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Why The Lame Apple Color Printer?

Pythaeus recently explained why the new Apple Color Printer is so lame. Apple realized they lacked a color printer, but didn’t have one ready internally. So, Apple went to Canon and said, "Hey, screen an Apple logo on that color printer over there and ship it in our boxes, OK?" Canon agreed, and that’s why we have a SCSI-based color printer that doesn’t have a color Apple logo on it. Apple never sets hands on the printer, which is really a Canon BJC-820 in sheep’s clothing.

Everyone makes mistakes, and Apple apparently plans to fix this one as quickly as possible, although that may take a year. Perhaps the worst part is that the $2,349 Apple Color Printer is (according to tests in the Mar-93 issue of Macworld) slower than the $2,995 Canon BJC-820 and because it uses different drivers, the quality suffers. Oh well, if you want a printer in this range, check out that Canon printer as well as the $3,495 HP PaintJet XL 300.

Keep in mind that if you buy this printer and call technical support because MegaChart won’t print to it, the support person will offer to test it for you and call you back three weeks later because it took that long to find, configure, and test the printer. Three years from now when Apple has abandoned the printer the support person will snicker at you and tell you to call back after you’ve chanted a few hours of incantations to the SCSI daemon, reinstalled the printer driver, and performed the ritual tofu sacrifice. If you don’t believe me, think back to the ill-fated Personal LaserWriter SC. What, you don’t remember? It was introduced along with the Personal LaserWriter NT, and it lasted for about three months.

StyleWriter problems — In related news, Patrick Warn writes, "To follow-up your story on the StyleWriter, I discovered that the grey scale printing option only works on Macs with Color QuickDraw [such as the SE/30, Classic II, Mac IIsi, and more]. I found this out after a call to Apple to find out why it would not work with my PowerBook 100. Also, although the new StyleWriter II driver works with the old StyleWriter, don’t use the head cleaning option! It will damage the printer. I believe this is because the StyleWriter II driver tells the printhead to go to a place that does not exist on the original StyleWriter."

[Lame, but it makes sense that grayscale printing would be related to internal Color QuickDraw. Perhaps more upsetting, Apple’s StyleWriter II spec sheet specifically ignores this issue, setting some customers up for a disappointment. -Tonya & Adam.]

Information from:
Patrick Warn — [email protected]

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