Fucking Printers

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EdgarJPublius
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Fucking Printers

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:29 am UTC

I just tried to print out a short story to take to a writing group on an HP Photosmart C4680 and for some fucking reason it only prints out every other line of text

I've pretty much had it with HP at this point, I won't buy their mostly terrible computers, I'm fed up with the bloatware they ship on the printer installation disks and the last HP printer I had would only work if I was printing a paper for class (don't ask me how it could tell the difference, I have no fucking clue). Which was useful while I was in school, but now that I've graduated it has become another worthless piece of HP junk.

Luckily, this one was free, so if I can't get it to work, I'm not going to feel particularly bad when I punt-kick it off the top of a tall building.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what may be causing this?

Or better yet, who makes good, cheap printers that actually work? I remember hearing something about kodak printers a while ago that had printer cartridges that magically don't cost nearly as much as a new printer, does such a thing actually exist and are they any good?
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby EvilDuckie » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:59 pm UTC

Clean the print heads? Reinstall driver software? Threathen it? (hey, it worked for me once)

As for other printers, I'm pretty pleased with my current ones, a Brother HL-2030 and a Samsung CLX3175FN. They seem to print pretty much everything I throw at them without regard for what it is.
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby Kromix » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:36 pm UTC

Last edited by Kromix on Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:44 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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yewbie
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby yewbie » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:38 pm UTC

I personally have been using the brother multifunction copy/print/fax on a couple of client machines and they are great.

They are like $40 bucks, the ink is not too expensive, scanner is decent for the price.

edit: eh price is up to $70 now, still a good printer.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16828113520

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:41 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I just tried to print out a short story to take to a writing group on an HP Photosmart C4680 and for some fucking reason it only prints out every other line of text

I've pretty much had it with HP at this point, I won't buy their mostly terrible computers, I'm fed up with the bloatware they ship on the printer installation disks and the last HP printer I had would only work if I was printing a paper for class (don't ask me how it could tell the difference, I have no fucking clue). Which was useful while I was in school, but now that I've graduated it has become another worthless piece of HP junk.

Luckily, this one was free, so if I can't get it to work, I'm not going to feel particularly bad when I punt-kick it off the top of a tall building.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what may be causing this?

Or better yet, who makes good, cheap printers that actually work? I remember hearing something about kodak printers a while ago that had printer cartridges that magically don't cost nearly as much as a new printer, does such a thing actually exist and are they any good?


i'm guessing that it prints one line whilst the ink cart is moving in each direction, so it must only be printing when moving in one direction, i would second cleaning the print heads.

as a temp fix, you could try setting your document with single line spacing, so what you want to print is on every other line to start with.

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EdgarJPublius
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

In single space it actually seems that it's missing every third line. The problem is repeatable over different computers so I doubt it's a driver issue (unless the driver itself is faulty, not just the installation of it)
I'll try cleaning the print heads, but it just seems like to bizarre of a problem to be anything but software related somehow. It prints some lines completely fine, and some lines not at all.
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby frinklabs » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:48 am UTC

Does the document show up properly in print preview?

A workaround: Install CutePDF and send your document into a PDF file. Print the PDF file.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby squareroot » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:50 am UTC

OT: When I saw this thread title, the first thing that popped into my head was http://xkcd.com/90/ I mean, if your printer is up and doing things like that, it's not too much of a surprise it will be doing others oddly too. I recommend making it sit through one of those high school health classes again, maybe that will help.
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby yewbie » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:38 pm UTC

I could be something as simple as the motor that feeds paper is running fast.

Although there is not alot you can do about that without replacing parts.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby Marauder_Pilot » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:32 am UTC

Q: Fucking printers. How do they work?
A: They were sent here from Hell to make us miserable.

Anyways, when a printer is skipping lines, and not reprinting said lines in the wrong spot (Which is more likely an alignment issue), you've generally got three areas to look-drivers, cables and the controller board. Drivers are easy-delete your existing drivers (Delete the printer from the control panel and select the 'Delete system drivers' box.), then uninstall any software. Download the newest versions from HP's website (Get the drivers-only bit, the HP software is less than useless) and reinstall it and give it a shot.

If that doesn't work, replace whatever cable is connecting it. (I'm assuming it's a USB printer, not network or something archaic like serial or parallel, but replace it either way). Don't buy a new one if you can avoid it, because this is a long shot, it's just easy to do and never hurts.

If that's not it, then it's the controller board. The recommended fix here is to go to eBay and buy yourself a block of Tannerite, then advertise a 'Printer Destruction Shoot' at your Friendly Local Gun Range, because, unless you have a warranty or service contract, or your printer is some high-end, commercial-duty version, it's not even remotely worth it to replace it.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby EvanED » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:38 am UTC

What happens if you print an image? Do you get banding?

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

Cleaning the print heads magically caused a (faded) line to appear where none had before, cleaning again seems to have almost completely fixed the issue. must have been a very dirty printer cartridge...

Still, I know it won't be long before it fails as all my other HP printers have, or I get reamed over the price of ink. I looked into brother printers and they look good, except the ink is only marginally less expensive than for HP.

While I was looking I did find that Kodak has a line of printers and the rumors were true, an ink cartridge for a kodak printer costs only ten dollars for black ink, or fifteen to twenty for color, less than half the price of any other ink cartridge I've seen.
Of course, such a good deal makes me suspicious that there may be a catch, so I wonder if anybody has experience with these Kodak printers and can say whether the cheap ink is worth it.

Alternatively, there has to be a relatively inexpensive printer out there that will last long enough for a continuous flow ink conversion to be worth it.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby c0smic » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:32 pm UTC

Oh I feel your pain... I have a HP printer, most worthless piece of crap ever. Brother printers are much better, but really anything compared to an HP printer is better, even if your doing it by hand!

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:37 pm UTC

Speaking of fucking printers... Any idea why on a B+W printer I get a normal graph, but on the color printer it decides to fill in the area under the curve? Sometimes only partially like the first 10% of the horizontal axis, sometimes entirely across the axis.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby Mokele » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:27 am UTC

I dunno if it's just me, but printers are my bane. Doesn't matter what make, model or type, but every single one I've ever owned or even encountered has been an unreliable, infuriating piece of crap. No other type of technological device has anywhere near the rate of failure or malfunction as printers, even stuff I slapped together myself from random spare parts.

Frankly, I think the companies have all just realized that if everyone makes shitty products, they can all make a boatload with no real effort.
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:45 am UTC

I've found the best solution to be a small black and white laser printer at home, and farming out colour work to people with much better equipment than I can justify owning myself. Not a solution for everyone, of course, but if it fits your needs it's a nice way to get good results at a somewhat reasonable price.
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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby henesy » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:05 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Cleaning the print heads magically caused a (faded) line to appear where none had before, cleaning again seems to have almost completely fixed the issue. must have been a very dirty printer cartridges...

Still, I know it won't be long before it fails as all my other HP printers have, or I get reamed over the price of ink. I looked into brother printers and they look good, except the ink is only marginally less expensive than for HP.

While I was looking I did find that Kodak has a line of printers and the rumors were true, an ink cartridge for a kodak printer costs only ten dollars for black ink, or fifteen to twenty for color, less than half the price of any other ink cartridge I've seen.
Of course, such a good deal makes me suspicious that there may be a catch, so I wonder if anybody has experience with these Kodak printers and can say whether the cheap ink is worth it.

Alternatively, there has to be a relatively inexpensive printer out there that will last long enough for a continuous flow ink conversion to be worth it.

HP has a big name yet most of the time their products gives it conusmer headaches. all they do is encourage you to buy genuine ink.(because that's how they profit)

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:32 pm UTC

Bah, humbug! I am resurrecting this thread because fuck printers, that's why.

Rant: on
Why did I even find it necessary to own a printer anyway? I rarely print anything and printer services are available on just about every street corner. I'm surprised walmart doesn't offer print services beyond photos, but it doesn't really matter because office depot, staples and the UPS store all do and (where I live at least) those are everywhere. And according to some quick calculations I just did, these services (typically around 8 cents a page for black and white) are actually quite competitive with an inkjet printer of the type lambasted above, a little cheaper actually (my printer would have to print about 200,000 pages over it's serviceable lifetime to compete with the UPS store, and I find it hard to believe any consumer grade inkjet has ever lasted that long).

You can't even say that the convenience of not having to go out to the print shop is worth the extra cost, because nothing in history has ever been less convenient than trying to get a consumer grade inkjet to work properly without jamming or running out of ink halfway through or feeding multiple sheets at once so it prints half the page on one and half the page on the next.

Rant: off

With that said, HP4680, please meet my friend gravity, it's going to take you places (concrete places, significantly closer to sea level than where we are now)
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby sparkyb » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:14 am UTC

I normally hate printers. I gave up my printer in college, and like has been pointed out here, there are plenty of places to get my printing/scanning done. Recently, however, I had to do a project where I wanted to print something with invisible in. A friend who was also fed up with his printer agreed to lend it to me on the condition that I never give it back. I went through a few cartridges before I got it right, but I ended up making my own invisible ink cartridge that I could print with. That project is over with now, but I still keep the printer for regular printing/scanning. I'm still suspicious of it, but it has been a lot more reliable than older printers I've had. And it has come in handy for printing mailing labels and scanning random documents. I live right across the street from a Staples. I can't decide whether that ought to lower the value of the printer, since I could just use the copy center there (for a fee), or if it actually makes the printer less of a hassle because I don't have to worry as much about running out of ink or paper with the store so close.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby FLHerne » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:57 pm UTC

Recently ended up with an HP OfficeJet 8100, I've been fighting the thing ever since.
First thing it did when plugged in? Automagically connect to next door's unsecured wifi! :twisted:
Then tried to get an IP address off DHCP, got confused because the relevant router's IP isn't 192.168.1.1 (who said it should be!?), gave itself some random address and refused to talk to anything...
Setup over USB, wade through pages of oversimplistically-named settings to give it a fixed IP...and it immediately starts chucking packets at everything else on the network, shouting "I'm a printer" in some kind of idiotic uPnP sort of protocol. Then gives itself a random IP again for some reason. :x
So I want to forward the ports for its printing protocol through a NAT (Having a NAT inside your home network is stupid. Refrain from doing this!). Does it say what ports it uses in the manual? Or on their website? Or on the 'Detailed Specifications'? Nope. The magic uPnP thing is apparently supposed to make all that irrelevant, but I don't let my routers do uPnP. Cue guess-based T&E. :roll:

Finally try and print stuff. It turns itself off. Second time round it 'works' (messily). Then spends 10 minutes sounding like a box of nails balanced on a pneumatic drill while calibrating itself, turns itself off again halfway through, does it all again.

Now it prints small playing-card symbols (hearts, clubs etc.) on the corners of blank pieces of paper every few hours. :shock: I don't know why it does that, even if the fancy web-interface claims 'no jobs' and it isn't connected to any network other than a computer to observe said web-interface. It just does.
[/rant]

On the other hand, I love my ageing HP workstation (xw4300). Solid, reliable and surprisingly upgradeable for an 8-year-old lump. So it's not all bad. :D

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:42 am UTC

Have to admit, I much prefer the idea of a dumb B&W laser. Our Brother HL-6050DN is going well after maybe 8 years, on it's second (maybe third) cartridge, and has gone through several boxes (5 reams of 500 sheets each) of paper.

Inkjets are a waste of money unless you really need colour, but not often. Even then it's a waste of money.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby EvanED » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:35 pm UTC

I've got one of these babies (man... originally released just shy of 20 years ago... damn):
Image

Unfortunately it very-nearly-literally jams every sheet it tries to print as it bends the last couple of inches into waves, but I'd not replace it with an inkjet; the printer companies have pretty much filled that well with their piss as far as I'm concerned. I have thought about getting a color laser printer, but they're expensive, and I almost never print anyway.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby WanderingLinguist » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:40 am UTC

EvanED wrote:I've got one of these babies (man... originally released just shy of 20 years ago... damn)

Can't quite read the model number, but I may have had the same one at one point.

Unfortunately it very-nearly-literally jams every sheet it tries to print as it bends the last couple of inches into waves, but I'd not replace it with an inkjet; the printer companies have pretty much filled that well with their piss as far as I'm concerned. I have thought about getting a color laser printer, but they're expensive, and I almost never print anyway.


Try turning the paper over.

When you buy paper, the packaging will have an arrow on it and the words "copy/print this side first" or something similar. Normally, the paper should go in with the arrow on the packaging pointing UP (because most laser printers print the bottom side as the paper sits in the tray) but it partly depends on your printer model.

When paper is manufactured, it has a natural curl. When it runs through a laser printer, the paper gets hot and curls around the rollers. You want this curl to be *opposite* the natural curl of the paper. If not, the paper will not be flat when it comes out an is likely to catch on something on its way through the printer and jam. Seriously, in my experience this is the #1 cause of paper jams in laser printers. I used to have all sorts of trouble, and then started turning the reems of paper upside down when loading the printer and the jams almost all stopped.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby EvanED » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:21 am UTC

WanderingLinguist wrote:
EvanED wrote:I've got one of these babies (man... originally released just shy of 20 years ago... damn)

Can't quite read the model number, but I may have had the same one at one point.
LaserJet 4 Plus

Try turning the paper over.
Thanks for the hint... I'll give it a shot next time I print something. Honestly I'm not very hopeful though... I don't really keep paper in the tray so I've probably loaded it a few times, as well as trying the separate feeder, and it almost never works. You'd think it'd be more like 50/50. :-)

It also happens at the bottom of the sheet, almost like there are two powered rollers sets A and B, it goes through A, goes through B, and B doesn't grab very well and A keeps pushing or something. But that's total speculation.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby WanderingLinguist » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:17 pm UTC

Well the way paper is usually packaged, you generally have to turn it over from the way the label is actually printed on the packaging. Before I knew that, I used to load it in the wrong way pretty much every time. As I recall, that printer may have also had a thickness setting for the weight of paper (20lb vs 24lb, etc.) that might effect roller spacing and how the paper feeds. But that may have also been a similar HP model from the same period; I tend to get them mixed up.

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Re: Fucking Printers

Postby mr-mitch » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:23 pm UTC

I recommend you don't, the ink is usually indelible.


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