Lousy drivers

I was never able to make my HP all in one scanner/printer work correctly. Mac OS X 10.4 contains drivers for the printer component, but the HP drivers never worked reliably, and once I formatted my hard drive to case-sensitive HFS, not at all. HP has released in June a new version of the driver software, I tried to install it, it was a complete loss of time: it still does not work.

Of course, I tried to see if I could correct the problem by myself, usually when a program does not run on my setup, it is because some file name was misspelt in regard to capitalisation, and I can correct the problem with a symbolic link. This implied looking into the code and the structure of the driver, and made me realise that the whole system is a mess.

First, the installer: it “smartly” exchanges the accept and reject buttons on the license agreement, but does not offer you any installation options, you have to install all the HP programs, even the panorama stiching thing you really don’t want. The configuration wizard appears, and things being what they are, does not see the printer, neither on the USB bus, nor on the ethernet interface.

While the installer does not require a reboot, I rebooted nonetheless, just to be sure, at this point I got a warning dialog box: the installer could not set the permissions of the services it installed, so the system had to correct them and reboot. The real question is why should the driver for a simple scanner have dæmons runnings and why can’t a driver released in June set the permissions correctly, as this requirement appeared at the begining of the year.

As usual with bad programs, I also get a lot of icons in my dock. The configuration wizard starts automatically at login (no, I did not select this), and again does not find the scanner. The funny thing is, the configuration wizard is not installed as a login item, so I cannot simply disable it. No, if I want to get rid of this stupid wizard, I have to uninstall the whole package.

OK. I look in the console for libraries that cannot be loaded.
I find one, but the problem is not related to case, instead a completely bogus path is referenced:


There is no user admin by default on OS X machines, so this is completely stupid. They basically hard-coded a user name in the library path. The actual library is actually in the right place /Library/Frameworks. I corrected this with a symlink, wondering how this can work on other machines.

The next problem in the console is more serious:

DebugAssert: Third Party Client: (NULL != m_lock && 0 == errno) 
Can't create semaphore lock[/Volumes/Development/HP/Mac-Sirani/mac-software/components/HPEventHandler/Sources/Core/HPTMNotificationManager.cpp:62]

Using assertions to check the value of errno is not the best practice for error management, but well, at this stage, I did not have many illusions. The setup wizard could not find the printer, I trie another programs, the “HP Printer Selector”, for instance. This one crashed with a segfault. There was another program “HP Device Manager”, which did not crash but spouted a lot warnings on the console, about the encoding of its property files. I admit that programming is difficult, but doing proper XML files is really not. Of course the 10$ question is why the hell are there multiple programs whose name suggests similar functionality?

So in conclusions the drivers do not work, I’m back to using the Apple provided drivers for printing and sane for scanning.

4 thoughts on “Lousy drivers

  1. i have the same problems , each time the machine is started ,it loads some bits and pieces and if i let it run it stops after a while, and i run it on windows .

  2. I have the same problem, and also I don’t know how to do a a “symlink” to correct the problem, could you help me??


  3. I have been fighting with this for two days. Thank you, though, for suggesting what at least part of my problem is: The case-sensitive file system! As an old Unix user, I hate that HFS+ is not case-sensitive by default, so I always reformat as HFSX instead. Looks like the AiO driver doesn’t like that.

    As for the /Users/admin/Library/Frameworks thing — I also picked up on that. What pathetic coding! If you have XCode installed, instead of symbolic linking, you can use the command:
    install_name_tool -change /Users/admin/Library/Frameworks/HPSmartX.framework/Versions/A/HPSmartX /Library/Frameworks/HPSmartX.framework/Versions/A/HPSmartX <name of file>

    It looks like I will be changing my root file system back to case-insensitive. :-(

  4. I’ve the same problem. The lousy HP drivers for the All-In-One 6310 install a lot of unwanted rubbish, while it never managed to connect to my network printers, while all other software can without difficulty. Why does HP allow it’s software developers destroy their reputation and their hardware. One reall starts to hate the company for the time and money lost and making sure that one never again will buy HP-hardware.

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