Monday, October 16, 2006

On printers and other problems

Not so long ago, my workplace was a 15 ft X 10 ft lab crammed with 10 Engineers. And every time one of us needed to take a print-out or a photocopy, we had to walk up to the first floor where we had a printer and a xerox machine.

All of us in the lab were scared stiff of the printer, primarily because even though it was brand new, it had this proclivity to jam and give out noises like it was a schoolgirl and we were molesting it ("We just want a print-out dammit!"). So much so that if one wanted to use it, we would often take a colleague along for moral support ("No! I didn't touch anything! Ask him!"). To make matters worse, the bloody machine was located in a particular section of the Product Engineering department where all the senior engineers sat. And the last thing any of us wanted was to be stared down by ten pairs of eyes wondering what we were doing poking our heads around the printer's private parts.

Anyway, one day, being engineers, we found the user manual. Of course, some sadist had stashed it away in a corner of the store-room, but we found it. And that was that. Under the pretense of working, we spent the better part of an afternoon mugging up the "troubleshooting" section (part of the "learning curve" you see). The world was suddenly an easier place to live in.

The point of this post being, fear is like that printer.

There's a user manual lying around somewhere.


Anonymous said...

Do I sniff a Doug Adams here ?? ;-)


Karthik said...

i) Buy my company's printers .. They work amazingly well !!

ii) What if there are cases which aren't covered in the manual ?? No manual is perfect !!

musafir said...


No, no, just a musing spawned by a dreary day at work. Haven't read much of the man though, I tried reading THHGTTG when my taste wasn't that evolved yet and gave up midway. Have read a lot of his articles though. Any similarity is purely incidental :)


Yeah, yeah trust you to make a sales pitch on my blog. It was a HP printer, fyi :)

And this thing about no manual being perfect, I think people who say that are people who tell themselves "Nobody is perfect, so why try improving?" :) Besides, perfect manuals do exist. Have you heard about the one for a switch? :D

Karthik said...

Hmm .. It must have been an old model.. Try the latest Laser Jet Ones .. They rock !!(Now that u have accused me of pitching, lemme do a good job)

Anurupa said...

Oh how much I hated that damn printer.It had not improved by the time I came in.Every trip to get an A3 was a journey of terror and repeated (seemingly stupid) calls for aid...

musafir said...


Try and try again eh? In fact, we have one of those new types at the new office, and we are impressed with it :)


Haha ... that printer was the devil, wasn't it? Good to know that everyone has fond memories of it :)

I still remember once how Geeta had gone to take a print-out. 5 minutes later, she called up Rama ma'am. Another 5 minutes later, they call me. All of us were goofing around the printer not knowing what to do. Finally one of those quality guys came and helped us out. Sheesh!

You have a blog? Blogger beta doesn't allow me to track back from the link behind your name. Do leave your URL next time. Would love to come visiting :)