Monday, June 8, 2009

Mac Hardware Woes

Okay, further to my rant about Macs, I'm also troubled by Mac's lack of support for hardware. Let's start with my printer. I deliberately own one of the most popular and generic laser printers so that I can switch operating systems without worrying about printer drivers. It's a frickin' HP Laserjet printer. It's the most vanilla printer imaginable. And I've successfully used it on four versions of windows (including a 64 bit beta release) and three versions of Ubuntu with great success. So, I'm quite surprised to find that there is no Mac printer driver for this printer. I've tried a few work-arounds for it, but they tend to just lock up the printer on the windows machine that hosts the printer.

Similarly, there is no Mac drivers for my chat camera or my scanner. Okay, the camera is from Microsoft, so I should have guessed that one. And the scanner has been problematic for various other operating systems. But still, it's disappointing to realize that major hardware vendors like Canon, HP and Microsoft feel no need to develop Mac drivers. And even more surprising when they are offering Linux drivers, but not Mac ones. I thought this was a pretty well-established cult that I was joining. How much trouble am I going to have everytime I need a new bit of hardware?

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