My old HP Multifunction printer gave up the other day, so as I do not do a lot of printing I got the next printer / fax on my local freecycle (http://www.uk.freecycle.org/) for nothing. For those who don’t know, freecycle is a generic name for a load of locally operated forums, where people can offer or request any item that they either want to get rid of or need. The main rule is that no money should change hands, and the result is a load of stuff which would have gone to landfill is re-used.
I immediately found and Epson Stylus DX7450 printer a few miles away, checked that linux supported it (http://www.linux-drivers.org/) and collected it. Although it came with the windows driver cd I use Linux Mint (a free operating system that can replace Windows or Apple’s OS) (http://www.linuxmint.com/) so did not need that. Here is how I set it up.
- plug printer into mains, connect usb lead and switch it on
- go to system > administration > printing and click on ‘add printer’
- the system offered the new printer as first choice. Select ‘apply’
- a message window asked if I wanted to print a test page – I did and it was fine
The next stage was to test the scanner because the scanner programmes (Acquireimages, Simple scan and Xsane) did not list it. I immediately found the answers in this forum http://forums.v3.co.uk/showthread.php?t=208231, which referred to this set of instructions http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1581065. I’ll repeat what worked for me now:
- check that you have an epson configuration file by opening terminal and typing
- what I got was a load of stuff the same as the original post, so it proves that I had the right file and just need something added to it
sudo nano /etc/sane.d/epson2.conf (this will start to edit the settings file) or use the command in the forum posting that I referred to
- position the cursor on the line before #Network …… and type
usb 0x4b8 0x838
it is best to copy and paste this to get it 100% accurate
- if you did it my way, type ctrl + x to exit, y to save the file
- switch the printer off then on again. The scanner now works!
So the conclusions are:
- freecycle is fantastic for a load of things, especially if your business is not critical on them and the time spent collecting is not more than time to order a new one
- recycling this way does two people a favour – the donor did not have to take it to the tip
- linux supports most hardware out of the box
- linux forums are wonderful, free resources where you can find most answers
Happy recycling, scanning and printing!