Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I am a paper tray

What piece of office equipment are you? I should write up one of those little fun quizzes. Today I am a paper tray. Allow me to explain.

3 or 4 years ago, my little publishing company bought a color laser printer. HP 4600DN ... it can auto duplex, it was very nice at the time, and very expensive. And huge. Its about 2.5 feet cubed. Something about its motor makes my dog bark like crazy. Constantly. So I turn it on only when I really have to.

Today I need to print 200 copies of a pamphlet that my company sells. I usually print these on 24lb cream paper. But I've been wanting to upgrade my paper to make them look a touch more professional. So I've been shopping for paper with a bit more weight and some gloss. HP has some specialty brochure paper that's perfect, but its $25 for 100 sheets. Waaaay to expensive. Yesterday at Staples I came across a Hammermill "Business Gloss" paper ... 32lb, 120 g/m2 gloss. Very nice, at 300 sheets for $8.50. Still expensive compared to plain paper, but at least it wont make me lose money on these pamphlets.

So today I load up my 500 sheet paper tray with the Business Gloss paper and print a single test copy of the pamphlet. Very nice. I set the print job for 100 copies and it spools up. To do a multiple copy duplex job like this, the printer sucks in one sheet of paper and prints on side A. As that piece is making the turn at the top of the belt, a second piece of paper is sucked in and printed on side A. Then the first piece is printed on side B and ejected, and then the second piece on side B and ejected. So today the Business Gloss paper seems to have some static to it and the first piece of paper will print on side A but then jam at the top of the belt because the second piece wont come out of the tray. I fluffed the paper, I tried different settings on the paper selection (set it for glossy, set it for plain, set it for heavier weight), I did all the tricks, and restart the job 4 times. It just wont get beyond printing one side of one sheet. So, I pull the paper out of tray 2 and open the manual tray door which holds about 30 sheets at a time. Restart the job and things go perfectly.

So now instead of being able to walk away from the printer, I have to sit here and feed it paper. 200 sheets / 30 = about 7 reloads.

I am a paper tray.


beth said...

Hey - at least you have a skill! It's good to play to your strengths. ;)

Now if only you could get Prince to refill the thing for you - be a useful doggy instead of a barky one.

Lynellen said...

yes, but is this a technical skill? Can I put it on my resume?

And you're right about the dog...the least he could do after costing so much money over the years is to help around the house and the office.

Anonymous said...

1. make sure you have the duplexer enabled in the print driver.
2. Never, ever, fluff or riffle stacks of paper in a laser printer, its a sure recipe for jams or worse.