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March 2004

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Using the HP PhotoSmart P1000 with OS/2

By Stuart Updike © March 2004

When I first started using OS/2, I was using an HP DeskJet 560C. It performed flawlessly for 10 years, but it would not print photos with the quality I desired. So I started looking around.

A friend of mine mentioned that she was using a Kodak DC-215 digital camera and an HP PhotoSmart P1000 printer. Since the camera uses CF cards which can be plugged directly into a port on the side of the printer, it can print the photos without any input from the computer. My friend allowed me to connect my ThinkPad 600 to her HP PhotoSmart P1000 and do a little testing. I used the HP DeskJet 855C driver which performed perfectly for text and graphics functions, but photos printed from the computer were still not what I had hoped for. Nevertheless, the P1000's ability to bypass the computer and print photos directly from the memory cards was a solution to one of my problems and I could work on the other as time permitted.

Several months ago, while still using the HP DeskJet 855C driver, it occurred to me that I might explore different Color Dither settings. During that experimentation, I discovered that the Stucki Diffusion improved the quality from about 50% of photo quality to about 90%.

During some further experimentation, I have discovered that the driver for the HP DeskJet 1220C produces printouts with a quality equaling that obtained when printing directly from the CF card in the printer port. (Which is definitely photo quality.)

The driver I am currently using is from the eCS 1.1 installation. Identical results were obtained using the driver available in the file called OMNIEN.EXE downloaded from IBM's Online Device Driver library. In order to obtain the best quality, when the print dialog box appears, select Job Settings and change the Print Quality to Presentation. My printing experiments were conducted using Papyrus 8.23 and PMView 2000 2.32. Both produced excellent results.

The HP PhotoSmart P1000 uses a tri-color cartridge, #78, and a black cartridge, #45. They cost approximately $30 each. It has a slot for envelopes, and a small tray for 4 x 6 inch photo paper. The main paper tray can be adjusted for paper sizes up to U.S. legal paper and down to 4 x 6 inch card stock. The ports on the side of the printer will accept CF cards and SmartMedia cards. Also, adapters are available on the Internet which fit in the CF card port and accept memory sticks. This printer can be connected using either a USB or parallel connection.

HPPS Control PanelWhen printing photos from cards in the card slots, the printer control panel allows the user to select which photos to print, the sizes of the photos, the number of copies and the type and size of paper. It then prints as many photos per page as will fit.

The procedure would go as follows. Using the Choose Photos button, step through the list of photos. When you come to one you want to print, press OK. It will be added to the list in the LCD window. Using the Photo Size button, step through until the correct size shows in the LCD window. Using the Copies button, step through until the correct number of copies shows in the LCD window. When everything is as you want it, press Print.

One negative I have noted is that this driver sometimes form feeds a blank page at the end of the print job. You can prevent this when you are not printing photos by reverting to the HP DeskJet 855C driver for everyday use.

All in all, I am very well pleased with the HP PhotoSmart P1000, and would highly recommend it to you.

The specifications for these HP printers can be viewed at:


Printer specifications:

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