• Printer Fixing Outlaws

    I’ve had a Brother Multi Function printer for years and years. It has been very useful. Fax, Scan, Print, Photocopy perfect for a little office.

    About two weeks ago I bought a heap of new ink for it (not cheap).

    The printer promptly stopped working. As of course it must under these circumstances, i.e. accordance with Murphy’s Law.

    After being waiting for the printer to fix itself (wishful thinking) for long enough I began to Google using the model number the error message all sorts of things. I came across a band of Printer Fixers who are apparently outlaws in the eyes of (Big)Brother, they share information that Brother Printers refuse to give out.

    They offer heaps of great advice about using special commands into the EPROM to “reset the purge counter”, press this key and that key. Very interesting to see my printer flashing lights like it is having a party – alas for my printer it seems like it’s last hoorah.

    Lesson Learned

    I learned one great lesson today about cobbled-together help pages like this….

    Read the whole thing before taking any action because they are totally unstructured and as mistakes are made new tips are added so the really important stuff is towards the bottom.

    This is how my evening went…

    1. I read about a waste ink well inside the printer which I needed to clean – so I promptly took the printer apart with some printer-outlaw guidance. I happily located the bit I needed pulled it out proudly and proceeded to wash it.
    2. Very pleased with myself I proceeded to read more whilst the bits dried – the blackness on my hands was a minor concern but I returned to the computer to read more.
    3. I read that there was actually no need to wash anything or take it apart. Ooops. All I need do was trick the system with some snazzy key pressing that was smuggled (by R2-D2?) out of (Big) Brother’s HQ
    4. So I dried the bits and put it all back together – It looks alright.
    5. I did the snazzy key pressing and voila – what a racket! Not put back together right I think – oh dear and the same error but no idea if its for a new or the same reason
    6. Anyway still says “Unable to Init… blah”
    7. So I returned to the printer outlaw page and read some more, this is what I read….

    cleaned the overflow tank (don’t do this unless you have either a pair of latex gloves or a free social diary for at least a week: printer ink is worse under the fingernails than even engine grease!),

    Oh no! What have I done?

    I rushed to the sink and started scrubbing

    So right now I have scrubbed my hands over and over with water plus every type of soap in the house, I’ve even had a go with white-spirit and I still look like this (see pic)…. they’re worse than when I was a paper-boy 20 years ago.

    What’s the big deal?

    Well, I’ve got three back to back meetings tomorrow with clients I need to impress with my knowledge of websites and internet marketing. Technical incompetence with a printer isn’t consistent with being an awesome geek.

    But I’m a special geek, a geek that distinguishes between hardware and software. I actually bought an iMac so I would never have to play with hardware again.

    My pledge

    I hereby pledge to never attempt to take a screw driver to another printer ever again

    Goodbye Brother Printer

    The printer that did us so well over the last 5 years will now be put into the car and taken to a place from which there is no return.

    Redcliffe dump.