Christmas came early (updated 12/31)

I came back from a break Monday afternoon and noticed that Apple’s Software Update was indicating in my Dock that an update was available. I didn’t get excited because I figured it was another Java update or something. Imagine my surprise when I finally got around to looking at it and found that it was a driver update for Epson printers “installed on this computer!” The only Epson printer this computer knows about is my 2200 so I figured this had to be good.

Having been burnt already with the Snow Leopard upgrade, I decided to check Google for any problem reports before installing the update. I did not find any so I promptly updated my Time Machine backup and then told Software Update to proceed. Once the update was installed, I deleted the 2200 I already had defined and added a “new” 2200 in the Print and Fax preference pane. I was shocked. Not only did I have all the options back that I had under Leopard, but the Status Monitor actually worked on my Airport-connected printer and showed me the ink status! That’s a feature that had never worked before even under Tiger and Leopard!

Needless to say, I’m in hog heaven right now. My prints are coming out looking as beautiful as they did before Snow Leopard and I have even more functionality than I had before. I’m not sure who to credit, Apple or Epson, but I’m overjoyed to have my printer back. Does this mean I’m over being upset about Epson’s policy toward Mac users? Of course not. We’re still second-class citizens in Epsonville despite being arguably the heaviest users of high-end Epson printers and their very profitable (for Epson) inks. Does this update at least soften the blow? Yes, although the fact that it took three months is disappointing. Am I still going to switch to Canon or HP when it comes time to buy a new printer? Probably. Even allowing for the possibility that Apple is responsible for the delay, I do not like Epson’s attitude toward Mac users. They have a lot of work to do if they want to turn their image around in my mind. I’m not naïve enough to think that Epson cares one bit about what a small fry like me thinks. I know that voting with my wallet isn’t going to have any effect on them. But I’m going to do it anyway, and if enough of you do it too then maybe we can at least get the attention of Epson’s most junior janitor.

Enjoy your Christmas, Hanukkah (belatedly), Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you may choose to celebrate at this time of the year.

UPDATE Fri, 31 December 2009
Doug Haass posted on the BAPC web site that Epson has posted new drivers on their web site as well. If you notice, the update previous to this one was posted almost two years ago (ignore the fact that it says it's for 10.6 — they changed the description after Snow Leopard came out but the update didn't work for me). The driver before that was posted a year and a half earlier (June 2006!) for Tiger. Only four updates in six years. The evidence is all right there in the open.