What's the latest on laser printers?

S. Dale Morrey sdalemorrey at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 16:02:53 MDT 2013

Just a thought, a mental exercise if you will.

If someone were to implement a workaround that didn't require a
firmware update to a dev firmware, they might look very carefully at
each cartridge and realize that the cartridge has a serial number.  A
little bit of thought might reveal that this serial number might just
be placed into a table that is tracked by the printer in nvram.

When page count reaches x, then it would throw that error and refuse
to use a cartridge with that serial number.  Now I'm not saying this
would work, but a full hardware reset has been known from time to time
to erase the all the contents of nvram and frankly it's not that hard
to do if you're in there replacing a part anyways.  :)

Of course this doesn't work for cartridges that have their own
counter, so I also heard through the grapevine that there is a super
secret firmware that you can load for every single printer made by HP
that features the awesome Quality Assurance single vendor lock in

The word is that this firmware is a development tool created by HP
Printing Engineers, because when developing firmware and drivers,
having that stupid page count thing go off can be a real PITA. Perhaps
they use some compile time magic changes pagecount+=1 to something
else. (It's not written in C or ASM that's all I'm allowed to say)

Now of course as some of you already know,  I used to work for HP and
while there, I lead the team that developed the new toolchain that
they use to write their firmware and I'm still under NDA for another
year or two.  The NDA is very strict. I can't discuss anything other
than my general role (can't even mention tools used) therefore I'm not
saying this firmware exists, so I'm just speaking purely

It's all postulation, but if it did exist, perhaps it would be listed
under modelnum_firmware_revnum_dev or modelnum_firmware_rev_eng
instead of _rel or _release and maybe they would list it on their
site, or possibly on bittorrent somewhere.  Again I have no knowledge
of these things, it's just speculation :)

On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM, Barry Roberts <blr at robertsr.us> wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 10:17 PM, Andy Bradford
> <amb-sendok-1366172242.gcankejjlnalinjdanbg at bradfords.org> wrote:
>> For  extremely  easy  setup  and  low TCO,  I've  always  gone  with  HP
>> PostScript laser jet printers with a  network adapter.
> My frustration with my current HP printer is the "smart" drum and
> toner cartridges that just refuse to print when their count gets to
> the HP-specified level.  I want to print until the quality starts
> degrading, then replace it.   That and the price of hp supplies makes
> the cost/page of my current HP printer quite high.  Unless I hear HP
> has changed from that practice significantly, I'm not inclined to buy
> HP again.
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