Printer printer on the desk, who’s the dumbest of us all?

I hate this. 

I remember buying this beast. I was so happy. In my mind, I was making a leap of sorts; from an amatuer to a pro. That is at least what the marketing department of HP would have you believe. 

They are wrong. 

The HP Officejet Pro k5400 is pain in the backside if you ever had one. I got it from a ‘reputed’ HP dealer and parted with 14,000 rupees at a time when Laserjets were going for 7 grand.

The printer has 4 cartridges, for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black; the standard CMYK profile that any decent designer who has to design for print as well, will swear by. This ‘sounded’ all the more ‘professional’. I thought I had it figured out. It may sound smart to emulate a large-scale printing setup (using CMYK) on a desktop printer, but if you can not get it right, please spare us. In the end, I am the dumb one to actually believe that this would work. Initially, when I had not replaced the original cartridges, the color print quality was not able to surpass the small, ‘amateur’ HP Deskjets. 

Speaking of HP deskjets, you see, I have not one, but two HP printers of the ‘amateur’ variety; HP Deskjets xxxx. The x’s are just numbers HP likes to fill in without changing anything on the printer itself, apart from the color perhaps. My 7 year old printer (which in printer years is ‘old & groggy’) – the HP deskjet 3744 – is as trustworthy as anything, and can print out mean color printouts like there is no tomorrow. The other deskjet that I bought (I was out looking for two cartridges for my grey, old printer and the total cost was almost double that of a new printer, so I bought a new printer – I am not a wise shopper, so am I? :/ ). The two supposedly amateur printers are as ‘plug n play’ as they come.  The ‘pro’ printer is perhaps not for professional printing, but for professional printer technicians, who can work on it ‘professionally’ to make the damn thing work. 

You know how printers come with minimal ink in the cartridges and you are supposed to replace them after like half a print? (Printing business is based not on printers, but on supplies). I replaced the cartridges for the Pro printer and that was the end of anything to do with printing. I installed the damn expensive cartridges –  all four of them – into the printer and there has not been a single print out since. The yellow cartridge light just blinks and the printer status is set to ‘No Toner’ and that is that. Forget the fact that the damn things are brand new, forget the fact that there are three other cartridges to at least try to print from, forget the fact that I WAS PRINTING IN BLACK ONLY to begin with, the HP K fifty-friggin’-four hundred will not print. The light will just blink.

So I asked Google. 

HP has the following ‘solution’ on their website. (note: there is no solution for the K5400 printer, but I managed to get the following screenshot from a solution on another printer. It seems HP is minting printers with different names that are all the same, and the last sentence rhymes.)

What a beautiful way of stating the problem, the solution and the cause. I just love the bit “…reinsert the ink cartridge a few times if necessary“. How about more than 20 times? Will that work? Let me tell you, it did not work for me. I took out all four cartridges one by one even, to perhaps to throw off the mean printer, but to no avail. After a second’s silence, a little chug, and on comes the yellow light, blinking, mocking me. 

I wonder if someone from HP is reading this. I wonder if that person is smirking right now. Please, don’t. Perhaps he or she can offer some help as to how I can make this bright-white elephant work again?

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I believe that there is a better way of living our lives, where work is not boring, where I have the time to spend with my family, my friends, my communities. A life that I look forward to living, a life of adventure. You in?

3 thoughts on “Printer printer on the desk, who’s the dumbest of us all?”

  1. HP has got some compatibility issues. My LaserJet prints fine with one laptop and one laptop alone. All others deliver bad prints. I’ve tried all combinations of platforms and makes!

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