[sf-lug] network laser printer

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri May 7 19:54:58 PDT 2010

Quoting Alex Kleider (a_kleider at yahoo.com):

> The Brother HL-2070n and the currently available HL-2070w, the one I'm
> leaning towards, aren't listed but Brother in general seems to have a
> very good reputation in the Linux community. 

Well, you can at least hope that those are sufficiently similar to, say,
the Brother HL-2060, but the latter looks a little iffy
Concerning _that_ printer (and of course the HL-2070n and HL-2070w may
be better), it says "works Mostly", which is not a ringing endorsement.
Recommended driver is hpijs-pcl5e, which is open source and is an
HP-written driver for printers that speak the PCL-5e printing language.
The main flaw seems to be that it maxes out at 600x600 dpi with that
driver -- though a remark _also_ says the printer comes default with
only 8 MB RAM, and that such a low amount of memory doesn't give the
printer enough buffer to image at the full 1200x1200.  Also, with the
hpijs-pcl5e driver, the printer gets 70 points out of 100 for speed --
again, OK, but not a ringing endorsement.

Brother offers proprietary CUPS-compatible PPDs (drivers) for download.
Results with those are not indicated.

Part of my point is that you maybe shouldn't go by just general
reputation of the manufacturer, because that's not going to help you in
the short term if you have a printer from those folks that has driver
problems.  (It might help you in the long term, but waiting years for
good drivers is not a great printing strategy.  ;->  )

Brother HL-2070w is obviously a very recently introduced printer, and 
there is rather little written about its use with open source operating
systems on the Net.  If you luck out with it, great!  I would not
personally go for that.  Really.

> I followed your suggested routine for a couple of the printers
> currently listed on Craig's but again, the specific models weren't
> covered on the www.openprinting.org site.

Glancing quickly through http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sys/ now.

  Used Canon imageCLASS MF3240 Multifunction Laser Printer - $50

In general, multifunction printer/fax/scanner/modem things have tended
to be iffy.  This is basically a glorified low-end fax machine with a
USB port.  I'm not even going to research it further.  (Probably a fair
price, though.)

  HP - P2035N - Network-Ready Black-and-White Laserjet Printer - $150

Hello!  Looks interesting.

1200x1200, ethernet port, 30 ppm nominal, 250 sheet feeder, 16 MB RAM,
USB, PCL-something printing, apparently no built-in PostScript.  
Correct name (not given in the ad) is HP LaserJet p2035n.

Review says this is a rather limited printer in that the 16 MB RAM 
(a real bottleneck) _cannot_ be upgraded.  Bummer.  You can probably 
do better (for $150, anyway), though odds are that retrofitting the
latest HPLIP driver set into your distro will make it work.

Moving along....

  Computer peripherals: laser printers, mice, keyboards - $15 (foster

Printer in question is "HP LaserJet P2015dn incl 2 paper trays"
The "$15", of course, applies just to the keyboard.  For the printer,
seller says "$175 (retail $399)"

http://www.openprinting.org/printer/HP/HP-LaserJet_P2015 says "works
Perfectly", which is what you want to see.  You get 600x600 dpi with the
hplip driver.  PCL5e and PCL6 print languages, plus PostScript 2
emulated.  Parallel(!) and USB.  No built-in ethernet, which sucks.
Trays hold 250 sheets.

If you can justify the $175 hit to your pocketbook, this would seem a
fine printer.  You'd want to keep your eyes open for a compatible
JetDirect card available used or on sale.

HP uses suffixes on its LaserJet models such as "dn" or "n" to indicate
extra features, by the way.  "d"=duplex printing, "n"=network port
(ethernet), "t"=extra paper tray.  So, the openprinting.org page about
the P2015 _does indeed_ address the P2015dn.

   HP 4100N Printer - $50 (mountain view)

Correct name for this printer is HP LaserJet 4100N.
http://www.openprinting.org/printer/HP/HP-LaserJet_4100 says "works
Perfectly".  Network port (thus the N).  PostScript level 3.
Recommended printer is hplip, with which you get 600x600, but you can
also use PostScript drivers, or lots of others.  Holey moley, this
looks like a nice printer.  $50!  I'd take it.  Hell yeah.

You can keep on going, and I'm sure there's lots more.  I was only on
the second page of sfbay.craigslist.org listings.

> (ps unbound works like a charm!)

Glad to hear it.

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