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Argh, when you never print, issues with Brother HL-2380DW and Canon Pro9000 and doing passport photos

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About the only time I ever print anything anymore are for government forms (they still need lots of paper) and passport photos. I seem to never even do print photos anymore, so as a result, literally, our printers seem to be “bit rotting away.” So here are some notes if you have these old printers:

Getting a Brother HL-2380DW working

Well, this is a WiFi printer that is eight years old. Of course, most things no longer work. The good news is that it is a laser printer, so the inks don’t just dry out, but the bad news is that firmware is pretty flaky:

  1. The printer on power up will continuously power cycle. It will just go on and on and never stop.
  2. However, after about, literally 24 hours of cycling, it suddenly started working and connects to WiFi
  3. But, now it will auto power off (instead of going to sleep), so in order to use it, instead of a wakeup from the WiFi, you have to go to it and turn it on.
  4. It won’t turn on reliably though, so you have to push the button twice
  5. When you try to do a firmware update from the website, the Mac app has an icon that gets you to the web administrative page, the firmware update fails. I’m pretty sure they just don’t support the printer anymore

Net, net, you can get it work, but I really wish I had just bought an HP LaserJet professional printer, although this one was way cheaper, I guess you can’t expect anyone to support a 10 year old printer anymore.

Getting a Canon Pro9000 on macOS Catalina to work with Mavericks Driver

The situation is worse with my Canon Pro9000. Our older Canon printer actually physically broke, but this one just doesn’t have any printer drivers since 2017. They don’t support it at all, so here is what you can do:

  1. This thing when you install it on macOS Catalina says there are no printer drivers available and when you go to the support site and they recommend you buy a new printer (?!) to make it work. Well, it turns out that the old CUPS (Common Universal Printer) Driver from 2017 does in fact work! You have to google around for this old drive, but it is available on the Australian Canon site still.
  2. The thing is pretty flaky though, for instance, it gave me an error saying the page width was off and you have to fix it with the printer utility. It is not obvious where it is, but with Catalina, when you get this error, click on the printer spooler icon and then the gears at the upper left. This by the way turned out to be spurious, I just reloaded the paper and it seemed to work
  3. Then of course, you get to throw away all those ink cartridges that have dried out ($10 each and very painful)

Getting Passport Photos from iPhone to Mac Preview to Canon Pro9000

OK, you can go spend $10 at Walgreens to get this done or you can spend $100 and an hour doing it yourself. On reflection, I’m not sure which is easier, but here’s the process:

  1. Get an add-supported application for your iPhone called cleverly Passport Photo. This will give you a bunch of different country options at the upper left because every country is different. Some want 35x45mm, others like the US want things in inches and others have restrictions on the size, where the chin and head go. The nice thing about Passport Photo is that it overlays the requirements on the image viewer. And you can then save the images for free into Apple Photos.
  2. As an attractiveness hint, when you take the photo, you need a neutral background and make sure the camera is just slightly high and shooting down, people look better that way. The lense will distort the image at least on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, so you will look kind of puffy, but that’s the way of the world 🙂
  3. Now on your Mac, open the photos and export them out, and start Preview. Preview is great because it lets you tile onto a single page, so you can select say 4×6″ paper and then say, number of copies per page at 6 and then make sure Scale is set to 100% and you will get six photos on a 4×6 sheet. You can save these images for later.

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