If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Public Service Announcement

I'll try to make this entertaining but it is mainly to be helpful.

I bought a network print server (a Hawking HPS3P), I won't go into all the reasons why. I tried to install it Monday. Basically, the instructions are plug it into your network and install the software. Yeah, right.

I couldn't get the software to install. The install software stops at a point and has you select which print server and until you selct one, it won't continue. Problem was it listed none. I did all the normal "Windows sucks" things: reboot, reinstall, reset, retry. Nothing. Additionally, the print server seemed to be messing up my network and I had to unplug it. I waited on hold with Hawking for an hour before hanging up and sending an e-mail.

I got a reply the next day. Summed up, it said "turn off your computers firewall". I tried that and voila, the software installs. I take a look at the config stuff and find that if the print server doesn't detect a DHCP server on the network then it will become one. It appears to me that it is doing this so I disable this function. I do a Windows printer install (as directed) and when I get to the end and click "Print a test page". Nothing. Oh, jeez.

So, of course, I reboot. As soon as the reboot is done, "whhhhiirrrrrrr, click, hmmmmmm". It's the test page from before. Excellent. Let's print something else. Uh. Hmmm. Hello? Bueller?

I try a whole bunch of stuff but the sum is that nothing will print during the session I send it to the printer. It all prints after the next reboot. After trying everything I can think of I send another e-mail explaining the problem.

I received a response the next day, tried it (it's below if you need the directions) and tried to print a test page. Can you guess? Nothing. What the? Ooooh, I turned the firewall back on before. So I turn it off. Nothing. I reboot. "Whhhhiirrrrrrr, click, hmmmmmm". Oh, stop that. Try a test page. Drum roll, please.

Success! Overall, I'd say that Hawking gets a good grade for e-mail support and product function. Documentation sucks. Phone support, apparently non-existent, but toll-free.

Go to your printer properties (you will have to install the printer first as a local printer)
Then click on ports, add a standard tcp/ip print port
Follow the wizard, put in the IP address you assigned earlier. Change the port name to "lpt1" (or lpt2 or lpt3 if it's in the other ports)
Then, click next, click on custom settings, choose "LPR" and choose a queue name of "lpt1" (or lpt2 or lpt3 if it's in the other ports)
Then follow the wizard and finish. Then apply your changes to your printer properties and print a test page.

Update: Just more than 6 months later, this thing died. I certainly would not buy another.

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