Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Preparing for print head

It's funny how most major consumer products have become simpler, more reliable and more robust over the years. Cars, TVs, washing machines, even (non-Apple) mobile phones. Alas this is not the case with printers. They are the fragile pre-madonnas of the technical world, flighty and complicated, always temperamental, needy and hungry for ink and attention, at war with any external device and prone to violent mood swings and fits or simply sulking and not talking to anyone. I can say this with some confidence having just un-boxed and installed a Canon 9100 series printer. Of course even though it's called a Canon 9100 (as per the handbook) it only responds to instructions when you call it a Canon 9150, and why not indeed? Names are important.

The whole process, including downloading numerous "helpful" but now completely inaccessible files takes about two hours. Everywhere there are tiny tabs and spring loaded orifices, hidden chambers that move without warning like alien jaws and then random and circular instructions that appear on a tiny screen, "wait a while" I'm politely told. So I waited. Sure enough, once all the whirring and mysterious checking and resetting is done it becomes possible to print. 

I print gingerly in black and white. Avoid colours at all costs, the cartridges are filled with a mystery elixir that could confidently slop around in the Holy Grail and grant eternal life. Even better (and more profitable) there are now two extra cartridges where there once were four. A pale purple and wheezy looking grey. Six to buy, six to fiddle with, six to stain your finger tips, six to dispose of. Why? Of course there is a chance that this printer may be the one that breaks the mould, the one that performs like a faithful collie and just gets on with it's core task, printing. I hope so.

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