10.02.2015

ACL Fest Bricks My Printer. Bastards.



I don't really know if it was the rock music profiteers who tear up our public parks every year but the timing was suspicious. I was writing invoices this morning and I turned on my Canon Pixma Pro 9000 printer to get ready to (archaically) print out invoices for clients. Don't know why I still send them paper invoices in the mail when I'm already sending them .pdfs but it seems like a nicely redundant reminder that they should pay me for my work and image licenses.

At any rate I went into the house to get a cup of coffee and as I'm trying to decide whether or not to put cream in my coffee all the lights, AC, etc. goes off. Ten seconds later it clicks back on and thirty seconds after that I hear the warm up music at the Austin City Limits Festival for the first time this week. The two weekend festival starts today. It's a mile from my house.

I can only conjecture that the Austin Power people needed to shut down the power for a few moments in order to incorporate the gigantic power sucking festival into our portion of the grid. I later found out that the schools in the neighborhood also went black for a few minutes, etc.

Well, when I came back out into the studio the computers were re-booting and the music and lights were back on but the Canon inkjet printer sat there being dark. Totally dark. I hit the power button. Nothing. I unplugged and replugged. Nothing. I changed outlets to a known, working source. Nothing. The tech part of my brain diagnosed a failed internal power supply, even though the device was plugged into a protection device. The MBA side of my brain (very atrophied) weighed the repair versus replacement costs and the advantages of a nearly decade newer printing device. It also ran a sub-routine about depreciation and cost of ownership. All indications pointed to the spiritual side::::: the universe was telling me that it was past time to get a new printer.

The acquisitive gear-y side of me already had a
replacement in the shopping cart at an online store. I clicked "buy" and sat back to stew a bit and drink coffee (bad combination) and the lawyer side of my brain (right next to the mad dog side of my brain) started telling me to send a bill to C3 Productions, the producers of the music festival. Which actually sounds good to me....

At any rate, being a creature of habit, I ordered yet another Canon printer. Not the big, protean archival pigment model, but the Pixma Pro 100 which is a 13 inch, dye ink printer. Not a big fan of the pigment printers since I figure that's what the good labs are for. The price was stunning. About twice that of the ink cartridge full set replacement for the existing printer.

I blame the music festival but really, I have no proof. And I needed a new printer because, of course, I want to wirelessly print from my phone......(silly crap, kidding).... and I still like to send correspondence on paper and occasionally I still like to make prints for fun. It was time to change. Not sure the next rev of the OS would have supported the old printer anyway.

Sorry this was not as detailed as Ctein's printer explanations on TheOnLinePhotographer but I don't use my printer the same way he does. Thank goodness. I think that's better for everyone.

Future planning. Not planning on becoming a master printer any time soon. Planning to buy the music of the artists I like instead of sitting in the dirt with 100,000 of my "best" friends watching drunk people play air guitar and loose their hearing. Also planning on getting more surge protectors before next weekend. It's all crazy here in Austin. All the time...

10 comments:

Howard (niagara falls, ont) said...

Sympathy for unwanted, repulsive exposure to the rock festival. For the most part those attending have been convinced they are a special group enjoying enlightenment. It never dawns, that they are being fleeced, by opportunistic promoters. We have a similar, although not as large happening twice a year. An ethic group, not to be named have 2 day gatherings of their most barbaric members. I live 900 ft. away and get subjected to their version of folksy noise that rattles windows until 5.00 a.m. Sleep is not possible. Very inconsiderate, the city ignores all complaints, the local police ignore, (take an army to handle the drunks) and if you catch 1 sober later, their explanation is , "come on its twice a year, whats the big deal." I usually reply by asking do they not get tired of hearing the same soppy song a zillion times, as that is what it sounds like they have only 1 track.

Also, your P100 pro printer. great results, re-calibrates endlessly; seemingly for no reason. Eats PC cyan, PC magenta, yellow, and Lgt gray. My experience, yours may vary. Next up would be an equivalent Epson, primarily for B&W results. (Amateur who tries hard)

"Tuna" Man said...

Fuse?

I bought a cheap HP Laser printer for all my music writing and correspondence. My wife spends money on ink. I spend money on coffee.
Love your column, Kirk. It's the best.

Phil said...

It's now thankfully become a rare occurrence, but there's a phenomenon known as non-destructive latchup that can occur in instances of quick power cycling (sometimes the power doesn't come back "cleanly"). [... fast forward past the tech details ...] this will effectively brick a device until it is unplugged and left in that state for a while. How long exactly depends on too many factors to accurately guess, but it may take anywhere from a couple minutes to an hour or more to clear the condition.

Completely disconnect the printer from the mains and the host computer and leave it be for a while before you try it again. Note that the "timer is reset" every time you unsuccessfully attempt to restart the device. You'd be surprised at how many devices needlessly end up in landfills because of this.

Good luck!

TMJ said...

Perhaps you would find an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) better protection than surge protection alone, particularly to avoid data loss: you can always buy new kit, not so easy to replace data, although I am sure you have that well covered.

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Hmmm - time to also go for a UPS? Even a smaller one would buy you the time to go to the studio and shut everything down cleanly before the power comes back, and if the outage is less than the time you need to get to your studio, well the better - the machines would continue without any hiccup.

We don't have that many outages around here in Germany, but it surely sounds like a good idea...

Bob Travaglione said...

I have been using HP B-W Laser Printers for 15 years. I even buy my cartridges on Ebay for 2 for $20. Free Shipping! They last at least as long as the OE Brand. I use them for my 2 Lives as a busy Realtor and a Photographer businesses. I Make 8 page By "Referral Only Newsletters", Contracts, Invoices and Listing Info Disclosures and of course contracts. Printers need Battery Back Up Surge protectors just like everything else. I've had good luck with the medium sized Cyber-Power units, rather than trying to use one gigantic unit. They are not so heavy and can fit in in different work areas. PS - your little OM-D 5 Mark II is giving you a real edge on tough event documentation. It enables you free movement and the ability to capture just the right view of the actors. Those are just stunning pictures, they are Studio Quality!

Josh B said...

Our house in Cedar Park also lost power for a split second this morning. Possibly related hmmmm.

Kirk Tuck said...

Phil, an overnight unplug did the trick. You were on the money with the non-destructive latch-up advice. Old printer now gets donated to make way for the new one. Thanks for chiming in. The 9000 will make someone happy.

Joe V said...

For invoice printing it's hard to beat an HP b/w laser printer. Superior quality of printed text and the cartridge lasts a long time. As for letting the old printer sit for a time, it's probably due to waiting for those little capacitors to discharge competely.

Peter said...

I was tired of the cost of inkjet cartridge replacements so I bought a Fuji Xerox mono laser printer for AUD$39, I think, in 2012. I knew replacement toner would be costly, and yes, a genuine toner cartridge was going to cost something like $90, so I figured I'd just buy a new printer when the toner ran out.

But when it did, more than a year later, a quick search on-line brought up compatible toner cartridges from China for about AUD$12 each. I bought three and I'm just starting on the second one now after more than a year. It's the cheapest, quickest way to print the routine, non-photo stuff.