Saturday, 29 December 2012

Vintage Printer, I love you

Behold, the proud majesty of the HP OfficeJet G85.

You see how, if you stare long enough at it, it's got a face! And it's smiling! But not in a cheeky facile way. Oh no. This printer oozes serenity and class.

Funny story really. A nice lady phoned and asked if I wanted her old printer. I glanced over at my leaning tower of old printers and while my head said "Uh no, not even" in a sarcastic transatlantic teen tone, my mouth shot off on its own, as it so often does, and said "Oh thank you! That would be lovely!". Well - she sounded really nice.

So I drove off to get it in the itsgonefunny van. I'm sorry to say that it rather embarrassed itself when I carried it from its house to my van, and soiled my fingers with ink. You now need to know that it weighs 33lbs and it is hard to park within commuting distance of my home and workshop  It lived in the back of the van for several weeks,  along with a plastic wine glass and a neglected hairbrush, no doubt a bitter reminder of better times.

Then I parked the van rather close to a tree. IN a tree, some might say. This squashed the campervan roof into a bizarre and frightening shape, though on the plus side the van is now slightly better streamlined. As I had to take the van to an accident repair shop, the printer came to live in my dining room, where it squatted self-consciously in a corner. Eventually some shoes settled on it and built their nest there.

But this was not to be a permanent arrangement. My mum and dad were coming for Christmas dinner and I had to clear the dining room. My 15 year old son manfully hoisted the printer up the stairs to a room I blithely refer to as "The Stock Room".

It stayed there less than a week. I made the error of watching "The Hoarder Next Door" on 4OD. In this programme, hoarders have lots of rooms where the doors won't open because the rooms are stuffed to the gunwales with miscellaneous things. Rooms like "The Stock Room" in fact.

Once again, I vowed to become a different person from who I actually am, and to start this process by clearing out "The Stock Room".  The only possible clearance strategy was Last In, First Out. So the printer came down 2 flights of stairs to the workshop.

My plan was to plug it in and try it out, then give it away via Freegle. (Do you Freegle? You should. You can get rid of your clutter and replace it with someone else's clutter).

I plugged it in and it leapt into life, asking me questions and issuing commands I did not fully comprehend, oh you know how printers are. Set options? Check cartridge! Scanner is missing. I jabbed at the massive control panel, enabling who-knows-what features.

It settled down with a bland "Out of paper. Load paper". Simple, surely, to a woman of my experience?  But not so. The obvious loading bay is those perky lateral ears, alert and ready at the back. I nervously laid some paper sideways there. But still, it complained, "Out of paper. Load paper".

I Googled and found out that you put paper in the bottom. So I did that.

The next thing that happened is amazing. I don't know what made me do it but I pressed COPY. The paper I had rested on the ears up top was sucked through the scanner bit and flew out the front.

It scanned a multiple page document. The results were somewhat underwhelming since I was scanning blank paper and the black cartridge has run out anyway. It's the principle of the thing though.

So now I don't know know what to do. I am the owner of an amazingly cool device that I don't have room for. Give it away? Or sack someone to make space for it?

What do YOU think?


  1. Sack someone, obviously, duh. By the way, it's "Gunwales". No really, there's no need to thank me....

    1. Freegle Helen you know you should. From someone who knows what is is like to live in a house full to the rafters with someone elses electronic stuff! x
      Quote for the day, I cant get rid of that DEC Logic analyser its part of DEC History - when I was shown his new one which is a 100 times smaller. So it seems every one needs to have two of them! (along with 10 servers...)

    2. (Through gritted teeth) Thanks Dave

      Sally (?) - wow, I don't know what a DEC Logic Analyser is - I just know I want one!

  2. Ah ha, so did the printer go the the same way? Sallyx
    PS as there are only two DEC Logic analysers in our house, I dont think I could sneak one out for you - shame
    RECEIVED: heat sinks from motherboards of old computers (rg11dx)
    Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:52 am (PST) . Posted by:
    "A freegler"
    Thank you to Helen of itsgonefunny. com for your generosity -- you made our week!! I am looking for the heat sinks out of old computers for a project. They are the silver color on the motherboard (on top of the processor). They can be old or new.

  3. I have IBS


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