TurboPrint: A free app worth paying for?

TurboPrint Printer Monitor

By the time you read this my 30-day free trial of TurboPrint will have expired. What’s that, you say? They charge for Linux software now? Actually, makers of free software have always been able to do that. And without TurboPrint my aging Canon MP130 all-in-one would be nothing but a doorstop with a sheet feeder.

I need to make it clear that this is not a failure of the Linux OS, but rather a demonstration of the circle of shit that gives it such a bad rap. It goes something like this: Someone decides to put Linux on their antiquated computer, and when the WiFi/video card/whatever doesn’t work they blame Linux and never come back. A different variation is at work here — my multifunction printer is five years old (at least) so, big surprise, Canon has never released Linux drivers for it.

I spent the better part of a day hunting down kludges before finally giving up and installing TurboPrint. As you can see above it works as advertised, though there’s no support for my MP130’s scanner and the bundled app for Linux Mint doesn’t recognize it. And I don’t think TurboPrint is covered by the GPL, but I don’t see how it could be — the only thing it could offer back to the community is the library of printer drivers that is its very raison d’être.

Still, I would consider paying for TurboPrint were it not so expensive — I can buy a replacement printer for its $40 USD sticker price, or double that and get a unit that can print over my network. In my limited research it seems that HP has the best Linux support, though Brother and Canon are also making Linux drivers available, at least for their newer models.

I’m also grateful that TurboPrint offers a fully functioning trial that gave my current printer a stay of execution while I was busy figuring out other things. If your printer is more expensive and you’ve no Linux support for it, TurboPrint might well be worth every penny.

So waddaya know? You can make money with Linux…

16 comments:

  1. Yea man, really interesting to see when people gasp to hear to that FOSS applications can be sold. I wonder how they expect the developers to survive. Perhaps we are too conditioned with the free as in beer?

  2. Yea man, really interesting to see when people gasp to hear to that FOSS applications can be sold. I wonder how they expect the developers to survive. Perhaps we are too conditioned with the free as in beer?

  3. Could well be. But it would be nice if TurboPrint offered the community something back beyond a free trial of their software.

  4. Could well be. But it would be nice if TurboPrint offered the community something back beyond a free trial of their software.

  5. That HP does seem pretty nice. I don’t know if I need a printer @ home, and I found that Canon scanner because (if you have a Mac or Windows) it integrates really well with Evernote.

  6. That HP does seem pretty nice. I don’t know if I need a printer @ home, and I found that Canon scanner because (if you have a Mac or Windows) it integrates really well with Evernote.

  7. Yea sure Andrew, anyone that benefits from the community should at least give back something in return. That free trial BS just does not cut it

  8. Yea sure Andrew, anyone that benefits from the community should at least give back something in return. That free trial BS just does not cut it

  9. I am a paid up user of TurboPrint. I personally have no great problem for paying for it, it is worth the price.

    In terms of what they could give back? They produce printer drivers for printers not supported, they need information from the manufacturers. They will have to sign up to non-disclosure agreements to get this information.

    Don’t have a go at TurboPrint but please tell your printer manufacturer they can have FREE linux support for their products. All they have to do is give the information freely to the GLPd projects like CUPS. They will not so you have to pay for it.

    I would still pay for TurboPrint just for its smooth handling of different media, like CDs and labels. It is also very good at ink handling. These additional features are much better than the free versions. This is a personal opinion and I am willing to pay the developer for it.

  10. I am a paid up user of TurboPrint. I personally have no great problem for paying for it, it is worth the price.

    In terms of what they could give back? They produce printer drivers for printers not supported, they need information from the manufacturers. They will have to sign up to non-disclosure agreements to get this information.

    Don’t have a go at TurboPrint but please tell your printer manufacturer they can have FREE linux support for their products. All they have to do is give the information freely to the GLPd projects like CUPS. They will not so you have to pay for it.

    I would still pay for TurboPrint just for its smooth handling of different media, like CDs and labels. It is also very good at ink handling. These additional features are much better than the free versions. This is a personal opinion and I am willing to pay the developer for it.

  11. I chose to buy a new printer rather than pay Turboprint – especially as their trial software didn’t work with my distro. They just don’t get the whole Linux thing. They’d be better off writing software for Microsoft……Their free trial is useless.

  12. I chose to buy a new printer rather than pay Turboprint – especially as their trial software didn’t work with my distro. They just don’t get the whole Linux thing. They’d be better off writing software for Microsoft……Their free trial is useless.

Comments are closed.