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Anyone else think HP's web site is a mess?

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October 26, 2004 8:31:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

I spent hours each day - for three days - patiently drilling through
link after link, looking for a downloadable user's manual for an old
Laserjet. Lost track of how many "product description" fields I filled
in. Never found a page with download links for the variety of
Laserjets; never even found one download link.

I decided to tell the webmaster what I thought of the site. But the
"form" asks what product you're writing about .... or something else
equally inappropriate. I gave up, drilled through a bunch more pages,
trying to find a phone number to call service. Success! But the phone
was answered by one of those voice recognition systems:


Droid: (something like) what product are you calling about?
Me: "LaserJet Four"
Droid: "Is that a Lserjet?"
Me: "Yes" (It is, isn't it???)
Droid: "That product has been discontinued. Would you like to (learn
about other products)?"
Me: "No"
Droid: "Good-bye"


1-800-474-6836
Try it yourself.

(&rant ON) I *know* the Laserjet 4 is an old printer. But I still have
one, and I need an additional manual. How much disk space would HP have
to cough up to keep the PDF available for its customers?
(&rant OFF)

More about : web site mess

October 27, 2004 12:48:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

No HP site is great
One of the Best IMHO
"Michael" <NoSpam@att.net> wrote in message
news:417E7C22.D4BBA5C9@att.net...
>I spent hours each day - for three days - patiently drilling through
> link after link, looking for a downloadable user's manual for an old
> Laserjet. Lost track of how many "product description" fields I filled
> in. Never found a page with download links for the variety of
> Laserjets; never even found one download link.
>
> I decided to tell the webmaster what I thought of the site. But the
> "form" asks what product you're writing about .... or something else
> equally inappropriate. I gave up, drilled through a bunch more pages,
> trying to find a phone number to call service. Success! But the phone
> was answered by one of those voice recognition systems:
>
>
> Droid: (something like) what product are you calling about?
> Me: "LaserJet Four"
> Droid: "Is that a Lserjet?"
> Me: "Yes" (It is, isn't it???)
> Droid: "That product has been discontinued. Would you like to (learn
> about other products)?"
> Me: "No"
> Droid: "Good-bye"
>
>
> 1-800-474-6836
> Try it yourself.
>
> (&rant ON) I *know* the Laserjet 4 is an old printer. But I still have
> one, and I need an additional manual. How much disk space would HP have
> to cough up to keep the PDF available for its customers?
> (&rant OFF)
Anonymous
October 27, 2004 2:53:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

There is no longer a User Manual available on the site. Why not post your
problem? Someone here could most likely help.

Melissa

"Michael" <NoSpam@att.net> wrote in message
news:417E7C22.D4BBA5C9@att.net...
> I spent hours each day - for three days - patiently drilling through
> link after link, looking for a downloadable user's manual for an old
> Laserjet. Lost track of how many "product description" fields I filled
> in. Never found a page with download links for the variety of
> Laserjets; never even found one download link.
>
> I decided to tell the webmaster what I thought of the site. But the
> "form" asks what product you're writing about .... or something else
> equally inappropriate. I gave up, drilled through a bunch more pages,
> trying to find a phone number to call service. Success! But the phone
> was answered by one of those voice recognition systems:
>
>
> Droid: (something like) what product are you calling about?
> Me: "LaserJet Four"
> Droid: "Is that a Lserjet?"
> Me: "Yes" (It is, isn't it???)
> Droid: "That product has been discontinued. Would you like to (learn
> about other products)?"
> Me: "No"
> Droid: "Good-bye"
>
>
> 1-800-474-6836
> Try it yourself.
>
> (&rant ON) I *know* the Laserjet 4 is an old printer. But I still have
> one, and I need an additional manual. How much disk space would HP have
> to cough up to keep the PDF available for its customers?
> (&rant OFF)
Related resources
Anonymous
October 27, 2004 2:53:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

> I spent hours each day ...looking for a downloadable user's
> manual for an old Laserjet.

When something doesn't exist, it can be hard to find :-)
And every vendor I've ever dealt with is weak on
telling you what they don't have on their web.

> Me: "LaserJet Four"

The original LJ4 is long discontinued (over 10 years) and
almost certainly off "support life" (meaning that even if HP
had PDFs, they wouldn't necessarily feel obliged to keep
them on-line).

The newer LJ4+ may also be off support life. I checked
the HP parts site for the 4+ User Manual (C2037-90901),
and it came back "Part no longer supplied."

> But I still have one, and I need an additional manual.

eBay might be worth a shot. If you post the product
number from the back of the printer, the newsgroup might
be able to supply some manual part numbers to hunt for.
Some of the aftermarket printer parts suppliers might
have manuals as well.

> How much disk space would HP have to cough up to keep
> the PDF available for its customers?

The LJ4 was documented back before PDF existed. When the
LJ4+ manuals were done (1993), Acrobat was probably still
at rev 1.x.

Apart from that, those manuals may not have been done with
a DTP system that could generate PostScript, much less PDF.
And if they could have generated .PS, the files might not
have been preserved for later distilling to PDF. I've never
seen any of the LJ4/4+ manuals in PDF.

--
Regards, Bob Niland mailto:name@ispname.tld
http://www.access-one.com/rjn email4rjn AT yahoo DOT com
NOT speaking for any employer, client or Internet Service Provider.
October 27, 2004 7:50:00 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Melissa wrote:
>
> There is no longer a User Manual available on the site. Why not post your
> problem? Someone here could most likely help.
>
> Melissa

Thank-you for that information, Melissa.

In fact, I did post here, last week, and ask if anyone has - or could
post a link for - the Laserjet 4 user's manual in PDF. One kind soul
offered to send same but rescinded the offer upon discovering that the
maint. manual was what he had.

Michael
October 27, 2004 7:52:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Smith wrote:
>
> No HP site is great
> One of the Best IMHO


I agree wholeheartedly with your first comment: "No HP site is great".
;-)
October 27, 2004 11:13:25 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

email4rjn@yahoo.com (Bob Niland) wrote in message news:<d97c4731.0410270950.41b13824@posting.google.com>...

> The original LJ4 is long discontinued (over 10 years) and
> almost certainly off "support life" (meaning that even if HP
> had PDFs, they wouldn't necessarily feel obliged to keep
> them on-line).

Agreed, there is no *legal* obligation.

> The LJ4 was documented back before PDF existed. When the
> LJ4+ manuals were done (1993), Acrobat was probably still
> at rev 1.x.

> Apart from that, those manuals may not have been done with
> a DTP system that could generate PostScript, much less PDF.
> And if they could have generated .PS, the files might not
> have been preserved for later distilling to PDF. I've never
> seen any of the LJ4/4+ manuals in PDF.

I have a "Quick Reference" for the HP4 (basically just how to use the
control panel), published 1992. I have the Service Manual for the HP4
& 5, published 1996. Both are real PDFs (i.e., the text is text, not
scanned.)

Other companies take the trouble to scan their old manuals and put
these online, which if not perfect is a lot better than nothing. See
eg
<http://www.star-micronics.co.jp/eng/dl/dl01_02.htm&gt; where they have
scanned manuals for printers made in 1984.

So HP, while not obliged to do this, could generate some goodwill,
which does translate into future sales eventually, and just put ALL
their old manuals online, especially as they've run out of the printed
manuals they used to gauge you for (cutting into the sales of these
was probably the real reason they didn't offer them online). DTP
quality would be great; scanned would be fine.

I've been looking for this User's Manual for almost a year too.
Anonymous
October 28, 2004 12:59:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

>> The original LJ4 is long discontinued (over 10 years) and
>> almost certainly off "support life" (meaning that even if HP
>> had PDFs, they wouldn't necessarily feel obliged to keep
>> them on-line).

> Agreed, there is no *legal* obligation.

I suspect any legal obligation expires with the warranty.
Companies can set any support life policies they desire.
HP's used to be 10 years after disco. I have no idea what
it is now.

> I have a "Quick Reference" for the HP4 (basically just how to use the
> control panel), published 1992. I have the Service Manual for the HP4
> & 5, published 1996. Both are real PDFs (i.e., the text is text, not
> scanned.)

Roger that.

> ... Other companies take the trouble to scan their old
> manuals and put these online, ...

I used to work for HP, and routinely did this for the
"legacy" products I managed (which did not include the
any printers). However, I had little control over how
long the stuff stayed visible on the external web.

> So HP, while not obliged to do this, could generate some goodwill,

I quite agree. The original HP used to make manuals available
forever, if only on microfiche. I sense lawyer meddling here.

When selecting new products these days (from any supplier),
one of the things I routinely do is see what docs are
available on-line for them. Despite the fact that 100% of
new documentation is generated electronically, it's amazing
how seldom the sellers post it on the web. For me:
no PDFs = no sale

--
Regards, Bob Niland mailto:name@ispname.tld
http://www.access-one.com/rjn email4rjn AT yahoo DOT com
NOT speaking for any employer, client or Internet Service Provider.
October 30, 2004 7:53:44 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Mickey wrote:
SNIP
> Bill and Dave have
> to be rolling in their graves over what has happened to their great Co.
>
> Mickey

I was thinking the same thing as you as I searched - in vain, it turns
out - for a User's Manual for Laserjet 4 last week.

In the early 70's, shortly after the HP-35 calculator went G.A., my
company invited an HP rep. in-house to demonstrate the HP-35 to some
engineers and senior scientists. I was a lowly tech. back then but
attended the demo anyway. At one point, the rep. stopped punching the
keypad and heaved the calculator over our heads, bouncing it off the
back wall. He strode back to to it, picked it up, and held it up so
everyone could see that the display was still lit up. Then he handed it
to me and urged me to pass it around. Apparently that particular unit
had been "demo'd" a few times because the case was pretty chewed up. If
only HP would make printers today even half as rugged as the HP-35. :-(

Michael
Anonymous
October 30, 2004 7:53:45 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Michael wrote:
> Mickey wrote:
> SNIP
>
>> Bill and Dave have
>>to be rolling in their graves over what has happened to their great Co.
>>
>>Mickey
>
>
> I was thinking the same thing as you as I searched - in vain, it turns
> out - for a User's Manual for Laserjet 4 last week.
>
> In the early 70's, shortly after the HP-35 calculator went G.A., my
> company invited an HP rep. in-house to demonstrate the HP-35 to some
> engineers and senior scientists. I was a lowly tech. back then but
> attended the demo anyway. At one point, the rep. stopped punching the
> keypad and heaved the calculator over our heads, bouncing it off the
> back wall. He strode back to to it, picked it up, and held it up so
> everyone could see that the display was still lit up. Then he handed it
> to me and urged me to pass it around. Apparently that particular unit
> had been "demo'd" a few times because the case was pretty chewed up. If
> only HP would make printers today even half as rugged as the HP-35. :-(
>
> Michael
The old Calc's were rugged but they were also $750 (early 70's $) not
the $100-200 (2004 $) that most printers cost. Virtually all consumer
printers are sold at cost with intent to make some profit on
consumables. Most couldn't afford a printer built to the same qlty
std of the old HP calc's. By the way, the HP35 was the first consumer
product HP ever made. Back in those days HP's typ customer was an
engineer.

Today's HP is a totally different Co. with little in common other than
name. Too bad as it was one of the best. Top qlty products and a
great Co to work for. Neither apply today.

Mickey
Anonymous
October 30, 2004 9:34:58 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

In article <10o7gevet4jhl9c@corp.supernews.com>, mickey@webster.com
says...
> Today's HP is a totally different Co. with little in common other than
> name. Too bad as it was one of the best. Top qlty products and a
> great Co to work for. Neither apply today.
>
> Mickey
>


As some of you may know, HP was first, and foremost, a high-quality test
equipment manufacturer. Along with Tektronix scopes, HP AF and RF
signal generators, spectrum analyzers, et. al. were found in the best
labs in research and manufacturing around the world.

It's strange for "we technical-types," that HP changed its test
equipment name to Agilent Technologies to differentiate it from what has
become a "consumer-grade" oriented company now known as HP. Most
consumers only think of HP as a computer, printer, and calculator
manufacturer. Few of today's computer consumers will ever know, or
appreciate or care, that HP was the standard of test equipment
manufacturing long before they rolled out their first IBM PC clone.

Wang, on the other hand, was the "first to market" with a 4-function
handheld calculator in 1968.

Don
Anonymous
October 31, 2004 12:24:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Don Allen wrote:

> It's strange for "we technical-types," that HP changed its test
> equipment name to Agilent Technologies to differentiate it from what has
> become a "consumer-grade" oriented company now known as HP.
> Don
>

Not exactly correct. HP was getting so large that some with in the
corp thought it was too large to manage effectively in so many areas
they competed in. With that thought in mind the Co. decided to split
into two separate Co's and each to go their own separate ways. The
powers that be deiced to split Co up with computer related business
being one Co and all the other business units go with the other Co.
As to the Co names, it was thought the HP name recognition was better
match for the computer business. The other Co. created the name
Agilent. It was thought that industry that was most familiar with all
the test equipment and medical equipment would be less affected by the
name change. The medical equipment business was sold off to Phillips
within a yr.

Personally I think the whole thing was a mistake and neither Co has
prospered as well as the Co did prior to the split-up.

Mickey
Anonymous
February 10, 2005 6:16:50 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Hello Michael!

Sikna suggests,

Since the HP LJ 5 uses the same Canon EX II print engine and is nearly
the same as the LJ 4 Plus except for the redesign of the plastic case
you can get most of the user info from the LJ 5 user's guide which is
still available from HP at this link:

http://h200001.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManua...

Sikna out... :D 
!