HP Disabled my Printer

Not only are original ink cartridges expensive, but HP LaserJet toners can also cost about the same as the printer itself. You still would buy the toner cartridges because the ones that come with a new printer have reduced capacity.

So the obvious choice is to use third-party cartridges at often less than half the price. That worked well for my all-in-one HP LaserJet Pro M281 with cartridges from LDProducts.com – until it did not, anymore.

HP had installed a firmware update on my printer that disabled the after-market cartridges, and I now got an error message that there was a “Supply Problem”. I had not immediately noticed that something wasn’t working anymore because I don’t print much and there had been days between the update and the first time I saw the “Supply Problem.”

A bit of googling gave me the hint that this problem might be caused by the latest update which was dated 20201021. The obvious course of action was to go back to the last version of the firmware – but this became a few-day quest.

The printer was out of warranty, so getting direct support from HP was not an option, so I resorted to the community support forum. Answers to my post confirmed that this was not only my problem but that others were hit by this “update bug.”

A bit further googling got me the info that the firmware version 20200612 was a good version and that I just had to find that version for my printer model.

But that was not an easy task, and it nearly appears to be intention of HP to suppress that version. One user who answered my post mentioned that two years ago HP had reached a settlement in a class-action suit when it had disabled its inkjet printers that were using 3rd party ink cartridges, and wondered if it’s time for another class action suit – – and he got banned from the forum for that for a day.

But before he got banned I had seen the post and looked up that lawsuit, and – just for the fun of it – left the firm a message that there might be some more HP shenanigans going on. – I have not heard back from them.

That same user had managed to find the right firmware file for his printer model, HP_Color_LaserJet_Pro_M254_dw_Printer_series_20200612.exe, on HP’s website and had been successful in downgrading his printer software and had his machine working again.

I wasn’t quite as lucky, as that file had been removed from the HP website the very day, but with parts of the file name and good old Google I found the file somewhere in the far reaches of the internet. I tried to run it several times, with cartridges in, without, after unplugging the printer for a few minutes to reset, to no avail, until it dawned on me that his model was not exactly the same as mine and that I probably needed different firmware, specific for my M281 printer.

After more extensive googling I found that the name of the right file should be
HP_LaserJet_Pro_M280_M281_Printer_series_20200612
but no executable with that, or similar, name was to be found. The only thing that came close was exactly that file name but with a .rfu extension which probably stands for ‘remote file updated.’ I actually found that info on an HP page.

I had no idea how to use that file. Windows does not know what to do with a file with that extension and I had no idea how to run it or with what application.

Again Google to the rescue.

I finally found it – and it was simpler than I thought. The reason I write this post, just in case somebody runs into the same problem, is that you might not need to spend so many hours with friendly Google.

First of all, I will leave this update file here so you can download it. I had to obfuscate and zip it so that I can upload it here and possibly hide it from HP. Once you have downloaded the zip file, just extract the file inside it and rename it to M280_M281_firmware_20200612.rfu and follow the following steps:

  1. The printer needs to be accessible as a share. My printer was not shared so I just created a share for it as \\MYCOMPUTER\M281 – in case you need help to do this – Google is your friend “How to share a printer.” Replace MYCOMPTER with the real name of the machine you are sitting at.
  2. Then open a command line window and type
    copy /b M280_M281_firmware_20200612.rfu \\MYCOMPUTER\M281
  3. This command finishes surprisingly fast, but the printer then started a lengthy install of that firmware. It took a while – maybe five minutes, while the printer display showed progress and messages ‘programming’.
  4. When it was all done, the printer restarted and the “Supply Problem” was gone.

That’s it – following this my printer is deserving its name again – it prints!

I am happy – but shame on HP!

PS: I wonder if I ever hear back from that law firm regarding a class action…

PPS: I got a message from Jonathan who followed the instructions and was happy to report that he did not have to discard his HP printer. He suggested that you also disable the update feature in the printer to avoid the problem as much as possible in the future.

For this you

  • go to Setup on your printer’s LCD display (the last one)
  • Scroll down to Service and select it
  • Scroll down to LaserJet Update and select it
  • Select Manage Updates
  • Select Allow Updates
  • Select No
  • Go Back to Home

I don’t know how safe that is because I seem to remember that I set that when I installed my first set of 3rd party cartridges, but I think I was prompted to update by HP maintenance software installed and running on my computer. It was years since I had installed the cartridges and forgotten about the warning and so allowed the update.

Somehow I am more and more tending to follow the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when computer updates are concerned, especially firmware.

New COVID Rules in California

Read out text below

From reliable sources we received the following rules that will be implemented in California by Governor Gavin Newsom as soon as practicable:

Mandatory use of face mask is implemented for zodiac signs of Virgo and Aquarius, and for all drivers of Volvos, except when they wear green socks. The provision is applicable only from 6pm to 9:30pm, except you drive an Audi with a 17 in your license plate.

If your house is yellow, you are not allowed to leave your dwelling, except it is located on the right side of the street. The exception does not apply for houses with a parking space upfront. The rule is completely inapplicable for multiple parking spaces, except it includes a handicapped space.

Women are not allowed to leave the house or apartment if they are married, but only if they don’t have children, except they are at least two in number and of the same gender with an age difference not more than two years. The rule is not to be applied to children between the ages of four and ten.

This is, as announced by the governor’s office, only the first part of the ruling in order to not confuse the good people of California. After the election further rules and regulations will be published for the subsequent days.

In an updated notice it was announced that you are ordered to be aware that the above rules are valid for citizens between the ages of 18 and 60 as long as they are between 5’3″ and 5’9″, otherwise the opposite has to be adhered to by every Californian except he or she is blond.

This is a free translation from a post with Dr. Ferdinand Wegscheider – look for him on the YouTubes if you speak Austrian and want to know more.
To make this post relevant for a later time period, please be aware that it was written just a few days before the 2020 presidential election. At the time of this writing we do not know who will be elected and if, indeed, the covid scare was ended right after that election.

About Propaganda

Narration of the following article

Did you ever ask yourself how it could have been possible that some 70, 80 years ago a whole people – the Germans – hailed one man who then turned out to be a pretty bad guy?

I am not very surprised since I became someone who yelled “Hail!” myself.

Adolf Hitler Reading

Up to the days I stopped yelling “Hail! – or the equivalent thereof – I, myself, definitely did not understand how a whole people could be so blind and miss what was going on in the 3rd Reich.

It was simple arrogance, through ignorance.

Fortunately, I was able to uproot my arrogance of looking down upon the ‘poor, misled people of Germany’ and gain a more humble understanding.

In order to accomplish this, I first had to stop yelling “Hail!” myself, and then realize that I had indeed been shouting “Hail!”

I’m not old enough to have lived through the Hitler regime – so where the heck did I get a chance to yell “Hail?”

I’m not going to give you any names here because that would take away the fun for you to find out yourself, but I do tell that it was a group that many of you might know. You might have experienced it already, but for all of you who don’t – go out and find it.

It was a group that started out great – several decades ago. This group – not yet religious – offered a lot of information and processes that allowed you to understand life a lot better. I joined thirty years after its inception when this group had already fallen into the trap of considering itself the one and only, becoming dogmatic and eventually considering itself a religion.

I have seen this phenomenon in many areas of life. The very good account of this human behavior was told by Thomas Thouw, who was the assistant at the physics department at the university in charge of me as a graduate student. He had grown up as the heir of his uncle’s karate mastership. Originally from Indonesia, he ended up, after an odyssey, in Heidelberg, Germany. There he started to teach a karate group stressing the real principles of this mainly spiritual art, not the type of karate as seen on TV.

Fortunately, he was strong enough to see that his students had turned from pupils into disciples instead and had started to worship him as a guru. He knew that this violated all the principles of karate he wanted to teach, so he kicked them out, advising them to get a life.

This tendency of a group to find a guru, and make him a god, seems to be very prevalent. I have noticed this in movements from Macrobiotics over Chi Gong to even urine-therapy (yes! Look it up!).

The quality of the technology behind these movements seems to be rather irrelevant. Good technology gives better results for more members but as long as something works really great at least for some professional followers, the danger is there.

The group I had become a disciple of and had learned to yell “Hail!” happened to have really good data and technology, so it was easy for members to ‘believe.’

The next step then was to ‘press the help button’. We all want to help. Especially after we got something really good, something that helped us tremendously, we want to give back. This is the stage of the missionary. Obviously the missionary is ‘better’ than the subjects of his mission, but he definitely wants to lift them all up to his level.

Do you see now where the arrogance is entering the picture?

Unfortunately, there are stubborn people who don’t want to be helped. The situation escalates and so we created the next required element – an external enemy.

That’s all the elements required to form a closed system in which internal propaganda can do whatever it wants. External data to measure the propaganda against are no longer available, so whatever the propaganda says becomes true. Anything that questions the propaganda data is considered infiltration from the enemy and only makes the propaganda data more true.

I was lucky enough to have kept one little anchor out there in the other world. It was not strong enough to directly question the validity of the data that was fed to me and that I asked to be fed. But it was strong enough that I grouched sufficiently to be eventually kicked out of this group. Any tight-knitted group will expel members that are not fully behind the cause as they are a danger to keeping the rest of the group indoctrinated.

This is when I stopped yelling “Hail!”, but it still took me years to face the fact that I had, indeed, yelled “Hail!” During this time I lost my arrogance that expressed itself in a righteous “HOW COULD THEY?”

Now, when I look at my fellow Americans and see what they allow their government to do to them, we can see the reason why I can no longer proclaim… “How could they?”.

All elements are there:

  • the initial good technology – the wealth and way of life in America,
  • the belief in the system
  • the mission
  • the enemy

There is the war on terrorism, the weapons of mass destruction, the Patriot’s Act, and the latest  “Orange Man Bad!”

All pretty hefty subjects to swallow for a reasonable person, but listen… I really believed that it was reasonable that – if I wanted to walk across the bridge to total freedom – I first had to knuckle down to a system that demanded to control every single aspect of my life.

Funny, isn’t it??

Meeting the Enemy

Instead of reading the text below you could just listen to it…

At the time of this writing (July 2020) the US of A experiences mayor racial upheaval. I am convinced that this is mostly politically motivated to discourage the population to reelect Donald Trump, but there must be some fertile grounds for this seed of discourse to flourish.

At this time mostly racial discourse is pushed and the gender questions are put on the back burner. But at one point the man vs woman question was a preferred area to create separation and establish hardened fronts.

I still have faith in the American People that they will not fall for the instigated war of the races, and the presenter of the following TED talk is one of the shining beacons that gives me that hope.

She had been a proponent of solidifying the fronts between genders, which usually is a cherished subject of politicians to create controversy. But she was fortunate to see through her self-created biases and was able to start to break down those walls.

Without further ado, here is Cassie Jaye…

Jennifer Aniston and Bill Gates

What comes to mind when you think about the ’90s?

Obviously, Jennifer Aniston of Friends and Windows 95!

As of the date of this writing, all this is an eternity ago – a quarter of a century, in fact. One of the two is nearly forgotten, and it is not Jennifer – thank God!

We have to admire the cloud and the foresight of Bill Gates to hire Jennifer and her co-star Matthew Perry to lend their fame to teach people about Windows 95. When the infotainment, below, was published, Friends was in its first season, and it could not have been clear what phenomenon Friends would become.

About a decade earlier Steve Jobs had rocked the world of product announcements with his Superbowl commercial introducing the MacIntosh. Boring Microsoft – in comparison – had to come up with something earth-moving, and celebrities probably seemed like a good idea.

The first move was to include a pretty cool music video on the distribution CD, Eddie Brickell’s Good Times, but the problem here was that you must have already bought the software, so it was not a particularly good promotional tool.

For this, Jennifer was put to work. At least by today’s standards, it was rather cringe-worthy, but then again, many of the 90s soaps carried the same hallmark.

Lean back, pour a drink and enjoy – all while learning how to use Windows 95.

Microsoft Windows 95 Video Guide – 1995 – Jennifer Aniston & Matthew Perry

As an afterthought – how much more fund would that have been, had Bill Gates hired Ross instead of Chandler!?

IFA Yoruba Deities

Each of the statues is around 2 feet tall – some a bit less, some a bit more. With the exception of one, they have their deity name written on the bottom of the stand and the following shows a photo of the bottom, and then a full photo from the front. As for size, the boards under the statues are standard 1×4 boards.

Towel Day

People in the know around the world recognize today – May 25th – as the day that made clear to all the importance of carrying a towel with you at all times.

Google is certainly aware of it

Google search result for Towel Day

as is your’s truly

Merlin Silk with towel to be prepared for all possible situations
Merlin Silk prepared with towel

One thought I want to give to you on your way to life from now on. Ponder the question how you learn to fly…

… and get the mind-boggling answer: You throw yourself to the ground – – – – and miss!

Blows all your accepted reality to bits – doesn’t it?

Define Reality!

David Bohm

DAVID BOHM: “Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.”