PRINTER WOE (continued)

Jul 14, 2013 No Comments by




Here’s another example of hateful technology.



We have a HP C5200 series printer/scanner/copier. It’s stopped working. Apparently there’s a jam in the mechanism that whizzes the ink heads back and forth across the paper. We’ve had a good look and can’t see the problem and followed the unfeasibly repetitive and tedious online tutorials on the HP website that supposedly fix the issue but all to no avail. Yesterday it was a fine, functioning machine. Today it is junk.

Among the Fogey loft hoard of redundant hardware is another HP printer that we held on to for just such emergencies. When last we used it, it worked perfectly. For reasons too dull to relate we have three PCs – two laptops and a desktop – of varying vintages. The laptops both run Windows 7 and the desktop Windows XP.

Usually, when plugging a new printer into a PC, the PC operating system automatically finds the relevant driver and in a few moments you’re good to go. But not this time. The replacement printer is an HP Photosmart 7690 (see pic above) – posh in its day but that day was 2003, so it’s ten years old. It might as well be made of flint and bone.

The HP website assures us that Windows 7 is pre-loaded with the driver that will make it and the 7690 sing sweet printerly music together. They are lying. And that lie is compounded by the fact that the driver we need cannot be downloaded from the HP website. It’s as though they’ve colluded with Microsoft to create frustration, anger and then acceptance that the old printer is only good for the knacker’s yard. Even though I know it works perfectly.

The desktop PC is wheezingly slow but because it runs the older XP operating system we thought we might have more luck there. Alas no. Even that old codger is refusing to come out to play with the 7690. It tempts and tantalises us with all manner of ‘install new hardware’ wizards but their spells, after much button pressing and waiting… and waiting… and waiting… all come to nought.  There was even the false dawn of the driver download for XP actually being available from the HP website but so far, and in spite of having a myriad files from which to select the appropriate application and installation the screen is having its customary unco-operative laugh at our tired, frayed expense.

Websites that aren’t Microsoft or HP promise to deliver the relevant driver download but all they are are those underhand bastard sites that just want to flog you some crap software after having scanned your hard drive and found it in dire need of resuscitation.

We’ve tried.  God knows we’ve tried but we are no further towards having a functioning printer than we were at the beginning of the day.  Only now our hair is greyer, our brow more creased and we have given recalcitrant technology many hours of our life that we will never get back. So here’s the thing. We will buy a new printer. We have no choice. But it will not now or ever be made by Hewlett-fucking-Packard.