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More Adventures in Networking


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:30 AM

One of the boys in the 'hood called me yesterday. Seems he switched ISPs, got a new gateway and his printer didn't work anymore.
"Are you wired in or is it wireless?"
He assured me it was wired - right next to the desktop. So I went over to check it out.
When I got there I discovered that the only connecting wire was a power cord. The wireless light was flashing - no connection.
So we hunted up his new password and entered it into the printer. The light went steady and a test page printed.
Then he wanted to scan using the push button on the printer but the scan failed. I checked the computer and couldn't find any scanning software. So I downloaded the latest HP printer driver package. After a reboot he could scan from the printer or command a scan from the computer.
I don't know why the tech who came in to install his new gateway didn't get it right, but there you go. Another case where technology is too difficult for the user.
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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:48 AM

So was it the desktop or a laptop that wasn't working? If it was the laptop, then the tech probably just verified that the desktop connected and moved on.
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#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:12 AM

No it was the desktop - the only PC in the house right now.
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#4 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:16 AM

Wow, so the tech just plugged up the gateway and left? I would definitely have your friend call the company to complain. At minimum, he should of verified that the customer was getting an IP which would require him to plug in the ethernet cable.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#5 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 10:21 AM

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I don't know why the tech who came in to install his new gateway didn't get it right...
Because he was there, and got paid to hook up his new network to his computer - nothing more. And that is what he did. ISP techs don't get paid (or trained) to have incentive to go even a little above and beyond. :(

So, when it comes to hooking up the printer, well,
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Another case where technology is too difficult for the user.
Except it really wasn't, was it? I have found the biggest problem most users who seek such help have is they are simply intimidated - afraid they are going to break something. So the problem is actually you! You should have said RTFM! But you spoiled your hood buds! ;) The facts are, most users who buy new printing devices, including All-in-Ones, have no problems following the "Quick Setup Guides" to complete the final assembly tasks, installing the ink cartridges, loading up paper, connecting to the network (via Ethernet or wireless) and using the device.

For the record, I never - as in NEVER EVER install HP's software for any of their "network ready" printing devices. Network ready HP printing devices have what HP calls their EWS (embedded web server). This handy little embedded program allows users to simply enter the device's local IP address in our browsers to access the EWS. And from the EWS and our browser, we can scan, setup and send a fax, check ink levels, check device status and perform printer maintenance tasks WITHOUT installing HPs highly bloated and intrusive software suite.

We do need the basic printer driver to print - but Windows likely has that built in, or it will go out and get just the basic driver, or users can typically download the "basic driver" from the maker's site - which is all we need to perform all printer functions.

If you look on this page for my HP 7525 All-in-One, you can see HP clearly wants us to install the full 116.3MB suite. But just under that is the basic 29.2MB printer driver. Note W10 knows how to fax so the basic fax drivers are not needed either.

I have found that Brother, Epson, Canon, and Lexmark "network ready" printing devices work the same way. I assume other brands do too. Now if you don't mind all the bloat and extra services and apps running all the time, these suites do have some nice features some may like. But for printing, scanning, and faxing tasks, those suites are not needed. You just need to know the device's IP address.

Something to think about next time.
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#6 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 10:40 AM

Before I bought the newest printer, I downloaded the manual and read it. II know, I'm a dying breed. Everyone operates on the principle, "just plug it in and use it".  I saw the directions of how to set it up wirelessly on a smartphone. Good thing I had just purchased my first smart phone. I read instructions from other people how easy it was to set up. I read reviews, both good and bad before I buy something to see if it is worth buying.

The AIO is only plugged into power. It doesn't need to be connected to a computer or a gateway or router to print. I can print from several computers in the house to it provided I turn it on. :whistling:  It's in the basement so I check before I select it to print something.

The computer with the software needs to be turned on for scanning to work but not copying.
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#7 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:19 AM

> Wow, so the tech just plugged up the gateway and left?

Pretty common practice these days, particularly with non-company sub-contractors. They did just this thing at my friend's mom's house a couple months ago. She went to a different cable company/ISP. The "tech" just came over and disconnected all the old (Frontier) crap and connected his Spectrum crap. Then he said, "Have a nice day, ma'am", and was out the door.

I had to go over there and connect up, program the TV. I also had to connect her Ethernet-connected desktop and her wifi connected laptop. I told her she should call Spectrum and raise H3LL. She tried... spent 45 minutes on hold and gave up. Oh well, that's customer service these days, I guess.

#8 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:34 AM

Every time I have had internet hooked up, they have always made sure that I had an IP and then they ran a speed test to check speeds. Two times, they had to adjust the signal strength due to signal problems. All done by the contractor that got sent out. This wasn't one company either.. Cox, ATT, Comcast, etc.
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#9 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:59 AM

You're just lucky that way.

#10 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 12:19 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 17 July 2019 - 11:59 AM, said:

You're just lucky that way.

Lucky? Nah, i just will not let them leave before verifying that it works as intended. I have never had one that didn't do that but I wouldn't let them leave without doing it.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#11 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 12:20 PM

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It doesn't need to be connected to a computer or a gateway or router to print.
It has to connect to a "host" computer or the network in same way. If not via a cable, then wirelessly.
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#12 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 03:38 PM

I couldn't get the AIO to scan to the PC using the push button on the printer without installing the software from HP. Maybe the printer driver alone would have done it but there was no OCR software without installing the HP stuff. Not as far as I could see. I'm pretty sure you could use the Windows drivers to command a scan from the PC but that wasn't what he wanted to do.
It ain't very neighborly to tell a good friend to RTFM. I made sure he was there and supervised him while he put in the wifi password. I am careful to show what I do, and maybe next time he'll be OK. I find it's better to fix the problem than to give somebody a hard time.

Edited by raymac46, 17 July 2019 - 03:38 PM.

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#13 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 05:41 PM

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I couldn't get the AIO to scan to the PC using the push button on the printer without installing the software from HP.
That's not surprising. And yes that is totally different from accessing the device via the browser. And yeah, OCR is not a native Windows tool so you would need HPs or a 3rd party tool for that too.

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It ain't very neighborly to tell a good friend to RTFM
LOL Yeah, I know. That's why I keep getting asked by my friends and neighbors too. At least with my elderly neighbor next door, I get home-made cookies! ;)
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#14 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:15 PM

Just checked with my own HP printer (Envy 5530.) I don't have the whole suite of HP software installed but I do have the printer drivers and HP Printer Assistant. My scan from the printer push button works but you still need to configure where you want to save your files through the Printer Assistant on the computer. Makes me wonder why you don't just scan everything from the PC in the first place.
It would be nice if everybody just followed the instructions to configure a printer. But it's my experience with older folks that they just don't "get it" when it comes to networking - even though they want to connect laptops, tablets, ROKU boxes, smartphones...Better I do it for free then they call the Geek Squad and pay $100.
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#15 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:25 PM

> Nah, i just will not let them leave before verifying that it works as intended.

Well, you're not an 80-something year old woman who lives alone. I guess the puke figured he'd get in/get out and get his commission. If he knew how carpy Spectrum CU was, he knew he'd get away with it.

Hard to find good help these days, I guess.

#16 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:09 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 17 July 2019 - 08:25 PM, said:

> Nah, i just will not let them leave before verifying that it works as intended.

Well, you're not an 80-something year old woman who lives alone. I guess the puke figured he'd get in/get out and get his commission. If he knew how carpy Spectrum CU was, he knew he'd get away with it.

Hard to find good help these days, I guess.

Yeah, I guess that you are right. Common decency and work ethics are really non-existent nowadays.
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#17 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:34 AM

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Makes me wonder why you don't just scan everything from the PC in the first place.
Right! That's what I do and that's what logging into the printer directly through that EWS using the printer's IP address allows you to do, without having to install the Printer Assistant software.

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It would be nice if everybody just followed the instructions to configure a printer.
Perhaps, but then they would install the full, bloated, not-so-nice suite.

And yes, some older people (I'm 67 so not sure what "older people" means here) have problems understanding networking concepts but then home broadband networks have been around for over 15 years. I know some in their 80s who can do this blindfolded. And I know some in their 20s who are just as lost when it comes to connecting hardware who are just as resistant to RTFM. They can operate it just fine, once connected, but many seem to think it should be as easy and plugging in a toaster and toasting a piece of bread - and perhaps it should be that easy.

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Yeah, I guess that you are right. Common decency and work ethics are really non-existent nowadays.
I agree but not sure the blame should fall solely on the visiting tech. Most of these people are barely making minimum wage and have been provided only the minimum training needed to follow a check list. In fact, many are not even allowed to deviate from that check list - even if they knew what to do. Company policy does not allow it, and I would not be surprised if the company liability insurance and company shyster... err... legal department didn't have a say in what the visiting tech can do too. :(
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#18 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:28 AM

> I agree but not sure the blame should fall solely on the visiting tech. Most of these people are barely making minimum wage and have been provided only the minimum training needed to follow a check list.

Indeed. Ultimately, the company is at fault. Their greed, cutting costs/corners, padding of the bottom line, and ultimate goal of profits leads to situations like this. It's getting more and more common these days, unfortunately.

#19 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:31 AM

View PostDigerati, on 18 July 2019 - 10:34 AM, said:

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Yeah, I guess that you are right. Common decency and work ethics are really non-existent nowadays.
I agree but not sure the blame should fall solely on the visiting tech. Most of these people are barely making minimum wage and have been provided only the minimum training needed to follow a check list. In fact, many are not even allowed to deviate from that check list - even if they knew what to do. Company policy does not allow it, and I would not be surprised if the company liability insurance and company shyster... err... legal department didn't have a say in what the visiting tech can do too. :(

Very true :thumbsup:
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#20 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:04 PM

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It doesn't need to be connected to a computer or a gateway or router to print.
Instead of connected, I should have said, it doesn't need to be connected by cable to a computer or a gateway or router to print.
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#21 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:06 PM

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I'm 67 so not sure what "older people" means here
I'm in my 70s so I definitely qualify - but I daresay you and I are not typical of the seniors I encounter most days who are dealing with technology.
For instance my wife works with a lady in our local thrift shop. A few years ago her parents had a nice desktop setup with a brand new printer and they went THREE  MONTHS without printing because they didn't know how to make the new printer the default. When I fixed it they said "You are not a young man. How did you know how?"
I've configured stuff for my son-in-law too. So it's not just an age thing. But I find that unless you were a techie from early days, most folks in their 70s and 80s have never figured it out at the fundamental level - even if they use a laptop or smartphone or wireless device of some sort.
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#22 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:20 PM

I don't want to disparage the tech here either. Most of them in my area are independent contractors for the ISP (Rogers.) The main focus of their effort is outside the home - if it's past the cable connection on the inside it's normally the homeowner's responsibility. That said I've had some techs who went above and beyond to get decent amplification for signals to improve performance inside. I have TV, landline phone and Internet coming in on the same cable.
I certainly don't call on them to install and configure a wireless gateway.
But when it was a new customer - and all that the customer had was one desktop and a wireless printer - I don't think it's unreasonable to check that both the computer and printer were connected to the network. Maybe it is nowadays.
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#23 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:43 PM

Well when I got fiber a few months ago, they ran the fiber line directly from the Hub in my front yard directly into my house. Then it is connected to a convertor that converts fiber cable to ethernet which is connected to the gateway. They tested my connectivity and I get like 950mbps up and down.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#24 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 05:04 PM

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but I daresay you and I are not typical of the seniors I encounter most days who are dealing with technology.
True. I've been a certified electronics technician for over 45 years so playing around with hardware is what I do. But you really don't need to be a hardware technician to connect a printer or even setup a computer these days. That's why I said in my first post above the problem is simply intimidation - folks are afraid they are going to break something.
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#25 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:38 PM

I've been working with computers since before Apollo 11 and I try to keep up as best I can.
I think that one problem a lot of people have with network issues is that they can follow a cookbook well enough to get things going - hooking up a wifi printer shouldn't be any harder than getting a tablet to connect to your network - but if something changes or goes wrong they don't know how to troubleshoot. As you know, sometimes it is as simple as rebooting gateway, PC, printer. In my friend's case he had a new gateway with a new password which he put into the PC. But he forgot the printer.
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