Friday, March 06, 2009

Lexmark X4550 wireless woes with OS X, part DEUX

The Mac drivers for the Lexmark X4550 (listed as '3500-4500 series') are a little twitchy in that, after not using the printer/scanner for a while via its wireless interface (e.g. after the wireless router has restarted), it will no longer connect to the Mac to scan nor will the Mac connect to it to print. The typical case when trying to scan and upload to a computer on the network is that the printer will display "Downloading application list" on the LCD panel after you select the desired computer to scan to, and then after about a minute, "Cannot retrieve application list".

Anyway, the scabby workaround for me is a little script which simply kills and restarts a pair of Lexmark driver services:

$ cat ~/bin/

killall LexmarkNetworkServices
killall "3500-4500 Series Button Monitor"
open "/Library/Application Support/Lexmark/"
open "/Library/Application Support/Lexmark/3500-4500 Series Scanner.bundle/Contents/SharedSupport/3500-4500 Series Button"

This seems to do the trick. Of course, it would be better if Lexmark would fix their drivers, but after the last phone calls I had with their tech support I don't think this is a big priority for them (it was an outsourced-to-India tech support line, where the guy did almost everything he could to pronounce that it was a problem with my router or my computer or something, rather than actually passing on information about a probable bug to the dev team... although he did seem to have a decent technical grasp of the troubleshooting steps he performed which makes him infinitely better than the Acer helpline which appears to go to a call centre in Scotland with lots of ignorant people in it. Whoops, my comment in parentheses is longer than the preceding paragraph, boo!).