They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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Kudos to Big BROTHER For Getting It Right For Once

No, not that Big Brother. I'm talking about Brother Printers.

And yes, this is a big pleased Thank You, for a job well done -- which if you've read this blog doesn't always happen, especially when one is talking about computers. (grin) In fact, though I have a "rants" LJ/DW tag, I didn't have a "kudos" or "attaboy" tag, so I created the former. (double-entry-grin)

A Very Long Time Ago, I bought a Brother P-Touch label printer for the office. I cannot remember now if the model I got had the keyboard, or the keyboard and a PC printer input. Whatever, a handy gadget to have. I's in a box somewhere, I think I saw it in the fall, and I should really dig it out. Then Brother had a label printer without a keyboard, designed to hook up with that newfangled USB cable stuff and it was reasonably priced -- I think we bought it as a Christmas present. This was sometime in 1998 or 1999, because I was running it under a Windows 98SE partition on HARTREE at home.

That machine hasn't been run in ten years or more. I never bothered to get drivers for KATSUMI, the Sony VAIO S270 Windows XP Pro SP2 laptop that was my main home work machine for a number of years. Alas, KATSUMI is sitting on the side with a poorly feeling HDD and I haven't tried the old stick-it-in-the-freezer trick to see if the HDD will last long enough to pull some old files off it.

Which brings us to Today and Wendy's big Toshiba laptop. Windows 7. What are the odds that if I wanted to make some labels that the old Brother P-Touch PT-1500PC label printer would be compatible? So I went to the Brother website. Or rather I bypassed it and just Googled "brother pt-1500pc". Yup. There it is. Listed as Discontinued, no surprise there. But the first note I saw was directed to Windows 8/8.1 users. Okay, this is promising.

Not only did it have Windows 7 drivers and software, the Brother site checked the info from Firefox and already had Windows 7 and 64-bit already preselected in the radio buttons. The Driver webpage even provided the helpful information that (a) the Driver needed to be installed before the Software and (b) that the unit should NOT be connected or turned on until those steps were specifically called for. After that, pffft! Piece of cake.

Of course I had to find a USB A/B cable -- full-size connectors, not those mini-USB or micro-USB things. And the power brick for the unit, which not only was sitting on the rolltop desk just where I'd last left it, but amuses me because it's got so much metal inside that it's heavier than the plastic bodied printer.

Oh, and the PT-1500PC printer itself? Yup. It's been sitting on a slender bookcase top shelf for over a decade. Dusted it off, set up the cables -- hardest thing was I had to move a spare extension cord on the coffee table around two mammoth piles of books. Don't ask. It'll make sense if you have 2N to 3N books, where N is the number of books that you have bookshelves for. Which, come to think of it, is most of the people likely to come visit this blog.

After the reboot for the Driver and the Software installation, I fired up the printer and software, and composed a label which read, "Brother PT-1500PC _________ Brother PT-1500PC". The underlines are actually spaces so I could fold the label tape around the cord near the 5 VDC jack end. Worked perfectly. Pressed the big lever on the top to slice off the tape. Opened the door to the tape cartridge where they'd designed a secure hidden slot for the little tool which separates the label from the backing -- if you have ever had to peel these things apart, you know they're a pain. I remember having one of those small handheld Dymo embossed label tape machines back in high school and I used the scissors on my Swiss Army knife to curve the ends so the sharp corners couldn't catch on anything and you couldn't stab yourself trying to get the backing off. (fond-memories-OUCH-grin)

It's usually a waste of time to articulate my complaints on the Feedback parts of most websites, but this time I felt that I really should check the Found This Page Helpful button and actually left them feedback:
I'm pretty sure I bought this Brother PT-1500PC a very long time ago and installed it in a Micron Millennia 166MHz running Windows 98SE. The printer has sat on a shelf for a long time, since maybe 1999? Faced with a pile of chargers, I realized that I could make labels for them all -- and I had a label printer!

Came to the Brother website, found the Driver and Software, supporting from Windows 98SE through Windows 8.1, so Windows Home Premium 7 (64-bit) was not only there, the website automatically had the correct solution picked out. Installation was perfect, and the printer, which hadn't been used in a long time, printed the first label out perfectly -- and the label stock was also perfectly usable.

I am very impressed. Not only have I used Brother labelers for a long time, but that you support this USB printer for so long deserves a hearty congratulations -- and i will be blogging about it.

Dr. Phil
If you don't tell people that they've done good, even if it's from a long time ago, then no one will ever think to put the effort into getting it right again.

I have used Hewlett-Packard laser and inkjet printers, scanners, all-in-ones for forever. Despite corporate changes, one does get used to dealing with the nonsense and idiosyncrasies that all companies have. It explains why I have a love/hate relationship with Microsoft, HP, Symantec, Intuit, Sony and even, once in a great long while, Nikon. (evil-grin) That doesn't mean that I completely knock other vendors, just that I am brand loyal to a fault.

So yes, I do know that Brother makes some fine printers. And now I know they are much like the old WordPerfect people, who managed to keep printer drivers going long after some obscure printer had passed its Sell By date. In fact, they revel in it.

And I'm sure that Canon makes fine cameras and printers and scanners, too. If you like that sort of thing. (double-evil-grin)

Now I have some real work to do. But in a day or two, I shall open a 15+-year-old plastic bubble card with a new gold letters on black background P-Touch tape and start labeling the plug ends of the pile of chargers in the kitchen for the Kodak Pro SLR/n, Nikon D1 series, Nikon D100 and a bunch of other phone, computer, etc. charging cords.

After I brush off some of the monstrous dust bunnies I've uncovered... and see if I have another can of air in the closet...

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: computers, drivers, kudos, software, upgrades, windows

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