Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Printing

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My dad called and told me, he got himself a new printer - and couldn't get it to work. After I had asked for the kind of printer, it turned out to be a nice PostScript and AppleTalk savvy HP one which, in my opinion, shouldn't cause any problems, as I had used these several times before and the time between wanting to print and actually doing it was only a few seconds. So I asked the standard question about cables and solved the problem that way. My dad was too lazy to get the old cable from behind his desk and simply used a different non-crossover one. Afterwards, printing was just fine. Just like the old days.

Now let me do some serious ranting: First, could anyone tar and feather the people who thought it was clever to have two different kind of network cables. It seems downrightly silly and as far as I know the only place for this to be corrected are newer Powerbooks which automatically detect the kind of cable and adjust accordingly.

A more disgruntled rant of annoyance goes towards Apple - as basically it's their fault the new printer was bought. The old one was a perfectly good PostScript, LocalTalk laser printer, which worked flawlessly (well, let's forget about it's inability to work with very little paper left...) for many years and still does if you happen to use MacOS 9 or even the Classic environment in MacOS X. Using my pretty old LC III as a network bridge, this was hooked up to the Ethernet, to go on printing but apparently Apple's engineers fucked up the printing system severly enough to cause it to print only a random selection of it's print jobs and generate PostScript errors or simply blink for a while and stop then. Did I mention, printing was much slower as well?

While I think I could track down the reasons for this being the following: Say you want to print a PostScript file, then the printing system would convert it (most likely badly and inefficiently) to PDF to be in-line with MacOS X's general ideology and then encapsulate it into even more PostScript to print on the PostScript printer. It sounds silly, it's very inefficient and it breaks printing on printers without the latest processors, large memory and fast connections - in short, it's the bad kind of bloat.

While I'm bitching at the screwed up printing system, let me also mention the complete failure of Apple to provide Desktop Printing in OSX.

November 4, 2002, 22:55

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