Several years ago, we bought an HP Officejet 6500A Plus, thinking we were getting the world’s best wireless printer for both Mac OS and PC/Windows. I’m the Mac user in the family and have been an HP user for many years. I had always had good results. So I felt confident in HP products and, in fact, would buy no other brand when we decided to go wireless.
Although the machine works fine with hubby Bill’s PC, this supposedly wireless HP printer simply would not “speak” to my iMac unless I hard-wired the two via cable. Even then the printer spent five minutes whirling about before a print utility window would pop up on my screen with red exclamation marks telling me I was out of ink, which I was not. I manually had to dismiss all warnings before the printer would print one friggin’ page. The problem was that HP’s print utility could not “see” my printer so it could update the ink levels.
No Twain Support
Even worse, I could not scan documents on this so-called “all-in-one” printer. “No Twain support,” HP’s scan utility kept telling me. To fix the problem, I downloaded printer driver updates and firmware updates from HP, and twain support from a Mac-user site in an effort to get the printer and my iMac to “see” one another, all to no avail. I eventually resorted to using my iMac’s native “Image Capture” application for scanning, but each time I had to reboot the Officejet so it would “see” Image Capture, even when hardwired.
I’ve been under the impression for 65 years that when you push an “off” button a machine should turn off. But on HP’s piece of American technology, when I pushed the “off” button, it spends five minutes computing the distance to the outer reaches of the universe before telling me with frantic flashing lights that in order to turn the machine off, I had to push the “off” button. And then, to reboot it, I had to push the button again. This is a stunning inconvenience and I wonder who in the world thought this up. After I pushed the “on” button, I then had to wait while the machine started whirling and spewing again before asking me if I wanted to realign my print cartridges. Not!
I Was Not Alone in my Angst
I went on HP’s user forum to see if I could find a solution to the scanning problem and other communication issues — there’s no way to talk to anyone at HP; you are supposed to glean answers from posts of other users — but I only found posts by frustrated OS/Mac users like myself, questioning HP for the Officejet’s inability to scan on a Mac, whether in wireless mode or hard-wired.
Last week, Hubby was watching me try to print 50 pages of my novel To Leave a Memory to send to a literary agent. I was hard-wired to the Office Jet, but again, it didn’t see my iMac. So I went through the reboot steps above, “Chose Printer” on my iMac again, and even then, the wanna-be printer kept whirling about with its mysterious computations, opening several print-utility warnings that exclaimed I was out of ink in all four colors. And then it scolded me for not using authentic HP print cartridges. (Lately, I’ve been using refilled ones from OfficeMax.) Even after I had dismissed all warnings with an “Okay,” the printer’s internal workings spun about for several minutes before it finally spat out 50 pages at the rate of about five pages per minute, not the zippy number promised.
Print Text in Black and White, Fast
Hubby was horrified at what I was going through, and this is the difference between our personalities. I will stubbornly keep trying to fix something, find the solution, re-install printer drivers, go on user forums, write scathing product reviews, install firmware updates, download Mac fixes, yhadda, yhadda, but good ol’ Hubby simply will say, “Let’s buy a printer that does what you need it to do. Print text in black and white, fast.” God, I love this man. Off he went to Consumer Reports to find the top-rated black-and-white printer for Mac or PC and found the Brother DCP 7060D. We ordered it via Amazon Prime (free shipping).
My new Brother DCP 7060D arrived Thursday. Bill took it out of the box and plugged it in, leaving me to do the Mac thing and install the software, which was nothing more than gleefully uninstalling HP’s malware and installing the Brother driver. I didn’t even have to reboot my iMac and “Choose Printer.” The printer simply printed. It didn’t whirl for hours. It didn’t tell me I was out of ink or scold me for using non-HP ink cartridges. And I especially liked that it didn’t tell me I had no “twain support,” because, guess what, Brother included that. I can even scan.
What a novel idea for printing a novel. A black-and-white printer that prints, fast.
Hold the Presses — Update on this Post
Weeks after I uninstalled all HP printer drivers, using MacKeeper to remove all evidence of any HP product on my iMac, period, lo’ and behold, I printed color to the HP without realizing it. For some reason, my computer “saw” the HP and the dang thing printed the document fairly quickly, without a lot of whirling about. I have no idea why or how, since there is no HP driver on my iMac. There may be a native printer driver that speaks to HP. The good news is, I now I can print color to the HP, and using “Image Capture,” I also can scan from the HP. But the Brother also scans in color just fine, although it’s a black and white printer.