The Bug Report

The only Bug that's good for your computer!
A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group
Volume 20 Number 09
September 2002

A monthly publication of
GS-BUG Inc. (c) copyright 1996.
Reproduction of any material herein by any means is expressly prohibited unless written permission is granted. Exception: Articles may be reprinted by other users groups in unaltered form if credit is given to the author and the original publication.

Editor - Kay Burton







Message From The President
By Gary Sexton


Note from the President
The election will be at the general meeting in October. I hate to be wrong but… Last month notice was given that the election would be held in the wrong month.
Keith Decker the Membership Chair has tendered his resignation but indicated that he could continue for a time to allow for training of his replacement.
Want to extend my personal thanks and those of the members' for the excellent work Keith Decker has done as Membership Chair.  In his quiet way he has be instrumental in changes in mailing news letters, member ship dues, assisting in starting and producing the I.D. cards.
If you are interested please contact me.

By Dr. John Hanson

  Topics for September
1. Sandex Convention Report
2.  Flash Card Reader II
3.  Understanding Reviews
4.  Prices
5.  Ink Jet Paper
6.  Laser Printer
7.  Production Color Printing
8.  Computer repair Class

1 .   Sandex Convention Report:  This is the fantastic annual  get  together of user groups from all over the West Coast.  Susy  Ball came all the way from Vancouver, Canada.  It meets in San  Diego, hence the name Sandex but formally has a complicated name.  It is run by the Sandex sisters, Judy Taylour and Pat Hill, who  always run an impeccable show.  There are many informative meetings  and lots of interchange of ideas.  Emmett Ingram talked me into going years ago and I have been going every year.  This time two of our members  attended for the first time, Shelley Miller and  William Champlin.   Kay  Burton, our talented newsletter  editor,  wasn’t there  but her daughter won first prize for the  best  newsletter from a small club, Big Bear.
     Microsoft  talked about some of their new products  such  as Digital  Image  which  is a step up from Picture  It.   They  are looking  for members to evaluate their products and email them  a review.   The  two best meals this year were from  Microsoft  and Sandex.   Those two sisters know how to give us the  first  class treatment.   The vendor night was very informative  and  included lots  of good food but I was so busy seeing what the vendors  had that I didn’t have too much time to eat.
     Don  Baker of Klassic Specialties (562-865-2988) gave  us  a fantastic  presentation  on Ink Jet Inks which he sells  at  very good  prices.   Visit his booth at the TRW Ham Swap Meet  on  the last  Saturday  of the month.  His session is so  useful  it  was packed.  He told how to get the best results from ink jet  printers which I put to use right away as noted in #7 below.      Another  fantastic  presentation, which  was  standing  room only,  was  the guy who sell CDs.  Did you know  that  one  large vendor  near  us permits about 20% of it’s compact  disks  to  be known  defective.  In other words when the disks are packed  they take known defective disks and mix them with the good ones.   the dealer  figures that most customers will think it is their  fault they are burning so many coasters and not complain.  He  suggests avoiding  any disks that don’t have a name imprinted on  them  as that indicates a lacquer layer is missing.  Those with names  are likely to be better but maybe some vendors allow defectives to be inserted in these also.  Did you know that many brand names  like HP,  Memorex, Imation, etc. don’t make their own disks.  He  told us of one manufacturer who makes good ones but without my notes I can  only remember is was “CG”.  He says the companies  that  are proud  of their quality put their name on one of  the  idenifier tracks   that  tells  what  type  and  speed  it  is.   This   is undocumented  by Nero but somewhere if you press “Shift  F5”  you can  see the manufacturers initials up in the right hand  corner.  I haven’t tried it on my computers yet.   There were many vendors represented both in person and those sending various goodies.  They were still quite generous in spite of the economic slowdown.  I missed one of my favorites,  Cassady and Green who has always supported user groups.  By the way  they have  a new, flexible database program that finds things even  if you  don’t know the exact name but Bonnie were not there to  show it and I want to buy a copy.  Smart Computing magazine was  there and   gave   free  copies  to  everyone.   Their   articles   are consistently good, especially those by Marty Sems.  I paid for  a three  year  subscription  but after reading the magazine  in  my room  I went back and canceled it.  What a shame to have so  many good  articles  and  allow their graphic  artists  to  make  them difficult to read by ignoring the established rule of using  inks that  contrast  easily with the background.  Many  magazines  are ignoring  that  rule because the computer makes it so easy  so  I have  canceled a number of magazines such as Time,  Newsweek  and National Geographic.  You may have noticed how hard it is to read print over a photograph.      There were many other interesting things to report on but  I am running out of space for Sandex.  I was shocked to learn  that Louise  Miller  no longer represents Adobe as she  really  worked hard  at promoting Adobe products.  Perhaps in the next  issue  I can give more details.
2.  Flash Card Reader II:  Last month I talked about the benefits of  using  a flash card to transfer large blocks  of  data  among computers  that are not in the same network.  I still believe  in them but read anarticle in the June 39 issue of PC Mag.  As some of you know I don’t have much confidence in what I read in PC Mag so  several years ago I canceled my long time subscription  as  I felt  it  was  going  downhill  and  not  honest  in  its  product  evaluations.   But every now and then I read a copy of it to  see if they are getting any better like they used to be.
     On  pages  128 - 129 there is an article that causes  me  to have some doubts about the dependability of the flash cards which the article hinted on but then avoided by just concentrating  on the  time each of several brands of reader took to  transfer  two different  kinds  of files so read the article with  a  grain  of salt.  Recently Frys had a 32 mb Smart Media for $10 or 31  cents per  megabyte  and then had a 96 mb Compact Flash for $25  or  26 cents per megabyte.  These are pretty good prices for name  brand cards.   I have no idea how long the cards will hold their  contents  so download them to a hard drive or CD as soon as  you  can and  then check to see that the data is OK.  I notice that on  my Simple  Technology card reader you can not insert  two  different kinds  of cards at once as it contains a mechanical  blocker.   I also  have one of the thin ones shown in their article  but  mine doesn’t say PNY.  You can insert three types of cards at once and read them easily and transfer files from one to the other.   Frys has  it on sale for $30.  In the future I will be  suspicious  of any articles written by Cady Metz of PC Mag.
     Be  careful  of Frys enticing ads.  For  instance  they  are advertising  the  “Easy Disk” 64 mb USB Hard Drive  for  $50.   I suspect it is just flash memory inside so I think you’re  better off  with  the $30 reader above.  On the other hand the  $80  San Disk  128 mb Secure Digital Memory with portable USB  reader  may not be so bad but still the $30 reader above is the best deal  as you are not limited to only SD cards.  128 mb SD cards are $70 at Costco  which  is 55 cents per mb which is almost twice  that  of Compact Flash which may be the most durable of the various types.  Smart Media is the most fragile.  The most recent Digital Camera magazine has a useful article on the various types of flash cards but doesn’t include SD.   The most important tip is not to send any semi-conductor device  thru the mail as the Post Office now irradiates mail to kill  possible anthrax and also kills your card.  Another important point is not to remove a card before your camera is turned off.  There was  no mention of how long the data might last but be careful not to get it near any magnetic fields.  Format your card in the camera and not with computers using XP.
3.   Understanding Reviews:  The review of card readers  by  Cady Metz  above  looks impressive but it is not very useful.   It  is possible  she  was  assigned to write the aricle  based  on  the results  of  some lab tests but if my name were on an  article  I would  want to do a more thoro  job.  Take for example the  review of  scanners in the recent PC World.  The best buy  suggested  is the  Microtec Scanmaker 4900 which is $150 at Micro  Center.   It may  be a good scanner but after I saw the separate  film  holder with a light that you lay on the glass I thought of Micky Mouse  and would  not recommend it if you plan to scan slides or  negatives.  At  Sandex there was a new scanner, 2450, by Epson that  is  much better designed for negatives and slides and can do many at once.  Then  from the preview scan you select the ones to do  the  final scan.  At the moment the price is about $350.  For that price you may want to consider a dedicated film scanner.
     When  reading review articles try to read between the  lines and  also  figure out what might be left out such  as  the  Micky Mouse  film  attachment on the MicroTec scanner.  I tell  all  my speed  reading students to categorize authors when  reading.   If you are reading Don Lancaster you can believe all he  says.   If It’s John Dvorak some is good and some not so believable.  Another writer you can really believe is Neil Rubenking.
4.   Prices:  This is where you need to do your  homework.   Keep some  notes  in  your  pocket for various  things  you  might  be  interested  in  and  compare from one place  to  another.   Don’t believe  the  street prices in the magazines as they tend  to  be high, at least for us who live in Los Angeles.
     Don’t believe clever ads like claiming to have the lowest  prices.  Obviously they are paid by the hotels so even a cursory look will often lead you to much better deals.  The  same applies to ads for computers.  Now you know you can get an excellent,  ultra  modern computer for only $300 so be wary  of  those wonderful  offers  at twice the price.  Emmett  Ingram  bought  a wonderful 2.1 mp digital Minolta camera for $400 only to discover later that Costco had it for $350.
5.  Ink Jet Paper:  I had been using Epson Photo Quality ink  jet paper  at 13 cents per sheet and the results with  pictures  were excellent  but recently I bought a ream of Epson 108  brightness, 24  lb  at only 1.8 cents per sheet at the Micro Center  and  the results were almost  as good.  If you want glossy photo paper Sams has it for 10 cents per sheet and Costco for 20 cents.  With the  1.8  cents per sheet paper I can then run it thru  my  laser printer  and print the back side with other information  such  as  pictures.  I am wondering if I should print the laser part  first and  then the color as I don’t want the color to transfer to any rollers during the high heat of the fuser.  Kelly Paper has  some inkjet  paper  for 10 cents per sheet  which  produces  excellent results but you are better off with the excellent 1.8 cent  Epson paper.
6.  Laser Printers:  Jack Burton just bought an HP Laser  printer 6P for only $100 at the TRW Ham swap meet and it produces fantastic BW pictures at 600 dpi.  I bought another HP-4+ from a  regular seller at the south end of the swap meet and he assured me it was perfect but at home I discovered the fuser was missing  which is  over $100 to replace so be careful as there are  some  sneaky vendors  there.   Normally I am pretty careful  and  checked  for other  things but forgot to check the fuser.  Even if you see  it has  a fuser it may not work so I will be very careful with  that vendor in the future.
7.   Production  Color Printing:  I needed to produce  500  color prints to go on the back of one of my flyers for the International  Congress  of Eye Doctors meeting in Paris  this  Fall.   Most places wanted a dollar a sheet but even $400 from Kinko’s  seemed like  a  lot  of money.  I decided to use the  new  techniques  I learned from Don Baker at the Sandex convention.
     First I printed the text side with a laser and then set  two of my color printers to the transparency setting which Don  Baker says  uses  the least ink.  I tested the pictures  both  in  high quality  and in draft mode and found the draft mode to  be  quite acceptable to get the message across in using Tooties to  improve vision.  I discovered that the Epson 880 printer prints 67 copies from  a  full color cartridge.  At about $5 per  color  cartridge from Don Baker the cost for all 500 would only be $38 vs $400.  I decided to run pictures on the Epson C-80 as well and about every half  hour  go back and add more paper.  The printers  were  very well  mannered, stopping when they ran out of paper or  ink.   It turns  out that the very expensive C-80 which is rated very high in many reviews is not much better than the inexpensive 880.   In fact,  in  this mode it had severe fine  horizontal  bands  which looked  terrible to Photoshop expert Fred Vogel but for  me  they were better than nothing in getting the job done in a hurry.
     Don Baker pointed out at Sandex that the newer Epson  printers  use  pigments in their inks for archival  life  but  doesn’t think  they  are  worth  it.   Because  there  were  three  color cartridges I didn’t bother to calculate the cost but estimate  it  was  about 150% more than the 880 and with poor results.   So  if  you are considering a C80 do some more homework first.  Don Baker is very sharp and practical.  Most of us don’t need a print  that st  20  years.  If we do it’s more efficient to use  the  less  expensive  inks  and then just reprint them as needed.   And  for text  that  you want to last, like the story of  your  life,  you should be using a laser.  For instance, when I receive faxes from around the world they come in on thermal paper which easily fades in  light.   So I make a copy of the important ones  on  my  copy machine which uses a laser.
8.  Computer Repair Class:  It starts on 3 Sep and is from 6 to 9 on  Mondays and Wednesdays.  When Mike Ochoa teaches you  can  be sure  it will be interesting and you will learn a lot.  There  is no need to attend every session because of the way he teaches  so call  the Narbonne High School Adult Office and sign up.  I  will only be able to make the Wednesday classes.
Editor’s Note:  John Hanson is the inventor of Tooties, a  superb self-teaching  system used by millions in schools, homes, and  byeye doctors around the world to improve vision.  He also invented a  new form of psychology  called QET (Quick  Effective  herapy) which  transforms poor students into good students, almost  over-night,  usually  in 5 to 15 days.  He has  also  had  outstanding success  in helping brain damaged people, even years after  their accident.   Why go to therapy for years and spend lots  of  money when  you can improve quite fast with QET?  He uses computers  to document  his cases for his books so that others may benefit  and improve  their  vision and other skills.  Visit his web  site  at for more information.


By Frank Chao

Welcome one and all to the 49th article in the “Internet Talk” series. This article is part of the sixth newsletter that is being generated by Kay Burton. Several club members have visited her in the past two months in order to contribute ideas for these newsletters. If you wish to bend her ear but you are too shy to do so in person, you may also do so via electronic mail by sending your comments and contributions to her at
 Liz and I wish to express our condolences to club members whose homes were damaged by the natural gas explosion at Tomlee street in South Torrance.  The official information on this blast can be found at
AND       News articles about this blast can be found at
http://www.intercounty cfm? newsid=5042536&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=7574 &rfi=6
 you are at a Website and you decide to buy something, the Website will start asking you a bunch of questions: It will ask you for your name. Usually it will then ask you for your address. Then, it will ask you for a shipping address. Finally, it will usually ask you for a credit card number. At some point after this, the Web site will provide you with a button that says
“Buy” or “Purchase”. I refer to this situation as the “point of no return”.
At this point, you should follow two rules:
Rule 1: Do not click on the “Buy” or “Purchase” button if you move your mouse pointer over the button and it does not change into a hand.
Rule 2: If you move your mouse pointer over the “Buy” or “Purchase” button and it does change into a hand, perform one and only one click on the “Buy” or “Purchase” button.
If you do not follow the above rules, you might accidentally buy more than one of whatever it is that you are trying to buy. Sometimes, people are tempted to either click on the “Buy” button before it turns into a hand OR they are tempted to click more than once on the “Buy” button. Either situation can result in multiple duplicate purchases.
In one isolated instance, I followed the above two rules and my online purchase was still fouled up:
About four months ago, I bought something at a Web site and they sold me one item and charged my credit card 10 times for the same item. I was able to go the seller’s Website and dispute the overcharges and they reversed the 9 incorrect charges to my credit card. I did not have a similar misfortune in subsequent purchases at this Web site, so they must have fixed whatever problem they were having.
If you use any of Netzero’s dialup Internet services, including their totally free version, you get a free e-mail account from them. For example, if your Netzero login i.d. is “poobear”, then your e-mail address would be
They now give you the option of using  also.  You do not have to do anything; both e-mail addresses will work just fine. It is up to you:  you can tell people to send e-mail to either one.  As of this month, you can now access your e-mail  at Netzero from any Internet-connected computer at a new Website that they have established.  Using the same example, if “poobear” is at a friend’s house and his friend has a cable modem connection, then “poobear” can go to
He can then log in as “poobear”, type in his Netzero password (the same password that he normally uses to make a dialup connection to the Internet with Netzero software). After logging in, “poobear” can then see his Netzero e-mail. He can also send e-mail from this Web site.
With this new Webmail website, users of the e-mail features of Netzero can now access their e-mail when they are away from home from any Internet-connected computer.
While “Microsoft Photo Editor” has a basic set of tools for editing picture
files, Adobe Photoshop has every possible feature for editing picture files. In contrast,  most of you know that “Microsoft Photo Editor” is bundled with many versions of “Microsoft Office”, whereas “Adobe Photoshop” has a list price of abut $600. What surprised me and my friend Nate is that “Microsoft Photo Editor” did a better job of printing picture files than“Adobe Photoshop”. With “Adobe Photoshop”, we were unable to adjust the size of printed pictures. In contrast, when we experimented with “Microsoft Photo Editor”, we were able to adjust the size of photos on the printed page with ease. I have told you before that cheaper is not necessarily worse AND expensive is not necessarily better.
While traveling through this great country and world of ours, you can still access the Internet to read and send e-mail and to browse the Web if you go to various Internet cafes. A good nationwide list can be found at         Another extensive worldwide list is available at     You can also access the Internet by renting Internet-connected computers at Kinko’s locations. Their locations are listed at their Website at     Finally, many airports now have Internet kiosks that accept credit cards and cash and sell you Internet access See
Obviously, you no longer need to lug along a laptop computer in order to access the Internet when you are traveling.
If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following methods:
1. Leave a voice message for me at  (310)768-3896.
2. Send me e-mail at:
3. Send “snail” U.S. Postal Service mail to


Labor Day is here already. I am having an end of summer party with part of my family. The Librarian is not able to make the general meeting. I wonder how many of our members are not celebrating this holiday? See you next month.
I have been checking out a program that should be of great interest to all digital camera users. Film camera users that have switched over to some digital picture taking will really like this program. You know how when a picture is shown  or published it always gives you the stats on it. F stop, shutter speed, film speed, lighting etc. When you take a digital picture, do you have this information? This program gives you all that information including the name of the camera that was used for openers. Not all cameras put this info in the file but I believe most of the newer ones do. I need to stop and give credit to Greg Neumann for taking the picture that was published last month showing the winner of our Windows XP Raffle. I forgot to give him his by line. Now back to the program. The program shows before and after pictures. It will automatically do auto balance, color, midtones, sharpen and color cast. Will also remove hot pixels which are white dots that are produced on long exposure  loseless method. It has a De-noiser thatdoes a good job. You can do all this one picture at a time or in a batch mode if the corrections willbe right for all the pictures. You can save different profiles that will save settings you want. If the automatic fixing does not look right you can do manual adjustments by moving a slide bar for each setting you want to change. It saves the changed  file to a dir of your choice. It never overwrites the original. You have control of jpge compression.  I have limited time using this program to date  so will give you a follow up on it next month. At this time I believe it does a great job with next to no learning time. It shows the most improvement on bad pictures. It does it so fast as compared to PhotoShop. A  flat learning curve to boot.  It fits on a floppy and I will have them at the hardware sig on Sept 10th and at the Oct general meeting. There is a free version that does not work automatically nor has all the features.  Your second choice is adoes a good job. You can do all this one picture at a time or in a batch mode if the corrections willbe right for all the pictures. You can save different profiles that will save settings you want. If the automatic fixing does not look right you can do manual adjustments by moving a slide bar for each setting you want to change. It saves the changed  file to a dir of your choice. It never overwrites the original. You have control of jpge compression.  I have limited time using this program to date  so will give you a follow up on it next month. At this time I believe it does a great job with next to no learning time. It shows the most improvement on bad pictures. It does it so fast as compared to PhotoShop. A  flat learning curve to boot.  It fits on a floppy and I will have them at the hardware sig on Sept 10th and at the Oct general meeting. There is a free version that does not work automatically nor has all the features. Your second choice is a 30 day full working version. if you like it,  I'm sure you will register it for only  $35.00.  I did not get any feed back on power supplies from my article last month so I have noting new to pass on to you about them.  It was great that John Sullivan put together a article about the “CD-Mavica” from his first hand experience. Let’s hear  from our other members about new hardware or software that they are using. I’m waiting for a report on the new flashlights that never need batteries or bulbs. ??? John Hanson, “The Battery Man” must be checking this one out.


The Naked P.C......
* HP computer hardware recycling service — As previously reported in The Naked PC, HP has a computer hardware recycling service. According to the Web site, “HP’s computer hardware recycling service is a simple and environmentally sound take-back program that offers consumers and business customers the ability to return any piece of computer hardware from any manufacturer. HP’s state-of-the-art processes ensure that your unwanted hardware is reused or recycled in a way that conserves resources. The cost of the automated, on-line service ranges from $13 to $34 per item, depending upon the type and quantity of hardware to be returned.  Custom price quotes are also available.”
* IBM’s PC Recycling Service — “...Consumers and small businesses can recycle any manufacturer’s PCs, including system units, monitors, printers and optional attachments for $29.99 which includes shipping. IBM PC Recycling Service will either recycle the equipment or refurbish the system and arrange for its donation to Gifts in Kind International (GIKI).”
* Other PC manufacturers’ “take back” programs — browse to the Web site home page, find the Search field, enter “recycle” (no quotes) and you can see how green that particular manufacturer is, both domestically and abroad.
* Computer scrap companies in the U.S.:
* Global Recycling Network maintains a public, searchable database of almost 5,000 companies that are involved in the recycling industry. Use their search engine to find recyclers in your state, city, or by zip code.
If you want to find out what you can do about the impact of PCs on the environment—ranging from viewing sickening pictures of “PC dumps” to contacting manufacturers to advocate the production of cleaner, greener PCs—the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition site is a great place to start:
Dan Butler has some intriguing suggestions for an older PC that will keep it in use. “Take it to a local Linux Users group and have them configure it as a mail/web/ftp/news/ server for a local school. They can also serve as firewalls and such. Not much horsepower needed. Another thought is to use to make the PC into a world class firewall. That’s what I use here—rock solid!”
Additional information about reusing/recycling PCs and components is on this supplemental page.

You can reach Lee Hudspeth at:

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Device Driver Dilemmas

Keep The Lines Of Communication Open
Device driver, interrupt vector, DMA channel—it’s all just a lot of computer jargon, right? If you have upgraded or reinstalled the OS (operating system) on your PC lately, you have probably seen these techno-terms flying by on those amusing “information” screens Microsoft subjects you to while hundreds of files were being copied to your PC during the initial phase of the setup. You may have also encountered some of these buzz words if you recently added a new peripheral to your PC.
What exactly are device drivers and what do they do? Why do you need them and where do they come from? In the following paragraphs, we will answer these and other questions about these essential Windows components.
What Is A Device Driver? A device driver is software that serves as an interface between the OS and a physical piece of hardware. A device driver acts like a translator, converting specialized, device-specific commands and information to and from the generic commands and data the OS uses.
It would be impractical for the programmers who create OSes to include support for every possible peripheral (such as printers, scanners, and digital cameras); even if they did, someone would invent a new device after the OS was released to the public. Rather than providing support for hundreds of peripherals you might never own, OS developers create generic interfaces for a few broad categories of devices. The developers then publish the technical specifications for these interfaces and leave the task of writing specific device drivers to the hardware manufacturers.         What Does A Device Driver do?  As a result of the layered approach to modern software design, Microsoft Word can acquire an image from your scanner without needing to know specific details about the hardware attached to your PC.   Word passes its request for a scan to the OS, which passes the request on to the appropriate device driver. The driver issues commands to the scanner, processes the resulting binary data, and creates a standardized graphic image. The driver passes the image back to the OS, which passes it on to Word.
To use a restaurant analogy, Word is like a customer who asks a waiter for a cheeseburger and fries. The waiter (the OS, let’s call him WaiterXP) carries this request to the kitchen, where a cook (the device driver) converts the customer’s request into a meat patty, cheese, a bun, and several pieces of potato. After some manipulation, the various components are assembled onto a plate and handed to WaiterXP, who delivers the finished product to the customer. The customer is thus able to “process” the meal without needing to understand the operation of a grill or a deep fryer.
To carry this analogy a little further, the customer should expect to receive the same meal, regardless of which waiter takes his order and which cook is on duty in the kitchen. Similarly, Microsoft Word, a high-level application, should receive the same image regardless of which version of Windows you use and which model of scanner is attached to your PC. The primary function of a device driver is to isolate application programs from the physical hardware attached to the PC.
Why Do You Need Device Drivers? In the Bad Old Days of DOS and Windows 3.x, device drivers were few and far between. If you have ever examined the Config.sys file on a DOS system, you may have noticed one or more lines of the form: DEVICE =MYNAME.SYS. In this example, MYNAME .SYS would actually be the name of a specific driver, such as HIMEM.SYS or RAMDRIVE .SYS. These drivers were loaded into memory when the computer was turned on and they remained there, occupying precious RAM, even when they were not in use. As a result, device drivers were used for important, shared system components, but many add-on boards were manipulated directly by the applications that used them. A poorly written program could access memory or devices it had no right to use and cause the system to become unstable or even crash.
Today, a device driver is used to control every device, from the most fundamental to the most sophisticated. This includes components as basic as your PC’s system clock to devices as complex as color laser printers. Your keyboard has a driver and so does your mouse. Your video card and the display attached to it each has its own, unique device driver.
Modern multitasking OSes require device drivers for several reasons. As afore mentioned, device drivers make the OS less sensitive to changes in hardware technology. If someone develops a new printer with unique capabilities, the manufacturer, rather than Microsoft, is responsible for creating appropriate drivers for each of the Windows OSes that will support the device.