September 28, 2004

watching ink dry

Actually, waiting for ink to run out. I'm in the middle of a huge print production run of 200+ full color pages on my trusty hp photosmart 7550 printer, and I'm pissed. Hey printer guys at hp, I need you to do two things please:

1. When the ink is running low in a cartridge, give me the option to have the printer pause and ask whether it should continue. Yesterday I launched a 30 page job and left it to print, and returned hours later to find that every page after the first one was ruined because one of the colors had run out. That oh so helpful "low on ink" dialog box had popped up, but of course the printer just kept on printing. Net result, I wasted 29 pages of nice glossy paper and lost a half day of production time. Arrgh.

2. Do a better job of predicting remaining ink capacity. In the example above, one of the colors gave out almost immediately after the "low ink" warning came up. Tonight I got the same warning (after about 55 color pages), so I decided to run just 5 pages at a time to avoid losing another big pile of good paper. I've been sitting here for an hour, it's 15 pages later, and there's no sign of it running out. WTF? I really want to launch a big job before I go to bed, guess I'll be tossing yet another partial empty cartridge before its time. Expect me to be non-happy about this too.

3. Did I say 2? I meant 3. Hey hp folks, start a printing blog! That is to say, get some people in the company who love printers and printing and photos and projects and scrapbooks and writing and engaging with people, and give them the charter to be honest evangelists. Need an example? Start with Scoble and the Microsoft bloggers. (Do read Robert's corporate weblog manifesto, it is a little old but still mostly right on). There's a giant community of folks out here that want to help you make better printing experiences, so why not take them up on it?

Okay, finally we're on to the new cartridge and off to dreamland. Tomorrow, another day and another 100 pages. Man, I'm going to need an ink pipeline plumbed to my house.

Posted by Gene at September 28, 2004 12:46 AM | TrackBack

Hear, hear! All great ideas. The rub... to get printer 'guys' to read this entry.

Posted by: amy at September 30, 2004 02:45 PM
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