Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Yet More Fun With Technology
I work at home, proofreading transcripts for court reporters, receiving jobs via email and returning the corrections pages ditto. I print out the files, do hand corrections, then scan PDFs to send back. This requires computers Internet-enabled and printer/scanners, and being OCD about backup I always have multiple systems. My primary scanner, capable of producing good-quality 30+ page correction files that yet don't break the MB bank, has begun misfeeding pages erratically; could be wearing out on me. So yesterday I trundled off to Staples and bought a new HP all-in-one; got it home, installed it -- and the damn thing had a printhead error. Had to drive back to Staples and swap it out for a replacement. The replacement installed just fine -- but when I tested the scanning function, the files it produced were monsters, and no amount of tweaking the settings brought down their size to anything remotely useful for emailing corrections. GRRRRR!!!!! Also GAH. I went back to using the dicey scanner for the work I had to get done yesterday, with no problems (could be the particular paper on the misfed pages rather than the ADF, maybe....) and went to bed mulling over technology options. So this morning I've been shuttling around various elderly printer/scanners. First, I moved the old Canon Pixma in the upstairs office from my main Win7 computer to the elderly XP computer -- and it wouldn't install, probably because the XP's no longer online so I couldn’t download updates for the software. Oh, well, if I run a long USB cable I can still use it off the all-in-one Win7 where it formerly worked from. I put the disappointing new HP printer/scanner in its place on the Win7 and it prints fine but still produces monster PDF files, sigh, so that was basically a waste of money and effort. However, where the Canon now sits (hulks, really; it’s big) was an aged HP 4500 all-in-one, twin to one I had downstairs as part of my work complex surrounding the living room recliner where I work now (sitting in an office chair upstairs for too long bothers my left hip and leg, sigh). Yep, on little side tables, to my right are two laptops (a Dell and a Gateway) and to my left are two printer/scanners: One, the Lexmark scanner that does good work but might be slipping on page feeding; doesn’t print except when the printhead decides randomly it can work after all; turn off the machine and next time you power on it’s “There is a problem with the printhead” again. The other, a newish Brother, prints fine but doesn’t hold much paper; scans well but only takes up to 20 pages in the ADF. Across from me on top of the low cabinet where the old CRT giant TV used to live (upgraded to a flatscreen on the wall, woohoo!) are two more printer/scanners. One’s an Epson that no longer scans but prints fine. The other used to be the HP 4500 that was moved from a left-hand table over to there to make room for the Brother when I brought it down from the upstairs office, where it wasn’t getting much use. Alas, that 4500 decided to stop printing AND scanning and take up life as a plastic cinder block, so it will shortly be taking a trip to Staples recycling. I’ve put its twin in its spot. The twin is working fine in both functions, hurrah! So I now have, here in reclinerland, three working printers and three working scanners (out of four machines) running off two laptops. Because I never get rid of technology that still functions for something. So, got it all straight, class? There'll be a test later!