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Old 01-26-2010, 04:19 AM   #1
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Default The Reasons Printers are from Hell

People who know me tend to realize fast that I'm "anti-online comic", but it's for no real reason. I just tend to never find the comics as funny as other people, so I don't actively seek them out. If there's an exception to this rule, it would be The Oatmeal. This site publishes what I'd consider to be the best comics out there, because they're not only informative, but witty and hilarious as well.



You can read the rest of our news post here.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:38 AM   #2
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This site publishes what I'd consider to be the best comics out there, because they're not only informative, but witty and hilarious as well.
Had a look at the other two... the one about tech support is a classic.

Of course I have a solution to that problem... Even my family pays me for the work I do. It's bloody amazing how well they can handle stuff on their own when the alternative is forking over a couple of $20.00s.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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It's bloody amazing how well they can handle stuff on their own when the alternative is forking over a couple of $20.00s.
That's the problem, I think. When people know that they could easily call up a family member or friend, they put no effort at all into figuring out the solution themselves. So what happens, is people help them, and they end up getting no smarter with computers at all. If people use their PCs every-single day, why is it so rare for people to actually want to learn a little bit about them?
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:44 PM   #4
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why is it so rare for people to actually want to learn a little bit about them?
The short answer... (if you'll forgive me phrasing an answer as a question)

Why bother to make any effort to learn when you can simply take advantage of someone else's generosity?

As with any other skillset... it is all about attitude. If you go in with the bright idea that it's going to be hard and you really don't want to struggle, it will be incredibly hard. However, if you go into it as a challenge, convinced you will learn and understand, it suddenly gets a whole lot easier.

People don't learn because they don't want to learn.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:45 PM   #5
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Same here, I always charge family, well except that one brother in law that HAS money to burn and he was the smart one that greases me with alot of killer freebies, lol.

As for printers, they sure are from hell. Trying to get used to sharing my HP1210 on Vista/7 has been a challenge. It works fine with no driver downloads (since none are available) but doesn't print pictures with any normalcy in color. This is fine for printing documents and directions, but not for the wife's pictures. This printer actually WILL try to print even with no ink so I cannot fault it there even with inktanks costing roughly $35 each.

My other printer, the Canon IP4300. Bought this guy on sale for $100, figured I was doing myself a favor spending more on a good printer. Yeah, FAIL! Don't get me wrong, this thing prints amazing pictures. Of course, that is after you spend hour after hour setting it up for each printing session, moving pictures into Canon's software and finally getting the paper to feed properly. Again, this is not the biggest failure. THe BIGGEST most COLOSSAL failure with this guy is the magical mystery expiring ink tanks. It seems that Canon likes to make money on their printers after the sale. To pretext this even a bit further, this printer will NOT print if there is a problem with any of the 5 tanks. That's right, I said 5 tanks. Now if one of the microchips on the ink tanks reaches it's expiry date, even if the tank is nearly full, it will not print until that tank is changed. WTF is up with that????? Well it seems Canon doesn't want me to refill my originals (which I wouldn't have anyways) and makes me buy a new tank. To date I have thrown out two 3/4 full tanks and one that was just over 1/2 full. In fact, the 1/2 full tank expired during a print session so I know it was definitely NOT clogged.

I just wish HP would give me a nice set of drivers for my old workhorse the HP1210. Sadly this will never happen since this printer is long discontinued. Thankfully, I can run the cartridges dry atleast....
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:04 AM   #6
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I hear you on the printer cartridges, b1lk1. It was absurd that Lexmark programmed their cartridges to deactivate based on # of prints rather than how much ink was left in them in order to increase sales.

I only use Epson printers as I was a big fan of the Epson 880i that I used to have... it lasted around 10 years and it didn't matter if the cartridges were expired or not, so I could buy them cheap from the Goodwill or online ink sellers for less than half the cost. My current Epson RX580 works fairly decently all around, but doesn't seem to print as well on glossly surfaces for some reason... but it does let you print even when one of the six cartridges runs dry. They perform some funky color mixing through, so if it's out of any color then it is almost guaranteed to change the final color of the printout.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:34 AM   #7
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Haha I actually saw this comic not that long ago. Great comic-ist. What do you call a person that draws comics? Besides an artist, since his artwork is creative but isn't exactly hard to do.

Anyways, get a laser printer. I have a Brother printer right now I think it works great. It's hard to find a printer with only a copier/scanner and printing functionality though. I don't fax anything, but they ALWAYS want to throw that in there. It takes a few seconds to warm up, but it spits out documents in seconds and it can 10,000 pages or w.e on the starting toner. I think a toner's about $80 but prints a lot more than the starting cartidge. A regular ink cartridge is about $20 right? But it only prints around 500 pages or some small amount. Laser printers are a lot more worth it in my opinion.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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Desktop/Office printers are annoying, but comparatively simple, especially with inkjets, to diagnose/fix. The shenanigans they pull with regard to the price of ink, well, we all know what's going on there. A while ago, i had an A3 HP inkjet printer, was acceptable with regard to quality, but when it came to 'photo' quality, nah, epic failure. Banding wasn't immediately apparent, but under a more sincere glance, it was definitely there, despite using the so called recommended media paper. Colour mix offset was poor, resulting in blurry transitions... not to mention it couldn't print a convincing vertical straight line. But hey, that was a few years ago. What really annoyed me was leaking cartridges. Buy a new cartridge; official HP; plug it in, prints fine. Two weeks later i need to print a few things and it says the black's empty. With some confusion, i look inside at the test pallet and there is a pile of black gunk below the cartridge. I pull out the black and it was noticeably lighter. Must of had a puncture in the casing somewhere. Suffice to say, was not impressed.

Most desktop and office printer problems tend to come from network problems or dodgy drivers (software in general). Selecting the right port type, protocol, printer profile, etc. Quite often, a printer can come with multiple drivers and profiles, so it's necessary to activate the right one for the functions you need, but this tends to be with regard to higher end printers. Protocol problems is the most common, and it's one of those unfriendly and hard to understand things to fix for the average joe. (Buried options).

Lasers are hit and miss and you need to think carefully with regard to long term purchases. Depending on the model and company, you may need to fork out for the toner, drum, fuser, feed belt and waste cartridge. They require regular cleaning, registration correction, density calibration, and depending if your using a laser or LED model, mirror cleaning. The problem is that a lot of the above is neglected from lower models and is quite often cheaper to replace the entire printer than to repair/replace single parts. Within 2 toners and a single drum, you could have already exceeded the cost of the printer, sometimes just the drum can do that.

For single colour (black), document printing, a Laser is Far cheaper and faster. As soon as you put colour into the equation, it gets very complicated. When colour is thrown in, laser colour toner can be twice the price of black, multiply that by 3 (CMY) and your looking at very expensive prints. Laser's are faster than inkjet's, but in terms of quality of images, ink's will win, hands down. Buy a 4 colour laser and for the same price, you can get a 6 or 8 colour ink. They're slower, but for quality, they're superior, and the cost of 8 inks would be cheaper than 4 toners (yes, the toners last longer, but not as long as you'd think).

For reasonable quality Laser colour, you're talking $3k-$6k machines, like from Oki and Xerox. That gets you an office colour laser, good for odd images and PP Slides. They'll cost you $600 to replace all 4 colours and $800 for all the drums and $200 for the Fuser and Belt, each. For good quality Laser, well, skies the limit, 30k to 200k, Canon imageready's and Xerox Docucolor's etc, the quality is like that of an average inkjet, but hey, they'll pump of 10-100k prints a day, lol.

And i have to stop myself. Sorry, i worked as a prepress graphic designer, so i lived print for a while. I was the techy, spent more time fixing/maintaining the machines than actually doing graphics. Now i just cringe at the thought of explaining what 4 colour black is to someone and why the document that was sent can't be printed. Bloody Microsoft setting 'black' as rich black by default in word because of RGB.... Commercial printing, the joys... RIP's, Plates, registration, bleeds, solid and process colours... then trying to explain it all to to someone who only knows File-Print-done.... Yes, printing is hell sometimes, lol
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kougar
I hear you on the printer cartridges, b1lk1. It was absurd that Lexmark programmed their cartridges to deactivate based on # of prints rather than how much ink was left in them in order to increase sales.
This truly disgusts me. What's next? Microchips in writing pens that automatically cut off the ink flow after you write 10,000 words? I'm not even making a joke... it's the exact same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yangster
Haha I actually saw this comic not that long ago. Great comic-ist. What do you call a person that draws comics? Besides an artist, since his artwork is creative but isn't exactly hard to do.
Hah, I'd just call them an artist, but I'm sure there's a more specific title out there somewhere. As I mentioned in the news post, I've never been a big fan of online comics, at all, but the ones at the Oatmeal are different. Even the educational posters on there throw some genuine humor into the mix. Here's a good example:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tharic-Nar
Quite often, a printer can come with multiple drivers and profiles, so it's necessary to activate the right one for the functions you need, but this tends to be with regard to higher end printers.
This right here explains another major gripe of mine with printers. They're complicated for us, who tend to eat and breathe tech every-single day... imagine the layman. For some reason, my Brother doesn't even act as the default printer. In the drop-down, the first result is something like Microsoft Office, and then there is more than one listing for Brother... it's so needless to complicate things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tharic-Nar
For good quality Laser, well, skies the limit, 30k to 200k, Canon imageready's and Xerox Docucolor's etc, the quality is like that of an average inkjet, but hey, they'll pump of 10-100k prints a day, lol.
I've suddenly become a little more tolerable of my $50 Brother inkjet printer ;-)

I had no idea laser printers required so much extra work, it's really good to know, and interesting.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:43 AM   #10
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Haha yea. I actually learned something from his semicolon comic.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:26 PM   #11
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This right here explains another major gripe of mine with printers. They're complicated for us, who tend to eat and breathe tech every-single day... imagine the layman. For some reason, my Brother doesn't even act as the default printer. In the drop-down, the first result is something like Microsoft Office, and then there is more than one listing for Brother... it's so needless to complicate things.
You're not talking about that Microsoft XPS document writer, are you? If so don't blame your printer, it's an OS issue... you need to tell the OS which one is default. It's really stupid Microsoft programed their software to direct all programs to print to something that is not even a printer, by default. I've seen this on every single Windows 7 install I've (and others) have done to date.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:22 AM   #12
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I had no idea laser printers required so much extra work, it's really good to know, and interesting.
Lasers are pretty easy... For the most part you just hook up the printer, install the drivers and use the things. The average "home owner" laser printer is maintenance free and cost has fallen off so dramatically it's actually cheaper to throw them out and get a new one than to service them.

While I won't debate the added complexity of color lasers... Yer basic trusty old black laser printer is by far the least espensive way to print. You're talking $0.06 per page vs $0.23 for inkjet. Color brings that up to about $0.14 for lasers.

In fact, with the dramatic drop in price for laser printers these last couple of years it can easily be cheaper to buy a new printer than to replace the toner/drum assembly... Samsung ML-2510 printer = $69.00cdn. Toner for Samsung ML-2510 = $73.00cdn. (Refilled cartridge = $45.00) Mind you the new cartridge will print something like 3000 pages of average density text while the one supplied with the printer only does about 500 but it is a tad ridiculous. Some people actually do just toss out the whole printer and buy a new one... (I'll spare you the huge grumble about quality... It's a $69.00 laser printer... what did you expect?)

Laser printers do, however, have one thing going for them you'll never get from any other kind of printer... you can use them to print iron-on etch patterns for circuit boards.

Oh, on another point... and on some of the ink jets, the way around the cartridge ripoffs is to go into the printer's setup and reset the page counter... I believe there are little proggies floating around to do that with most Canon models...
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