Mar 3, 2009

On Overcoming the Printer Driver Jinx

Left: no longer vexed by stubborn printer drivers

I consider myself to be a fairly tech-savvy person, and though I often draft my wife into assisting me with new hardware and software installation, that is only because she is a technical wizard, and it takes her 30 seconds to accomplish a job that would take me 5-10 minutes.

Let's just sum this up as my application of the theory of comparative advantage rather than dwelling on my occasional technological daftness. Anyways, with my wife at work this morning, I found myself stuck solving my least favorite of all techie tasks: hooking up a printer to a computer.

Now, the act of plugging in a printer to the USB port and turning on the machine certainly does not faze me, but my track record at getting printers to find and use the correct drivers is abysmal. Were I to hazard a guess at my won-loss tally in this field, I suspect that it would be something like 0-for-10, and I have left a trail of printer detritus and technical failure that would stretch halfway down my block if I lined up all the machines, power cords, and cables.

Until today, that is.

I will not make any claims to rapidity or fluidity regarding my ability to make my Sony VAIO interface with my wife's HP Photosmart 4280 (gosh, that sounds kind of sexy). However, after 45 minutes of putzing around, I succeeded in making the printer actually produce the document I needed to whisk off in the mail.

So beware, virtual gremlins: if I can foil your best efforts to disrupt this printer-laptop merger, there is no stopping me. I'll bet I can even figure out how to get MS-Word 2007 to tabulate the Table of Contents for my dissertation, or how to remove a page break I accidentally inserted in the same document.


1 comment:

microdot said...

I am such a sorry ass luddite...
I struggle to keep this imac working in a land with virtually no tech support.
To hear you speak of interfacing your Sony VAIO with the HP Photosmart 4280 leaves me flustered and vaguely embarassingly aroused in a very disquieting way...

I am in awe.