Printers.  It’s a love/hate relationship.  When they work, they are wonderful.  However, when they go wrong, they can be a nightmare.

It seems that both staff and students here are always inventing new and more imaginitive ways to make printers go wrong.

With inkjet printers it’s easy to cause havoc.  While a page is printing, add a big stack more paper to the in-tray and watch as the printer tries to feed 2cm of paper through the rollers.  Or, turn the printer or printserver off half-way through a job, and then watch as it tries to process half a print job.  For some reason, simply removing the paper to stop it printing hundreds of pages of dingbats just doesn’t occur to them.

A firm favourite of mine is people who install new ink cartridges but forget to remove the protective plastic covering the electrical contacts and print heads.  Similarly with Laser toner, not removing the pull-out protective seal will rarely end in good results.  What amazes me is the people who not only fail to remove that, but then proceed to force the toner cartridge into the printer clearly against it’s wishes.

The technically illiterate don’t seem to grasp the concept that when clearing a paper jam, it’s not a good thing to rip the paper into little shreds as you try to remove it.  Nor is it a good thing to have a big chunk of paper lost somewhere inside.  Inevitably, it will come back to haunt you.  Paperclips, too, are not easily digested by a printer.

The most terminal printer I have dealt with was a user that wanted to print onto a sheet of sticky labels.  Now, I don’t know if this person was using the wrong types of labels or perhaps they were just unlucky, but an entire sheet of labels went into the printer, but when the sheet came out several labels were missing.  The user thought nothing of this, until the printer started producing a lot of black marks on all their pages.

Have you ever tried to delete a print job being sent to a locally attached printer?  Is there a trick to this I’ve not yet encountered?  I turn the printer off, on, off, on, do the hokey cokey and I turn around, but yet Windows sits there telling me the document status is ‘Deleting’.  Often, I find a reboot is the only way to obliterate it entirely.  What does it find so difficult about deleting a print job?

2 thoughts on “Printers

  1. Mate you love this – check my link for a funny story incorporating printers

    This is the sort of call i get from my damned customers – Imagine this and if you can put on an old womans voice whilst reading aloud

    "Hello is Simon there pleeese" – "yes thats me how can i help you" – "my printer seems to have broken can you come and repair it please i have a church newsletter i need to print for this weeks get together" —-deep breate and a pause and i replied — " Yes ok madam but before i do that can i ask you take the toner out of the machine – shake it and replace – You may find its only a toner problem" – "ok Simon i’ll do that – hold on one minute"

    2 minutes pass and an almighty scream is heard from my phone

    "Simon – i need your help theres a mouse in my printer" – "*im laughing – no seriously Madam there cannot be a mouse in your printer they are a very hot place to be and it wouldnt last 1 minute" — The old lady then paused and explained that she could proove it with a photo……

    I couldnt beleive what she managed to email me – Tell me if you find this fooking hilarious!


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