Printers, especially HP, have always been notorious for having annoying ‘driver’ software. Who needs a 300mb printer ‘driver’ bundle with all sorts of junky software to remind you of ink levels or suggest the best kind of paper for the sunlight in autumn?  All I want is to say print and a magical machine to put on paper dots of ink that roughly match what is on my screen.  Today’s annoyance was enough to make a new category on my blog – “Software Annoyances”.

Traditional Printers are out of Fashion.

People have complained about the bundled crap for years, yet printer manufactures still have to tack on crap even when I now have other options than putting ink on paper.  So, I make this plea to anyone who will listen.  Please do not make it more convenient to send stuff to my iPad, digital picture frame, TV, phone, or global bookmarks by requiring so much junk to run.  Let printing be simple.

Why HP?

I tried to download the standard ‘Basic’ drivers for an HP OfficeJet 8500 All-in-One.   I did not choose the Bundled Software package.

I ran the executable and all of a sudden I was forced to answer ink preference questions.  Then they wanted to know where I am printing, what language I will be using (not for the printer display but on printouts) and how many people will be printing.

At this point, I noticed that the real printer drivers are already installed so I print my page without completing the phone home to hp and go to close it.  To add to the annoyance already, this is what I see in my task bar.

In summary, HP please don’t try to geolocate my printer after I have already paid you handsomely for a printer.  Please do not force ‘Do not Track’ conversations on things like printers.

To put the icing on the cake, they left a ‘Printer Ink’ icon on the desk top.


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