Radiogurl a la Carte

Friday, Dec. 08, 2006
Printer Fix

It's Friday night and we made it home in one piece, albeit a bit sore. (My knee gave out and I've been hobbling around only with the support of a knee brace.) I didn't get the job with the fire department, but did stop in and talk to the folks at the temp agency. They sent my resume to several prospects, but everyone is caught up in the holidays.

We're obviously not starving at the moment but I gotta hustle something up asap or I won't be able to cover some of the critical bills. Like a car to get to work.

In the meantime, I'm still futzing with the PITA client webpage, trying to get the streaming to work. It's an either-or thing and the "or" is that it doesn't work at all. Well, one of the "or" options is.

But I'm beat tonight, going to kick back and enjoy a book and pretend I'm a lady of leisure for the moment. I've been my family's sole breadwinner for so long - going on thirty years now - that every day off is precious and I plan to take advantage of the break while I've got it.

I got this from someone on the local Freecycle group and thought I'd pass it on, because it is something that's genuinely helpful.

Most defective printers only need the rubber rollers cleaned. I always thought my Hewlett Packard printers were a bad design because they picked up paper from a horizontal paper tray. But the same problem plagues printers with vertical paper feeds, too.

Most of the computer printers I've seen that give you error messages only say something which is often misleading: "Paper Jam."

Inside your computer printer - every single one that I've worked on - are "take-up rollers". They are black rubber wheels that pull the paper into and through your printer. Sometimes there's 3 of them, sometimes there's 4 of them. Sometimes they are about 4 inches in diameter, sometimes they are about 1 inch in diameter.

They all suffer from the same problem. Over time, a very fine layer of paper dust (and other dust) builds up in the surface of those black rubber wheels. It's usually not obvious; those black rubber wheels usually look "clean" upon simple visual inspection. But it's there. It builds up over time. Which means that they lose their "traction" on paper. Clean rubber "grabs" paper very well. That's why the computer printer manufacturers make "take-up rollers" out of Rubber.

But when a film builds up on the surface of those take-up rollers, they don't pull the paper into and through the printer as well anymore. Which often results in what we've all come to know as a "Paper Jam."

The solution is simple: try cleaning the surface of those take-up rollers. I use Q-Tips and Windex/Glass cleaner. I would not use something as strong as pure Ammonia; use a mild cleaning fluid.

I'm guessing that in at least 50% of the printers that were experiencing a "Paper Jam" that I worked on, simply cleaning the take-up rollers cured the problem. Sometimes it's hard to get at those take-up rollers; sometimes it's easy. It's worth trying before you go buy yourself a new printer, though!

If you're reading this in Firefox, vs. IE, you'll notice that my "box" behind that little snippet of printer wisdom has rounded corners. It doesn't translate to IE, though I wonder if there isn't a way to write a similar conversion for IE. I tried following the directions here, but if it's doing what it's supposed to do, I can't see it. (I tried to apply it to the same blue division in this entry.) I read some commentary on the subject somewhere and the general consensus of IE users was, "Well for pity's sake just use a graphic."

I don't even want to get into how stupid that comment is. Mozilla/Firefox does the rounding with a bit of code. Adding an image is not solving the problem.

Oh well, not a priority. Having polished off a bowl of spaghetti for dinner (complete with melted Monterey Jack cheese on top) I am now ready to tackle ice cream!

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )