Friday, July 16, 2010


I think our new printer doesn't like yellow.

Of course, technically, our printer's not new, but it's newer than the old one which requires frequent man(or woman)handling to get the print heads to move. It's big. It's smart. It sends faxes and photocopies vital documents. And it doesn't like yellow.

Our writing group's planning a display of self-produced books at the library, so I thought I'd try my hand at producing some. This meant printing them first, of course, in color because I like pictures. But yellow birds and orange sands don't look right when they come out in stripes.

"Try cleaning the heads," the trouble-shooting software said. The ink, originally three-quarters full, rapidly sank to one-quarter. "Did that help?" I searched the internet to find out how to print the test page and see. The answer was no.

"You can try a second-level cleaning," said the software gleefully. "But be aware it will use a lot of ink." I wasn't sure I had a lot left, and pretty soon I had none. The yellow turned white and the rest of my pictures came out a sickly purple.

So now I've bought and installed my new yellow ink. The test page had feathered yellow stripes which wasn't a very good sign. But I crossed my fingers and hoped the ink might flow if I printed some more. My home-made books and my calendar look sort of okay now (just don't look too closely) and at least, they're not as purple as my first attempt.

Who would have guessed how many colors need yellow to make them work?
Who would have guessed printing a twenty-page book could take so long?
And who would guessed how hooked I'd get on self-producing my work?

I think it must be time to start writing again.


Sun Singer said...

You'll wonder where the yellow went when you clean your printer with Pepsodent.

sarah said...

How cool is that...who knew so much went into making that one color....makes me think of the sun and what went into making it shine it's bright yellow for all of us. Have a great weekend and happy writing.

arbraun said...

I'm thankful I never have to use my printer anymore. 99.9% of publishers want e-submissions. It's such a pain to go buy printer cartridges. It's even more of a pain when they run out too soon.