What's the latest on laser printers?

Daniel Fussell dfussell at byu.edu
Mon Mar 18 16:10:49 MDT 2013

On 03/18/2013 04:02 PM, S. Dale Morrey wrote:
> 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
> tool.
> 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
> hypothetically.
> 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 :)
I'm hypothetically flabbergasted.  I might hypothetically stop printing 
in protest.


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