Monday, April 23, 2007

Using a HP PSC 1315 as a scanner under Fedora Core 4

Update (2007-04-24): I've been told (see the comments) that the Linux support works out-of-the-box these days with newer distros. Also, I've got nothing against hplip - it's just that hpoj was the first one I got working with such an old distro. I ran into numerous difficulties setting up this scanner because of conflicting information on the internet and also instructions that just didn't seem to work for my setup.

The HP PSC 1315 stands for "Hewlett-Packard (all-in-one) Printer-Scanner-(photo)Copier". It's a USB colour inkjet and was dirt cheap considering all the functionality - less than $100, years ago. I do not recommend this hardware (see bottom of post).

Now I was interested in getting scanning to work under my old Fedora Core 4 system. The scanner supports 600 DPI and this is more than I need. After much googling and conflicting information, a search string of hp psc fedora got me to these working instructions. This uses the obsolete "hpoj" driver, instead of hplip's "hpaio" driver, but I don't mind since kooka and xsane both work now. Thanks very much to "zparihar" on for that useful post.

I can think of only 2 things that I have found harder to install under Linux: support for the Aetheros WPA wireless and an analog joystick. I won't even attempt to set up the printing for the time being since I don't need that capability.

By the way, I initially found this HOWTO Install a USB Scanner guide on the Gentoo wiki, which looks like it could be useful for other scanner models. I gave up on it since it looked too complicated by the time it asked me to add a 03f0:3f11 line (printer USB ID given by lsusb) to /etc/hotplug/usb/libsane.usermap.

I strongly recommend against buying this printer given that Linux support was not out-of-the-box and also given that HP's driver for Windows is horrendous. Regarding the latter, sometimes print jobs go nowhere and deleting them from the print queue does nothing, blocking all future print jobs. Unplugging the USB cable is another sure way of preventing one from deleting print jobs even after reattaching the cable. Some combination of rebooting, reinstalling the printer under a different USB port etc. (I still haven't found a reliable way) is required to delete the stuck print jobs. To make things worse, the "HP Director" application would quit silently after the IE7 upgrade and after applying a patch from HP, it now starts but the buttons don't work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sydney meeting

As Seb Ruiz writes, we met up with Brad Hards last night in the city. See Seb's blog for photos.

Some interesting KDE trivia that was shared around was that:

* Kopete is apparently pronounced cop-it-tay, not co-pete

* Krita can be read as kri-ta instead of krit-a