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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thinkpad Meets HP Printer - Hilarity Ensues

My stepmom came through town this weekend and wanted to print out a boarding pass. Considering we have three laptops, a desktop PC, a Mac Mini and a printer - this really shouldn't have posed much of a problem.

Except that when I plugged the HP printer into my Lenovo Thinkpad (my work computer) - it didn't want to recognize. Fine, no problem, obvious fix, right? Install the correct driver and go a printing away.

I downloaded the installer from HP's site, except it wasn't an installer but an installer for the installer and eventually the installer the other installer installed started performing some kind system updates which pretty much crashed everything moments later. I tried to reboot the computer, but it refused to log off - so I just shut it down.

Upon reboot, the installer uninstalls everything - which wasn't entirely what I had mind, so started the installer (the installed installer, not the downloaded installer) up again and we went to go eat some brunch. An hour later I have a prompt for some kind of license agreement so I figure it's more or less done. Except it's not done, it starts updating some files again and then asks me to plug the printer into the computer.

Which, it already is.

So I unplug and plug the thing back in and the Thinkpad starts to try and talk to the printer. The message suggests this might take several minutes and in fact does take several minutes. Fifteen minutes later, actually, there's a big red X over the message and the installer is preparing an error log and then precedes to uninstall itself and all of the lovely updates it had previously installed.

At this point I got The Girl's MacBook Pro and plugged in the USB cable. The MacBook said it had some kind of printer, looked like an HP model and would I like to use this driver? I said it was and I did and five minutes later I had a boarding pass printed out.

When people wonder why I hate Windows, this is why. I'm not sure, honestly, whether to blame the Thinkpad - which I have to say Lenovo has really done a fine job of butchering that fine lineage of hardware, HP software design - which still manages to lock up modern computers, or Windows.

But I'm willing to blame all three.


Thomas said...

Boy, you get all the luck, don't you.

Josh said...

I am open to the possibility that Windows does not suck but rather gained sentience some time ago and just hates me.

Corvus said...

If I were Windows, I'd be resentful too. And while I like HP printer devices well enough, I long ago grew tired of their elaborate attempts to insert complicated interfaces between me and my hardware.

By the by, I like how you're rearranged your theme around the header.