I have this little 140 page document I want to print, so I finally decided to set up my “print server”, a Dell PC running Windows Vista with a HP C4180 all-in-one and a Dell laser printer connected. I spent the morning vacuuming the grills and trying to find cables to connect everything. I’m using my TV as the monitor (I can almost read it without my glasses!) and everything is stuffed into my “entertainment center”.
I couldn’t find a VGA and a USB cable, so I bought replacements. $35. Oh, and while I have lots of paper I want to print this on postcards, so I had to buy more of those. $56. Combine these with some other stuff I got for this project and I’m already $132 in the hole.
The computer works fine, but is painfully slow. Not really an issue, but …
Both printers passed their test prints. The laser has some broken plastic, but I can work around that. The all-in-one seems to be fine.
I tried a test print from my MacBook. The all-in-one printed a six-page test document well.
Then I tried printing just the first page of the “big doc” on the laser. It wouldn’t stop until it ran out of paper. I tried killing the print job from the Mac – didn’t take. I tried killing it from the PC – it said success, but paper just kept spitting out. The power switch on the laser finally killed it.
So I tried printing that first page on the all-in-one. Again it wouldn’t stop until I killed power.
I figured what the heck, I’ll try printing the cards on the all-in-one. It didn’t like the card stock – the pickup rollers just couldn’t get a grip on it, old crusty things that they are. Grr.
I’m beginning to think it’s time for me to finally get a new printer, one that can live on a network without being hooked to a computer. Best Buy has some on sale today, I noticed.
At least this is a problem that can actually be fixed by throwing money at it. Grr.