I decided to convene a death panel of one and pull the plug on my ancient LaserJet printer this morning. It had been printing in funny colors for a long time, and today it started leaving poop marks on the page. I’ve cleaned it out and changed cartridges and it’s still doing it, so euthanasia was the answer.
The new HP Color LaserJet I purchased was cheap (since it’s just a ploy to get you to buy cartridges — a full cartridge load costs more than the printer) and full of features. You can print from a smartphone, from anywhere on earth, using Google Cloud Print or HP’s ePrint. You can print over a wired or wireless network, or directly connected to your computer.
It’s a great device, but I have no idea how regular folks configure the damn thing. This is the second HP networked color printer I’ve set up this year (the other was for my brother) and both of them have required a little bit of troubleshooting and basic network configuration. Two different networks, two different PCs (a Mac and a Windows 7 machine) and two problems. The fix involved stuff I’ve done for 20+ years so it wasn’t a big deal, but I know that Joe Average Computer User would have been stuck.
These are the bog-standard, entry-level HP devices. Millions are sold every year. I either hit the jackpot twice, or people are spending many hours on the phone talking to HP support to get these printers working. I wonder how many other devices are like this.
Here’s another open thread to discuss your computer woes, or anything else.