MacOS Lion - Part 1 - Support of Canon Multifunction

I wasn't going to do it, but in the end, I succumbed to my "greed for progress": I downloaded and installed Lion on the day Apple made it available. I’d like to share my experiences (quite a few of them negative) with Lion with you.

I had high hopes for the new OS. After all, the feature list was well-sold by its Maker. Also, there were a few issues I had with Snow Leopard that I had hoped to have fixed with this release, for example the support of the Canon iSensys MF8350CD Multifunction Printer / Scanner / Fax.

The integration of our MF8350CD multifunction device was abominal in Snow Leopard. Luckily (or unluckily?), I'm not alone here - the amount of frustration that Mac users have typed into blogs, newsgroups and other online sites about these devices is huge. No drivers built into MacOS at all; the device didn't even function using standard drivers (which, according to some blogs, helped some people). The driver supplied by Canon would bomb every 5th print-attempt or so, and running "Repair Disk Permissions" would break it to the point of having to be re-installed. Because I tend to do a preventative RDP relatively frequently, I decided to put the driver disk image on my desktop to help me locate it quickly…

Needless to say, Lion didn't help - quite the contrary. The old (2.02) driver now didn't work at all any more, and the device still wasn't part of the OS printer library. Very recently, Canon released the 2.03 driver, which works, well, sometimes. I would say, 1/3 of the print attempts actually end in a piece of paper coming out of the printer. 1/3 of the time, some daemon that is part of the Canon CUPS environment dies and - apparently - gets restarted, and 1/3 of the time the application issuing the print command goes up in a puff of smoke. Being an experienced user (say "frustrated"), I know that it is IMPERATIVE to save any changes in a Pages document _before_ printing…

I can tell you: I will NEVER buy another Canon printer or scanner ever again (I do love my IOS D350). Canon used to be the absolute market leader in high-performance color printing from the Mac; now, even HP does better - sad but true.
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