To Printer not to Print

Ok.  I was supposed to be blogging all during our children’s camps these past 2 weeks.  But the best I came up with were a few Facebook photos most days.  What was I thinking?  Fitting in blogging while hosting a US team and  children’s camps that kept us all hopping from 7:30am to 10pm every day.  It wasn’t going to happen and I knew better.  I will still blog about the camps.  But first I must blog about the flooding going on in our Niger.  But I can’t do that at the moment either, for various reasons, so for now I’m going to blog about printing.  Yep, something mundane and non-emotional.

Over the course of our technological lives, we have owned many printers of various brands.  Some good.  Some not.  We even tried the fancy and not inexpensive HP color laser printer/copier/scanner – twice.   We decided that printer would be a great option since we print our own ministry newsletters.  And they printed fast and beautifully.  We got 2 newsletters out of them.  One on each printer.  You gotta give us props for our determination. Turns out this printer doesn’t take too kindly to power outages and brown outs that are pretty much the norm where we live.  That’s our defense for HP anyway.  At this moment, I honestly have no idea where either of those beasts are… maybe with all the others.  I think we must have a printer graveyard somewhere.

We have since resorted to the cheapo style printers.  All the companies have them.  You know the kind – the ink cartridges cost more than the $50 printer.  I ordered a Canon – just for variety – and someone coming on a team brought it out for me.  It worked just fine.  But it quickly became apparent that I would not only be using it for my printing needs, but also for Neal’s.  Which isn’t a problem except when he needed something printed and had to bring it to my space and interrupt what I was doing so he could do his printing.  It was quite inconvenient. But not to worry.  This printer was only $50 and we had another team coming.  So I ordered another trusty Canon and soon Neal was set up with the identical printer that graced my desk.  Only it was on his. We had matching printers.  Very sweet.  I also bought inexpensive remanufactured ink cartridges.  But alas!  Before much time at all had passed, Neals ‘newer’ printer started malfunctioning. I learned this because one day he handed me a thumb drive and said he needed something printed off from it.  ‘Ummm, excuse me’, said I.  ‘But as I recall, we purchased you your very own Canon printer and it’s just like mine.  So how about using that one?’   “It doesn’t work” was the reply.  I should mention that he had gone through all the troubleshooting ideas as well as opened some (all) new ink cartridges to see if that could be the problem.  Nope.  So, we’re back to sharing printers….

But alas!  Our children’s camp team was coming soon, and I shamelessly asked that in addition to all the other things they were bringing, could they could bring us a printer.  Any printer.  Just something cheap.  I don’t mind sharing most things – but I’ve discovered I don’t like sharing printers.  I think that might be a flaw I have.  Sassan and Priscilla graciously not only shoved a printer in their bags at the last minute, but they even brought us extra ink.  Thanks guys! You really are awesome!

During camp we needed to print several documents and of course my printer was the one being used.  We hadn’t had a second to hook up the new one.  However while printing, we get the ‘black cartridge empty/replace now’ message.  Not good.  Because printing was not going to happen without replacing that cartridge.  And of course we have no more cartridges for that printer, because they were all used to ‘test’ Canon printer #2.   And we have no Walmart or Office Depot to pop on over to to get one.  So we ended up asking my dad-in-law to print some stuff for us for camp.  At least we have a printer in the wings waiting to be hooked up when we have that second.  But I wasn’t really looking forward to sharing with Neal either.  What is it with me?  I think maybe it’s not the sharing – but the inconvenience of having to move documents around to get them printed.  That’s what I’m going with anyway…

So – camp is over, team is gone.  Neal hooked up his new printer.  So today I sat down at my computer to figure something out.  Surely I can get this printer working.  The thought of sharing was driving me.  I tried everything.  Found where I could change to ‘print with color only’.  I could deal with that.  Who doesn’t like adding a little color to life?  I still got the same ‘replace black cartridge error’.  Grrrrrrr!   Decided to check our supply of all things printer for myself.  We actually have some new HP laser printer cartridges – well, they’re not called cartridges, and they’re not really new, but we have them and they’re unused.  No luck on Canon supplies.  I did find our stash of refill ink.  Tons of it.  It’s so old that I realized when I used to read directions for refilling our various cartridges I didn’t need reading glasses.  Now I do.  Of course the booklet didn’t have directions for refilling my Canon cartridge because that cartridge didn’t exist when the booklet was written.  However, I had Google.  And I did find directions for my cartridge.  And I did refill it (have black ink all over my hands to prove it), and I had high hopes that it would work.  Very high hopes.  (the sharing thing you know)  But  I clicked ‘print’ and I got that same exasperating message.

So, I thought, let me Google this:  ‘reset canon ink cartridge’.  Lo and behold there was some info.  The following instructions are the motivating material behind this post.  I read them and thought – seriously?  Are you for real or did someone write this as a joke for people just like me?  Then I thought, I’m alone.  If I do all this and it works, I’m the genius printer fixer and if it doesn’t work, no one even needs to know that I tried.

Here are the directions, straight from the website…

Turn off your printer and unplug.  Check

Press and hold down the “Power” button, while simultaneously plugging the power source back into the wall. Check

Press and hold the “Cancel/Stop” button (while still holding down thepower button) three times.  (While holding, stand on your tip toes and spin around 3 times)  Check

Release the power button and wait for ten seconds, until the printer screen says IDLE  What?

Press the “right arrow” key on the printer until the screen reads Shipping Mode 3.   Now I’m lost

Press the “OK” button twice. At this point, a test page should print.

Open the top cover of the printer, as if you were going to change the ink cartridges.

Unplug the power source to the printer, without first turning it off with the “Power” button.

Remove the ink cartridges and close the cover.

Plug the printer power source back into the wall and press the “Power” button to turn it back on – all while making a batch of chocolate chip cookies….

Replace the cartridges and the printer ink is full. 

I looked around to make sure no one was hiding in my bedroom waiting for me to do this.  Then I began.  I ran into trouble when I was waiting for the printer screen to say ‘idle’.  Because in fact I don’t have a screen on my printer.  But that didn’t keep me from looking for one…

And with no screen, there was no ‘shipping mode 3’, and no arrow key.  But that didn’t stop me for looking for that either.

After all this, I really didn’t want to be stumped, so I began to think some more.  What is it I always tell my kids?  Problem solve.  Think outside the box.

I finally realized I had ‘googled’ for a particular ink cartridge and there are quite a few printers that use that cartridge.  So, I said to myself, “why don’t you Google the specific printer – not the cartridge.”  Now why didn’t I think of that?  What came up on the page was mostly advertising.   The actual instructions were so small I almost missed them.  But once again, here they are straight from the website:

Press the “Stop/Reset” button for about 5 or 10 seconds and it dismisses the first message.  This operation will release the function for detecting the remaining ink level.  

Finish.  That’s all she wrote.  Literally.

Soooo…..I looked around once again, then I pressed that extremely annoying little orange flashing reset button for 15 seconds (for good measure) and Voila! I am a printer fixer genius!  And I’m secretly happy that I don’t have to share!!  Let the printing commence.

2 thoughts on “To Printer not to Print

  1. Lenoir Randle

    I love it! You are a most descriptive writer and I must say ….a printer fixer genius……who no longer has to share!!!!!
    Much love,

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