I'm looking for a colour laser printer that's so cheap that I can put it on my birthday wish list and stand a chance of getting it (too broke to buy one myself). - The printer should work with OpenBSD without a hitch, and by that I don't mean "can sometimes be gotten to work by endlessly tweaking CUPS", and I also don't mean "can be gotten to work with compat_linux and a binary blob", - the printer should also be Linux-compatible (Windows-compatibility not required), - it should be a colour laser printer, - replacement cartridges shouldn't be prohibitively expensive, - and it should be as cheap as possible without totally sucking monkey balls.** Oh, and I have an aversion to HP, so it would be better if it wasn't from them. All-in-one stuff and similar shenanigans aren't important at all. In fact, I'd prefer it if the device didn't offer that, as BSD/Linux support of such features tends to be spotty. I looked at http://openbsd.org/i386.html#hardware and didn't see any printers mentioned there, though I suppose they sort of fall under RJ45 support or ulpt(4) http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/man.cgi?query=ulpt&sektion=4 and the rest is lpd/CUPS? If a printer is supported by CUPS/Linux, will it work on OpenBSD? Sorry for the daft questions, but a cursory Google search didn't reveal much. I found this: http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/bsd/2004/07/08/FreeBSD_Basics.html and this: http://openprinting.org/printer_list.cgi , but while it offers good info on specific printers, entering requirements such as "blob-free" and "colour laser" and then searching for a list of suitable models doesn't seem to be possible there. If anyone could recommend anything, or even warn me against buying certain models, I'd be very grateful. Thanks and regards, --ropers **My current inkjet printer takes well over a minute to print a single page, so my definition of "not totally sucking monkey balls" is actually quite modest.
we use some quite cheap HP printers with OpenBSD. Since you have an aversion to HP, I did not look up the number. They work nicely with LaTeX and cost in the $300-400 range I've been
Marc, I'd appreciate the model number(s) of the HP printers. I'm getting ready to make some dual-boot systems, and these folks all want printers. Seems that this might make a good faq entry, if it isn't already there(?). Thanks, --STeve Andre'
HP have been actively working on drivers for a decade. All the one's I have ever tried on Linux have worked fine. I had a HP-Office Jet Rx40i and now a HP color laserjet 2840. I use/d them for printing, scanning and now faxing. They work great. Install the HPLIP Device Manager. You can find printer support info on HP's here. http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/index.html
OpenBSD printing in general? It's not currently in the FAQ as such. I gotta admit here that I've previously not paid a lot of attention to the details of how printing is implemented on OpenBSD (and Unix-like OSes in general). Up to now, I mostly just tinkered around, relying on existing X desktop environments to do the right thing for me, probably via CUPS, without me really having a thorough understanding of what went on behind the scenes. I am trying to catch up on that, though I'm finding that comprehensive, thorough, and up-to-date documentation on the whole Unix printing landscape seems to be somewhat hard to find. Here's what I'm currently looking at: - http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/printing.html - http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/books/corp-net-guide/index.html - http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/bsd/2004/07/08/FreeBSD_Basics.html - man: lpc (8) line printer control program lpd (8) line printer spooler daemon lpr (1) off line print lprm (1) remove jobs from the line printer spooling queue lptest (1) generate lineprinter ripple pattern pr (1) print files printcap (5) printer capability database ulpt (4) USB printer support (did I overlook any?) I haven't looked for CUPS documentation yet, because I want to understand the older lp system first (also, correct me if I'm mistaken, but I think CUPS depends on lp?). Despite my reading of the above stuff, I'm not actually in a position to write an OpenBSD printing FAQ submission, because I don't understand things well enough yet, and the only thing worse than no information is wrong information. But I can describe what I think I know here, and maybe this is useful to someone else -- just don't mistake it for reliable, factual documentation: 1- The lpd/lpr system establishes a spooler and protocol to send print jobs to the printer. If you're talking the right language, it's possible to talk to the printer directly, bypassing lpd/lpr, but this is ...
Hi Ropers, Le Sun, 5 Apr 2009 19:44:27 +0200, So am I ;) I use personnaly a Xerox Phaser 6130N (tested and work very good since I bought it with openbsd 4.2, and working as a usb local printer like as a network printers with its embbedded network interface). No blob, just a ppd file provided on Xerox Site (like all others models) and It just works good with a great quality printing. Everything but the good model depends of your monthly printing. But it'd been just my humble opinion, I just love Xerox ;) because i can't find at this time a printer from them without a ppd file provided on their site. My goal has been just printing... Not fax nor scan... I don't like all-in-one... Kind regards, -- Eric [demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type application/pgp-signature which had a name of signature.asc]
Xerox has been good for us too (genuine Postscript helps). The Phaser 6180 has been a good printer, and the successor 6280 looks quite similar. Graham -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Graham Allan - I.T. Manager School of Physics and Astronomy - University of Minnesota -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get one with PostScript and a NIC. Best Martin
In my experience, that is the correct answer. At various times in the past i've tried to get non-PostScript printers working with different Unix-like operating systems (including OpenBSD). Unless your time is very cheap, it is usually better just to buy something with PostScript. And if it has built-in networking, even better. Buying a printer with a NIC is easier than setting up printer sharing on a computer. As for the original poster's HP aversion... i've had good luck with HP. At home i use an HP 2605dn, a duplexing color laser printer that has worked beautifully for my light use. That exact model is probably no longer available since HP regularly rotates their consumer models, but they undoubtedly have something similar today. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Dan Ramaley Dial Center 118, Drake University Network Programmer/Analyst 2407 Carpenter Ave +1 515 271-4540 Des Moines IA 50311 USA
I specifically went with HP after doing my research and can second Dan's recommendation of the HP's 2605dn. I have the same printer and did nothing more than setup a printcap entry for it to be the default printer and it just works. I really like the fact that it has a web-management console that lets me configure anything available from the Mac & Windows desktop app. I also like that on both Mac & PC you can opt to install just a print driver without the management crap. Some printers require desktop-software running in the background in order to use the printer. This one doesn't. All-in-all, a nice printer. --Aaron
Grand, grand. It's your purchase, so your satisfaction with it is paramount. Personally, I'd not want a HP product unless there was no alternative and it was unavoidable. Or maybe if I got it for free. Generally speaking, I'm just not really convinced that HP printers are all that great. ... In other news, if you engaged in some serious Intarwebs sleuthing, you could probably figure out what company I used to work for. Coming up at eight: The evening movie, right after a quick word from our sponsors. But first: the weather. More news at 11. regards, --ropers
Personally I believe that HP printers are they only thing that doesn't suck. I have had a very cheap HP printer for the last 8 years without any problems (a very cheap Inkjet).
I can agree with that they didn't suck 8 years ago.
Depends on definition of cheap, but I quite like the brother 5250DN, black and white.and fast, duplex, network for $200-$250. I hear their color cousins are just as good. From $300+ to $500 depending on model. And the cartridges apparently can run on fumes (30k or 70k pages for mine, forgot which). Small, cheap, fast, good, the 5250DN is probably one of the best home printers. Uses "brotherscipt" instead of true postscript, but I've never run into problems. -- Sent from my mobile device http://www.glumbert.com/media/shift http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk "This officer's men seem to follow him merely out of idle curiosity." -- Sandhurst officer cadet evaluation. "Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse - external or internal - is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks factory where smoking on the job is permitted." -- Gene Spafford learn french: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1G-3laJJP0&feature=related
CUPS and Linux/Windows blobs are so often required because printers have gone the way of the modems -- i.e. minimal intelligence in the device with most of the processing happening on the host. If you stick to real "hardware" printers that provide built-in Postscript (or at least PCL) language and fonts, you will have no problems with OpenBSD. The simple litmus test is "does it work in DOS?" (just like a modem;-) BTW, most USB-only printers are of the dumb "Windoze" variety. Beware of laser printers with ultra-cheap "cartridges" (e.g. Brother) which do not contain all of the consumables -- before you know it you will be shelling the cost of the printer to service the developer drum. OTOH, the integrated cartridges (e.g. HP and Lexmark) typically cost a bit more but the printer should not require anything additional for its multi-year life. For the longest time I used to be a fan of HP, although I have also always liked Lexmark. But now my preference is shifting -- HP's lower priced models are almost all of the host-based variety. Also I recently learned from a reseller that HP's cartridges include a page counter and stop operating at the prescribed number of pages regardless of actual utilization, which is in stark contrast to Lexmark whose cartridges are guaranteed for "at least" a certain number of pages and the company will replace it free of charge if it runs out sooner but does not prevent you using it past that many pages.
Hi, these will imho easily bust a small budget, but are also the only I was also a fan of HP printers, especially after having bad experience with a medium-sized Lexmark printer, due to massive mechanical problems which looked like "designed-to-break", and very pricey replacement The page count mechanisms seem to be very common in many printers' cartridges, esp. in the lower price range. Try to ask your dealer about page counters in other printers' cartridges. I guess that you'll find I don't know what exactly you want to do, but you might be interested in reading some reports about the printing quality and operating cost, too. Eg. a good ink jet printer should deliver better quality printouts than a bad laser printer. If all you're doing is printing a few easy charts from your spread sheet, then this may be irrelevant to you. Kind regards, --Toni++
I do positively, affirmatively, definitely want a laser printer. ;) Because: (a), I already have a (dead slow and old but portable) ink jet printer, (b), ink jet printers are more likely to go into the direction of weird binary blob printer drivers with neither built-in postscript, nor good ghostscript/driver support, and (c), an ink jet printer cannot do this: http://www.riccibitti.com/pcb/pcb.htm regards, --ropers
However, inkjets seem to be better for printing masks for photo-etching, but the transparencies are awfully expensive and so is the ink when it dries out. I got surprisingly good results photo etching with plain paper and an inkjet, about as good as a LaserJet 2200 and good transparencies. For the toner transfer trick it seems to me that LaserJet 3 and 4 work very well, they print much darker than newer lasers. Haven't tried a color laser, they might have interesting differences. I wish I could just put my PCBs through a laser printer and etch away... -- Jussi Peltola
For Do-It-Yourself PCB's, you *really* want postscript support. Color support is not necessary, and you can easily get away with finding a free, used, office laser printer. As odd as it might seem, some of the old laser printers are actually "better" in the sense of they were built to last and you can still get parts for most of them. Network support is very nice to have, and makes your life a lot easier, but isn't a show stopper since you can almost always use a small "print-server" device. I've had *decades* of success with HP LaserJet I, and LaserJet II-P printers, although I would not suggest the former for PCB work due to resolution. Yes, I know they're ancient, but they work. The other two laser printers I have here are only slightly more recent, namely a Xerox N17 (mono, network, duplexing) and a Tektronix (xerox) Phaser 750 (color, network duplexing). The latter is a beast and fairly expensive to run, but it does a good job. For D-I-Y PCB work, one of the features you might want to look for is whether or not the printer has a "paper path" for card stock (I'm not sure what it's called elsewhere in the world, but "card stock" is basically *very* thick paper like cardboard). -- J.C. Roberts
If the above is correct (and I believe JCR) then I can highly recommend the Brother HL-2170W. It's inexpensive and has worked great for me with OpenBSD. Comes with wireless *and* wired networking. http://www.brother-usa.com/Printer/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=hl2170W -- Jason Dixon DixonGroup Consulting http://www.dixongroup.net/
On Mon, 6 Apr 2009 15:05:14 -0400 Jason Dixon <firstname.lastname@example.org> If I am recalling things correctly, the "issue" with the original LaserJet I (if you could find one) is that without a memory upgrade it can only do 300dpi across 25-33% of a "letter" sized page. Yes, I know it seems terribly odd, but that's the way it worked. You sent it a page at 300dpi, and it would only print the first part of it. If the same page was sent at 75dpi or 150dpi, the whole page would print. You will probably never be building extremely high-speed PCB designs in your garage, so a resolution of 300dpi or better should suffice. Even the axis-based mixed-resolution printers (i.e. "600x300" Horizonal/Vert) should work fine. The things I like about my XEROX DocuPrint N17 are: 1.) 1200 dpi resolution 2.) a paper path for thick card stock 3.) network interface 4.) postscript support (multiple levels) 5.) duplexing 6.) very cheap to run If the real reason for buying a laser printer is PCB work, then there are some laser printers with a perfectly straight card-stock paper path where you can actually run the PCB material directly through the printer. I've seen them but I can't recall off the top of my head what brands/models can do this. You need to realize laser printers are *not* the only way to do PCB's, and some of the inkjet printers are at least equal if not better for this task. http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/08/how_to_direct_to_pcb_ink_jet_r.html (MakeZine has a number of other Home-PCB articles) Some people argue that using inkjets is more accurate than laser printers since the possible human errors in resist mask alignment are eliminated. Also, with inkjet printers, you can even do "silkscreens" of sorts on your home built boards. "Fashion Is My Only Conscience" ;-) Lastly, if you're not in a rush, or if you're working on high-speed designs, you should talk to your local PCB fabrication house. The silly part is many of their customers do not use the entire "blank" ...
Have you actually tried this? I'm just wondering, because I have a really hard time imagining how this could work, seeing that laser printers tend to require and electrically charged drum, and an electrically conductive (and potentially, somewhere, grounded) print medium seems like it could drain the drum charge real fast, resulting in the toner going all over the place. But maybe I'm mistaken. Maybe the drum charge is really only required during transfer of the toner to the drum, and maybe even the drum being in contact with a copper plated medium wouldn't disturb the toner positioning. Maybe the toner would transfer and get fused to the "blank PCB" just fine. Maybe. If anyone knows, then I'd be really curious to hear. regards, --ropers
I've seen these printers in prototype labs, but I've never actually used one. As for how the heck they actually work, I really don't know. A search on "PCB Printer" might answer your questions. Since your goal is PCB work, it seemed worth mentioning since few people know these strange beasts even exist. -- J.C. Roberts
I want to thank everybody again for the interest and good information regarding this admittedly semi-OT topic. :) I hope I'm not stretching everybody's patience now, but given your interest, maybe I can elaborate a bit on where I'm coming from (if you're pressed for time and only interested in issues immediately related to OpenBSD, you can safely press Del now ;): Yep. But then, I want PostScript anyway. Badly. I've never owned a (working) PostScript printer in my life and I'm sick of raster image It isn't. And actually, I *do* want colour. Currently my only printer is a Canon BJC-85. That is an *EXTREMELY* slow colour inkjet, and while it prints ok text documents, its images are fairly atrocious. Also, it's *EXTREMELY* tedious to refill. Think hunching over the desk and using a syringe to slllllloooooooooowwwwwly drip-feed refill ink into its cartridge tanks. Or pay an arm and a leg for consumables that just aren't worth it. My existing printer's only advantage? It's portable. But I haven't even got a laptop anymore (other than an ancient PowerBook that has neither a USB nor a parallel port). So I could kind of use a new printer. And since my objective it so replace my current printer, I want colour, because otherwise I'd be tempted to keep the old one around. So having noticed that colour lasers have become relatively affordable, I want to kill the maximum number of birds with the one stone. Here's what I can "afford": I can put one printer on my birthday wish list. ;) I cannot afford buying a b/w laser AND a colour whatever, however cheap those two printers might be. Discovering the laser printer DIY PCB stuff just put another bird in my PETA-hating slingshot crosshairs. Some of you may remember that a long time ago I amateurishly cobbled together a serial shut down button for a headless OpenBSD box: http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=111177380010679&w=2 (The sled software download no longer works, you can either find a prior version here: ...
Ropers, We're *way* off-topic. Not only are we talking about home brew electronics, but such devices are obviously not supported by OpenBSD. I'll reply to you off list. -jcr
Hrm, well, anyway... Our "HP Color LaserJet CP1515n" supports postscript over TCP/IP in a few ways, including lpd and as a simple tcp stream over port 999. lpd was all we needed for OpenBSD and of course windows printing is no problem. I cannot imagine printing from any unix os well be a problem eother. You might want to look it up. Its likely not the cheapest but it is definitely not the most expensive either. There may be newer models available by now too. I have no idea what the cartridges etc cost. We do not print enough for me to case about that. "Installing" on OpenBSD means trivial changes to /etc/printcap Using a network connected printer with PS support really made me happy after years of fighting with cheap crappy inkjets. /Alexander