An update. HP tech support called back and confirmed that they are aware of the problem of the 988 patch target not printing on paper smaller than 24" width. I was speaking with tech support that specifically supports this product, and the tech staffer had spoken with the engineering team before he called me back. (The tech support staffer was very courteous, very helpful, understood the problem and how profiling packages work, and called me back twice with updated reports. I give him high marks for tech support. But he also could only report what he was told by the engineering team.)
HP tech support stated that there are no firm plans to issue a software patch or revision to fix the problem. So, on the record, HP is not committing to fix the problem. I guess that doesn't rule out a future patch or revision, but HP should be taken at their word --
THERE IS NO COMMITMENT BY HP TO FIX THIS ISSUE AT THIS TIME OR IN THE FUTURE.
Therefore, the original title of this thread still applies. If the ability to profile papers with the 988 patch on media that is less than 24" in width is important to you, then you should not purchase this software.
In my opinion, any profiling software that sells for $700 to $800 and doesn't include this feature is fatally flawed and is simply not worth such an extravagant price. As I said in a previous posting, ALL other profiling packages in this price range by Xrite, Gretag or anyone else include the ability to profile papers smaller in size than 24".
I told HP tech support that HP was royally ripped off by Gretag and Xrite when this software was designed and sold to HP by those companies. Gretag would NEVER release such FATALLY FLAWED software under the Gretag name, but Gretag was more than happy to rip off HP.
To repeat another point, if you buy a brand new paper and want to try it out, it is likely that it either won't be initially available in the 24" size, or you wouldn't want to risk buying that size until you try it out in a smaller size. At that point you'll want to utilize the best profiling package available that works with the Z3100 so that you can find out what the new paper has to offer.
Except that you can't because the "best" APS profiling package is so crippled as to make that impossible.
I requested an RMA and refund in Thursday through a supervisor in the Small Business Section. He understood that once the colorimeter is returned along with CD-Rom, the software won't function. I have not received the RMA thus far.
This is a straightforward case for a refund. HP engaged in misleading advertising when they sold the software. Any consumer would reasonably assume that the software can profile on paper smaller than 24". And there is no risk to HP once the colorimeter is returned along with the software. This is the equivalent of returning hardware with no possibility of future use by the consumer.
I'll keep you posted as to whether HP stands behind their products and processes the RMA, but after 1 1/2 days I have heard nothing. Most companies issue RMAs on the spot.
Not a good sign with regards to the HP and their customer service --
and their willingness to stand behind their products.
P.S. I also reported the problem of the white plastic included with the colorimeter, and the fact that the ambient room measurement is not included in the construction of the profile. I explained that this is not a big deal for me personally, and the 24" issue is far more important. The HP tech support staffer said that based upon his own reading of the Gretag manuals, the Gretag software works the same way, and the ambient measurement is not actually included in building the profile. It is an entirely separate reading of the ambient room light, for whatever good that will do you. And that HP and Gretag work the same way in that regard. That is contrary to other reports in this thread. I don't know who's right, and simply pass along that report as well.