In which my printer is possessed, suddenly.

So I am printing a one-page document containing my class schedule. The printer, one of these generic HP inkjets, spits out a half-printed page, after which I see an error message on my screen, telling me that think ink cartridge is not compatible with this printer.
Which is weird, because I’ve been using it just fine for the past month and a half, and apparently it was even okay when it started printing the document. But now: no. It’s incompatible.
I have an old cartridge lying about, so I pop that in and the thing prints just fine, faint so I can’t read it, but fine, no errors. Same type of cartridge. I put the other back in. Still incompatible.
After much frustration, swearing in the empty house, and more than one angry percussive swipe at the infernal plastic machine, I simply go back to my reading. Maybe the spookiness will be forgotten tomorrow. If the printer can be so fickle, who’s to say how it might behave tomorrow?

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7 thoughts on “In which my printer is possessed, suddenly.

  1. There was once a time when “Hewlett-Packard” stood for quality and reliability. But as you are no doubt aware, the company shed that distinction at least 5 years ago (coincidentally around the time of Carly Fiorina’s arrival).
    It’s interesting that you can encounter 1980’s-era HP inkjets on reuse, still in perfect working order, while brand new units seem to last only a year or two.

  2. Bit late, really.
    I mean once your life is reduced to (1) being a horse in the era of the automobile and (2) being passed around like a fruitcake at Christmas, isn’t pretty much every day you’re not turned into sausage a kick in the teeth?
    W.
    * This whole thing was a metaphor for graduate school, right?

  3. I’d clean the contacts. The DRM-esque chips in these ink cartridges actually have a pretty heavy dialog with the printer (largely to say ‘i am running out of ink’ so that if you refil them, THEY WILL KNOW…), and if the connection for the communication chunk is screwy, you might get all kinds of weird error messages.
    God I hate modern printers.

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