MY NOTORIOUSLY NEW PRINTER

I hate printers. I also hate copiers, scanners, and fax machines.

Nowadays, you get one, you get the batch, but I still hate all of them, whether in one package or many. I got my new printer a few days ago and finally got around to installing it yesterday. Maybe I should have waited.

When you are setting up a new printer, what can you do if your WiFi simply won’t “see” it?

It turns out, the most popular technique is highly technical denial. This means you turn everything off and go shopping. Really, any outside-the-house activity will do the job. We went to Garry’s hearing place to see if they have a significantly better hearing aid for him. Not quite. Yet. Maybe it would be a little better, but not $4000 better.

When we came back from the hearing place and having briefly stopped at the grocery store, I realized I had to confront the printer again. Another one of the small aggravations of modern times: new computers — like this one — don’t have DVD players. I bought an external one, but first I tried downloading the setup instructions from the website. This is supposed to work just like the disc, but surprisingly, didn’t.

Probably, because the WiFi did not find the printer. Or maybe there was some other inexplicable reason.

When your WiFi won’t find a device, there isn’t much you can do about it. You can wave your hands in the air like a fan. Maybe that will blow the WiFi in the right direction. You can shake your devices — but this may work to your disadvantage. Then, there’s cursing. For many people, that works well, but for me, it’s a distraction from getting on with the job.

Turning everything off, then turning every back on is one of the most effective ways of convincing something that should be working to really work, but this time, it didn’t. I should have figured if going shopping didn’t fix it, I needed a new approach.

So, after we came home and I quickly realized it hadn’t magically fixed itself (damn), I hauled my laptop and DVD player into the office. There are — as it turns out — alternate instructions which only appear when you click “NO, that didn’t work either”  for the third time. At which point alternate instructions pop into your browser. These are apparently dangerous weapons of mass destruction and can only be used if your WiFi absolutely can not find the printer, even after you wave your arms and plead with the manufacturer.

It turns out, you have to press the WiFi button until the ALERT button flashes twice. Not three times. If it flashes three times, you have to start over. Next, you have to push the start button again, at which time the WiFi button should start to flash very quickly (not slowly … slowly won’t do the job). They also don’t warn you there’s a pause before it starts rapidly flashing — but if you push it again, you have to start over from the top.

If all goes well, at this point, unless your WiFi is actually out, you should have a connection.

Then you push another button while pressing a third button. Which prints a sheet which you will attempt to scan. Which inevitably produces an error message. If you try to do it again, all it will do is keep printing the same page.

I said screw it and gave up. Then, I decided to register the printer. It turns out, I can’t. Because I am a Canon user — but have no idea what my password used to be. I’m exhausted from carrying the laptop around and having to follow all those instructions.

Since the printer was been found by the WiFi, it would surely print if asked. If the WiFi had found the printer all by itself like it should have, I wouldn’t have had to do any of this. Windows would have taken over and installed everything. Immediately.

Good news? The printer says it works. I’m trusting this to be true. I’m not at all sure about the scanner, but I’ll save that for another day.

Have I mentioned how much I really hate printers? I used to hate fax machines and copy machines too, but now they’re all one thing. So I have just one big thing to hate instead of three.

Is this a good or bad thing?

31 thoughts on “MY NOTORIOUSLY NEW PRINTER

  1. Boy I’m with ya 150%. Seems like they do everything possible to NOT make it easy to perform a seemingly routine set up operation. Apple tries to crush through the set up automatically.., but there are times when that glitches and nothing makes sense. Why did you choose a Canon, Just curios?

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  2. I have never installed a printer, it is a Mr. Swiss thing, but your experiences are very familiar, although he usually succeeds eventually, after perhaps uttering a few profanities on the way. We now have a Canon, after throwing the HP on the scrap heap, and it seems to do what it should with the exception that it often cannot find my computer and he often has to reconnect it. Thanks for the report on the progress of your installation, it was quite amusing.

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    • You are welcome. Aside from going to visit Garry’s hearing place, my entire day was devoted to figuring out how to get the printer to hook up to the WiFi. I think it’s all these new safety things they added to anything WiFi, They may not stop hackers, but they sure do stop USERS. I still don’t know whether or not it scans and i’m too tired to try anything more tonight. And yes, the HP went to the scrap heap. Pity because it was too new to be dumped.

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  3. I am fortunate enough to have a neighbor who is a professional IT nerd who is not working right now. I allowed him to install my new printer. Even he ended up connecting the printer to the computer with a cable as well as with the wifi because “it wasn’t behaving well with just wifi! It’s great now!

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    • I would have done that except that the computer is a laptop and i use it in the living room while the printer is in what used to be my office, down the hall and to the right. That would be a REALLY long cord.

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  4. Yikes! I encounter problems like this each time my computer crashes and I have to reinstall the printer. Fortunately, an installation disc came with the printer; but, the rules of the web connectors seem to change all the time. If only we we were able to call a toll-free number and speak to a human…NOT going to happen again in my lifetime. 🙂

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    • No, these day, the want to charge you more for information that it cost to buy the printer brand new. The way the net works these days IS changing. I think it’s the new safety rules that are supposed to prevent hacking. I think they mostly prevent us from using our equipment. Each time Charter goes down, which it has been doing a lot lately, when they come back on, it’s different. Each time Windows downloads “fixes,” it’s another new game. It’s maddening.

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  5. I also found that waving your arms and pleading with the manufacturer did not work – it turns out you need to do these AFTER first sacrificing a young male goat without blemish to the Great God Imhotep!

    As with most such things swearing a lot helps, but only to relieve a little of the tension. 🙂

    We made a serious mistake when we chose printers and copiers (God forbid with WiFi connection) over the old photocopier!

    love.

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      • Some printers/scanners/copiers have a direct input port like for an SD card or usb drive. A simpler solution may just be copy the file you need to a portable disc or drive and print direct from that?

        Or there’s always the Goat? 😉

        love.

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