[sf-lug] (forw) Re: new Epson printer. whee.

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Mar 26 16:54:29 PDT 2010

Bobbie Sellers <bliss at sfo.com> wrote:

[About "pipslite" proprietary printing driver and libltdl3 package:]
> It seems it has to be compiled from source code with a patch
> which you have to find searching the groups on the subject.

Should not be strictly necessary.  See the final post in this thread:
(But why put up with that sort of pain, when Gutenprint works and is
open source?)

By the way, I notice that people giving advice about drivers on distro
Web forums, especially the Ubuntu ones, have a lamentable tendency to
recommend proprietary-software solutions without bothering to mention
the restricted licensing -- and often without taking the time to mention
open-source alternatives.  

Please notice that I always try to mention _all_ solutions including the
proprietary ones, and to be clear about which are open source and which

> > But it is going to cost quite a lot per page, in ink cartridge
> > supplies.  Going by experience, you're going to replace the colour
> > cartridge most often -- and please note that the printer will refuse
> > to work unless you have ink in both the B/W and colour cartridges.
> There their are higher capacity cartriges in both color and black.  It
> will not be cheap but few things are but consider that this printer is
> a scanner and I am sure I can get it to work.

It's sometimes a bit of work to guesstimate cost per page before buying
a printer, but IMO quite important to do, if you're going to avoid
supposedly "cheap" equipment that turns out, after purchase, to be
absurdly expensive.  (But even if you can't do the math, it's basically:
Inkjets are very expensive on the supply end unless used very, very

About five years ago, my mother asked my help in buying a printer.  I
said "Get a cheap laser or LED printer for everyday."  She said "Well,
but what if I want to scan in a bunch of old photos and print them in
colour?" I said "When and if you do, then you can go shop for a suitable
colour printer as a secondary device that you carefully do _not_ use

She ignored my advice and bought, as her only printer, a new,
medium-priced inkjet.  It's an Epson, in fact.

Various things have become apparent after the fact that surprised her
but not me:  I already mentioned the fact that Epson printers refuse to
print anything unless you have non-empty cartridges in _both_ the B&W
and colour sockets.  I warned Mom about that -- but she planned to work
around it by avoiding using colour printing except when she really
needed it.  Except, oops, you can't:  If you're printing out a Web page,
for example, there's no way to say "I don't care about the colours;
print this in greyscale."  So, you chew through ink from the colour
cartridge even when you don't want to print in colour at all.

So, now, my mother complains frequently about the cost of inkjet
cartridges, and the fact that they don't last very long (especially the
colour ones).  I always reply "Get a cheap laser or LED printer for

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