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Posted on December 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

Mac OS X Mavericks: new problems with old printers? (and some solutions too)

Mavericks Printer Filter ErrorI recently updated a couple of client*s iMacs with Mac OS X Mavericks (better late than never) and found myself stuck with an unknown error from the printer spooler: “Filter failed”.

I checked all printer software, namely a Kyocera PDL and a Samsung laser printers, and still got the same problem.
A short check with Error Console didn’t helped that much.
I deleted the printers and re/installed them, I checked for more recent drivers on the web but… no way, no solution.

Time to Google out some help.
It turns out that Mac OS X Mavericks doesn’t support (or likes) many older printers and many users are complaining about it so here’s my pick along with a couple of solutions and a few lessons learned.

Mavericks Mac Printer ProblemFirst attempt, just as I did, try to delete, remove and reinstall the printer, eventually rebooting in between.
Then, from the Printer & Scanners panel, right-click to Reset printing system status and try again if the dreaded filter error gets away.

If not, here’s B-Plan.
Mac OS X printing service, CUPS, may be part of the problem so you may turn to GutenDriver, which overrides CUPS’s settings and brings high quality printer drivers for Canon, Epson, Lexmark, and PCL printers.

Download them from GutenDriver web site, as of writing latest version is 5.2.9, and reinstall printer drivers as usual: GutenDriver should have taken place.
Now you’re printing (happily as I did) back with your old printer but through GutenDriver filter.

GutenDriver works from Mac OS X 10.2 up to 10.8 and, as I tested, with 10.9 AKA Mavericks.


Posted on December 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

ScreenShade: an old (free) utility that will make brighter (or dimmer) your Mac

ScreenShade Utility MavericksMost of the time, I love a dim-lit working environment (I guess it’s not only me…).

My iMac 24″ display sports a good estate when it comes to screen size but it’s damn too bright, especially when you’re using it for hours and hours writing text and/or coding.

ScreenShade Mac OS XThe latest Mavericks update urged my to find a substitute for the now-defunct utility Shades (that is: no more supported by 10.9.x).
Meet ScreenShade which, incidentally, looks like it’s some sort of abandonware: its home website is no longer available…

You can still find it on Softonic library, download it and get up and (dim) running very fast!

ScreenShade resides in the upper-right bar, can be configured for Startup-Launch and, quite interesting, can be set up for external displays too.

Simple, free, useful: recommended!


Posted on September 2, 2011 at 6:02 am

SecondBar: get your external monitor a second menubar! – for free

secondbar mac appWritten by MacSwitcher Andreas Hegenberg, SecondBar, still in early development, is the first successful attempt I’ve seen at replicating the menu bar across displays. Just launch this program and your menu bar magically appears on your second screen.
You can thus access menu commands from either menu bar.

Via SecondBar’s preferences, you can set the transparency of the second menu bar, and you can make the second menu bar movable (although I’m not sure why you’d want to move it lower on the screen). SecondBar also provides some useful keyboard and mouse-button shortcuts for quickly moving windows between displays and resizing windows to the left or right half of a display.

Just a few cons: SecondBar puts a second menubar up on a second monitor. Unfortunately, the name reflects reality–it only provides 1 more menubar, and not one per additional screen; moreover Secondbar it’s still an unfinished project so may hang up with some apps: be warned.

However, it works well for what it does. I tried some other menu utilities, but they all miss the boat for my needs.

Screen real estate is never enough, so is the menubar!

Download SecondBar by clicking here and check Andreas other apps as well!