Monday, July 23, 2012

Averting planned obsolesence

While I'm off dealing with my dead car today, I'll leave you with the tale of my printer...

My workhorse brand-name printer flashed a new message: Waste ink absorber almost full.

Eh? What's that? A look at the owner's manual mentions nothing.

So, off to the Internets. My printer brand has a foam pad under each cartridge that sops up the excess when the print heads are cleaned. Apparently, the cleanings are tied to a counter. When the counter hits zero, the printer stops working. (Oh, no you don't: I just refilled the ink cartridges!)

Along with this delightful news were instructions on how to reset the counter and clean the pads.

(I did find a mention of this on the company's Web site. Their take: Have it serviced. Yeah. Right. The printer cost $35. Something tells me the bill would be higher than that.)

So I gave it a try.  To start, I pressed the power and resume buttons in the order suggested to reset the counter.

Now for the pads: I could reach them, but couldn't get enough leverage to get them out of the holders. So I tried a suggestion: Wrapped a bit of rag around my finger and pressed on the pads to soak up the ink. It worked pretty well.

Put the cartridges back in. Printed a few test pages. Yahoo! No waste ink message.

 I think it's fixed (she says, crossing her fingers).

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