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Old 02-05-2014, 03:23 PM   #21
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Nuts. I am trying to find a printer that has a driver for Windows 2000 Pro and prints 11x17s. I purchased a Brother that was SUPPOSED to do that but so far cannot find a driver.
There is a page: brother.com/E-ftp/WIN2KPRN.html
You never mentioned the model...
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #22
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:03 PM   #23
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I agree with that. But I think what I'm wondering is, why can't the computer process the document down to some standard image that any printer could accept?
For quality printing you don't want to just send down giant images. That kinda works, but it takes memory and bandwidth, so it could be quite slow.

There are basically three types of "stuff" that you want to print: images, text, and vector graphics.

Tossing a jpeg to a printer works great for photos, but not so much for text or vector graphics (like Illustrator output for example).

A printing system like AirPrint lets an app provide which ever "stuff" the app is working with: if it has a jpeg photo, it's a few lines of code for an app to hand this to the printing system and get it printed. But you can also provide vector graphics and text that will look its best on your printer. AirPrint also handles paper handling, color management, and related stuff too. Much more than just putting a jpeg on a USB stick and printing that.
So if I'm getting this, AirPrint sounds like what I'm talking about (though it's proprietary). One generic driver/handler for a bunch of different printers.

If so, what kept this from being done before? I would think it would be beneficial to the printer makers, support groups, etc. I hope some standards group comes up with a non-proprietary printing handler like AirPrint.

-ERD50
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:12 PM   #24
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Yes I have. Their hardware folks said a driver exists, software says no way. I asked if another Brother driver would work. They really didn't answer that specific question.

I wish there were a printer 'chooser' where I could select my requirements and it would tell me what (if) there is a printer available that would do the job.
This might be an okay starting point.

CNET Printer Finder

It's not highly detailed, but might provide a first cut. Part of the problem is that new models come on the market so frequently that it's hard for any "comprehensive" tool to keep up.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:04 PM   #25
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So if I'm getting this, AirPrint sounds like what I'm talking about (though it's proprietary). One generic driver/handler for a bunch of different printers.

If so, what kept this from being done before? I would think it would be beneficial to the printer makers, support groups, etc. I hope some standards group comes up with a non-proprietary printing handler like AirPrint.

-ERD50
I think many manufacturers thought that proprietary was a way to lock in customers. There is also a huge legacy of all supported formats being brought forward, many of these are vendor specific.

I agree certain devices seem to be more agreeable to new hardware. Compare displays to printer drivers, faxes also used to be as problematic.

Of couse SQL is a standard and many DBMS's implement the standards in different ways. Look at a particular vendor that has a different DBMS for several OS/hardware platforms, different syntax to do the same operation.

Still, I would love to see standard groups define and support a base functionality.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:36 PM   #26
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The first PostScript printer, the original LaserWriter, cost $6,995 and used a Motorola 68000 processor (definitely not a RISC chip) and had 1.5 MB of RAM. And only weighted 77 pounds!

Today's printers generally use "systems on a chip" (SoC) that have way more power than the old printers did.

I still have a LaserWriter down in my "boneyard", though it's not one of the original models.
The time frame I had in mind was perhaps later, but I remember at one point many Postscript printers used the Intel i960, which was also a defacto standard RISC chip for use in embedded aerospace applications.

My 1st Postscript printer was made by a defunct company called LaserMaster. It cost me $1400 in 1991, and was basically a reworked HP engine that accepted bit-mapped images transferred from the PC. It was the software driver in the PC that did all the work of translating PS to bit maps. It printed nice pages in 1200dpi, and was the only one that could do that in that price range back then. The company went defunct, and I "lost" this printer when I upgraded from Windows 95.

More recently, I had an HP laser printer that HP only supported up to Windows XP. There's no driver for it with Windows Vista or 7. It is one of those "dumbed down" printers. On the other hand, I also have a couple of HP laser printers that were bought back in the Windows NT days, and they still work with Windows 7. They are "self-contained" printers.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:58 PM   #27
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So if I'm getting this, AirPrint sounds like what I'm talking about (though it's proprietary). One generic driver/handler for a bunch of different printers.

If so, what kept this from being done before? I would think it would be beneficial to the printer makers, support groups, etc. I hope some standards group comes up with a non-proprietary printing handler like AirPrint.

-ERD50
DW's new HP ENVY 4500 printer, which I bought for its AirPrint support, also prints documents that you email to it, at its own email address. That's pretty general purpose, like a memory stick, and nonproprietary. Still, I don't think you can select any print parameters. Still a ways to go.

A common print driver would have to be agreed on by some type of standards committee, like Wi-Fi. And then it would have to keep pace with new developments. A lot of work for no direct profit, but it's been done before when absolutely necessary.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:01 PM   #28
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The first PostScript printer, the original LaserWriter, cost $6,995 and used a Motorola 68000 processor (definitely not a RISC chip) and had 1.5 MB of RAM. And only weighted 77 pounds!
I worked on that. It took forever to print a page, in today's standard.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:16 PM   #29
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...

A common print driver would have to be agreed on by some type of standards committee, like Wi-Fi. And then it would have to keep pace with new developments. A lot of work for no direct profit, but it's been done before when absolutely necessary.
Yes, but I imagine there would be some indirect profit. Not having to support all those different drivers for every OS variation. Far fewer support issues when people have driver issues.

I also think they'd sell more printers. The easier something is to set up and use, the less resistance there is to a purchase. When people have to worry about installing printer drivers, will it work with my OS, how different will the interface be, etc, I bet they just give up and make do with what they have.

As an example, here's a little set up thing that I found was made easier. I buy a lot of the tech stuff for the extended family, and I've been buying a certain model Netgear wireless router (it's easier to help others troubleshoot if we all have the same device, and I learn any quirks). Well the most recent one I bought had a slight (positive) change - it came pre-configured with a unique SSID and unique password, included on a label on the router. Previous models (and other routers I've set up), have some generic SSID (some variant of the companies name usually), and you have to provide the password. This is great - if I have to tell her to reset the thing, I don't have to walk her through resetting the SSID and PW. It's a little thing, but makes it easier to use. Cost them near nothing, but I bet it drives a few extra sales. Maybe others have done this, that was the first I saw of it?

-ERD50
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:44 PM   #30
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It's a lot of work. A LOT of work. I get tired just thinking about it.

I was part of the PostScript/Display PostScript team at NeXT, and worked Graphics and Imaging at Apple. Printers. We has them. There are hundreds of variables in just the image data. Additive or subtractive color. Undercolor removal. How many kinds of black ink or toner are in a printer? What's the inkjet head pattern? What halftone patterns work best with your printer optics? And on and on and on...

A higher level, more abstract page description language like PostScript or PDF is a more portable thing than lower level stuff like raster data. Then the printer manufacturer can optimize how they turn the document data into ink. But, it requires more compute power in the printer, and the ability to Get It Right with regard to all the fiddly details. Line end caps... Overstrike... Font substitution...

It's hard.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:12 PM   #31
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When I ran a small, part-time computer repair and service business, we installed a lot of printers, including many HP series 8000 machines (as a class). Believe it or not, printers are somewhat going away......less and less in our business as pdf files and cloud type transfers are becoming the norm.

We provide a lot of big technical reports to clients worldwide and the way to do it in our business is with a Sharefile site. The only use for printers in our engineering consulting office are for draft reports and occasional color photo printing.

Our printers are becoming non-events these days.

Even at home, the three printers are going silent.

Is this a trend or am I in a dream?
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:09 PM   #32
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Nuts. I am trying to find a printer that has a driver for Windows 2000 Pro and prints 11x17s. I purchased a Brother that was SUPPOSED to do that but so far cannot find a driver.
You may have to find an older model of printer that meets your needs, then get on eBay and find a good used one.

I had a similar situation--old, DOS-based software running on a Windows 98SE machine (and backed up to an Iomega Zip drive), one of the attached printers croaked and we got an identical used one to replace it.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:15 PM   #33
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Here is a thought: DO you have another computer in the house with a more recent OS? If you network them you can attach the printer to that computer and share it to the win2k machine.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:19 PM   #34
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Our printers are becoming non-events these days.

Even at home, the three printers are going silent.

Is this a trend or am I in a dream?
A lot of tech has gotten that way:

I don't really want a larger TV than we already have in the family room.

I print so little these days that I can't even talk myself into one of those $100 laser printers. The ink jet printer we have is fine (shrug) since we only need it once every month or so.

Even my iMac is faster than I need, has more HD space than I need, and has a bigger screen that I really need. And it's almost 4 years old.

Now that I can afford more toys, they aren't worth getting. Harrumph!
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:21 PM   #35
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Nuts. I am trying to find a printer that has a driver for Windows 2000 Pro and prints 11x17s. I purchased a Brother that was SUPPOSED to do that but so far cannot find a driver.
The printer you listed, J5910DW , does list win2000. How are you trying to install it ? what type of port are you connecting it to ( serial, parallel, USB )

Many times the XP/2000 drivers are bundles together. Check the CD and see if there is a folder like win2kxpvista or something similar ( most of the Brother CDs I have looked have something like it ). You may have to do a manual install, the plug-n-play stuff was more iffy back then. The ControlCenter software may or may not work.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:48 PM   #36
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Bought an old 17ppm HP4000 postscript laserjet recently for DMIL. I got tired of trying to support her crappy ink jet. Since I have had the HP4000 of my own (new) for nearly 20 years, I knew it would be good for her. Her Mac recognized it as a postscript printer with no hassles, but I did have the Ethernet interface for it. This printer comes highly recommended and is dirt cheap on ebay (got MIL's for about $60 including shipping, but I did have to buy a $20 toner cartridge that will last between 5 and 10 years). Spent over $1000 for mine new back in the early 1990s.


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Old 02-08-2014, 11:29 AM   #37
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The only win* file I can find on the Brother disk is Windows Installer 3.1 (KB893803-02-x86).
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:41 AM   #38
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The only win* file I can find on the Brother disk is Windows Installer 3.1 (KB893803-02-x86).
Not looking for a file, a folder and it's probably under a folder called Driver

it'll be something like \driver\win2kxp\usa\

You tell windows to look there for the drivers when you manually install the printer.

Note, that is going from previous Brother CDs I have dealt with.

They may have sent you a partial set CD, you can down load the full CD from the brother site
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:03 PM   #39
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I gave up on the Brother printer and purchased a lightly used HP Officejet 7000 wide format. Old enough to catch the OS where we really need it, new enough to transition forward. There are still a few new ones in the aftermarket.
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