Tag Archives: printing

More Snow Leopard Weirdness

As part of my day job’s schedule, I have Friday’s off. Typically, it’s my day to run around town, visit the bookstores and execute some coupon action. This morning’s no different.


I went to print my coupons to my crusty trusty Okidata B4100 laserprinter from Doc Oc this morning only to find…. there’s no printers installed! Yep, it appears that when Snow Leopard installed, it scrogged both my Oki and my Epson R1800. Bummer.

The Oki’s got a really flakey driver install path — don’t use the drivers that Apple provides, use ours — so I always have to remember that little step, lest I have printing heartaches.

So, no biggie. The Oki’s printing, although I haven’t reinstalled/checked the R1800 yet to see if it’s printing is better than it was under Leopard. More on that, I’m sure, to come this long holiday weekend.

Printing… Again

For quit a while, I’ve been struggling with my trusty ol’ Epson R1800. Struggling to the point where I’d pretty much decided to kick it to the curb, and either outsource my printing or replace the printer. Replacing the printer has been a tough thing to think about — I’ve got too much indecision between the R1900 and the R2880, and I didn’t want to buy into another set of printing problems if these printers manifested the same printing challenges I’d been having with my R1800. And outsourcing the printing… well, I’m a bit of a control freak with my hardcopy, so that was also tough.

In a nutshell, my printing was horrible. Images were waaaay too dark as compared against my color calibrated screen. This was making for two elements of workflow — one to get the image the way I wanted it on screen, and then monkeying with that copy in order to print it appropriately. Or, I could work the image on my Mac, bring up a virtual Windows XP session, and print from there. Eitehr way, it was twice the workflow, and a bunch of trial and error for each image, leading to wasted ink and media, and a general disinterest in printing my work. What good are my images if I’m not printing them?!?!?

As Vincent Versace taught us at DLWS, we work in service of the print. However, my passion lies in the creation of image, and the tuning of it to get it the way it looked in my mind’s eye, not with monkeying around with print settings to get the print even remotely close to my on-screen image. Printing should just work (or be pretty dang close to just working — I’ll take a endure a little tuning). For me, printing had become a distraction, and was taking me away from the joy of working with my images.

I’d researched this print issue before, and had seen loads of other folks running OS X Leopard having the same problems with their printers, with no real solutions in hand. Then I happened upon a website that pointed to this being a common problem with Macs that had been upgraded to Leopard, rather than having fresh installs. That fit me exactly. I went through the steps on the site — many, many steps — and was finally ready to print. A couple of days of life got in the way, but today, I ran some test prints…

And it was glorious.

Colors looked like they did on the screen. Shadows were good. Bright areas were actually bright again. And now I’m churning out print after print on both matte and glossy media, and once again discovering the joy that’s there when you can hold your image in your hands. There’s a tangible quality to a print that transcends the image itself, and makes it even more real.

Welcome back to the fold lil’ ol’ R1800 — I’ve missed ya.

Crossing the Streams

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been battling printing issues, trying to print some contract work on canvas through my Epson R1800. To say it hasn’t gone well is giving the experience too much positive light.

As I researched the issue, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one seeing dark prints with the R1800, and not just on canvas. I’ve seen that with other media, but I “band aided” the problem by increasing the brightness of the ready-for-print images. Not elegant, and shouldn’t be necessary, but it worked… generally. However, that process didn’t translate well onto canvas, and after blowing through a roll of canvas, and a lot of ink, I was still no closer to printing canvas correctly.

One of the interesting things I noticed was that the Windows-based folks weren’t having this problem. In fact, some folks would bring the same image up on their Leopard-based Mac and a VM-based Windows XP environment, see exactly the same thing on the screen, but get different print results. And the results on the Windows side were spot-on.

The more I read, the more I decided it was time to put VMWare Fusion and Windows XP on my MacPro.

A quick run up the road, a little time spent installing, and I’m close to having XP on my Mac. For printing. Crazy, eh? I truly have crossed the streams! 🙂