Unbelievable Sharp

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 14th, 2003 • 11:38 pm

We have a couple of Sharp photocopy machines at work that we also use as printers. It took Sharp a long time to come up with Mac OS X drivers for them that actually worked — but that, in itself, is not much different from the problems with many other printer vendors.

The problem is with the Sharp web site. The uselessness of the site is simply unbelievable. First of all, as far as I can tell, the site doesn’t render properly in Microsoft Explorer or Safari, because it uses all kinds of fancy, bloated and useless animated content.

Then when you do manage to get it to work (with another browser), the simplest things are impossible to do. If you are looking for a driver for an older printer, and you go to the “Support” section, the instructions for finding drivers refer you… to the corresponding product pages. But the products featured on the web site are only the ones that are currently available! In other words, if you are looking for a driver for a printer that is no longer available, you are out of luck.

You can’t even find drivers using the site’s search feature. For example, we have an “old” (1997) Sharp JX-8200 color laser printer that was given to us without any documentation or drivers. If you put “8200” in the search field, you get nada. It’s as if the product never ever existed.

The Sharp web site for Canada is only marginally better. You still get “no results found” if you put “8200” in the search field. But if you follow the links to “Customer Service” and then “Downloads”, and enter the category “Printer”, you do get the JX-8200 listed as one of the options. But then… the only drivers available ar for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.

Yet the old documentation that I found on the JX-8200 on other web sites clearly indicates that the printer was, when it was released, Macintosh compatible and supported Mac OS 8.5 “and above”.

Today, unless you have the original CD or diskette that came with the printer, there is no way to get a Macintosh driver for the printer.

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