"Unsupported" HP 6500a Printer works perfectly
Though a recent Linux convert, I was confident that when I got a new printer (HP Officejet 6500a) for my birthday (because of what I read about HP's support of Linux) that it would work.
I get the $150 printer with a year of ink in hand. The last printer (an Officejet 4500--a far inferior printer) worked perfectly before, but nothing from the 6500a. I realized the CD was useless, so I call Tech Support. They put me on hold for about 10 minutes.
Finally, they patched me to their small business number, which they had listed for Linux help. Upon reporting to him what I had from the software manager in Mint 11 concerning HP Cups, and that I had loaded the dependencies and unzipped the tarballs <http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/install/manual/distros/linuxmint.html>. Then I told him my distro and he says, "Oh! You're using Linux!" It was his first Linux call ever. :/
He looked up the model number and sent me a tinyurl version of their page about the printer, which was the wrong model, and proceeded to tell me that my model is "unsupported." This was after he consulted their "specialist". Their conclusion was that I should buy Windows 7. :/
The page about my printer says it is compatible, so I proceeded.
I think I was wondering, perhaps foolishly, if Wine had begun to create compatibilities between Windows Printer Driver Installation CDs and Linux. In any case, I find, in a forum online <http://www.openprinting.org/printer/HP/HP-OfficeJet_6500_Wireless> as a result. I also found a similar page at hplip <http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/install/manual/hp_setup.html>. Both revealed the answer...
That and less than a minute is all it took. Installing drivers from a CD, I think, takes longer than that. It's moments like these that I especially love Linux and all the people that have been a part of it. Just wanted to say that this kind of support for printers, particularly, is so necessary because I truly don't want to go back to Windows at all, but I really started to think about it when I realized that I might've had to leave a perfect condition printer on my desk for show if Linux wouldn't work with it.