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Feb 19 2012

That didn’t work: Samsung sucks

Remember that I complained about an obnoxious bug in the Mac OS, which was traced to the Samsung printer driver? I was gratified to see that the Mac update mechanism announced an upgrade to that printer driver (is it possible they actually pay attention to complaints on the web?), so I installed it tonight.

In case you were anxiously awaiting a bug fix yourself, I’ll tell you…it didn’t work. I’m watching printtool eat up all my memory right now, and am about to shut it down and go to bed.

(And you know what? If any idiots start pointless, stupid OS flame wars in this thread, I’ll delete you in the morning, and close thread comments.)


Aaaaand…of course I had to delete a half-dozen comments this morning, although it wasn’t as bad as I feared.

I also had some helpful email: at the suggestion of a correspondent, I also killed this stupid little startup item called SPanel that was installed when I got the printer. It’s behaving so far this morning.

Lots of people suggested that I simply drop-kick the printer into the nearest landfill, which may happen. I don’t trust it anymore; I’m reluctant to use the goddamned thing, because I feel like everytime I fire it up I have to monitor CPU activity to see if it is bleeding memory again, and I have to restart my computer afterwards…whereas I typically go months without a shutdown or restart.

Bottom line: treat Samsung devices as equivalent to vectors for viruses that will corrupt your system and degrade performance significantly. I’ll never buy anything from Samsung ever again — they’ve got plenty of competitors so there’s no reason to risk struggling with their incompetence.

94 comments

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  1. 1
    sqlrob

    What about setting up an Automator or cron job to kill the process when it takes up too much CPU?

    Haven’t touched OS X in a while, so I can’t help you with the details, sorry.

  2. 2
    Zeno

    OS flame wars are abysmally stupid, but some people can’t resist them. Try harder.

    We’re all in this together, since technology helps and hinders everyone. (Now we hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” — or not.)

  3. 3
    Glen Davidson

    If any idiots start pointless, stupid OS flame wars in this thread

    You expect people to tell us directly that they have no lives?

    Glen Davidson

  4. 4
    andyo

    I saw this in some forum ages ago. After reading Zeno’s post as well, I was reminded of it: “the difference between a computer technician and a car mechanic is that the mechanic knows when he’s lying to you”.

  5. 5
    rayray5884

    Not sure if this is a duplicate link or not. Some of the discussions seem to be after your last post. There’s the accepted answer and then some people on the 3rd page that seem to have fixed it in a different way.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3329492?start=0&tstart=0

    Do you scan and copy with it or just print?

  6. 6
    scooterskutre

    I feel your pain. I’ve been with MAC since before the internal hard drive. I finally threw the hammer into the screen and updated to the Big Mac, which is far less corporate.

    You mean like that?

  7. 7
    magistramarla

    And that is why I’m married to a computer science PHD candidate. All I have to do is say “Fix it, dear.”

  8. 8
    anuran

    At this point it might be a good idea to find another printer. It sounds like it’s a Samsung problem. And the lost time and added frustration have to be costing you something.

  9. 9
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Have you tried finding the driver on the Samsung site? Had the same problem with a HP printer until i downloaded the software directly from HP.

    …and for what it is worth…

    @scooterskutre

    MAC = Media Access Control.

    Mac = popular computer made by Apple

  10. 10
    Owlmirror

    Gette thee ayn abbacuss!

    May Godde save us fromm thinne heathen abuckus! We shude onlie use cownting-bowrds, as owr forfathers did!

    Nay! Nay! Ther bee a devise newley broght fromme yon Ammerikays! It be cald qipus! It hath open cords!

  11. 11
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    abbacuss!… abbacuss!!

    Satan’s tool!

    Are not the fingers that God did giveth enough?

  12. 12
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    yubal, yutwit. PZ helpfully posted a quick update on a tech problem, for the benefit of anyone following the previous discussion.

    So sorry it was horribly weak and boring to you, but I do seem to have missed the part where someone held a gun to your head to make you read it and then type out a lengthy reply.

  13. 13
    Jafafa Hots

    Printer drives are a bane for ALL OSes.

  14. 14
    robro

    I’ll second rayray’s support community link. There’s at least one developer in that thread, perhaps even an Apple person. There are two key suggestions:

    • delete the printer and re-add it in System Preferences, instead of just installing the update

    • fix permissions — I don’t follow the procedure given in the thread, but doing this via the HI is documented in the help and the intertubes.

    Then there’s the obvious: restart your computer, cycle your printer…maybe voodoo, but it would be a standard support recommendation.

    However, this problem appears to be a memory leak in Samsung’s driver and voodoo won’t fix that. If the new driver doesn’t solve the problem, they’ll need to churn out another fix. Could be some days. If it’s an older printer, could be a lower priority for them.

    Interestingly, there’s a suggestion in the thread that the memory leak is in something called Smart Panel…hahaha! Those folks just kill me. Never, ever name a software product “Smart”.

  15. 15
    andyo

    well yubal, as long as it makes you feel superior…

  16. 16
    Enkidum

    Yeah, I foresee some deleted posts in the a.m.

  17. 17
    scooterskutre

    I’ve been hammering religion on the radio for years but I can’t be heard on iTunes, filtered out by the Apple tunes collaboration with record companies. My program is broadcast over the airwaves, and royalties are already paid but iTunes doesn’t get their cut, so SteveJob burn in hell, asshole.

    acksisofevil.org/innerside.html

  18. 18
    wayne23

    Jeebus, you’d think the true believers wouldn’t be here but bring up OS wars and out they come. Snore.

  19. 19
    chrislawson

    Hi, scooterskutre,

    I’m not going to defend Apple as some bastion of saintliness, but I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here. iTunes links to thousands of free podcasts and does so without charge to the podcaster.

    If iTunes won’t carry your podcast, I imagine it’s because you either didn’t set it up properly or your podcasts violated the iTunes terms of service (which I’m not going to defend; personally I think the exclusion of “erotica” is absurd and virtually impossible to enforce in a fair manner). But it doesn’t come down to giving Apple a cut. You can even place advertising in your podcast without having to pay Apple a cent.

    http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html

  20. 20
    mas528

    PZ I’m sorry that it didn’t fix the problem.

    If you have some need of a workaround. Though…

    Caveat:
    I am mostly a windows guy but I used to admin solaris.

    The cron job mentioned earlier is a great idea, or create a small daemon (I’d use bash) that monitors the memory usage of the driver every 5-10 minutes and kills and restarts it if it goes out of control.

    From what I understand about “recently in use memory” in Darwin, you may have to reset the permissions too. Since there is a gui tool for that there will probably be a command line tool for it too.

    Then place it in the startup scripts.

    I’m pretty sure that Darwin does not use the “init” style of runlevels though.

    I have done this sort of script on SunOs, Solaris, and Windows server.

    It is also possible that the Mac already has a program that will do all of that already.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a mac to make my suggestion more specific. But OSx is a Unix variant.

  21. 21
    Daniel Waddell

    Sometimes you have to cut your losses, I’d throw it away and buy a new one supported by Mc Apple. It sounds like a never ending headache to me.

  22. 22
    John Morales

    That people confuse applications with the operating system on which they run hardly surprises me.

    (Yes, printer drivers are applications)

  23. 23
    andyo

    At the next ink change a new printer probably is more economical to buy anyway. Those ink prices are criminal.

  24. 24
    Utakata

    @chrislawson of 24:

    With all due respect, not sure you want to give this scooterskutre the time of day after posting this over on the other thread:

    “I’m just trying to get out of this goddam elevator, won’t some hot chick please excuse my transgressions for Richard? He’s a horseman and I even met him once. That’s worth at least one grab-a-boob.”

    …I think he’s trolling at best. Just saying.

  25. 25
    Philip Langmuir

    PZ, you should consider switching to Plan 9. No one writes Plan 9 printer drivers, so memory leaks will be a thing of the past!

    /terrible advice

  26. 26
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    yubal, my point is that PZ does not have to please you. Yet writing a long screed about how boring and useless it is was somehow preferable to just scrolling past and ignoring it? The topic does not matter.

    I wasn’t actually much interested, either, but I hasppened read it while I was in a slow spot at work. I assume there was a conversation being continued – hey guys, I tried X and it didn’t work. Whatevs.

    You, though, are annoying.

  27. 27
    Anders

    I’d demand a return on that printer from samsung/the retailer “This printer fucks up my computer” its a faulty product. You didnt get what you payed for.

  28. 28
    nms

    two ideas from the support thread linked by #5:

    Even though you’ve installed the new driver, the printer might still be using the old one. This post describes how to switch drivers manually.

    If that doesn’t work (or you already did that or whatever), you could try removing this “Smart Panel” utility that apparently runs printtool. I’d suggest archiving it before you do in case you need it for something later.

  29. 29
    petrander

    Oooooh! PZ grumpy grampa.

    That is what computer problems do to a person.

  30. 30
    AJS

    Next time, buy a printer with PostScript in hardware. Unix (that includes Mac OS, Linux, Solaris, all the BSDs and Android) uses PostScript as its native printing system. If the printer already speaks PostScript, then there is no need to convert the PostScript output generated by an application to whatever the printer expects natively. Windows and its applications don’t speak PostScript natively; but there is a very good Windows driver for PostScript printers, available gratis, which will certainly keep you going till you get a proper computer.

    Also, PostScript in hardware is a bit of a shibboleth: this feature is never found on crap printers. Manufacturers have to choose whether to licence a paid-for implementation of the language, or use a GPL implementation and ship a Source Code CD with the printer. Either way costs more to implement than using metal instead of plastic for a few critical parts.

  31. 31
    DLC

    Listen you bastards, you all know the best OS is a slate on the side of your cave wall, and a piece of chalk. Not just any chalk either, but good English chalk! Now go thee and Syntax error no more.

  32. 32
    'Tis Himself

    nms #35

    <blockquote<Even though you’ve installed the new driver, the printer might still be using the old one.

    This was my thought as well. Dump the old printer driver and reinstall the printer with the new driver. That might make a difference.

  33. 33
    unbound

    Third party drivers tend to be the root of many problems for both PCs and Macs. Looks like there is a Samsung driver that is the root cause for most people with the problem PZ is describing. First priority should be to update any third party driver, and, if that fails, uninstall the third party drivers altogether.

  34. 34
    Leo T.

    As someone with an Android phone, I can safely say that nothing good ever comes of Samsung writing drivers for anything.

  35. 35
    PZ Myers

    Killing the process doesn’t work; I’ve done that manually, and it just bounces back and starts leaking all over again.

    Throwing out the printer and buying another is an expensive solution that I’m not quite ready to do right now. I can say that I will never buy another Samsung device ever again.

  36. 36
    zb24601

    PZ,

    If this problem didn’t happen with the previous printer driver, you could try reloading the older driver from Time Machine, or another backup. (You do backups don’t you!)

    Or you could get a different printer.

    If this has already been suggested, I’m sorry to repeat, but I could not keep reading the comments on the last thread, the signal to noise ratio was unbearable.

    Good luck!

  37. 37
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    I got a Macbook Pro a year or so ago for school, and I’ve noticed the past month or two that it’s been super slow. I just had several unrelated things repaired by Apple but it’s still slow, so that crap had nothing to do with it. My memory and CPU usage also seems to be unreasonably high.

  38. 38
    jamessweet

    (And you know what? If any idiots start pointless, stupid OS flame wars in this thread, I’ll delete you in the morning, and close thread comments.)

    Why would we have an OS flame war when we could argue about what really matters: vi or emacs?

  39. 39
    Emily

    Well, my knowledge is limited since I use Linux, not Mac, but Mac is a Unix-based OS, like Linux, under the hood (BSD based, I believe). I would have to agree with all the advise stated above, to try uninstalling the old driver, manually switch to the new one, etc.

    I’d suggest uninstalling all the drivers and software for the printer, then go online and get the latest driver, and install only the driver. Don’t install any extra software that comes with it.

    And if that fails, install CUPS ( Common Unix Printing System ( Not very common since the commercial Unixes tend to not use it )) for Mac and try the open source drivers, because, it can’t hurt to try switching to the well-polished Open Source Unix printing system, right?

  40. 40
    Emily

    The CUPS thing is a very, very, last ditch thing, don’t try it unless you’re about ready to throw your printer out a window and be done with it.

  41. 41
    Zeno

    Does Samsung know about this thread? Would Samsung like a happy ending in which PZ gets to post a report on how Samsung product support people fell all over themselves to solve the problem? Otherwise, it would be a pity if a few million Pharynguloids were embedded with the meme that Samsung is poison. Yeah, that would be quite a shame.

  42. 42
    peterh

    Is there a version of Revo Uninstaller (freeware) that’s MAC compatible? In a PC it does an admirable job of rooting out stray bits, particularly unwanted registry bits, that a program’s own uninstall routine may leave behind & the OS can’t find. It gets things back to a clean state so far as the offending program/driver is concerned.

  43. 43
    carbonbasedlifeform

    Why would we have an OS flame war when we could argue about what really matters: vi or emacs?

    That’s easy, emacs. Although you can expect to find vi on any Unix system, so you had better know it.

    I have a Compaq running Windows 7, and an HP Laserjet printer. I can only print something from Word. If I try to print from some other application, it will tell me to select a printer, but the Laserjet is not accepted if I select it.

    I tried downloading another driver from HP, but doing that made the computer think that I now had another, albeit non-existent, printer. I finally got rid of that one, by calling up regedit and removing all references to it in the registry.

    I really wish I could print from my PC.

  44. 44
    jamessweet

    That’s easy, emacs. Although you can expect to find vi on any Unix system, so you had better know it.

    That’s precisely my opinion, so I guess no flame war today. Oh well…

    Though I will say, I resisted learning how to copy-and-paste in vi for YEARS. But I at least learned how to edit, delete, and save. heh…

  45. 45
    abb3w

    …so, if pointless, stupid OS flame wars are off-limits for the thread, how about pointless, stupid printer manufacturer flame wars?

    (HP makes pretty good laser printers, with pretty solid driver support. Their inkjets and all-in-ones tend to be OK. Their laptops, desktops, and tablets… have I mentioned they make good laser printers?)

  46. 46
    chuckv

    I agree with the idea of getting rid of the printer. Sell it if you can (maybe their Windows driver is better behaved so you can sell it with good conscience to a Windows user). I’m not an Apple user, so I cannot suggest an alternative.

    It’s not Apple’s fault Samsung is incompetent.

  47. 47
    ffakr

    come on,.. do I at least get credit [a pass] for intentionally being an idiot? Is that better or worse than having your idiocy be beyond your control?

    I do apologize for one thing, I didn’t bother to look at any responses after throwing the last bomb. My mischievous nature got the better of me and I threw the bomb in and closed the door. That was pretty lame on my part.

    I may go back though just to see if they’re any relevant feedback to my shot-in-the-dark suggestion. Apparently not, but I’m curious none-the-less.

    Steven.

  48. 48
    andyo

    I’ve always only considered 2 brands of printers, Canon and Epson, but I had photography in mind. Never had drivers troubles (Win XP through 7), but I think Epson hits you with the inks price worse. Their printers used to use pigment inks, which clog more easily but colors last longer. Still in hindsight I should have gotten a Canon.

    But I’ve read good things about HP printers too.

  49. 49
    cyberCMDR

    Whatever you do, don’t get Lexmark. I had one that I fought with for years; finally gave it to one of the kids. They threw it away…..
    It wasn’t because it didn’t work, but each time you had to get the configuration just right. It would take way too much time to do a simple print job. Perhaps it was because they were new to making wireless printers, but MAN that thing was a pain.

  50. 50
    andyo

    (And I do like HP as a brand, like their laptops and PCs. Would buy an Envy.)

  51. 51
    cyberCMDR

    Currently I’ve been using a Canon PIXMA MX860. Works well with our Windows systems. Setting it up in Linux is a little more challenging, but not difficult. I assume that it has software for working with a Mac. The usual bloatware GUI interface for scanning, printing, faxing, etc. We’ve been happy with it.

  52. 52
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    But I’ve read good things about HP printers too.

    I give a thumbs up for HP printers. I still have their DeskJet 710c, works fine even at 10+ years old. Not for anything fancy, but I’ve found it gives much better quality than some newer, but crappy printers.

  53. 53
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Here’s the thing about desktop printers, and I know way too much about them I’ve been on a campaign to eliminate them from our company.

    They are built to fail. I can’t say for sure that it is done on purpose but it sure as hell seems this way. Unless you’re dropping bigger bucks for the higher end printers you should just plan on replacing them every couple years if you put any sort of volume through them. I’m pretty sure the printer manufacturers make all their profit on toner. The printers aren’t worth shit.

    Now it also seems that some of the drivers that these companies release aren’t worth shit either.

    I’ve had decent luck with HP drivers and Lexmark when using them in a terminals server environment and on some desktops but a lot of the other manufacturers seemingly give drivers about as much thought as I do to the value of Britney Spears music.

  54. 54
    littlejohn

    Most newspapers use Windows PC’s to handle copy and Macs to handle layout, so I’m familiar with both and appreciate the generally better reliability of Macs. But they are massively overpriced due to the lack of competition and most peripherals seem to be made with Windows principally in mind. I’ve found Samsumg products generally to be very good and very affordable, and Consumer Reports generally agrees. Maybe you’re just paying the price for owning a fancy-pants computer.

  55. 55
    jeffran

    On OS X, CUPS is already installed (it’s true, on a Mac just go to http://localhost:631). Apple is a contributor to CUPS and has been for several years now. So, no need to install it or even worry about it.

    Both my HP printers (a 7 year old BW laser and a 1 year old color laser) worked perfectly fine without installing any software. So, instead of reinstalling drivers how about uninstalling and see how the printer works w/o any Samsung software?

    HTH!

  56. 56
    jeffran

    My contribution to the vi/emacs flame war: Definitely vi, or rather vim. I’ve been a user for well over a decade. Nothing against emacs, just not my cup of tea.

  57. 57
    jeffreynordstrom

    This very short animation called “Your printer is a Brat” expreses your sentiments.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQGtucrJ8hM

    P.S. My PC and my Samsung printer have a good working relationship.

  58. 58
    mas528

    Again, caveat: I am not a Mac person and I don’t have any Samsung printers, but this thread holds some promise.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3329492?start=30&tstart=0

    It has some slightly picky steps to install a new driver and delete(!) the old one.

    I linked to the last page of the discussion so as to skip the “its a known problem, please fix it”.

  59. 59
    ck

    Which exact Samsung printer model are we talking about here? I assume it’s a laser since I don’t think Samsung makes any inkjet printers, but there is quite a bit of variation between the low-end models and the higher-end ones. The low-end printers that use host-based printing are probably unsalvageable, but the ones that support PCL or PostScript emulation are supported by things like Gutenprint, which might resolve your problem.

    If you decide to get rid of your printer and get something else, I’d suggest looking at two parts of the spec of any potential replacement.

    Printer language emulation: Since you run MacOS, you’ll want PostScript, but if you can’t find one that you like with PostScript, at least get one that supports PCL 6. Either language requires a certain amount of processing power inside the printer to provide, and will offload printing tasks from your PC to your printer. This is the difference between telling the printer where to put dots for 360,000 points to square inch to print text versus the computer sending the printer the font, and telling it to print text using that font at a particular position on the page.

    OS compatibility: This list should obviously contain the OS you’re looking to print to, but it should also consist of quite a number of others, preferably with varieties of Linux and Unix as well. For Windows, the presence of server versions of the OS is a good sign, as it designates the printer as a business printer instead of just a home use one. Home-use printers are notorious for installing control panels, and monitors, and software of questionable, and all of this can end up with multiple printers refusing to coexist on the same system. System administrators typically won’t stand for this, so the presence of a server OS means the driver only provides what’s necessary, and that it will generally play well with others. I’m not sure if this would translate over to MacOS drivers, but I would be surprised if it does not.

  60. 60
    crocodoc

    No OS flamewars… Hmmm… But this is just too good. And it´s about Linux history (hal was replaced by udev), not MacOS, so please don´t delete this one, PZ!

    root@l:~ service haldaemon stop
    I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Dave.
    root@l:~

  61. 61
    leighshryock

    On the vi/emacs flamewar: I reluctantly use VI (and pull out manuals) when I’m forced to do so.

    As a windows convert, I always found pico/nano much easier to use…

  62. 62
    otrame

    I want to say again how happy I am that I learned not to buy a Samsung printer when I go shopping for one next week. I am, however, very sorry you are having trouble with yours.

  63. 63
    mas528

    Sure, I like HPs, Canons, and Phasers too.

    But why should PZ spend 600 to 1,000 dollars to get another printer?

    He already has one.

    Either the driver itself has a leak, or it is exercising a bug in the OS.

    So either the driver is buggy, the OS is buggy, or the driver needs to workaround the OS bug.

    The Samsung drivers were supposed to be updated in the new patch to lion.

    .They either weren’t, or were but incompletely or the newest drivers introduced a regression. .

  64. 64
    Torish

    If you think a petty is flamewar is bad, imagine how your users felt when you turned their favorite secular blog into cult of Mac blog. Btw, you started it with your unfair jab at Android the other day so don’t pretend you weren’t asking for a flamewar.

  65. 65
    Terska

    I have a new Macbook Pro with Lion. It is constantly hanging and slow as hell. My wife drove over my suitcase with her mini van while I was loading the van with my stuff and it crushed my old Macbook Pro that had Snow Leopard. That machine was awesome. There have been several firmware updates that have helped the Lion machine a little but Lion truly sucks.
    Safari constantly chokes. When I am not getting the spinning pizza of death I get messages that say Safari isn’t loading pages, Do I want to continue to the next web site?
    This is the first Mac I have had that I hate. I want my old one back.

  66. 66
    Terska

    One more thing PZ. Try downloading Onyx and running its utilities. It really helps clean up your system and emptying caches that contain files that cause trouble. It has helped with my Safari issues. When it Safari starts to die I run Onyx again. Onyx also can repair permissions.

  67. 67
    rr

    I wonder if sending the process a SIGSTOP signal is possible, something like kill -s SIGSTOP [process id number]. Hopefully whatever daemon that keeps restarting it will see it’s there, but it won’t be active. Send it a SIGCONT signal to wake it up if you need to use the printer.

  68. 68
    rr

    Also there’s a Mac program called cputhrottle that is supposed to limit cpu use of a process.

  69. 69
    JJ831

    Can you use a generic PostScript (PS) driver with the printer? I’ve had many issues with printer drivers and OSX* and have found that the generic drivers are sufficient if your printer doesn’t have (or you don’t need) any extra bells and whistles.

    *I may be a PC guy myself, but I have absolutely no hate towards Macs,and work with them frequently. Usually these issues are due to the printer manufacturer (or driver writer) and not OSX. HP in the past has had notorious driver issues on OSX, especially for their large format color laser printers

  70. 70
    lordshipmayhem

    I have to be somewhat careful about printers, as I use Linux, and not every printer has Linux drivers. However, most printers do work well – and most of the ancillary crap (like what seems to have been causing PZ’s issues) doesn’t install on Linux.

    For Mac users, for Windows users, for Linux users, for any *nix users, it’s worthwhile to look for reviews and criticisms of the printers you’re interested in. It can help you avoid issues by choosing wisely.

  71. 71
    nakarti

    It’s not just Samsung, and it’s not just OSX: I have had these issues with HP printers, Canon printers, Lexmark printers, and Brother printers. Its shitty do-everything printer accessory programs. With Brother I actively disabled the add-ins, with HP I uninstalled them post-bundle, and with Canon I declined installing them.
    But very likely that Samsung tray crapp is the culprit and killing it is your intermediate solution. The only permanent solution is getting an OS-agnostic network printer (or printer networking device) and dumping the vendors’ toy applications entirely.
    (Linux doesn’t have the printer oem junk, but that’s because you have to write your own driver.)

  72. 72
    Kris

    Emily #40: CUPS is the printing system that OS-X uses. It’s been owned by Apple for a few years now, and the interface presented by Apple is a thin veneer bog standard CUPS. The standard CUPS interface is still there on http://localhost:631/

    That said, because it’s CUPS it should be able to run the open source gutenprint or foo2qpdl drivers, which aren’t likely to have such issues, just fine.

  73. 73
    Moggie

    Torish:

    If you think a petty is flamewar is bad, imagine how your users felt when you turned their favorite secular blog into cult of Mac blog.

    I know, right? Every. Single. Post. If I were you, I’d leave and never return. That’ll show him.

  74. 74
    kentsharkey

    I’ll second the nomination for the Foomatic drivers. I have an orphaned Samsung printer that requires Rosetta to install drivers. So, I switched over to http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/macosx. It might help your problem as well.

  75. 75
    kevinalexander

    Samsung is soooo going to send you a giant screen TV or whatever else they make to get you to retract that.

  76. 76
    JimB

    jamessweet says:
    Why would we have an OS flame war when we could argue about what really matters: vi or emacs?

    A pox on vi.

    Would that be GNU Emacs or Freemacs…

    jeffran says:

    My contribution to the vi/emacs flame war: Definitely vi, or rather vim.

    Sorry dude. I saw it written somewhere. Cthulhu will be eating vi proponents last

    leighshryock says:

    On the vi/emacs flamewar: I reluctantly use VI (and pull out manuals) when I’m forced to do so.

    I can telnet in to the system I have to use vi on. So I telnet in twice, just so i can man vi in one of the sessions…

  77. 77
    toolaenima

    Whatever you do, don’t go for a wireless printer. As someone else said, they’re an extreme pain. I have an HP envy, using windows 7, and every single time I need to print I have to remove the printer from my devices and ‘add new device’, using the ‘add new printer’ option works only about 10% of the time. Also, the thing refuses to scan, except to a USB memory stick. Lately I’ve tried to print from my new laptop and my page ends up taking up only 1/4 of the printer page…..

    When 80% of your time on assignments is spent trying to get them to print, it’s time to dropkick that junk into the scrap heap.

    Say NO to wireless printers!@

  78. 78
    chemicalscum

    As has been pointed out both Macs and Linux systems use CUPS (originally the Common Unix Printing System). After Apple adopted CUPS it meant that Linux users could use any printer that had a CUPS driver, a good thing for us Linux users (no we don’t have to write our own drivers).

    CUPS uses an extended PPD (PostScript Printer Description) file which defines the printer’s Postscript capabilities and in its extension allows for PostScript printing to non-PostScript printing devices, by directing output through a CUPS filter. There are a Raster Image Processor (“RIP”) filters that convert PostScript or image files into bitmaps that can be sent to a raster printer. So the same PPD file is used for Macs, Linux and other Unix based systems.

    The problem is that some manufacturers such as Samsung want to install all the unecessary OEM crap that they install on Windows systems. Though the Samsung unified linux printer driver does not cause the same problems as the Mac driver, some users have wanted to get rid of the extra stuff that may interfere with the stability of your computer. Ubuntu users discussed that here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1591873

    You need to extract the PPD file and the “rastertosamsung” filter from the printer driver and install them from the CUPS web interface that krismaglione mentions: http://localhost:631/admin

    This approach should work on OSX systems too and could get rid of all the memory leak problems problems from the Samsung printer driver.

  79. 79
    piero

    Epson. Epson. Epson.
    Never had any trouble with their drivers. It print astonishing photographs. And I can change individual cartridges as they run out. Plus, they are reasonably priced (by which I mean they are a rip-off, but less so than other brands).

    By the way, I get paid one cent for every person that reads this post…

  80. 80
    Therrin

    You must have bought the model with the embedded environmental activist. It’s only trying to get you to cut back!

  81. 81
    RW Ahrens

    I’d try the uninstall/reinstall route first. Just for grins, reboot in-between. But if you need to buy new, buy one of the new HP all in ones, just don’t count on the wireless to be problem free – they’re much faster on USB anyway.

    That said – HATE Epson printers. Bought one- used it for a year – something glitched on it and I spent over a month going back and forth with tech support and ended up with them sending me a new one – AFTER I had to pay half price for it! That one lasted about two months before it, too, went south with the same problem.

    Tossed the damn thing and will NEVER buy an Epson again.

    My growing solution to this problem: Print to PDF.

    Anything I need to save, I scan and save as a PDF file. The Mac OS does a wonderful job of turning anything you print, from just about any app, into a PDF file that bears an excellent resemblance to printed output. With Lion, you can even scan your signature and have Preview add the signature to your document, just as if you’ve signed it, so you can even send signed docs via email. (not legal in most places, but its there of they’ll accept it.)

    So there are fewer and fewer reasons for me to print stuff, as PDF files can be emailed so can be distributed to anyone you’ve got an email address for.

  82. 82
    mas528

    Emacs would be great.

    The feature list is fantastic and let’s face it, Lisp.rules.

    But I used to have do some weird keyboard trickery on my VT100 emulator since it had no meta key.
    Something like esc-esc-command-esc.
    So I never learned it.

    I haven’t looked at it for a few years, so things have probably changed.

    VI is in my fingers. So I use VI.

    Mutters something about elderly dogs and tricks.

    But I can’t run “Conway’s Life on VI.!

  83. 83
    Torish

    I know, right? Every. Single. Post. If I were you, I’d leave and never return. That’ll show him.

    I suppose scientific journals shouldn’t mind publishing “creation science” as long as it isn’t. Every. Single. Article. That’s silly of course. There is something called expectations and it’s disappointing when they aren’t met. Does that mean we should wage a campaign to correct it? Sometimes maybe, but in PZ’s case it merely calls for a sigh and maybe some negative comments.

  84. 84
    gworroll

    When you get around to a new printer, I’ve had very good luck with my Canon.

    In the meantime, if the printer is getting too ornery, you might want to look into Linux drivers. The install process is a bitch, and reliability can get iffy, but it often does work. I had to go this route when I first switched to the Mac. I wouldn’t recommend this if you could avoid it, but it might be an option if all else fails.

  85. 85
    sunsangnim

    Wow. Here in South Korea, saying you hate Samsung is almost as bad as saying you like Kim Jong Eun.

  86. 86
    kaleberg

    That’s sad to hear. I got burned by two or three Samsung lemons some years back including a converting VHS player and the lone Mac power supply I ever had die on me. I stopped buying Samsung, but over the years I have been hearing good things about them. I figured that they might have gotten the quality problems worked out, but I think I’ll give them another few years before I put take them off of my no-buy list.

  87. 87
    Carlitos@LX

    “I’ll never buy anything from Samsung ever again”

    Sure you will. You have to.

    Samsung is a mega-huge-corporation that makes pretty much everything.

    You’re very unlikely to find a electronic device that doesn’t have at least one component made by Samsung: by cost, Samsung makes about half of components of all iDevices.

  88. 88
    davem

    It all depends what PZ wants out of his printer in terms of quality/volume. I only use mine for low-volume stuff. The last time I had to get another printer, my Linux guru told me to just buy an HP. I paid just 40 pounds (UK) for a HP Desket F4280 copier/scanner/printer combo. I could have paid £30, but that one had smaller ink bottles, so it was worth the difference. Performance is really good for what I want. At those prices, if it blows up, I don’t care.

    On my linux system, I just plugged it in, and threw the software CD away. Nothing else. Truly plug-n-play. MAcs can’t be that different, if they have CUPS installed.

  89. 89
    herp

    Every time Samsung is brought up all I can think about is my computer monitor, which I love. I will never think of them as a printer company.

    I have always had success with HP for laser printers. They have been leading in laser printers for years, and the current lot shows amazing resolution and color spectrum. For ink jets, specifically for photos, I would go with an Epson. I have always had the best quality color images from those printers. This has been true for the small home use version up to the large poster size printers. Epson has also been water resistant and archival in quality for years. Ink Jet goes to them hands down.

    Now I’ve seen Canon and Brothers, both of which are okay and I amount to ‘throw away” printers most of the time. All-in-ones, if you really need it, are usually good with Epson and HP. They both have their perks; the only decision between the two, in my experience, is laser versus inkjet.

    Unfortunately I cannot help with the Mac-Samsung incompatibility issue, but as was said above, is CUPS is installed HP is surely a plug-and-play device.

  90. 90
    brianmurray

    Fun factoid, many printers that support Postscript will work just fine using the “generic” print driver. You can give that a try.

    Of course, some printers actually bypass the whole CUPS print system and use binary drivers. They are an abomination, and should be stopped. You can usually distinguish them if they have an x86 vs an x64 (x86_64) version. If thats the case, toss the printer, as the manufacturer doesn’t care about OS X.

  91. 91
    Icaarus

    PZ. Really sorry (and surprised) to hear that my fix did not work.

    The suggestion tossed around by stevenbandyk last time. Add the printer as a PCL6 or PS generic printer, no samsung drivers, should work in the interm.

  92. 92
    Azuma Hazuki

    Another vote for HP here. They usually work flawlessly with the CUPS moeity, even under Linux and *BSD.

    Also, to the vi vs emacs flamewar above: you’re both wrong. Vi is a form of torture and emacs is a neat OS with a lousy editor. Nano/pico is the one true editor!

  93. 93
    Crissa

    A vote against HP here. While their printers are great – their drivers are the worst in the business. There’s a reason Apple stopped selling them.

    HP tries to make their driver into a MEGA DRIVER PACKAGE which supports all their printers, which it does none of this well. Each driver package wants to sit resident in your memory – for no reason – in case it needs to steal your printing away from the default print tools. I have two dying HP printers – they print great, if you connect to them directly. But the network one no longer receives whole pages over the network and the other HP driver whines whenever you put the computer to sleep and so woke the computer back up.

    Epson here. No complaints, worked without pushing. Prolly why they sell them at the Apple store.

  94. 94
    Pseudonym

    Uh, so PZ, did you go through the whole process of installing the new printer driver, removing the printer from the System Preferences panel, and then re-adding it? Or did killing the SPanel app fix the problem? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Have you tried sacrificing a virgin ink cartridge to the printer gods?

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been very happy with my cheap-ass Brother HL-2270DW black & white wireless laser printer. I haven’t had any problems printing from OS X Lion.

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