Friday, January 24, 2014

Printers & Cables & Liars, Oh My!

Spent the better part of Thursday installing - tweaking (not twerking, though that may have been of some help) the new printer to get it to work.  No easy job, that. 

Wording in the Epson advertising  clearly stated there was no need for a USB cable, that the printer was ready to use almost out of the box.  Almost.  Remember that.  Almost.  

In any case, the printer doesn't include a USB cable and nowhere did the ad suggest purchasing one, especially if printer will be used on a network, and by various other devices. So, I didn't bother to order one. (The cost would have been a whole extra $3.00, btw)

After removing the blue tape from the printer parts that could be damaged in shipping, I noticed that some tape held absolutely nothing whatsoever. Ah, bless those Chinese!   Extra tape?  No worries, just stick it anywhere. I know where I'd like to stick it. 

Followed directions for setup, installed the inks, programmed the date, time, etc. and then inserted the installation CD containing the drivers and another step-by-step for final set up.  As the CD was doing its thing, I went back to the quick setup sheets to continue the setup manually, and guess what?  Oh, come on, you can guess…

Setup step #7 header: Wireless Connection.
Text reads as follows:
You must install the software on every computer from which you want to print. For the first installation, we recommend using a USB cable (not included) to simplify wireless setup.
Say, what???  You need a wire to simplify a wireless setup??? You know, you can't make this shit up!

OK, so I have a USB cable for my laser printer (which is looking far more reliable every minute now) so I had to abort the install, regroup, and start over again. 

Another aggravation was that every time I tried to input my network information, (which is case sensitive) the damned printer kept switching from lower to upper case for no reason.  (I kept wondering how many times a device could be thrown to the floor, or across the room and still work.) Anyway, the fourth try was the charm.  Everything finally installed, network found, passwords approved and updated.

Next up was the calibration, nozzle cleaning, head alignment and colour saturation. All this must be done by hand using the LCD screen and keys on the printer face - nothing easy there, to be sure.  In older models - when I used ink jets in the past - this was controlled through the software on the computer.  (One reason I decided to go with Epson.) Of course, this new method is "simplified" only for the printer manufacturer, not the end user. 

Anyway…That took another 40 sheets of paper all by itself.  To add salt to the wound, the raw stock feed isn't a flatbed after all.  It's gravity feed, which I hate.  (These tend to jam and can cause major headaches if you change stock weight, size, or are in a rush.) There is not one picture on any website, Epson or otherwise, that shows this ugly little truth.  Why yes, I am pissed.  Why do you ask?

Four hours later the deed is done and I need a cold compress and a very dry martini to get settled down. 

At this stage I have no idea if the damned printer will work wirelessly, or not. For now, I am leaving the USB cable connected and will transfer it to whatever printer I need for any given job.  The idea was to make this black monster the primary printer/scanner/copier, but I don't think that's going to happen.  

Apple and the Mac have been completely useless throughout this entire process.  If it wasn't for Mac not supporting laser printers/scanners, none of this would have transpired.  Still, few regrets.

Note:  Just read that "Image Capture" program is required to get the most out of the scanner component of the printer on a Mac.  Isn't that just swell, though…I am really thrilled now. 

I am stuck with the very situation that I wanted to avoid - having a separate scanner connected to the computer along side a printer - but that's what I've got. 

Well, that was yesterday.  

Today I am going to make a valiant effort to remove the snow and ice blanket covering the car so that I can get out on the weekend for a little necessary grocery shopping.  

It's still in the teens here with winds at about 20 mph, so  I don't know how long I'll last - being short of breath and all - but it has to be done, at least before the next storm barrels through.

And so it goes.



  1. Sorry to hear you had so many problems installing your printer. I got a wireless HP printer (HP OfficeJet Pro 8600) at BJ's for 139.99 ($169.99 less instant rebate of $30.00) last April that is a printer, scanner, copier, and fax. I inserted the CD that came with it into my iMac and in less than 10 minutes I had a wireless printer hookup. When I print now I can choose between my HP LasterJet P1006 (which is hooked up to my iMac with a cable) or my HP OffJet Pro 8600. The ease of hooking up my HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 is why I like using Apple products because of the ease and lack of complexity. I have enough complexity in my life and I'm not a tech guru (far from it), I don't need any more frustration like what you just went through. I've been using this printer since last April and have yet to replace any of the cartridges. I'm sorry you didn't take my advice, it would have saved you a lot of headaches.

    1. Ron, What do you mean 'take your advice"? I have no idea what you're talking about. I've not asked for advice and you've not given any. These conversations are not happening, at least between us.

      You left this comment on my post regarding a new printer:

      "I hope you got the "dirt cheap" printer. The Epson sounds like a good choice. I especially like the wireless function. I have two printers now, the wireless works the best. Good luck!"

      I haven't seen nor heard from you since the November outing for Barbara's birthday luncheon. No rhyme or reason, except for the occasional comment here, you simply disappeared.

    2. Guilty as charged. Don't get around much these days.

  2. A month ago, I bought a new Dell computer with all the bells and whistles, but elected to stay with Win7 instead of going to 8.1. Imagine my surprise and delight when my 10 year old HP 990cse duplex printer that is on the network, worked on the new computer straight out of the box! This old ink jet printer has the best color and saves paper with duplex operation. It also has a flat bed feed. I also have a newer wireless Dell all-in-one cheapie, which jams with its gravity feed, has poorer color, and doesn't do duplex. But it serves as my copier and scanner. Every time I copy or scan something on the Dell V305, I have to push myriad buttons on the printer. It cannot even remember the last setting.

  3. yeah, computers were supposed to make our lives easier. what a crock!

    although, without the internet, I would never know such wonderful boyfriends like you!



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