Category : Printer Utilities
Archive   : DJ-CS2.ZIP
Filename : DJ500.REV

 
Output of file : DJ500.REV contained in archive : DJ-CS2.ZIP
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This is a short review of the Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 500 inkjet printer.
It relies rather heavily on my own experience and needs and your findings
may vary. Therefore, I am not responsible for any decisions you make based
on this review. It is purely opinion.

The DeskJet 500, H-P's replacement for their earlier DeskJet and DeskJet+
printers, is likely to become the poor man's laser in a much bigger way than
H-P expected. While all of the DeskJets have had 300dpi resolution and were
capable of producing clear, clean output relatively quickly, the DJ500 is far
and away superior to not only its predecessors but also any other inkjet unit
I have ever worked with. Its setup is insanely simple, the output quality
fabulous, the speed more than adequate, and the layout of the unit itself very
well thought-out.

SETUP

The first sign of thought in the DJ500's setup is a small message on the side
of the box. FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT, THIS BOX WAS NOT BLEACHED WHITE.
Inside the brown box, manuals, an ink cartridge, and the power supply readily
pop out and the unit itself can be removed. It weighs less than many
dotmatrix printers and far less than any laser. The unit is well-cushioned,
but isn't festooned with wrappings and tape and styro blocks, the way a Series
II LaserJet or an Epson printer would be. The setup guide for the printer,
clearly marked READ THIS FIRST, is a 16 page wonder of brevity. Very simply,
it points out where things are, how to plug them in, and what to expect when
you power up. While no sample paper is included with the unit, the guide does
not mention that PLAIN XEROGRAPHIC BOND can be used. The Owner's Manual
specifically directs the user not to use inkjet-specific paper (!), but it
would seem they could mention this in the setup guide, in case someone runs
out and buys some. At the end of the guide, it shows how to run a simple
self-test and indicates what other manuals contain relevant information.

I didn't even need the guide. Under the "hood" of the unit is a sequence of
drawings explaining paper loading, ink cartridge loading, front-keypad
controls, and even the settings of the two DIPs under the front panel.

The power supply for the unit is external, oddly enough. THis might be a
problem for people who kick things around the floor a lot. However, that
removes the power supply's heat from the case, which I feel is an advantage.

The Owner's Manual contains more detailed explanations of paper selection and
loading, ink cartridges, and the front panel switches and keypads. As usual
with HP manuals, it also contains a very complete listing of the PCL level 3
commands the unit speaks, and a summary of the common ones. In addition,
there are the usual character set charts, pin layouts for the parallel and
serial ports, and phone numbers to call for help.

There is an additional software guide, listing specific setup methods and
driver compatibilities for many major software packages, including 1-2-3,
WordPerfect 4.1, 5.0 and 5.1, PFS, Multimate, and WordStar. The section
dealing with Windows does NOT include any mention of Windows 3.0.

OPERATION
In operation, the unit is entirely compatible with older DeskJet drivers, and
can use DJ fonts and cartridges, except the early Epson emulation cartridges
(so I'm told). I used a DeskJet driver under WordPerfect 5.1, and it operated
well. I then obtained the newer DJ500 driver, which adds support for the
fonts contained in the 500. The 500 comes with Courier in 5, 10, 17 and 20
pitch, Letter Gothic in 6, 12 and 24 pitch, and a clean-looking Times Roman in
6 and 12 point. With additional RAM, it can handle extra carts and soft fonts
without trouble. The unit is quiet, very quiet, and fast. In its native mode
it can kick out a page of text in about 15 seconds, not as fast as a laser but
as fast as a dotmatrix. However, where the dotmatrix would have to do this at
a jagged 72 or 75 dpi, the DJ500 goes to 300 dpi at that high speed.

A word about HP's new ink is in order. In short: it won't smudge. Period.
All you have to do is give the stuff, even at heavy blackness on graphics,
about ten seconds to dry, and you can't smudge it. It's water resistant, and
HP is making this formula available for all the previous DJ models. It's a
nice black and fills solidly and doesn't bleed. HP's warning about not using
inkjet paper is valid, though. Inkjet paper is coated with a diffusive
material designed to give the characters a more solid appearance. While this
improves a 75-dpi inkjet printer's output, it severely degrades the quality of
the DJ500. Characters look fuzzy and bloated, and graphics are not clear.
Don't buy the stuff, just jog over to the copier and grab a stack of paper.

I also operated the unit under QMS's UltraScript PostScript interpreter, using
QMS's straight DeskJet driver. I printed some scanned images, some extremely
fine graphics, and the unit performed flawlessly. The one thing to watch out
for is that the "dead zone" at the bottom of a page is larger than what you'd
find on most lasers (nearly half an inch). Some things low on the page might
get cut off. Watch yourself.

SUMMARY

The unit is a winner. I have not been able to find anything to fault the unit
on so far, and for the price (you can buy them on the street for a touch over
$500) a lot would have to be wrong with it for me to object strongly. It
doesn't seem to hog ink (the catridges are meant to last upwards of 500 to 600
pages), and the cartridges aren't terribly expensive. It's small, quiet and
lightweight. They're also tremendously popular and can be hard to find, but
worth the wait.

Scott Wenzel
Galapagos Development
CIS: 76662,2617

  3 Responses to “Category : Printer Utilities
Archive   : DJ-CS2.ZIP
Filename : DJ500.REV

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: http://www.os2museum.com/wp/mtswslnk/