We just got a Canon imageRUNNER 2880i copier in the Super-Tent (the old copier died, and this one's smarter). It has an Ethernet connection and a phone line, so can be used as a smart fax machine & scanner, and accessed via email.

Sounds great! I'd love to be able to send & receive faxes from my desk, and it's half as far from my desk as our primary printer (oscar, as in "The Grouch"). Amy had desktop faxing with RightFAX at Debevoise, and it was quite convenient.

I tried to print, using the generic PS driver. Instead of a 2-page document, I got 34 pages of PostScript code -- this is what happens when the printer treats a PostScript job as an ASCII lpd job, but it's annoying and wasteful.

So I went to Canon's download page http://www.usa.canon.com/html/download/irc2880.htm; spent 10 minutes figuring out which versions were current and which were old; and then grabbed their current PPD, Mac PS driver, Mac UFR II driver, and Mac Fax driver (in BinHex format -- how quaint!). I have no idea what "UFR II" is, and their documentation provides no clues, but I guess it's their private page rendering language, since it appears to be a peer of their PS driver).

I installed all four drivers (they wanted me to reboot 2-3 times during the process -- I declined), and tried to print. Bang! Application quits. I tried again. Bang! I could kill any application (including Safari, BBEdit, TextEdit, and Console) by simply attempting to print -- instead of a print dialog, the application vanished in a puff of invisible smoke.

So I uninstalled all 4 drivers (they did provide an uninstaller). I rebooted. I tried again, still no joy. I sent a bug report to Apple, but I assume this is Canon's fault. Apple should program defensively -- counting on printer drivers to behave properly is just begging for trouble -- but really, this looks like Canon's problem.

I deleted all the printing prefs I could find, and even moved aside the Canon drivers & PPDs (presumably from the Tiger installation, since Apple provides a set of Canon drivers on the DVD), but no joy.

I sent a note to Canon's tech support department, and got back a response saying "We value you as a Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you." It also said "You will want to contact your dealer/reseller for any technical or hardware support on this unit."

Well, no. If I wanted to contact our reseller, I would have done so. I want to contact Canon, whose name is on the stupid thing, and whose driver is crashing my Mac -- I can't even print to the HP any more. But despite claiming they want to help me, they refused, point blank. Feh!

The only bright spot is that after an Archive & Install and large raft of patches from Apple (since the Mac Pro came with 10.4.8), I can print again -- at least to the HP LaserJet. I was afraid whatever was causing the crashes would be carried along with the Archive & Install, but fortunately it wasn't. In an hour I was back in business, and I was able to do other work while the computer crunched on the reinstall.

The fly in Apple's A&I ointment is that it disabled sshd! Remote Desktop & Personal File Sharing were still active, but I had to manually re-enable the "Remote Login" service. Predictably, I discovered this when I was elsewhere and needed access to my Mac.