[OT] Printers - was Re: Should I add this Repo?

NoOp glgxg at sbcglobal.net
Tue Oct 28 00:10:41 UTC 2008

On 10/27/2008 12:42 PM, Leonard Chatagnier wrote:
> --- On Mon, 10/27/08, Derek Broughton <news at pointerstop.ca> wrote:
>> From: Derek Broughton <news at pointerstop.ca> Subject: Re: Should I
>> add this Repo? To: ubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com Date: Monday,
>> October 27, 2008, 1:41 PM Leonard Chatagnier wrote:
>>> Brother reqauires you to use the --force option in
>> order to install their
>>> printer drivers on Linux/Ubuntu. They have the best
>> Linux/Ubuntu support
>>> and I don't think they would tell you to do
>> something that would break
>>> anything.
>> Well, they would...  There's _many_ force options, but what they
>> all have in common is the fact that using them is guaranteed to
>> break something.  You just have to hope you're never going to need
>> whatever has been broken. The most likely reason why you would need
>> to use a "force" option in a third-party package is because it's
>> trying to install a file that is already provided in another
>> package - and there _are_ ways to get around that, but using
>> --force-overwrite is simple (and lazy).
> Hello Derek,
> If something gets broken on   my Hardy 64 bit, I'll let you and the
> list know. Don't know where you came up with --force-overwrite. My
> posts mentioned --force-architecture and I explained why it was
> needed. What do you Ubuntu gurus have against Brother and there great
> support for both Linux and Ubuntu of am I missing something. I still
> think Brother has great Linux/Ubuntu support and thank NoOp for
> calling it to my attention when my Epson MFP failed. Hey, NoOp, where
> are you?

I wasn't looking to add any repos so wasn't paying any attention to the
thread overall.

Mario & Derek are correct in that Brother should simply fix the issue so
that sudo dpkg -i --force-all --force-architecture (driver file name)
isn't required

I reckon that a few well placed comments to their support department
will/can fix that.

That said, I agree very much with Leonard regarding Brother & their
linux support; IMO overall Brother are outstanding in providing linux
support in that:

1) they actually _do_ have working linux support staff - who appear to
actually test their products on Ubuntu,

2) they _do_ respond to linux support questions quickly (try to get an
Ubuntu specific question back from HP within 24 hours - or any answer
back from Canon or Epson), and

3) like any printer manufacturer they have to grapple with Windows,
linux, ,Mac, and and shifting/changing distributions/updates to all of

Anyone can look at the launchpad or linuxfoundation.org databases and
easily find "paperweight" printers, even with HP. Overall Brother seems
to do quite well for the printers that they make:


(Yes I know the HP ratio is smaller, but then again look at the number
of HP printers are listed (many of which are legacy) and the other
columns as well)

Printers are a difficult beast to work with regardless of the OS. The
fact of the matter is that the bulk of the drivers are written for
Windows, multifunction features (scanning, copying, faxing et al) add
complexity, and of course interfaces for each offer their own challenges.
  Then of course you have printer manufacturers that build low cost
printers that are sold (or given away in system bundles) only for the
profit that their ink consumption will bring; Epson is a prime example
of this - their products are designed for EOL after about 1 1/2 years
(yes I can provide links) and fail to print black if even one of their
ink cartridges is out of ink.
  I did an inkjet Total Cost of Ownership comparison for a customer a
few years back and the end result was that the customer ended up tossing
all of their HP printers. Not only was the cost of the HP ink exorbitant
when compared to Canon's that I selected (not a linux friendly printer
at all by the way - this was a Windows shop), but the paper savings
alone that had previously been spent on the paper that the HP screwed up
on each print job paid for the new printers in six months. The ink
savings alone paid for the new printers in three months. BTW: this was
over three years ago & the printers are still working just fine, plus
the cost of the ink for those printers has gone down vs the HP ink which
has increased.

Bottom line is that I think that one can argue all day long about
printers, linux printer support, and whatever, but viewing the lists,
launchpad, openprinting.org, google et al reveals that printer aren't an
easy beast to tame. Given that Brother _do_ produce high quality
printers (in Leonard's case his has USB, wireless, and ethernet on a
well priced multifunction) and _do_ actually actively support linux and
quickly respond to questions re linux, Brother will certainly be on my
list of printers next to buy.

Disclaimer: I set up a Brother multifunction printer on my son's Ubuntu
last Christmas; at first I found some of the setup issues confusing (see
the archives), but after figuring them out & installing I've received
_zero_ requests for support since. This is in a household whereby my
daughter-in-law uses Ubuntu as the primary system and Brother printer
every day for her in-house & online business. I reckon if Ubuntu and
Brother (print, scan, copy) can hold up to everyday in this type of
environment (mom, kids, online business, no complaints) then both get my
vote. On the otherhand, my brother with a WinXPHome & an HP MF printer
calls me every few weeks regarding both his OS and his printer...

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