Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 14:03 UTC
In the News Hard to believe, but articles are popping up at business websites claiming that venerable Hewlett-Packard may fail. In their most recent fiasco, HP wrote off a loss of $8.8 of their $11.1 US billion acquisition of Autonomy and have alleged fraud in the deal. Revenue is down 7% from a year ago and the stock has hit a 10-year low. The company is laying off 27K employees but that may not be enough. Some speculate HP might be broken up into parts with buy-outs involved. This article from last May offers a good in-depth analysis of how all these problems came to pass.
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RE: Poor Support or Product
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 16:39 UTC in reply to "Poor Support or Product"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I had an extraordinary conversation with an HP tech when trying to troubleshoot why a client's 5610 wifi printer kept disconnecting from the local network.

A Wi-Fi printer? Now I'm no genius, but I figured years ago that that would be a problem without ever trying it (and I never wasted my time, for that reason).

Whatever happened with using good old wired connections to all your important always-available peripherals like printers, and then accessing them either over a wired or wireless network connection, depending on what interface the computer has that's connecting to it? Ethernet and serial buses never went extinct, and many routers these days even have USB ports, making it possible to connect a printer using either method directly to your router and accessible on the network.

The client took it back and bought a Canon - end of problem.

Could have easily tried a better, more traditional, more reliable connection to your network in the first place... Wi-Fi can be anything *but* reliable. In my experience, it's like 70/25 between working inadequately and not working at all. The remaining 5 percent? Actually working well with a relatively solid connection. Wi-Fi drivers are often crap, and I wouldn't be surprised if that was the printer's problem. Available "clean" space in the 2.4 GHz frequency band in many areas is crap, too, although if another printer worked it probably wasn't interference.

With a computer you just have to wait for an updated driver to become available and install it... with a peripheral like a printer, you'd probably have to do a firmware update (much more risky).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Poor Support or Product
by jello on Fri 23rd Nov 2012 18:33 in reply to "RE: Poor Support or Product"
jello Member since:
2006-08-08

WiFi printers enable you to have one printer for the whole house while having several computers and laptops in different rooms. (used by different people)

As an HP printer owner that uses it only in WiFi mode let me tell you this: the weak point of these printers are the drivers.

Once in a while we loose connectivity to the printer with two different Windows 7 laptops, while printing from a MacBook never fails...

Reply Parent Score: -1

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

a wired printer enable you to have one printer for the whole house while having several computers and laptops in different rooms. (used by different people)

Wireless is nothing but trouble, plug the printer into the network, and there at least 3 different ways to share that with other computers in the house, no wifi needed.

Reply Parent Score: 4

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

WiFi printers enable you to have one printer for the whole house while having several computers and laptops in different rooms. (used by different people)

Eh... so does an Ethernet-connected printer, and even one connected with USB if you set up a network share on the host computer or (better yet) just connect it directly to your router... and it does so much more reliably...

As an HP printer owner that uses it only in WiFi mode let me tell you this: the weak point of these printers are the drivers.

I'm confused. Was your response directed at me, or the original poster? Because I already stated that Wi-Fi drivers, in general, are crap...

Of course, I'll probably continue to get modded down for stating the facts, but--well, I guess the truth hurts some people. I'm not saying to drop all wireless connections... hell, I use Wi-Fi all the time on my phone (beats the hell out of cellular Internet, and my phone--shockingly--does seem to have solid Wi-Fi drivers). I'm just saying to drop Wi-Fi where it makes sense (ie. buggy drivers or where availability is important; in other words, peripherals like *gasp* printers and scanners).

Edited 2012-11-23 19:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Whatever happened with using good old wired connections to all your important always-available peripherals like printers, and then accessing them either over a wired or wireless network connection, depending on what interface the computer has that's connecting to it? Ethernet and serial buses never went extinct, and many routers these days even have USB ports, making it possible to connect a printer using either method directly to your router and accessible on the network.


Wifi printers have the same appeal as wifi itself: no need to be physically connected with a cable.

Obviously that's possible without having the printer itself connected via wifi (network printer, printer shared over the network using a PC that can be accessed via the wifi network). The issues are that: many people only have a laptop these days & aren't interested in getting a desktop just to share a printer over the network. And there are many consumer-grade printers available now that have wifi support, but lack a physical ethernet jack, because most printer makers seem to consider that a business-class option (AKA they can charge an artificial premium for it).

The primary issue I have with wifi printers is that the interface for joining the wireless network tends to be terrible. I remember setting one up a few years ago for someone who had an older router that only supported WEP - entering a WEP key with a 2-button interface isn't exactly my idea of user-friendly.

Reply Parent Score: 6

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Wifi printers have the same appeal as wifi itself: no need to be physically connected with a cable.

You might not want to forget to plug in your power cord, or you'll have a hell of a time getting that "wireless" printer to work... how's that for wireless, eh?

Obviously that's possible without having the printer itself connected via wifi (network printer, printer shared over the network using a PC that can be accessed via the wifi network). The issues are that: many people only have a laptop these days & aren't interested in getting a desktop just to share a printer over the network. And there are many consumer-grade printers available now that have wifi support, but lack a physical ethernet jack, because most printer makers seem to consider that a business-class option (AKA they can charge an artificial premium for it).

Does anyone actually read through any of the posts before they post themselves? I'll just mention one last time: USB and USB-capable routers. No need for a dedicated host computer to be turned on with the printer; no need for a Wi-Fi printer for the printer to be available wirelessly over the network. The end.

I think I'm done here, because I keep having to repeat the same shit over and over, because it seems almost no one has actually read what I have already posted several times now. My point has been made, plain as day; if people don't want to hear it or can't comprehend it for whatever reason, oh well.

Reply Parent Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I remember setting one up a few years ago for someone who had an older router that only supported WEP - entering a WEP key with a 2-button interface isn't exactly my idea of user-friendly.

Heh, you had it easy. Try a 48-character WPA2 password including capitals, numbers, and punctuation. That's just one of several reasons why, when I actually need a printer (believe it or not I don't actually need one right now) I'll be getting either a USB or Ethernet printer and an Airport Express or other print server to go along with it. It's much easier to set up and diagnose when there's a problem, and I don't have to pay a premium for Wi-Fi printers and, even though I'll pay extra for the router or print server, they can perform other functions as well. More for my money, and that's always a plus.

Reply Parent Score: 4