Monday, 30 July 2012

Printer wars........


I worked till late yesterday evening, finally completing all of the component packs for our August Kit of the Month.  Which only left putting the finished touches to the instruction booklets and printing both the booklets and the pattern sheets.

We have two printers in the office.  One is a fairly elderly all-in-one print/scan/copy inkjet which has been recalcitrant from day one.  We have a hate/hate relationship and I always approach it with dread.  It has been downgraded and is generally only used for scanning and copying, as it's print quality is dire.

The other is a dedicated high-quality printer which I use for our instruction booklets, leaflets, flyers etc.

Perhaps it's all my fault.  By creating a two-tier system, I engendered a hotbed of dissention and one-upmanship between the two printers.  I lavish care and attention on the high-quality machine, (which will henceforth be known as the Good Printer)lovingly changing its cartridges, cleaning its nozzles and rollers, loading it with the nicest paper.

This is obviously noted by the other printer, (which will henceforth be known as the Bad Printer) who huffs and puffs, endlessly shuffling its cartridges and blinking its warning lights, jamming paper at the slightest provocation and sometimes downright refusing to scan, or copy, or even, if it's got a right strop on, printing, which is surely its raison d'etre.

It's been on the printer equivalent of death row for some time now, and only the fact that it sometimes cooperates has granted it reprieve after reprieve.

However that may be about to change.  I spent the best part of an hour today trying to persuade it to copy one image of the kit pattern.  Nothing taxing.  Just a black line drawing on white paper.  Perhaps it thought that such a menial task was beneath it, as it sulkily churned out page after page of blank paper.  Or mostly blank with just enough inky black streaks to render the sheet useless for anything other than scrap notepaper.

As if this wasn't frustrating enough, the Good Printer became possessed with the Bad Printer's malevolent spirit, and when I tried to print a draft copy of the completed instructions, it came over all mardy and joined in, printing three sheets in quick succession with only 2" of print on them, then juddered to a halt, announcing that it had an unidentified error.

The fact that this was completely out of character for the Good Printer led me to believe that the Bad Printer must have something to do with it, and indeed, while I was running a diagnostic problem to find out what was wrong, the Bad Printer could only be described as sniggering.

It was most definitely shuffling its cartridges in a sniggery way.

Fortunately, following a thorough troubleshooting schedule, the evil influence it had exerted on the Good Printer was completely exorcised and I was finally able to complete the instruction booklet print run without further incident.

The whole episode has worried me though.  I simply can't work with two unpredictable printers so I'm a bit jumpy and will be on the lookout for any further deviations from their designated function.

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