Well, not exactly near death, but a royal pain in the ass. I finally got an
OfficeJet K60 working with a Windows 2000 computer, but not with the help of HP.
Maybe someone else can benefit from this experience. Unfortunely, all this
involved several trips back to the office, to download software (client is
isolated from DSL and broadband ISPs) and make CDs, to get cables, etc.

The so-called Windows 2000 download for the K60 (Version 3.06) on the HPee web
site is the same as the Windows XP download. It flat out does not work under
Windows 2000. Period. No way. No how. And never.

My client has a K60, used previously and VERY lightly only as a fax machine,
because she bought a demo model without software and documents. Her old inkjet
was biting the dust, so I told her I'd hook up the K60. First, I replaced the
LONG (30 or 40 ft all coiled up) parallel cable, which is longer than the
industry-standard cable length. No difference. No K60 found. So I found the
Version 1.16 download for the OfficeJet K80 on the HPee web site. I downloaded
a USB patch there, for good measure. Next, I uninstalled the non-working "new"
software, and installed Version 1.16. Still no K60 working, on a parallel port,
anyway.

Last of all, I installed the USB patch, rebooted the computer, and powered down
the K60, connected the K60 to computer with 10' USB cable. When I powered up
the K60, Windows 2000 PnP found it and installed the drivers for it. Haven't
checked out the HP Print Director software yet, but the K60 now works as a
printer. To save color ink, I also installed the DeskJet 600 B&W drivers, then
associated the pseudo-DeskJet 600 with the same USB port.

Important points in this saga:

1. HP designs and develops many of its models of printers as derivatives of
older technology. I would, too. It saves a lot on product research &
development costs.
2. HP does a pathetic and slipshod job of providing software updates for its
printer (and scanner!) lines. Personally, I believe this is intentional, to
kill off perfectly good products (even expensive and low-use ones) and get
people to buy replacements. Of course, this often causes people to become fed
up with HP and to buy other brands of replacements. Mark Hurd, any comments?
Carly was oblivious.
3. If you cannot find working drivers for your exact model of printer on the HP
web site, try drivers for a model in the same printer family, e.g OfficeJet
K-series, OfficeJet G-series, DeskJet 600-series.
4. OfficeJet and Deskjet software drivers have a lot in common, having been
derived from the same common HP PCL origins, are very similar. So you can often
use DeskJet software with an OfficeJet, as a suitable but less functional
alternative.
5. To save on costs of color toner, install a black & white driver on your color
OfficeJet/DeskJet's printer port, as I did. With many of the modern HP
printers, the color driver sucks out the color inks, too. To give you a
"richer" black. Um, who is getting richer here?

Hope this helps other who are dealing with HP printers... Ben Myers