Argh, why is it that nearly 50 years after the invention of the PC, just configuring a printer is so hard? We just got a new HP Neverstop Laser 1001nw and this is a tiny little printer, but the best thing about it was that setting it up for the Mac was a breeze.

But, that thing didn't have scanning and duplex mode and we finally decided just to bite the bullet and get a Color LaserJet so that while more expensive, you would get color at a low cost. The problem is that if you just try to configure it the dumb way on Mac Ventura, it just doesn't work. With the new Ventura, you go to System Settings > Printers and. Scanners > Add Printer, Scanner, or Fax.

This does show the HP Color LaserJet which it finds via Bonjour. Hats off to HP for advertising it with Bonjour (aka multicast DNS), but it would not run and said failed. Then I tried to to go the HP site and they recommend loading something called HP Smart which is a MacOS application. it correctly sees the printer, but it fails to install on Ventura as well and asks you to do the System Settings thing manually. You can see that it is not Ventura compatible though because the menus are using the older dialogs from pre-Ventura.

So then off to the web and we discover that there are driver issues with the latest HP Color LaserJet, so you should go to 123.hp.com and search. I did this and there is a sea of applications where, but I saw HP Easy Start which seems like a brother of HP Smart and that you can brew install hp-easy-start

Now, this asks me to install yet more HP software called HP Scan and another HP application called HP Essential that is 500MB of goodness, and miracle, the driver works. I'm still not sure what all this HP software is and why you need all of this, but that is what's required to get it running.

And when I try the HP Easy Scan software it loads and can't find the scanner, so I'm not sure this shovelware is really worth it.

Interestingly once I got HP Easy Start to load HP Essentials then HP Smart actually started working, so I think the workaround is that you need HP Easy Start to do the driver installation then HP Smart if you want their dedicated scanning application

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