Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I can't say it's been any "easier" to connect to my Brother MFC-J4420DW on Fedora as it is on Windows, but it's no harder. Download the installation script from Brother, run it, it asks me for the hostname of my printer and I'm up and running.



> Download the installation script from Brother, run it, it asks me for the hostname of my printer and I'm up and running.

But this is already sounding archaic and difficult isn't it? Just download and run an installation script? Give it the host name? No way a nontechnical user is going to be able to do either of those things.

Why doesn't the printer just appear like it does on my Mac? I'm not even sure what my printer's host name is so I wouldn't even be able to do that step myself!


However worse that installation may be on Linux compared to your Mac, it pales in comparison to the atrocious Windows experience.

"Download this .ZIP file from the Brother website. Then unpack it somewhere. Go through these dialog boxes from the Devices and Printers control panel. Be sure to uncheck such and such before clicking next in such and such. Then at this point, choose "Have Disk" and browse for where you unzipped the drivers and find the ".inf" file in there somewhere."

If the printer is on a dynamically assigned IP address, chances are that the port created for it will use a hard-coded entry like "192.168.1.13" which will break. The DHCP host name requested by the printer can be used, but you will have to manually enter that. It is some awful serial number: a mixture of random digits and letters. It's better to navigate to the printer's web firmware first, and rename it to some human-readable name, then edit the printer port to match.


> If the printer is on a dynamically assigned IP address, chances are that the port created for it will use a hard-coded entry like "192.168.1.13" which will break. The DHCP host name requested by the printer can be used [...]

Personally, I've never understood this. Are there a lot of admins who let their printers take IPs from the DHCP pool?


> Are there a lot of admins who let their printers take IPs from the DHCP pool?

You mean just about every single home network?

Although, in an enterprise setting, if you count DHCP reservations then that's what we do, having our whole office use them has greatly simplified our network configuration.

I could imagine a world where printers had a built-in DDNS client which would make them truly plug-and-play in an office but that's probably more complicated than it's worth.


> Although, in an enterprise setting, if you count DHCP reservations then that's what we do, having our whole office use them has greatly simplified our network configuration.

Pretty much my de-facto solution for networking, managing static IP's is a pain even with something like Puppet - one mistake with the configuration and I have to open up vCenter to get to the console and fix the configuration to get network connectivity. I literally use DHCP reservations for everything with the exception of intra-cluster communication for my PostgreSQL replicas (those are on a separate VMWare network and I manage those statically, but they never change).

> I could imagine a world where printers had a built-in DDNS client which would make them truly plug-and-play in an office but that's probably more complicated than it's worth.

This is what a DHCP hostname is for, no? My cheapie ASUS AC1900 at home uses the DHCP hostname from any device it allocates an IP address to as a local DNS alias, if I run `nslookup ls410d9a3.local 192.168.1.1` on any system on my home network it will point me to my Buffalo NAS (without needing multicast DNS, though that would still work as a fallback) - same for BRW142D2763B66E.local (which is my printer).

I could just as easily configure any dhcp server I use to automatically register DNS entries for new hosts if I wanted (probably in a separate DNS zone to prevent peoples phones from showing up in the default DNS search path).


> You mean just about every single home network?

Bingo!

No home user is going to statically assigns an IP to their printer on Wi-Fi; that would require a power user who even knows what that is.


I learned years ago to always assign IP addresses to printers via DHCP but to set up reservations for them so that the IP doesn't change. Of course, this was at the time that configuring an IP address manually on a printer involved a two-line LCD screen (if you were lucky) and clicking buttons on the front to increment each octet of the IP address by one each time you clicked.

Re-addressing a couple hundred printers was not fun when each of them was configured manually via the front panel.


> clicking buttons on the front to increment each octet of the IP address by one each time you clicked.

That is exactly how, just over a week ago, I gave that brand new printer its Wi-Fi password: moving a cursor and incrementing through a character set.

Just like naming the presets on a Yamaha audio effects processor I bought in 1989.


There are a lot of people who install a printer despite not having access to the router.


Exactly. On my Linux systems, it's just like your Mac (and considering that CUPS is owned by Apple and used on Macs just like on Linux, this makes sense): you just let the printer appear when it searches the local network, and select one of the already-loaded drivers. Why would you need to download some "installation script" from the manufacturer? How ridiculous.


I just got a Brother LED printer: the HL-3170CDW. Very nice printer. Works fine on with one 64 bit Win-7 system. With another system, a 32 bit Win-7, it won't work at all. Printing a test page fails with 0x000000D, and no application can print. (The printer is seen, and its status can be monitored and so on, but Windows just won't print!) This is whether or not it is on Wi-Fi or USB. I tried three versions of the drivers, and every possible remedy: I applied a Microsoft HotFix for repairing Win7/SP1 systems. I ran sfc /scannow. I run chkdsk /F on the C: drive. (The machine is an older system, but the SMART info shows that the drive is in perfect health: low temperature, no bad sectors.) I reset Windows Update and got it into a sane state. I went through every possible trouble-shooting procedure that could be googled up that could be related to the issue. Fixed things in the registry according to various steps. No dice.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: