About Those Printing Problems

Last month I mentioned that we were having strange printing problems. We finally have them all worked out:

1. KidPix 4 doesn’t play nice with the PPD for HP CLJ 3800 printers. I found this out from a post on another tech blog, K12geeks, which I found with a Google search. The amazing thing was, there was a comment on this post, from earlier in the same day as my search, telling me the solution. What are the odds? Anyhow, switching to the HP CLJ 3700 PPD stopped KidPix from crashing on print. Not that that program doesn’t still suck in a million other ways, though.

2. The new HP LJ 4250s that we purchased over summer were freezing up regularly. No response to pings, no response to the buttons, nothing. Only a power cycle would bring them back to life. Turns out that they were shipped with really old firmware. Bringing that up to date has improved their reliability dramatically.

3. Old Word documents would frequently not print, but new ones would. Print jobs would just disappear before they ever reached the OS X printer proxy apps. Even printing to PDF wouldn’t work—the PDF icon would show up briefly in the Finder, then disappear. Turns out that the old documents were written with fonts that we now only have installed in the Classic Font folder. Deleting the appropriate font cache folder from /Library/Caches/ solves the problem. Since the enclosing folders are listed by UID instead of account name, I wrote a little AppleScript that our users can run to delete the appropriate folder. No idea if the problem will re-surface, but for now we have a resolution.

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