After almost a year

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Pretorien, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Pretorien macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    #1
    Although I started with an Apple IIe, I spent many years in the Windows world, returning to Apple last may with a 15" 2014 MBP retina with 16G of ram and a 500G ssd.

    Mostly I love the machine, its look, feel and speed. The display is so good that I don't miss the 19" display of my old desktop. I run Time Machine to an external portable drive and CCC to another external desktop drive (CCC is the best backup program I have ever used!)

    Two "issues"

    This may well reflect the fact that a lot of my computer time was before GUIs, I find that Finder is far less intuitive and much more difficult to use than Windows Explorer - The latter offered a simple outlined and indented single column presentation of everything that is on a computer - always in the same order and format.

    The second issue has me on the verge of returning to the Windows world (which, for a whole host of reasons I really dislike) Printer implementation on the Mac STINKS!

    I have two printers - A Canon MX870 multi-function inkjet and an ancient HP LaserJet 4P. (It's old but fast, bullet proof and cheap to run) Both ran without a hitch on my Win 7 machine.

    There are two problem areas: The printers keep disappearing (message: printer not connected) and need to be removed and re-installed. Sometimes the re-installation goes well and sometimes it requires multiple attempts. I have tried both the printer specific drivers from Apple and the (presumably) Mac drivers from the Canon and HP websites. It seems to be a toss-up as to which will work.

    The second issue is function - The Canon has a world of options print quality, paper type, duplex printing, paper source -front tray, rear tray, auto, color or b/w etc. etc. Non of these choices are available when printing (oddly enough, the Canon scanning program is fully implemented and works fine) The HP is identified as a "HP 8500 Postscript printer"

    I also run Parallels/Win XP for a couple of legacy programs and one not available in Mac. I had hoped that this would let me load the drivers that worked on my desktop but it appears that Parallels prints through the Mac set-up as a "shared" printer

    The HP is connected by a printer port to USB cable and the Canon is wireless.

    I really don't want to go back. Any suggestions?

    Thanks
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    I can assure you that macOS's printer support is infinitely nicer than Windows'! The problems you've encountered are probably because they're much older printers and don't have Sierra drivers. It's just as likely you could encounter similar hiccups if you tried to run them on Windows 10.

    For the MX870 you can reinstall the drivers to hopefully get all the print options. This wouldn't involve adding the printer again: http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/4/0100005684/02/mcpd-mac-mx870-11_7_1_0-ea17_2.dmg

    With any luck that should work. However there isn't an official Sierra driver for your Canon printer so there's no guarantee.

    Similarly the last driver for the HP printer was written in 2005; just to give you an idea how old that is, it was before Apple even moved to Intel processors! Driver is here: http://whp-hou4.cold.extweb.hp.com/pub/softlib/software4/lj606/lj-29264-1/ljlegacy-en.sit

    I know you did reinstall the drivers from the manufacturer's website, but when you reinstall the above, you won't have to add/remove the printers before doing this.

    Hope this works, though I wouldn't hold out much hope due to the age of the printers/drivers.
     
  3. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #3
    I hate to say it but...dude....buy a new printer.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    I have to disagree, I find that I can get drivers for older printers much easier in Windows then OS X.

    Printers (and scanners) is the one area that I think Apple could definitely improve upon. When using my scanner, that's a few years old, I have to boot into Windows because in windows 10 I have updated software and drivers for that scanner, not so in OS X.
     
  5. SarcasticJoe Suspended

    SarcasticJoe

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    The HP printer was discontinued already in the 90s so I'm pretty sure you're not going to find even halfway decent support for it even under Windows unless you move to Windows 98 or something. Since then driver support seem to have relied on generic drivers rather than anything made specially for it. Only OS that might have good support for it is Linux, but that's mostly because something like 80% of people who use Linux are some form of developers/engineers and they've simply created their own third party drivers. The funny thing about Linux is that you always find it supporting the most rate things (like old printers and scanners) straight out of the box.

    As for the Canon, they're known to leave their drivers by the wayside rather quickly so I wouldn't be surprised if this 7-year-old printer isn't all that well supported under Windows either. I should know seeing how I own a printer from around the same time and it's scanner side is only properly supported under Linux thanks to third party drivers that ship with the Linux kernel.

    You do know that the drivers you're talking about are made by the companies who made the printers? There's not all that much Apple can do about them being substandard except start writing their own, which it not only a hell of a lot of work, you also need to reverse engineer them a tad, which can become a source of legal troubles if the companies who made the printers find out.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    That's my experience, at least on the OS X side. I'm able to get drivers for my old canon stuff on Windows 10
     
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    Fair point about drivers and legacy printers, but that's a lot to do with the OEM driver support.

    With regards to printer support on macOS automatically pulling drivers in no time at all (without having to go through Windows Update as W7/8/10 does), how easily you can add them, or to quickly search visible nearby printers, and how it's set up; well, it's infinitely nicer and more intuitive on macOS than it is on Windows.

    The amount of times I've seen Devices & Printers indefinitely loading with that stupid green bar, even after disabling/restarting the Bluetooth service or setting it to Manual -- ridiculous to think that will affect it, but that's the problem with condensing every single connected device into one place. If one's having beef, the whole house of cards fall down. And printers are horrible to set up through the Metro app. So many ridiculous bloated issues on Windows.

    But again fair point; I wasn't particularly clear on what I meant. Any modern printer will be infinitely easier to set up on macOS than it would on Windows. Legacy ones, not so much, though again due to OEM drivers and their legacy support.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I won't disagree with that assessment, but the point remains that since OS X 10.0, manufacturers have been quick to drop driver support, slow to produce drivers. The bottom line is that I find it more difficult to work in OS X in some circumstances.
     
  9. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #9
    Yeah, agreed. Though hypothetically if OEMs offered the same driver support to macOS as they did to Windows, there wouldn't be a question which OS is the nicer system for working with printers :D

    Oh well, it can only go up from here as the Mac marketshare increases.
     
  10. Pretorien thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    #10
    Thanks to all for your comments. Incidentally, I am still using El Capitain. I followed the link and reloaded the Canon driver - it was the same one I had been using. Further exploration turned up an interesting observation: The availability of functions depends on the program that I am printing from. For example, printing on the Canon from Firefox offers most of the functions although is a very different format than under Windows (pull down menus etc.) but when I tried to print from Photos, my only choices are print size and paper type (plain, glossy etc.) no quality options, b/w or color etc.

    I am thinking about a new printer - just hate to give up a pair of good workhorse units both of which have trouble-free paper handling (In my experience, the Achilles heel of many printers)
     
  11. Cristim74 macrumors member

    Cristim74

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    #11
    I can relate to this isue regarding missing options in macOS printer drivers compared to their Windows counterpart.
    I have a Canon MX340 multifunction printer at home that was bought in 2010. I know it's quite old, but it looks and functions impecably and is more than enough for my current home needs.
    In the macOS driver I can't find the option for manual duplex printing. And others. None of these are missing from the Windows 10 driver.
    I know the drivers are written by Canon, but Apple should do something to motivate them to improve the drivers.
     
  12. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #12
    Like what?
     
  13. ZapNZs, Mar 29, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #13
    I have an older HP and a newer Canon (different models tho), both connected using USB 2.0. I had issues with both, and was able to resolve them.

    In regards to the Canon when printing, in order to change the settings, I need to select "Open PDF Preview" and change the settings from this popup window - the standard print screen will show the settings but NOT allow changing them. Installing the Canon software (with that 90 degree angle of blurry App icons) made no difference.

    In regards to the HP, I never had issues until El Cap. What was happening in my case was that the HP I have has a feature called Smart Install. This feature is infuriating because it does not play nice with Mac, and both Apple and HP Mac software CANNOT disable it. What I had to do was boot into a Windows XP VM, then plug the printer in, select to connect the printer to the VM, install the HP software for Windows, go through the Windows print settings, change the auto-power off settings to NEVER, and then use an App in XP called HP SMART INSTALL UTILITY to disable Smart Install. At that point, El Cap stopped losing the ability to recognize the printer. For whatever reason, this issue did not present itself until like 10.11.2 or .3 or .4. I'm not sure if this is your issue but in case it is, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. (Note that I use VMWare Fusion, which may work differently with printing than parallels, as if I first boot the VM and then connect the printer, it allows me to connect directly to the VM rather than just share.)


    Preferably hit them with several Trident Mark IIs, because the people at HP must have been high on crack cocaine when they made their Mac software for my machine.

    Literally, the quality of their software is comparable to doing special effects editing in MS Paint. I'm talking Plan 9 from Outer Space bad. Even the photos they are using are wrong...
    --- Post Merged, Mar 29, 2017 ---
    I wish I could say that about macOS and my printers. I love my Mac and I love my printers, but there isn't a lot of supportive love between each of them. :(
     
  14. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #14
    Well, that's a classic, at least! I don't try to do anything complicated with a printer, and no printer more than a couple years old, so I haven't run into trouble yet.
     
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #15
    HP may have gotten much better with Mac since, given it is an older printer and, for whatever reason, I feel that it's only relatively recently than many accessory Makers realized that Mac Users, while comprising a much smaller share of all computer Users, tend to spend a lot of money on tech (so investing in good Mac integration = them making $$$$$.)

    I would have upgraded it a while back, but one third party company makes $19 toner cartridges that do over 3k pages in a black that is even deeper than the OEM toner. It's running cost is so low, and I know for a fact that a certain 3rd party toner works well, that I feel I have a good thing going.
     

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