Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wired ... Not

We have a new printer.

It's a really spiffy Hewlitt-Packard model, a sleek black icon of the digital age that scans, prints, copies, faxes, and squats placidly on the corner of my desk, flashing an occasional light and periodically emitting an odd growling noise. I'm somehow reminded of the plant in The Little Shop of Horrors that keeps muttering feed me!

Anyhow, we got this Spiffy New Printer for two main reasons: it was on sale; and, it can be connected to a wireless network. The sale part was very important, of course, but we also were looking for the ability to send things to the printer from our laptops ... which are, as the name implies, generally on our laps, which are attached to our backsides, which are frequently parked in chairs in front of the TV in the rec room at the other end of the house, well beyond cable length range.

Didja follow all that?

Well, last night I unpacked the Spiffy New Printer and set it up. It came with a large number of assorted cables, six different print heads and ink cartridges, an attachment that allows two-sided printing, and a three-foot pile of instruction sheets, books, warnings, warranty papers, and other stuff. The license agreement (which you must, of course, accept in order to install the printer) is longer than a Hugo Chavez speech, and as incomprehensible as Republican economic theories. I think something about my firstborn male child was involved.

Anyhow, I set up the Spiffy New Printer on the desk and worked my way through the step-by-step, designed-for-digital-morons, can't-possibly-screw-this-up-ha-ha installation instructions. The result, after several hours of work:

1. Printer connected to the wireless network, and all system tests check out - yep. So far, so good.

2. Wirelessly connects to the Mac - no. The Mac petulantly refuses to acknowledge the wireless connection to the printer, in spite of the fact that the wireless modem is less than 10 feet away and the Spiffy New Printer is less than a foot from the Mac.

3. Wirelessly connects to Agnes's desktop computer - no. Of course, her desktop computer is about 3 years old and still runs Windows XP, which makes it a relative antique. I think its wireless capability is a Gugliemo Marconi original.

4. Wirelessly connects to Agnes's laptop computer - yes! Test page printed fine. I'm on the scoreboard!

5. Wirelessly connects to Bill's laptop computer - I'll let you know...ran out of time and patience and went to bed before I got the software loaded.

So, I'm 1 for 4.

As I've noted here often enough before, machines hate me. So does software. And as I see it, the real advantage of a wireless connection is that there's nothing for me to hang myself with when I get frustrated with the whole thing.

My digital duel with the Spiffy New Printer and its sidekick, the Evil Wireless Modem, will continue this evening. I hope I have enough gin on hand to last out the fight.

I'll let you know how it comes out.

Have a good day. More thoughts - wirelessly - tomorrow.



Amanda said...

Ooooo.....I hate our printer at the moment. Its connected to Desktop #1. I have all the computers on the wireless network and I can 'see' the printer from Desktop #2. BUT, each time I set it up so I can print from Desktop #2, it somehow gets un-setup after a couple of days. This has been happening, week after week. On top of that, it has a habit of changing the default printer setting on Desktop #1. This has frustrated me for so long that I haven't even attempted to print from any laptop.

KKTSews said...

We're on HP spiffy printer all-in-one machine number 2. Last one was connected to our wired network. We upgraded to wireless and eventually got the wireless printer. It's lovely...most of the time. About once a month new software updates are installed and it refuses to print more than 1 page without being turned off and on. And off and on. And off and on. It is that way for about 3 days, whereupon there is usually ANOTHER software update and it works fine for a while. Until they update the software.
Save me from the updates! Good luck on your install.

Mike said...

I try to aviod wireless at all costs. For the reasons you are having right now.

KathyA said...

Wireless refuses!! -- A lot like the Reps in Congress!! How political of you!

Got a new HP printer/scanner/copier. It's big (we can move into it if we ever have to) and makes weird noises, too, especially when it's cleaning itself. Yes, cleaning itself... And we paid someone else to set it up for us.... :)