It could be me. It could be my printers. Or it could be Snow Leopard. I'm sending out a call to Snow Leopard-using Gizmodians to gather a consensus on what is going on here. Did Snow Leopard mess with your printer profiles?
Here's the scene. After installing Snow Leopard, prints from both my Epson RX 650 and a HP Pro B9180 turned the mushiest shade of mush ever. Now, as all good troubleshooters should know, it's good form to not always blame the obvious. In this case, the obvious being Snow Leopard.
So care was taken to track down the problem, and even more care taken to discount the possibility of worn or blocked printheads. As it turns out, the custom printer profiles I use for these printers are the problem. Or not, depending how you look at it. They weren't a problem in Leopard (OS 10.5) but are now in disarray using Snow Leopard (OS 10.6). Instead of being able to use the custom profiles, I have to rely on "System managed" colour, which is OK, but fails to get the best from the printers. And you know the worst part is it cost me some hours and money to get back on track. I don't like wasting my time, and I don't like throwing money away on borked photo prints.
I also just checked both HP and Epson support and they still have not issued updated drivers for Snow Leopard. There was an HP printer driver update delivered via Software Update but it didn't seem to make any difference.
What's more, reports are surfacing of problems with other printers. I know of one person whose perfectly good SMB-class Kyocera printer doesn't work at all, and the manufacturer will not be issuing a driver update, forcing the user to spend thousands of dollars on a new printer. So much for a cheap upgrade. Snow Leopard at $39 = $3000 for forced printer upgrade.
Whaddya say Gizmodians? Is this simply not good enough? Should we send the ninja team around to talk to Mr Jobs? Are you with me? Let us know in the comments.
The message here is that if you haven't yet installed Snow Leopard and your workflow is dependent on colour-accurate printing using custom profiles, it may be wise to hold fire on the upgrade.