Personal Technology Web/Tech

Controlled Vocabulary Matters

brother printer hungI just spent 15 minutes cursing my Brother printer and Brother, the company. Later, I spent a few more cursing Apple.

My Brother HL-2070N stopped working from the laptop. Then, a few weeks later (today), it stopped printing from the Mini. It would start printing, then “hang.” No error message. See the screen capture.

I searched the web and found nothing helpful.

I went to help and found a troubleshooting page for Windows that echoed my problem. The first line: “It’s possible that the IP address of your Brother machine has changed.”

OK – we’ve had to reboot the Apple Extreme a few times, and when I logged on to the Mini today the Airport Utility was telling me I no longer had a problem that I’d not known that I had had. It seems reasonable that this might have happened; not so reasonable that my system is too stupid to find the printer again.

Step 1.
The first step to confirm/fix this problem: “[P]rint a network configuration page. To learn how to print a configuration page, refer to the User’s Guide of your product. ”

I download a PDF of the user’s guide. Search on the (unquoted) string <network configuration>. Nothing. Search on the word <configuration>. NOTHING. The word does not appear in the document!

So rather than try to guess what the hell they called it in the user’s guide, I started walking through the chapters of the PDF, starting (stupidly) with the troubleshooting chapter. Where did I find it? In a chapter titled CONTROL PANEL. (Intuitive, that one.) What’s it called in the user’s manual? “Printer settings page.” Notice the word “network” also doesn’t appear here.

This is where I started cussing at Brother.

On page three (of three) of the “print settings” document, I discover “network configuration” — and,  I find the IP address. The Help document says that’s the problem. [Note: there is nothing in the user’s guide to help configure the printer for network printing.]

Remember, the Brother document was written for Windows. No help on my Mac. I launch the Printer Setup Utility, highlight the printer, click the “i” that gets object info (no right-click or dropdown shortcut — shoot the Apple developers, too).

Location field says “unknown.” I type in the IP address, even though I have no idea whether or not that’s what is supposed to go here. <pause> Still cannot connect to the device (printer setup utility -> printers -> configure printer).

Step 2.
Sigh. I don’t know what we did with the install disk that came with the printer. In desperation, I search Google again:

Your search – hl-2070 “IP address” changed mac – did not match any documents.

Networking troubleshooting on the Brother Help site makes no mention of Macs.

Step 3.
It sounds like I need the RPC – remote Printer Console. Search my hard drive; nothing. I go to the download page and select “all” Mac OS 10.4 downloads. Find the Remote Printer Console & Users Guide. While those are downloading, I poke around the Applications folder again. Nothing. Nothing when I search for “Brother” either. [WTH doesn’t search of the hard drive include the LIBRARY?]

Find RPC and documentation. Install, read. It can see the printer. But I still can’t print.

Now I’m cursing Apple.

I’ve been at this for more than an hour. To say that I’m unhappy would be the understatement of the year.

More later, if I ever get the damn thing to print again. Controlled vocabulary matters, but having an answer for a problem matters more.

Update: 8.03 PM
Stopped by the Apple Store while at the Mall. The guy at the Genius Bar suggested I turn everything off, then turn on the APE, then the Mini, then the printer. I did this, although I walked thru the airport set up utility before shutting down the mini.

I can print! At least I can on the Mini … haven’t checked the laptop yet.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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