Thursday, April 14, 2011

Print Me a Happy Ending

My inkjet printer worked fine until it didn’t anymore. For a few years, things went swimmingly. Since colors don’t generally match perfectly from screen to paper, I created a swatch so I knew how the colors would change. While there were the normal print issues, for the most part things printed to my satisfaction.

But over time, the printer wasn’t working as well as it had; when printing large color blocks, there would be incremental lines where the ink didn’t fully reach. That was annoying and unattractive. But things got exponentially worse when I started using a different computer.

For whatever reason, printing became a frustrating process with no happy endings. Oh, I could command my computer to print something, and the printer would make the sound of printing and would print, but it would not print what I wanted. What I had asked for. Pages that were horizontal in orientation would not print horizontally, and instead the printer would print everything vertically, cutting off my images at the sides. The printer box was no help, since everything I tried turned out the same results. The only thing to do was to move everything in my horizontal page format to a vertical format—something that should not be necessary.

It wasn’t as though the printer was some super expensive piece of equipment (since it’s really the ink costs that add up over time), and I suppose it was a good excuse to get a new one with a scanner built in (since the old scanner was old). With the new printer, I’m now able to print both vertically and horizontally (as it should be).

But every time you get a new piece of equipment, you have to get used to it. There’s always something that’s different. In this case, the colors that print on this printer are much lighter to what I was used to on the old printer. So when I printed my new color swatch and compared it to the old one, the color shift was quite noticeable (at least to me). So that will have to be dealt with. It just can’t be easy, can it? [Sigh.] Why can’t things just automatically be the way I want them to be?

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