I've been battling to keep my very old HP Laserjet 1000 connected to my computer. I've had it since 2001, and with Windows 7 HP decided to let go of making a new driver for the Laserjet 1000, basically writing it off. There are threads all over the Internet to testify to the deep dissatisfaction of Laserjet 1000 owners, some who decided to go for a different brand printer afterwards, as it really was (and still is) a great printer and such a waste to retire it so early. Most Laserjet 1000 users were unable to make it work, some did work arounds like create VirtualBox partitions with Windows XP to drive their printers. I lucked out and had a little stay of execution. I basically thought I'd have to write off my old printer with my Windows 7 installation last year, but just for the heck of it, decided to insert the very old original 2001 installation disk and couldn't believe my eyes when it picked one of the drivers from the disk. Imagine. The drivers were Windows 98/ME/XP and that XP driver had been obsolete for years - 2001! I probably was also lucky that the retailer where I bought my Dell computer from didn't listen to me, and instead of installing Windows Professional 64-bit as requested, he installed Home Premium 32-bit. The HP Laserjet wouldn't have been able to work with 64-bit technology. I'm soon to upgrade to 64-bit though, so unless I create a virtual partition with a 32-bit OS, my old trusted Laserjet 1000 has come to the end of its life. Here's what it looks like, and it still looks as good as this image. Equipment was really built solid at the time and the toner cartridges lasted forever.
So this weekend when I was "window shopping" in a computer electronics store, I was completely taken with a new HP DeskJet Series 2132 all in one copier/scanner/printer. Usually I'd do my research first, but at 60 US$ for the machine including the printer cable, I didn't think I'd lose much if it wouldn't work out as planned. I cynically thought there had to be a catch like expensive cartridges, but there are only two InkJet cartridges needed, 1. B/W (480 pages) and 2. Tricolor (330 pages). The first cartridges were obviously free and included with the printer. The price of the cartridges each is approx. 10 US$. It's also a brand-new product, released in August of this year. Built for both 32-bit and 64-bit technology. Looked like a great deal to me. This is what it looks like. Slim and trim. Weighs only 3.42 kg and takes up the minimum of desk space. I've got it neatly hidden away in a trolley as I'm not a heavy user of printing. I do like it to be available though for printing the odd ticket or reservation in color, or to scan or copy something. It's really ideal for my more limited printer/scanner/copier needs. And price is awesome.
Installation of the printer was a breeze and turned into one of the most successful installation experiences I've had with any device of its kind. It worked straight out of the box and I could feel care that must have gone into every nook and cranny of the design, the packing materials, tutorial, workmanship. The instructions were DETAILED, like I've seldom seen from HP. It would even point out potential mistakes a person could make. Almost as though it was written for dummies and designed with simplicity in mind, i.e. the simpler the design, the less mistakes that could be made by the dummies. Every step went perfect and there was no pause to puzzle over anything. When one opened the box the printer was professionally cling wrapped with thin plastic that held it all into place and was dead easy to remove. It was easy to identify the huge blue tape in places where one had to remove it to open up the paper tray and cartridge holders. No glue residue left behind, all packing materials were just right for the printer.
The quality of the installation CD was excellent. Driver was up to date and the printer printed immediately. It scans and copies perfectly too. I'm able to save the scanned images from PDF to all kinds of image modes.
I was extra careful with the installation disk though, as I recalled quite a few years back when I used an HP CD to load a driver for a very simple HP scanner and it turned into a disaster software that took over everything on my desktop and start box. One fortunately has a choice as HP provides a customization feature during the instalation where one can untick the products one isn't interested in. I downloaded the bare minimum: printer, printer help and driver updates. And unticked the boxes for MSN, Google Chrome, Google Task Bar and a few other pieces of "helpful" software. Now that earned my respect. HP gave me a choice for saying "no" to legal malware.
Btw, I checked and I still have the original invoice of my old HP Laserjet computer. Cost 140 US$ in 2001. Was much more complicated to install. I remember I had to search for an alternative driver right from the first installation, and every time I changed computers and OS it was a challenge to sort the driver out. The actual printer though, once working was excellent. It is heavy though, weighs 16 lb (7.3 kg) compared with the new multi-function HP 2132 at approx 8 lb (3.42 kg). I could easily pop the new one under my arm. It's as light as a feather. Let's see whether it will be as durable and long lasting as its great grandfather though. Time will tell!
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