There’s no doubt we love to install a new Mac OS X version. It’s like paying for your own birthday party (a mere $29 this year), but having fun anyway. Until something doesn’t work. Invariably, a new Mac OS brings a new hiccup or wrinkle.
A favorite utility may not have been upgraded to match the new version of OS X. Or, worse, your printer doesn’t work because, you guessed it, the printer drivers are broken in OS X Snow Leopard. Such was the case this year, but this time there was a rescue boat a week or so later.
My experience is that I buy printer ink more frequently than toilet paper. I buy a new Mac more frequently than a new printer.
That means my Mac, even an older one, gets a new operating system, but my older printer only gets new ink. The new Mac OS invariably doesn’t work so well with an older printer.
Problems? Sometimes, none. Sometimes, nothing works at all. Other times, the printer works sometimes. Mac OS X Snow Leopard brought a few new wrinkles, and a few new printer drivers (the software that makes the printer do what it does).
If your printer was brand new, or purchased recently, it’s likely that it worked fine. At home, all my HP printers worked fine on Macs running Snow Leopard.
In the office, for those few Macs where we installed OS X Snow Leopard to test compatibility, well, it’s a good thing we tested first. Most of our many printers would not print.
Uh oh. This is bad news, right? It’s not as though we needed to deploy Snow Leopard all over the office immediately. Snowy won’t make people work more efficiently. What we could not do is tie up printers. So we waited.
Rapid Response Team
Since printing is so crucial to an office environment, it should come as no surprise that Apple and the major printer vendors were ready with updated printer drivers shortly after Snow Leopard shipped.
These newly updated printer drivers didn’t solve all our problems, especially with some of our older, hand-crank, or peddle operated printers (I jest, but not much), but they solved most of them.
Here’s the latest list of printer drivers from HP, Epson, Canon, Brother, and Lexmark.
- HP Printer Drivers
- Epson Printer Drivers
- Canon Printer Drivers
- Brother Printer Drivers
- Lexmark Printer Drivers
Will your not-quite-working printer work better with a new printer driver? Your mileage may vary, but reports indicate that newer is better.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard changes a few architectural items under the hood, hence the need to upgrade some of the software that controls printing functions.
Snow Leopard and the printer drivers bring a few extra goodies, that might be worth the upgrade. Scanner sharing is one. Snow Leopard can share scanners with other users on a network.
To show you how serious Apple is about keeping current, Mac OS X 10.6.1, the first Snow Leopard update, was shipped out in less than two weeks after the original. HP’s printer drivers were updated, too. It’s all about managing change.