fix the feed issue at the same time.  I bought two toners the last time I bought toner, and it turns out that was a bad idea, as the "wiper" in the toner cartridge rotted out, since we use ink so slowly.The wiper can be replaced for $10 and a good bit of hard work, but seemed somewhat likely that something would break in the process, so I decided not to do that.

I bought an HP P1006, for $50 after various rebates, and the reviews seem to say it is a decent printer, though the documentation claimed it wouldn't work over the network, which I discounted as people couldn't figure out how to set it up.  If I hadn't read that it wouldn't work, I probably would have just installed it the easy way, and not noticed that it "didn't work", but since I was expecting it to not work, gave up too easily.  Humorously enough, it worked fine on Linux, but the trouble I had was on Windows.

I had read the documentation on the developer's website, but tried the Debian installation anyway.  That didn't work. So, I downloaded the developer's code, and tried to install it in /usr/local.  That also didn't work, as there are hard-coded paths in some of the programs, so I ended up installing it in /usr, which I dislike, since it can then conflict with Debian installed stuff.  So, then it worked fine.

Went over to Windows, and tried installing it simply using the http://lemon:631/printers/hp_laserjet_p1006 URL, but Windows doesn't have a driver for it, and didn't seem to be able to find it on the original CD, and while looking through the various .cab files on the CD, I couldn't find anything that looked promising.

I tried running the setup application like a regular person would, but that wouldn't complete since I didn't have the printer plugged into the USB port locally, though I suspect that if I connected the printer locally, it might have worked, and then I could have used the driver remotely too.

So, I searched around for a long time, found various people saying the printer couldn't be networked, and they had returned it, etc.

I finally simply used the hpljp1005.inf in the root directory of the CD (I originally thought that was not the right file, since it said "1005", but after reading the file, saw that it is the file for a whole bunch of printers).  Tada.  The printer now works.

Presumably HP has learned their lesson with the 6L and this printer will have a shorter life, so then I'll have to buy a new one, rather than being happy with the one I have.  A friend in computer sales thought the price was too low to last more than two years. We'll see how it goes.

Posted by Jon Daley on March 25, 2009, 11:44 am | Read 10194 times
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