08 December 2008

Vista HP 3150se Fix

So I inherited this old HP LaserJet 3150se, which does everything, except HP hasn't (refuses to) release drivers for it, even though it should be a really damn simple matter.

The fix. Quite simply:

1. Obtain and install VMware Workstation
2. Install Windows XP through it (very simple)
3. Install drivers for the printer.

A few notes -

1. Remember to add "Parallel Port" as a device.
2. Vista acts funny when you first plug in the printer, so keep the printer disconnected until you have booted XP through VMware (with the parallel port device added), then plug in the parallel cord (which should obviously be connected to the printer). This will keep Vista from hijacking* the parallel port and prompting the driver installation window before VMware has a chance to do so.
3. You can keep your XP partition very small (1.5 GB). Try not to install Adobe reader and use something with a smaller memory/HDD footprint like Foxit PDF reader.**

I usually don't write nerdy posts like this, but this has pissed off a lot of people. Leave feedback if it works/doesn't!

*: This minor Vista annoyance is nothing like using linux. Just for kicks (and with the relief that I could pull the plug with two clicks, I installed the lastest Ubuntu on VMware)

It was ok. I booted up Firefox, went to youtube. No flash plugin. No worries, I went to the Adobe website and there were four variants of the flash player installation. Whatever, I'll just go through all of them.

So I downloaded each one, and double-clicked on each of the files, which obviously didn't work. Yes, I should have looked at the instructions, but that's exactly my point. Installing a flash plugin should be intuitive. I shouldn't need some needlessly complicated command line input to do so.

And the instructions had command line steps. If this was Windows or OS X, I would have been done, very very quickly.

ergo -
Linux really is a piece of shit.

**: But, holy shit, Foxit PDF reader is a pain in the ass. So many adverts! Use the Acrobat reader if you have space, please.

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