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?

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

  1. 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!

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  2. 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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    • 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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  3. 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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  4. 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

    • 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

  5. 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

    • 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

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