Technology is powerful magic

I’ve probably complained (or as my friend Glenn would say, ranted) about my laser printer before — recently, it developed the annoying habit of jamming 100% of the time, making it less than useful. I talked with some of my colleagues at work about the problem, and it appeared that it was one of two things: either the paper tray, or the rubber band on the paper feed wheel (love that high-tech!).

We had spare paper trays available (Almaden used to have many of this particular model of printer, but they’ve been removed from service after four or five years of heavy duty), but that didn’t help my problem. So this weekend, I brought a rubber band home and a printer service manual and decided to give it a shot.

When I turned the printer over, the rubber band was in good shape and so I didn’t replace it. I was able to turn the wheel it was attached to by hand, which, if I read the manual correctly, was a bad sign. But I decided to give it one more shot — and now the printer seems to work fine (or as well as it ever did — the fuser runs too hot and so the paper curls), but only with the replacement paper tray.

All I can figure is that somehow the rubber band wasn’t making good contact with the paper and my turning it by hand fixed the problem, at least for now.

Boy, I wish I knew what the real problem was and how to fix it! But in the meantime, I’ll keep using this printer as long as it works — it would be nice to get through at least one toner cartridge before discarding the printer.

More bad news/good news

Our painter called yesterday while we were at services; they aren’t going to be able to start until next week. That’s not entirely bad news — that way, we don’t have to try to get the rooms cleaned up until next weekend. But it will be nice to have the rooms all painted, especially the master bathroom, where we’re getting rid of very yucky wallpaper.

If only reality were so easy

Thanks to all who’ve noticed the New Year’s card I sent on Friday. If only it were so easy to get the paper ones into the mail!