INSTALLING A PRINTER AND WHY I HATE THEM – Marilyn Armstrong

I hate printers. I also hate copiers, scanners, and fax machines. The only other things I hate are telephones. To be fair, I hate all telephones, not just cellular or mobile ones. I don’t understand them and they don’t understand me.

Just saying.


These days, when you buy a printer, you are also buying a scanner, copier, and it probably is wireless and can run on Bluetooth. I get an entire package of things I hate.

I still hate all of them, whether in one package or many. I got my new printer a while 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 grocery shopping.

When we came back from shopping, 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 unsurprisingly, did not.

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 turn out to be a disadvantage because it might break. Then you’ll have to return it and start all over again.

Then, there’s cursing. For many people, that works well, but for me, it’s another distraction.

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

It’s so simple …

So, after we came home and I 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 whisper the name of the manufacturer while burning incense.

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. Slow flashing won’t work. 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 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 the 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 has 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 is true because I’m not sure about the scanner. I’ll save that for some other day. Like maybe never would be the right 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 thing to hate instead of three.

Is this a good or bad thing?

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

53 thoughts on “INSTALLING A PRINTER AND WHY I HATE THEM – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Oh, you have my sympathies I know how very annoying these things can be, no matter how much you shout at them. Theoretically if all this modern stuff was half as clever as it should be you would turn it on and it would magically connect and work. I would love to help but have just done a security check on one of my sites and found it is blacklisted by McAfee even though it is safe by the following.
    Domain clean by Google Safe Browsing
    Domain clean by Norton Safe Web
    Domain clean by Sucuri Labs
    Domain clean by ESET
    Domain clean by PhishTank
    Domain clean by Yandex
    Domain clean by Opera
    Domain clean by Spamhaus
    Once again I tried shouting at this but in the end gave in and wrote to them to unblock it.
    Ah, the wonders of modern technology, I wish you well sorting yours.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds like something from Monty Pythons: Thou shalt count the flashes. Though shalt count to two flashes. Three shalt thou not count, neither count thou one, excepting that thou then proceed to two. Four is right out. Hence the number two, being the second number, be reached, thou shalt restart your printer.

    Get an Epson next time 😉

    Liked by 2 people

          1. It almost did, but it actually killed the little bunny rabbit that was causing all of the issues… Typically I find that reprogramming a sensitive piece of equipment with bat usually doesn’t give me the results that I want, though occasionally it gives me the satisfaction 😉

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    1. Trent, you sound like Cecil B. Demille, intoning biblical disaster. So let it be written, So let it be done.
      Is there a tech named Moses?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, it sounds like that printer is a disaster of biblical proportions 😉 Maybe it would take the tech named “Moses” to get it to work. Or perhaps a tech named “Jesus” to raise it from the dead or turn the wire into wifi….

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I hate Word Press worse. It is doing awful things to me, like eating the comment I just left… Here is another try:

    It sounds like something from Monty Pythons: Thou shalt count two flashes. Three shalt thou not count, neither count though one, excepting that thou then proceed to two. Four is right out. Hence the number two, being the second number, be reached, thou shalt restart your printer.

    Get an Epson next time 😉 (Truthfully, I hate Canon and haven’t bought one in years. They are the biggest pieces of crap ever. My Okidata was great for 10 years until I changed networks and can’t get in to fix the address….)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s eating MY comments too, but only to some people and it’s eating other people’s comments to me — randomly. Comments don’t work when sent via the telephone app (if you complain to them, they will tell you no one but you has ever had this issue before and they can’t track it because it’s just too HARD), but usually comments work on an iPad or laptop. Except when they don’t.

      I had an Epson for almost 10 years and until one day, the ink pod exploded and that was the end of the Epson, it was a GREAT printer — and I even knew how to use the scanner and the fax machine and everything. Of course, it WASN’T wireless. It plugged in, so everything found everything else. I was working at Intel when they were designing wireless technology and they assured me when I expressed my doubts, that it was going to be THE NEXT GREAT THING IN COMPUTERS. It was the next THING, but great? Only when it works and that is only when it damned well FEELS like it.

      In any case, the Canon is better than the HP. ANYTHING is better than an HP including HP computers which I loathe to a murderous degree. The Canon will print and copy. There’s some strange amorphic thingie that will theoretically make the scanner work, but I don’t know what it is. The printer spits out 12 versions of itself, each one with SEPARATE instructions and while I would REALLY like to have a functional scanner, I can’t bring myself to try and make it work. I’m sure that if I do that, the printer will give up and die, too.

      I’m now thinking NOT ink-jet, either. I know the other printer solutions are more expensive, but I just want something as indestructible as the early printers were. My first printer lasted 15 years until one day, the engine croaked. Canon is the best I could do with the lack of money I’ve got.

      I found both your comments in spam, removed them, unspammed them, but I’m going to have to go and see if we are even still connected. They’ve been disconnecting us from each other which is why we can’t comment. Every time they muck around with the software, they disconnect people in great bunches. It has happened several times before. I’ve given up hoping they will improve. They won’t improve. Ever.

      I couldn’t get an Epson that I could afford. Canon was as good as I could do for short money. First, against my better judgment, I actually bought an HP which I should not have done because if Canon is annoying, HP is completely useless. I actually tossed it in the trash. Ditto Brother.

      And MEANWHILE (I feel like I’m on Colbert doing “Meanwhile” bits), they are just making everything even more complicated. I was astonished that somehow I actually got the printer to print. Sometimes it doesn’t, by the way. It loses the wireless connection — more or less randomly.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually, you reminded me, it was HP, not Canon, that I hated so much. I don’t have much experience with Canon. I’ve used them at work, but it was all HP when I was still supporting printers. Years ago I had a boss that bought a Brother and, you are right, it was the worst printer ever.

        I still have a wired network in my house, but also wifi. We have strange dark spots where it doesn’t work, but few problems beyond that.

        Anyway, good luck with the printer. And with WP… I do not like their latest changes – might be fine for a phone, but doesn’t work well with my computer.

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        1. HP computers are crap and their printers are AWFUL. I actually threw away one of their computers 20 years ago. When i got the printer, I had the beknighted attitude that they had improved.

          They haven’t improved. I think they’ve gotten worse.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. In the mid-90s we had some pretty good HP printers, so I spent a lot of money and bought a color laser. Nothing but problems. When the toner ran out, a new set of toner was twice what we paid for the printer. We bought the Okidata and it was great until about a year ago when the network addresses all changed. Stupid me used a manual IP address and forgot the bios password….

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    1. The problem is, if you need it to print from the computer, they really HAVE to connect. And because Garry has a computer too, it has to connect to both computers. I don’t have it connected to the Mac. I couldn’t do it a third time.

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  4. Agree 200% and more about the printer. I just like it to work and the rest I leave to Mr. Swiss. He utters profanities, as a last resort phones our computer man who has almost become a friend of the family, and eventually it works. We had a little drama this week, but that was an empty paper tray. As long as it works I am happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have just spend my entire day on the phone with WordPress. The settings on the “manage” page of the Reader have stopped working. While I was explaining, the engineer noticed that HIS settings were broken too. The developers now thing more than a few things are broken.

      Duh.

      And I really really hate printers.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mine decided it would cease to work when someone blew up my toaster. Nothing wrong with it, but it has divorced itself from my printer and all attempts at reconciliation have so far been rejected.

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        1. “Toddler With A Tantrum”. Sue, I like it. It’s got possibilities. Let’s put out some feelers.

          Like

        2. When I was working at Intel and they were developing wireless technology, I said I was pretty sure there were going to be a few snags and they said NEVER! But there are, especially when your signal just won’t find whatever you need it to find. I tried fanning the air so that maybe the wifi would blow into the printer. It didn’t work, but I really TRIED.

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  6. I broke my printer about four years ago tying to change the ink cartridge. My daughter prints out my tax return forms every year, I still file paper returns, and that takes care of all my printing needs. I don’t even want to think about trying to install a new one. I bought a smart tv two or three years ago. It and my WiFi could never find each other. I bought an antenna and hooked it up and used it for a few months. Since then it has been a big paperweight. My laptop died and my flip top Nokia cellphone died a couple of years ago and I replaced them with an iPhone 5 which I use along with a ten year old Dell computer. The updates, support and anti virus expired years ago but it still works. I feel like I am falling behind in my technology skills.

    But I used the old computer to publish my novel on Amazon’s last week as a paperback or eBook. And applied for a copyright on my second book. I will publish it as soon as the copyright comes back.
    Look up my book on Amazon. You can find it by searching under my name.

    So there us some good news.

    Ernest Harben

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    1. I know what you mean about falling behind. I’m not as delighted with “wireless everything” as I should be because you are entirely dependent on your tools to do what they should do … which isn’t what they really do. I have a speaker for the TV that died last week and I gave up. It never worked 100% right and now, it’s just a log in front of the TV. The TV works, probably because it was my son’s and he installed it.

      MOST of the things in the house do work, but there are never any manuals for anything. I used to write manuals and I know what a good one should look like. About 10 years ago, everyone decided no one needed a manual and all of us lost our jobs. Now that they are beginning to think they might have made a mistake, I’m retired and too out of touch with current technology to be of much use.

      What we get are written by software from developer’s notes — and many of them don’t speak English as we understand it. Not only are many of them from India, Pakistan, or Russia — but even when they speak English, it’s really Engineerese — an entirely different use of words.

      I will look up your book 😀

      Like

    1. Yeah. Now you give them a bang and they collapse in a broken heap. That makes you feel good for about 5 seconds until you realize you just wasted a lot of money and they are never going to honor your warranty.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That cussing I hear coming from the other room is Rose trying to get her printer to work. Followed by a call to her son to come over and fix it. That thing has never worked right.

    Like

    1. It’s like the sound bar for our TV. NEVER worked properly — and it is CONNECTED to the TV, but it always seemed to be trying to find a BlueTooth signal and there was no way to convince it to go to the connection. I had my Kindle connect to Garry’s hearing aids one night. That was entertaining. He enjoyed the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You voice all my biggest frustrations and annoyances with modern technology here, Marilyn. I hate printers too, and mobile phones, and anything that beeps. Sorry you’ve had such a frustrating time, but it did make me laugh – so thanks for that – and I sympathise entirely. The trouble with modern technology, wifi and all, is that there’s all the more to go wrong. And I think you’ve proved it in this great post. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What has happened is that we are now completely dependent on the printer or whatever gadget we’ve got doing exactly what it is supposed to do. If it does what it should, great. But at least half the time, IT DOESN’T WORK. No manuals. Can’t look up the problem. And our router is in another room from the computers, so I have to haul this big bad machine around and find somewhere to put it. What a PAIN.

      It’s not that there is MORE to go wrong. It’s just that we have no control over how to FIX it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What annoy’s me is the idiots that make this stuff assume we all know everything there is to know about IT, and how everything works. Back in the 80’s when I bought my first 8-bit computer – it had a doorstop of a manual, even my first dot-matrix printer had a manual you could beat an annoying teenager senseless with – now you’re lucky if you get a single page that tells you how to turn them on.

    The key with printers I often find is a threat of physical violence. Keep a hammer next to your PC and wave it in the direction of the printer then next time it plays up – that should cure it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell me about it! I lost my job when they decided no one needed manuals. NOW they are rehiring — except people like me are retired and the latest technology has flown past me.

      Not everyone reads every page of every manual, but everyone eventually needed to look something up. What really gets me are the expensive cameras I buy that have NO documentation at all and thousands of menu items and I don’t even know what they are supposed to do. This very expensive computer came without ANY kind of manual. Nothing. I’ve been winging it for two years. It’s stupid, too. Tech writers go for short money. They don’t even have to hire one until the product is ready for beta testing. But they are totally CHEAP.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You do better than me for sure. I can have problems with a printer, scanner, computer, tv, and I can fight with it for hours. My son walks in the door and it’s as though the computer or whatever device stands erect and says yes sir and he doesn’t even have to touch the damn thing and he has its attention, and if he does have to actually sit down and fix it, one touch of the keyboard and poof it’s working better faster more efficient than you could possibly imagine. I love it, but I hate it, I hate that it doesn’t do that for me! argh!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. I hate printers too, I don’t know anyone that likes them. I don’t print a lot but did manage to get my printer to print. Scanning has an issue, it will scan but won’t save or send it to the computer. Who knows why. As I rarely use that function and the printer is right by my desk I just stick my SD card in the printer, save the scan onto that and sneakernet it over to the computer, about three steps. That way I can ignore the annoying technology but don’t get me started on the price of ink.

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    1. I gave up on the scanner. I’m afraid by trying to make it work, I’ll do something and the printer will quit. I thought it was just me. I really feel better now that I know we ALL hate them.

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  12. Had to buy a new printer in March. Ordered another HP since our old one lasted 8 years with no problems until then. No written instruction with the printer–pictures of what to do only. Called HP and even had trouble getting it connected from our end, so a rep had to get on the computer & phone with me to get it up and going. CRAZY!

    Like

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