lunes, 24 de marzo de 2014

My Desktop Linux Distros and the Epson Stylus TX200 Printer

I remember that the only thing withholding my complete migration to Linux was the lack of a printer that worked with Mandriva 2010.  Back then, I had a Canon iP1000 and had to use Windows XP every time I needed to print something.

Then, the ink cartridges got real expensive and I got fed up.  I ended up buying an Epson Stylus TX200 all-in-one that Mandriva 2010 would pick up without major issues.

When Mageia 1 was released, I continued using the printer/copier/scanner happily.  However, as Mageia turned 2, I discovered that the drivers for the TX200 scanner were there, but the printer was not operational.

I tracked down the missing drivers and installed them manually.  End of the problem.

With Mandriva 2011 I never had problems with the printer.  Unfortunately, the computer would become so slow that using it was becoming reminiscent of Windows and I had to remove this distro from my computer. 

Mageia 3, oddly, activated the printer without any hassle... but the scanner was a different story.  I again installed the drivers manually to no avail.  After a battle of an hour, the system would not see the scanner and I gave up. 

The following thing I knew was that Mageia 3 detected the same scanner twice.  Fine with me as long as it worked, really.  And it did.

With OpenMandriva Lx 2013 I was not that lucky: the scanner works, but I could never managed to get a printed line from the printer.

Today, I remembered that I had not configured the printer for PCLinuxOS, which also shares a partition on my desktop computer.  Without knowing what to expect, I went to to the PCLOS control center/Hardware/Configure printers and saw that the only thing there was a CUPS printer.  I turned the Stylus on with some anxiety.

A printer icon appeared immediately on the notification area.  Before I could click on it, the Stylus TX200 printer had been added to the available printers in the control center.

In disbelief, I printed a text page, which came out perfect.

I went to configure scanner and PCLOS detected the Stylus TX200 in less than 3 seconds.

So, by far, PCLinuxOS was the distro that picked up the printer faster and more easily for a non-technical user like me.  I mean, had I been using Windows, I would have had to install the drivers.  That implies placing the DVD on the tray, following the instructions on the screen and rebooting.  With PCLinuxOS, it was a matter of turning the printer on (to get the printer working) and clicking once (to enable the scanner).

And some people out there still claim that Linux is more complicated than Windows!

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