More Bloody Printers

Today I got into another argument with a network printer. I installed a new computer at a remote location, and they had their own Samsung network printer that I had to connect manually.

Most people that aren’t familiar with Samsungs can’t probably understand why this would be a problem, just go into printers, do a network search, and add the thing. This is indeed the correct procedure for standard network printer, like a Canon for instance, but not for Samsungs.

The last Samsung I had to install was pretty complicated as well, it didn’t show up in the network listings, as that particular model didn’t use IP-addresses but some weird UDP broadcast system that you needed a special “admin” tool to find and configure, both when installing the printer and when installing them for the user. This one, however, was a bit different.

This blasted thing has it’s own IP address, but, when you go to install it, it just smiles at you for 5 minutes and then Windows complains that it can’t connect to the printer. And as I didn’t remember the awkwardness of installing the last one, I spent the next 15-30 minutes troubleshooting the network connections, which consisted mainly of loose handmade network cables (remember my last post?).

Anyhow, finally, after checking cables and other network gear, I remembered the other printer and downloaded the drivers. I tried installing them on the user account by selecting “Run as…” instead of running it under my account, which resulted in the installer freezing 10 minutes in when it called some other part that tried to run without admin privileges (they probably didn’t think of programming in a fail safe or making sure the other process inherited the privileges of the first one). This got me even more frustrated (this all happened just before lunch time) as I hate having to install printer software under the admin account just to find out it doesn’t add the printer for the users and it won’t work to install them there either, then you need to upgrade the user to admin for a while and it’s just such a PITA.

Anyhow, after installing the blasted thing under my admin account, it finally worked, and miracle of all miracles, the installer added the printer for all users, be they domain or local.

So, the point of my endless rant is that why can’t some manufacturers make TCP/IP printers that can be added through the Windows dialogues, when some apparently can, and WHY do they choose these insanely complicated workaround tools for this? I can understand it when it’s one of these UDP machines I’m dealing with, as there’s an actual need for that tool, and it’s quite handy as well (try upgrading a server shared printer with a fixed IP to a static IP from the DHCP and you’ll see what I mean), but WHY OH WHY do they do it with the ones that use TCP?

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