Kodak 8800 / 9810

The Kodak 8800 and 9810 are the same printer; It was sold under different names in different markets. I'll just refer to them both as the 9810 from here on

I committed my initial Gutenprint rendering support for the Kodak 9810 in January of 2013. Eight and a half years later, I finally got my hands on one and it can finally be used with Linux!

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Despite these printers being EOL'd over four years ago, they remain widely deployed (including at my local CVS) due to their robustness and readily-available media. I think that's why not a lot of these made it into the secondhand market.

After winning a low-ball eBay auction for a "broken, for parts only" printer and partial media roll, I was able to fix the mechanical issues (which came down to literal loose screws and a damaged media sensor) and from there generated some test prints from a Windows VM. A quick perusal of the USB sniffs showed that the printer utilized a custom USB protocol to print and control things.

Fortunately, Kodak thoughtfully provided a service/diagnostic tool, which made it much easier to suss out specific functionality and correlate the raw USB data with human-readable values. This was the next-best thing to having access to proper documentation, and I wish it was more common.

So, after several days of furious hacking, The Kodak 9810 is now pefrectly usable under Linux & Gutenprint, complete with job control, media, counters, and error reporting. There are still some rough edges and functionality that's not fully exposed, but cleaning that up can happen in a more leisurely pace.

Unfortunately I made a fundamental mistake in the Gutenprint rendering code, so you will need a snapshot dated 2021-08-04 or newer in order to generate proper output -- Otherwise you'll need to invert and swap color channels to get the output to be mostly sane.

Incidentally, if you do end up using this printer (or any other dye-sublimation printer) with Linux, especially if you use them to make money, please consider consider donating something; these printers are expensive and funding is the main reason more models aren't supported.

With this under my belt, I can turn my attention back to the Fujifilm DX100..

Happy Printing!

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