Sunday, May 10, 2015

My very old Samsung ML-1210 printer

I have an old Samsung ML-1210 printer that is more than 10 years old. Despite its age, the printer is still in an excellent condition: it prints high quality PDF documents reliably albeit slowly, and satisfies my needs. But because of its age, it is hard to find a working native driver for Mac OS X, as Apple stopped supporting the printer in Lion, and Samsung stopped supporting the drivers after 2005.

I could of course retire the printer, and buy a new one that is faster, and cheaper, but I tried to find another route where I continue using my old trusty printer. Luckily, one exists through CUPS on Mac OS X, by using ghostscript, foomatic-rip, and samsung-gdi. The packages on the page are for Mac OS X Lion, but I found them to work for later versions as well. The only inconvenience of using these packages is that you have to re-install them after every Mac OS X upgrade.

With the latest Yosemite upgrade,  the packages broke because of sandboxing,  where foomatic-rip fails to find its configuration, and printing fails. Luckily the Apple community discussion forums contain a thread with a bash script that fixes the problem, giving my printer an extended life, and making printing possible again.

By contrast, the printer configuration on my wife's Windows laptop was a breeze; the Samsung driver from 2013 worked like a charm, and printing was flawless.

Perhaps it is time to get a new printer, or switch back to Windows.