Monday, November 29, 2004


Must… kill… that… printer…

Now I know why Rob conned me into getting him a new printer. This one is the most MADDENING thing on earth.

It’s a Lexmark All-in-One. It prints, scans and copies.


Up until now I’ve been e-mailing my documents and printing them upstairs but I finally decided to try (not for the first time) to get this one going on my new computer.
Else I’d have to resort to my six year old Epson which was a great printer but is starting to get a little edgy.

On the surface the Lexmark looks promising. No big bulky printer cable. No weird installation on an LPT port. Nice CD software included.

The first time I tried to install it, in the middle of the installation it informed me that my “right” ink cartridge was missing.
In order to look for the cartridge you have to lift the top part of the printer, which is actually the scanner, and dig around in the bowels.
Rob wasn’t home and I was expecting a hassle-free installation, so I just aborted for the time being.
So today I steeled myself for problems and tried again.

I got the same message but decided to really look for the cartridges.
I could see their containers (one black, one colour) lurking on the far right side of the printer innards.
My old printer had a nice button which, when pushed, caused the cartridges to noisily slide over to the middle.
No such button here.
I’d have to try it manually, despite my fear of having something happen to my fingers. I don’t like shoving them into dark spaces where sharp things might be waiting to pounce on me.
Since I’m typing this, you can guess that I survived that ordeal. I removed the “absent” right cartridge, looked at it, and replaced it firmly. The program seemed to accept that.

Yes, progress!

Then it printed a test page!
It was adequate, except that none of the colour tests came out. But that was okay, Rob had told me the colour no longer worked. He wasn’t sure if the cartridge was empty or not but since he didn’t have much use for colour printing, didn’t really care.
(His new printer is a black and white laser, and works like a dream.)
I can do without colour – my Epson had given that up awhile ago, too.

Unfortunately there seems to be no easy way to check ink levels here (unlike the sainted Epson) and when I finally did find the utility, it indicated that both were full.
Okay, whatever.
Maybe one day I’ll find the nozzle cleaning utility, if there is one.

So on to printing, for my bowling league.
There are many printing options.
I can print a photograph! A banner! A transparency! A booklet! An envelope!
But nothing for printing a PLAIN PIECE OF PAPER.

I try file, print, enter – ERROR MESSAGE.
The printer is not communicating with the computer.
They suggest I reconnect/reboot.
Done, same thing.
Nothing in the “Troubleshooting” section has this problem.
Finally realize that all the abortive installations have created several copies of the printer and the wrong one was “default”.
Fixed it.
Deleted all the others.
Felt good about it.

What’s worse: for part of the time, the TV was on behind me and the Rolling Stones were singing the Lexmark commercial. I have it running in my head now… “VEry compliCA-ted”… No kidding.

And the print quality isn’t great, either.
Good enough for bowling league but not for school or anything official.

I must thank Rob for having me buy him the laser.

No comments: