Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Printer rage.............

First off, let me assure you that I am NOT wasting time.

No siree.

No diplacement activity here.........move along, nothing to see.

I am actually working. And waiting. Working and waiting.

Waiting for the printer to cooperate and print out the box inserts I've so laboriously worked on for the past few hours.

It seems to be sulking, which is nothing new. The printer and I go back a long way and our relationship has always been somewhat strained.

I blame myself.

When newly installed I compared it unfavourably to my previous printer, who was a delightful character.......ever eager to please, going about its allocated tasks with puppy-like fervour. Neatly depositing perfectly printed sheets into its tray with an air of a job well done.

This replacement printer has never been able to live up to the positive work ethic of the last much-loved workhorse, and I think it resents that. Or me. Or both.

This is a fairly accurate scenario when preparing to do a print job.

I start off optimistically, make sure the correct paper is loaded (it HATES the wrong paper) and carefully check the little blinking lights to make sure it is 'communicating'. Reassured I sit down at my laptop, and with only the merest hesitation, hit PRINT. I carefully check and re-check all the settings, paper orientation, print quality, print options, paper options, as I know that any misktakes at this stage will cause serious repercussions later.

When I have double-checked everything, twice (that's four times) I hit OK and sit back...... waiting.

I'm wirelessly networked to the printer, so it takes a little time for the signal to go via the main computer, to the printer. This 'little time' is different each time. If the printer is in a particularly good mood, it might only take a mere 30 seconds to start. However, as that is rarely the case it sits brooding for anything up to 3 minutes before it deigns to acknowledge my request. Any longer than 3 minutes and I have to start looking for a little flashing icon which notifies me that I am not communicating with the printer and should start again.

At this point I might risk a quick glance over at the machine, which has a rather smug air which I don't think suits it.

Try again, but first have to clear all the spooled files which were waiting to print. I can only do this from the gateway computer, not my laptop so I have to venture into the bowels of the desktop pc to flush away the offending files.

Hit print again (would far rather hit printer but do not want to sink to its level) and wait. Just as I'm about to go over and start pressing its buttons it suddenly jerks into life, and begins a series of physical jerks....... all its lights flash on and off, it makes lots of noise, and the cartridge carriage gallops back and forth, grinding and growling as it goes.
After an unnecessarily long spell of these limbering up exercises, it is suddenly exhausted, and falls silent. I sometimes wonder if I can't hear it panting.
Then, suddenly, after another series of arabesques with the carriage, and it finally draws a sheet of paper down into its workings. Again it stops. It might be tasting the paper to see if it is the correctly selected type (if it isn't, it will spit it straight out into the tray). If it judges that all is as it should be, it then begins to print. Soooooo slowly. I could train a team of mice to print quicker than that machine.

You would think that having printed the required sheet, that would be the end of it. But no. The printer has one last joke to play.

The paper tray is flimsy and inadequate. The printer knows this and takes advantage of it. Just as it gets to the final line of printing, it pauses, gathering its strength, then literally jettisons the sheet of paper out onto the tray, where it either immediately slithers down onto the floor and floats under the desk, or just balances on the lip of the tray, leading edge gradually curving down, until the weight of the page takes over and the sheet nosedives down behind the radiator. Both of these scenarios are frustrating, requiring scrabbling around on the floor in undignified positions to retrieve the sheet, which will of course be dusty and dog-eared.

Don't even get me started on double-sided printing, which according to the manual is a piece of cake. I maintain that it is an impossibility to get a correctly printed A5 booklet, where consecutive pages are not printed upside down or back to front. I swear, that on the rare occasions when I have got it right first time, and made copious notes, (with diagrams) as to which way up and in which order the sheets should go, the very next time I have to print the exact same booklet, it will all go very, very wrong.

Ha, it has finally finished. Although I can see from a cursory glance at the top sheet that the printed images are faint and streaked, which must mean that one of the ink cartidges needs replacing.

Which means I have to open it up and actually get my fingers inside the thing.

Which is its optimum opportunity to take further retaliatory action...........

No comments: