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Wed, 26 Sep 2007

Staples, OfficeMax, the Brother 7820N and Linux

A tale of two online stores. Act One. Find nice multifunction laser printer. Find good price on multifunction laser printer at OfficeMax (~$199). Place order. Wait a week. Call OfficeMax phone-line (which answered to a real-live person in approximately 3 rings). Backordered.

Receive assurances that “BACKORDERED” means that it’ll be coming in another 1-3 days. Wait another week. No printer. Call again (again, answers in 3 rings). Oops, didn’t you get the email? (no) We couldn’t find that printer, so sorry, order cancelled.

Act Two. Find same printer at better price at ($199 w/ $50 rebate, rebate pending). Place order. Call phone support (to make sure they actually have it). End up waiting a minute or two on hold, but they assure me they’ve got plenty.

Act Three. Printer comes, right when they said it would. Plug printer in to Ubuntu (via USB), find-printer dialog finds it right away. Brother has a linux-driver page (woot!), instructions are sane and have downloads for both RedHat and Debian flavors. Sane/Scanning support is slightly PITA because it requires those binary drivers, and because of permissions issues (scanning as root works, but not as normal users).

Google to the rescue, and some unix-fu later gets me the following line I need to put into udev rules, and everything magically works right:

# Brother MFC 7820n
SYSFS{idVendor}=="04f9", SYSFS{idProduct}=="0181", MODE="664", GROUP="scanner"

…with the caveat that UDEV APPEARS TO BE CASE-SENSITIVE IN ITS HEX STRINGS. ZOMG. This is about the only thing that prevents all this from being granny-compatible. Marvel at how far we have come.

22:24 CST | category / entries
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