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stigweed 4th April, 2003 08:30 PM

why do printers suck so much?
Fair enough, when they work they work.

But how many people have known a printer to work straight out of the box with no need to delve into the help files or download new drivers or read the troubleshooting part of the manual?

Of all the printers I've seen in the past 10 years, none of them have worked straight away like they're supposed to,

Old BBC Epson printers when I was in primary school - "@@@@@@@@@@@@@@" was about all they would produce

The citizen swift 24 - dot matrix. garbled text instead of anything you told it to print.

More recently a Citizen swift 123 a few years ago. Also junk.

Then a HP about 5 years ago. Inkjet but still crappy. Never printing what you want.

A brand spanking new Epson A3 at school a couple of years ago. I lost hours and hours of lesson time trying to get that thing to go properly. Sometimes it would sometimes it woudlnt.

Then a Lexmark 1100. Came with the OEM PC my mum bought. Cartridges knackered. Took forever to setup correctly after MUCH troubleshooting.

And Now, my Lexmark Z13. USB. After a few weeks I got it working properly over my network. Today printed off a text file from notepad fine. 5 minutes later try to print a bmp and the file swims happily over the network into the print spooler. Print manager says "printing". No sign of life from the printer. Click "restart" on the job - prints one line then the job gets cancelled - tells you to turn off printer.

Two printers at work in the last couple of years. As "the guy who knows all about computers" i get to have to get the things working. Had to download a 11mb file over dialup connection cos the "English" version of the printer drive was in Czech or Turkish or something - on a brand new HP Deskjet, CD driver version 1.2!

I mean in the early days, modems, sound cards, video cards were all a bit dodgy. But how is it that a single piece of technology, the printer, has consistently managed to remain unreliable for years and years? It's like you can't feel comfortable using a printer - you never know when its going to dump on you.

You click cancel printing - nothing happens. You delete the job nothing happens. Maybe this is inherent in the way windows deals with print spooling or somethng but the lag between a command and it actually being done is appauling. It's ludicrous. Even Microsoft windows networks are more reliable and easier to setup than you average printer. I know some of those listed above are only cheap BUT THAT'S NO REASON FOR THEM TO NOTHING BUT SIT THERE AND BE GREY AND PLASTIC.:devil:

Come on someone back me up here.

Daniel ~ 4th April, 2003 10:20 PM

I feel your pain, just spent an entire weekend trying to get a friends printer to work, finally he gave up and bought a router, worked like a charm. Plug and play USB.

But to answer your question:

In order to pull the paper in?":O}

stigweed 4th April, 2003 11:21 PM

I knew I wasn't alone. This new printer is USB but on a hybrid AT/ATX motherboard which doesn't fully support USB. It's been giving me gip forever.

cloasters 5th April, 2003 04:37 AM

"Ohh, Lexmark is da best!" said my neighbor. I didn't have the nerve to ask her opinion of it after the "nice man" from Lexmark repair picked it up for fixing when it was five months old.

From what I understand, it's normal to need an entire day to set up a new printer. My ancient HP was pretty easy until HP came out with an updated driver. What a pos! Thank goodness I had a floppy with the old driver!

That bottom of the line Deskjet worked for five years. Pretty good. And HP thanked me for buying all of the million overmuthaflockin' priced cartridges for it, too. All the way to their bank. Except for a few Canon's, inkjets are the biggest ripoff!

So I replaced it with a $200 laser printer from Samsung. So far, so good. Toner cartridges are ~$55. Not cheap. But page for page, they're half as much as black ink cartridges. And laser sounds high toned. Color laser sounds REALLY high toned. They'll be down to $500 next year. From $25000 down to $1000 in ~18 months. Amazing.

stigweed 5th April, 2003 07:40 AM

YEah I start this threaad as a kind of a anger venting exercise.

It just seems stupid to me that they still can't get it right.

Daniel ~ 5th April, 2003 07:45 AM

Trust yourself..IT IS STUPID!

stigweed 5th April, 2003 07:49 AM

OK. I feel better now. I can go to work and not let it bother me.

Aedan 5th April, 2003 04:04 PM


Originally posted by cloasters
That bottom of the line Deskjet worked for five years. Pretty good. And HP thanked me for buying all of the million overmuthaflockin' priced cartridges for it, too. All the way to their bank. Except for a few Canon's, inkjets are the biggest ripoff!
Heh. I have an Epson Stylus Photo 870. I've had it for a while, and got annoyed with the cost of carts. I got even more annoyed as a number of people liked me to do full page colour.

My GF needed to print off a bunch of images that were underwater. I managed 17 full colour pages before the blue ran out on the cart.

Now, I don't worry. I buy ink by the bottle load, and run that into the continous system I now have. Whilst a full set of ink may cost me $70, there's so much more ink in a bottle than in a cart. Full page colour? No problem. Don't need to worry about running out of ink either. Bottles aren't cheap, but are much cheaper than buying 17 or so carts!

My favourite on printers being dumb was an older Epson printer my father has. When he tried to print certain graphs from Quicken, the Epson spooler produced a message:

"A intarnal error broke out"

And then refused to print. Nice huh?


robbie 5th April, 2003 10:24 PM

So what EXACTLY is your question? Maybe I can help?

<----- fixes copiers, faxes, computers, and printers for a living. (too name a few)

Daniel ~ 5th April, 2003 10:41 PM

We don't want help! We just want to complain! LOL

Good question Robbie, one for obvious reasons I was unqualified to ask! ":O}

Liquid3D 6th April, 2003 12:36 AM

The anthropological, and social questions regarding the homosexual tendencies in the printing trade, pre-date Biblical times. It is thought by many&nbsp;social anthropologists, "printers" were usually men whom were physically inferior to their counterparts of the times. Their lack of physical strength, or&nbsp;small stature&nbsp;prevented them&nbsp;from performing the&nbsp;physically demanding trades of the day, including joining the&nbsp;standing army, farming, masonary,&nbsp;and of course laborers.&nbsp;The rudimentary printing trade of ancient Sumner (considered to be the first true civilization by anthrpological criteria)&nbsp;was well suited&nbsp;to those with an effeminate&nbsp;dexterity. These men (as women were considerd unsuitable for such positions due to religious restrictions)&nbsp;fufilled a crucial function as one of the criteria for civilization is a written language. Their ability to carve minute detail into the stone pieces which were used (among a number of methods) to then transfer natural dies, was considered a position which garnered great reverance. These men&nbsp;actually enjoyed an elevated social status. One reason men were so crucial as opposed to women, was the religious implications. As the religion of anceint Sumner revolved around a male dominated Priest hiearchy,&nbsp;women were not even granted access to the Temples of the day.&nbsp;In fact the only function women played was tragically that of a sacrificial one, and only virgins at that. So while we cannot begin to elaborate on the sexual preferences of these, the first "printers"; we can confrim that as tradition gioes, many remnants are&nbsp;carried into the 21st Century. Ergo, printers may indeed "suck", but that is not to say they do not fufill a very important societal function beyond their sexual habits. It would not only be ethnocentric to judge this most private behavior, but egocentric as well.

Daniel ~ 6th April, 2003 01:29 AM

Typical of anthropological "Ax-grinding". All these provincial quibblers seem to have an agenda!

Have they never seen a stone carvers hands and arms? Early printing was laborious and unlikely to attract the infirm in my view. When did dexterity become effeminate?

Have these people never thumb wrestled!??

Far more likely "sucking" came to be associated with printers due to the unfair blame heaped upon them due to the contents provided by beverage makers and their requisite straws.

As is the case today printers were dependent upon advertising dollars and though they controlled the presses were unable to speak out and set the record straight...until today!

That they are seen as Homosexual was just wishful thinking on the part of ink fetishers, a group of people deem illiterate by some authorities, but inexplicably draw to wet ink. Thus giving rise to the expression,

"Before the ink was dry!"

However these people were protected from public scrutiny due to their role as paperboys (note the diminishing gender qualifier "Boys")

They were in fact however comprised of both sexes and Identified by the basic black they wore even when nude. This was not, in point of fact, a religious experience so much as a commercial undertaking.

(I site as reference the ancient text of Boloniyia which clearly reads:

"Inky dinky kinky do")

An obvious reference to both the work ethic of the day and ingrained preference for the wet and black inks commonly in use at the time through out the region.

To explore these matters at length please see my up coming book on the subject,

"Ink, printer and the organized press, a look between the lines"

Liquid3D 6th April, 2003 04:01 AM

Of course my essay was no more then a satire on the "European/Early American" anthropologist's ethnocentricity.&nbsp;And I would most certainly, personally concur with the view these MEN of ancient Sumner, were in fact not only strong in the sense stone carving developed muscle tone, but were among the most intelligent among their kind. Their proximity to the written word, with which man has learned to abstract, is but the foundation of philosophic thought. In fact if it were not for these pioneers in the art's, and sciences we would not enjoy life as we know it. Our&nbsp;culturally diverse and rich world is but a branch form that sturdy trunk,&nbsp;upon which remains the mark of ancient man/women-kind. It is their labors, their sacrifices, which makes our lives so comfortable.&nbsp;In fact&nbsp;the abstraction through written language led to mathematical computation (although it's arguable which preceeded the other), without which I'd be flapping burlap over an awfully big pile of burning debree to communicate with those of you across the pond. Do we not stare up at the same constellations? Do we not breath the same oxygen? Are we not the same, flesh, blood, heart, and soul? Our intellect's cradled within this flesh, struggling to integrate? Ah the "mind-body" theory, albeit solved for over 60 years I still struggle to think I am but a physiochemical machine.&nbsp;That my mind the ultimate trickster, misleads me into thinking my thoughts are&nbsp;ethereal, deviod of physical form?&nbsp;I know now I am a mosaic&nbsp;of efferent and affrerent impulses travlleing from&nbsp;sensory organs, to particualr parts of my brain, processed, and exiting through simliar organs (unless I hold my tongue, but B.F. Skinner would argue)? Are the Behaviorists, reductionists, materialists correct? In my head reside so many homunculi-headed robots? I belive it's true, that&nbsp;I am but the weight strength ratios between synaptic clefts, and their firing frequency. And were it not for those first "printers" I would not be capable of expressing this.

cloasters 6th April, 2003 05:31 PM

Printers incur the wrath of millions, Stigweed. You are not alone!
This thread is wonderfully entertaining, a breath of fresh air that the world needs now and again!

stigweed 6th April, 2003 06:24 PM

Well look at that.

I go to work. Come back, don't have time to check the forums before going to a party then onto work again today. Just got back and the thread has become very surreal or perhaps that's just the things I was doing last night that I shouldn't have been. Can;t turn your back on thsi palce for a minute.

At least I can see I'm not alone.

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