Assume Nothing . . .

Even people buying new machines can often have legacy hardware issues. For instance, printers.

Just for an example, if you take a look at HP’s Vista compatibility list, you’ll find that a few products aren’t and won’t be supported at all.

More will be supported between now and July, which I’m sure will be very convenient for everyone who needs to print something before between now and July.

And then there are those that are “supported.”

I have to say “supported” because if you look at the footnotes, you find out that support can mean:

  • MS wrote a basic Vista driver for it, but we won’t.
  • If that’s not good enough for you, maybe the XP driver will work in Vista, if not, maybe it’s time for you to buy a new printer.
  • We don’t have a full-solution driver yet, but we have a workaround for basic functions for you until we do.

    Somehow, I don’t think this is quite what the average person thinks is “support.” I don’t mean to single out HP, you’ll often find much the same for the other printer companies.

    For instance, the applicable Konica Minolta page lists a (small) number of printers with MS drivers, but PCL isn’t supported.

    Far more often, you get told “Use the XP driver.” That might sound good to you, but I owned one of these printers back in the Windows 2000 era, and when XP came out, I was told, “Use the 2000” driver, and that didn’t work too well.

    Epson has its page, which certainly left me scratching my head about a scanner I have. One webpage gives me hope a Vista driver will come some day, another page seems to either kill it, or leaves you wondering about the meaning of the word “is not.”

    Lexmark’s list seems to indicate that they have or will eventually support consumer printers built after 2002, but if you didn’t buy a printer last year, odds are you have a wait ahead of you.

    In contrast, Samsung puts all the abovementioned to shame. Their page clearly states yes, no, and will be, and better yet, there’s only few “nos” and drivers have been written and are available for everything else.

    How come they could do it, and the others couldn’t?

    Assume Nothing

    Whether you’re going to build a system for yourself, or build/buy a box for somebody else, if you’re going to put Vista on it, make sure both everything in it and attached to it will operate under the version of Vista you use (though just about all the drivers that have actually been written so far are marked for both 32 and 64 bit), and that means reading all the footnotes and explanations.


    From what I’ve seen (and you’ve seen if you looked at the links) so far, there’s an awful lot of equipment that doesn’t have drivers built into Vista.

    Nor can you assume, even if you have recent equipment, that a Vista driver has been written for it yet. Maybe, maybe not.

    Nor should you assume that an XP driver will work fine, even if the manufacturer says so. Sure, it will probably print a page of text fine, but don’t assume special functions will be supported. You might want to see if somebody who has already took the plunge has reported on it.

    Yes, the situation will no doubt be a lot better a few or six or twelve months from now, but if desire or circumstances preclude waiting, you have to do the homework to protect yourself because most of the manufacturers sure haven’t done it for you.

    And buying things like new printers just adds to the cost of Vista.


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