Michael Forman

Michael Forman
Author, Singer, Actor, Photographer. This is where I scratch out things between writing books.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Ink Jet Printers Suck!

I hate Inkjet Printers!

I've only printed four pages and it wants another cyan ink replaced. 20 pages before that it was yellow. I hardly print out anything and it always seems to need new inks!

Is this story familiar to you?

And it doesn't matter what brand of ink goes into the machine, it's never enough. The printer can sit for months without being used and it still calls for ink when it's turned on.

It's crazy!
I Hate Inkjet Printers!
And what about all that nonsense before and after any printing takes place? It whirs, the head clatters back and forth for minutes on end. What's all that business about? Is it using some ink just warming up?

It takes ages to ready an ink jet printer for printing. The carriage rumbles to the left and right for what seems to be ages for no real or valid reason. Sometimes it tells me its 'cleaning' - cleaning what? I didn't dirty anything! It's only ink and paper in the machine and the paper renews itself on each page!

My laser printers in the past never needed 'cleaning.' Unless I activated a sleep-mode on them, they were always ready to print when I pressed 'PRINT.' And when they were static, they never mysteriously devoured toner and shortened my capacity to print more than eight pages over a couple of months! They fired up and gave me the same amount of copies whether I did it in one job in one day or several over many months!

I tell you, inkjet printers are a riotous rort!

Okay, so you're a hardware geek and know all about the inner workings of printers. Before you read my rant and give me all the technical reasons as to why inkjet printers do what they do to validate and defend their existence, I don't care to know about any of them. Eight pages and what amounts to around half an hour worth of 'cleaning' over two months just isn't a reasonable enough number to have me convinced that they aren't worth the money you pay for them.

Of course, the printers aren't all that expensive. I don't care about that either. ANY money spent buying one isn't worth all the hassles and delays in getting anything printed by one.

Printing out on of my book's manuscripts on the same day a complete set of newly unpacked inks are installed into my printer will see me around 500 pages of black on white without trouble. But if I come back and print anything more a week later, CYAN will be empty. CYAN? WTF? I didn't use CYAN. I only used BLACK!  

Yes, yes, I know the other colours are used to balance the BLACK but a whole tank of CYAN in a what was a BLACK run? Come on! Shouldn't the BLACK tank be lower than CYAN? CYAN wasn't the base colour, the BLACK was.

And then the printer lid is lifted to replace the CYAN ink. The instructions on the screen tell the user to wait while the print-head is prepared for ink changes. It goes back and forth for a minute while the transport mechanism rolls on as though paper is passing through it. The head finally positions itself and the next instruction is to remove the ink and insert the new one. The lid is closed and the print-head and transport mechanism goes through yet another laborious process of doing God-knows-what.

It's finally ready!

But the MAGENTA is now showing that it's low. Huh? It was alright three moments ago!

It's low but not empty so the PRINT button is pressed anyway. The print-head goes through another process of whirring and buzzing and, before a page can be printed, another dialogue box pops up onto the computer screen two minutes later: MAGENTA is empty.

F*cking MAGENTA! The printer is now holding my document for ransom!!!!

I won't write out the routine again but we've been here before, right?

So do we roll the dice this time or do we change the yellow at the same time? Ten minutes is too long to find out that YELLOW is about to suddenly run out. Yep, let's do YELLOW too.

Close the lid, fire up the printer and wait for a green light to print. DAMMIT The BLACK tank is now low - at this stage I'll be in my grave before the printer will hand me over a single sheet of black print on white paper!

Okay, let's replace everything; the YELLOW, the small BLACK and the big BLACK tanks at once. If everything is brand new then one page won't be a problem. I need it now and I can't wait any longer. The lid is closed and the mechanisms rumble on while I tap the table waiting for my turn to press PRINT. 

The paper has run out!

I hate inkjet printers.