Thursday, 27 September 2018

Out with the Old, In with the New (Printer)

My printer stopped working this week. Grumble, grumble...

It had to happen, sooner or later. In the example of my Canon Pixma MG5560 multi-function printer/scanner, which has been performing flawlessly, I think it was a bit premature. 

OK, it was about four years old, but had had only a 'reasonable' amount of use - not used every day, and certainly not in the 'heavy use' category. Even so, it stopped with a 1405 error message in the middle of printing 10 pages of an A4 document. 

Confused as to why this message had appeared, I did what everyone does in this situation, and Googled the problem. I found that error 1405 was not good news. Turns out that the "This printer does not recognise the print head" message is common.

More clicking and I find that the Internet is alive with hundreds of other folk complaining that their Canon printers were showing similar error messages. Even worse, I found a whole forum about Canon's legal case over this error and how, despite it being taken to court, it still appears in some units, irrespective of how much use that unit had had.

Some complainants had hardly used their printers before it broke down. Some tried replacing the print head (bought off eBay) and even then, the error message persisted, effectively wasting (up to) $70, depending on the cost of the replacement model. I think this is outrageous - so, apparently, do hundreds of other disgruntled consumers.

By coincidence, my trusty Epson Photo Stylus R2400 A3 printer, which I have had for years, also stopped working this week. Well, it sort of still worked, but a couple of the inkjets seem partly blocked, despite an entire afternoon wasted trying to clean the jets over and over, so I couldn't get it to print accurate colour however hard I tried. 

And this, just after I'd ordered a bunch of replacement ink tanks from Typical!

One benefit about replacing an old printer is that the new printers currently available are even better value than when I bought the Canon four years ago. 

After a lot of huffing and puffing on the internet, I decided to kill two birds with one Mastercard transaction and purchased an Epson Expression X-900 series unit - this is an A3 printer, with A4 scanning capabilities, which cost $300 from Officeworks (with free delivery). I think it was a good deal, considering that I paid about $400 for the error-stricken Canon A4 printer four years ago, and nearly $1000 for my 12-year old Epson R2400 printer.

Once installed, powered up and with its software running smoothly the Epson unit is proving to be a good buy (full review on this coming soon). It's a crying shame that I now have to junk two printers - more landfill - when I suspect there's nothing really wrong with them other than the simple fact that they are now 100% redundant. They are not meant to be repaired, only replaced.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Photoshop Movie Poster Exercise

Here's a montage exercise that involves learning how to combine a stock shot (of Daniel Craig) with another stock shot of an older-style Bond background. It also involves sourcing and using custom text to match the title and Bond authenticity...
You can find the class on here