Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hewlett-Packard: crap installers since 1939

I think this says it all:
HP Installer
That's the printer driver installer Hewlett-Packard sent out with my $A 1200 Color LaserJet CP2025. Naturally, it does none of the following:
  • Tells me what it's going to install.
  • Tells me where it's going to install it.
  • Gives me the option of paring down the install.
  • Provides any useful feedback about what it's doing as it proceeds.
Oh, and it wanted my password before it even brought up a window or dialog. Outstanding, HP. Truly outstanding.

And, as if all that is not awesome enough, there's this:
HP driver fail 1
Wait for it...
HP driver fail 2
Every drop-down menu in the driver dialog's custom tabs are like that. Maybe it's a code. It also assumes I am tri-lingual:
Keep failing!
You just can't make this stuff up. Fortunately, these panels are for somewhat esoteric functions I will probably never use. (Well, I literally can't use them with this driver.) In any case, this is just woeful for a product costing $A 1200. I went to HP's website, and my installed version of the driver is still the current version available for download. That's as good as it gets.

Update: Installing the driver on a second machine, while still VISEtastic, showed no evidence of the user interface bugs captured above. On the first machine, I just re-started Safari (I was using a web page as a test document to print), and the print dialog righted itself. It is entirely possible, then, that the problem had nothing to do with HP. That doesn't make it right to bundle a VISE installer with a $A 1200 LaserJet, though.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Printer for Mac OS X

Dear Lazyweb,

My HP LaserJet 2200D seems to have died. (It was a great printer. I suspect getting it repaired would cost more than buying something new, though.) Here are my requirements for a new printer:
  • I am a big fan of HP. (I had a DeskJet 500 for years prior to the 2200D.) I probably want a LaserJet or Color LaserJet, though I would be prepared to look at other brands. I'm kind of equivocal about colour.
  • I assume all printers talk USB these days. (I've been out of the market for some time—the 2200D has a parallel port. Remember those?) Built-in Ethernet would be nice, though I can presumably plug it into the USB port on my Time Machine.
  • I want automatic duplexing. This is a hard requirement, and unfortunately I think it puts me out of the ‘home’ category. (What is it with those arbitrary categories?)
I think that covers it. So, what should I buy?

(Oh, why am I asking in a blog post when I know my requirements? Because HP's website, much like every other corporate website these days, is essentially impenetrable. I don't want to have to decide whether I'm ‘personal’, ‘SOHO’ or ‘SMB’—I just want to see your printers. I clicked around for half an hour, came out knowing less than when I went in.)