[SATLUG] Linux-Friendly Printers & Scanners

Don Crowder donguitar at gmail.com
Mon Sep 15 13:42:57 CDT 2008

Geoff wrote:
> Don Crowder wrote:
>> My experience is that just about any HP printer is essentially "Plug
>> and Play" in Linux and I've set up enough of them to represent a valid
>> sample.
> they're also the most inefficient and most expensive on ink.
Define "efficient".  HP printers cost me little or nothing at my 
favorite flea market and remanufactured ink cartridges from abacus are 
comparatively inexpensive.


My deskjet 950C cost me $12 and a pair of rebuilt cartridges from abacus 
were less than $35 delivered, well over six months ago.  I don't know 
how our printing needs could be met more economically.

Insofar as I know ink is too darn expensive no matter what brand of 
printer you're using.

I don't have a brand preference if I'm setting up a printer for someone 
though I do hope I can continue to avoid trying to setup a Lexmark 
printer on a Linux system, but if someone asks me which printer I'd 
recommend for ordinary home use I begin by asking if there are any 
writers or photographers in the family.   If I get a negative to both 
questions I recommend HP.  If I get a positive to either question I 
recommend google. Take the time to do some research and, with luck, 
learn from other people's mistakes before spending your own hard-earned 

I picked up an HP Deskjet 3650 at a flea market a while back.  When I 
pointed out that it didn't have a power supply they just gave it to me.
I bought a new "wall wart" on eBay for fourteen dollars and change 
(delivered), hooked it up to a Debian machine, spent about five minutes 
configuring it and printed a test page. The test page printed perfectly 
(meaning the extant cartridges are still good) so I'm giving this one to 
a teen-aged student to whom I gave a computer a few weeks ago.  If it 
hadn't worked I'd probably have simply sold the power supply on eBay for 
$12, buy now, with free shipping.

Most folks don't make a hobby of giving away computers and can't afford 
the time it takes to acquire and test used hardware but that's part of 
my point.  As knowledgeable computer users who are often asked for 
assistance and/or advice by less knowledgeable users we have a 
responsibility to produce an answer that's based on the user's needs 
rather than our personal preferences and prejudices.  What works for me
may not work for you.  Linux can answer the needs of many (I'd go so far 
as to say most), but not all computer users who nevertheless have widely 
different requirements.  That's the coolest thing about Linux isn't it?
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Don Crowder
A proud user of Debian Etch w/KDE.

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