[plug] Printing

Brad Campbell brad at fnarfbargle.com
Tue Oct 25 16:25:58 AWST 2016

G'day all,

I've finally reached the end of my rope, so I'm reaching out for advice.

I have 4 colour printers. A HP LaserJet 5500, a HP DesignJet 750C, a HP 
DeskJet 1220C & an OKI C3660n.

All of them are configured to print managed by a cups instance on a 
server. This works. It has always worked, but it has always had one 
nagging issue.

The colour rendition across all the printers is awful. The best way I 
can describe it is "dark".

If I want to print a nice looking photo, I have to print it from a 
Windows VM with the appropriate printer drivers installed. Any print 
from Linux, an iPad or other device using avahi, it just comes out dark.

I have tried for 10 odd years to fix this. I've tried tweaking gs, 
shoehorning ICC profiles, changing drivers, making duct-taped driver 
pipes with custom gs incantations.. It just does not matter. It's just 
always dark.

Now I find myself having to print 40 odd A3 photos for a meeting in the 
morning, and I've had to resort to my old faithful Windows XP instance 
with the print drivers to get them to a point where someone doesn't ask 
me "what's wrong with your printer?".

It's the client driver that seems to be the issue. If I use the 
postscript driver under windows and print via the cups postscript queue 
(via samba) it still looks as good as it does if I set up a direct tcp 
port in the windows VM.

It has beaten me again. I'd start to take it personally, but it happens 
on all 4 of my printers (and one of them is not a HP), happens on my old 
mans Ricoh and it happened on all his previous printers too. Only when 
printing from Linux.

So, there's my rant. I'm looking for the magic "oh yeah, you needed to 
flip this setting in the wobbulator config file", but mostly I'm raising 
the white flag of defeat and retreating back to my Windows VM to 
actually get stuff done, and I *hate* that.

Yes, over the years I've probably printed 2 reams of paper while 
tweaking contrast, gamma & colour settings. Sometimes it gets vaguely 
close, but then I print a picture of a human and their skin tone makes 
them look martian. How does Windows get it right every time and not even 
hplip which is written by the same company as the windows driver can 
make it work on Linux ?

Don't get me wrong, I can always print. It just looks shit and I'm over it.


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