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Monday, May 09, 2005

The Durability of Technology

My Lexmark multifunction printer/copier/fax had always been a worthless piece of crap, so this morning I was pleasantly surprised by it's apparant robustness as I smashed it to pieces on the concrete floor of my garage.

The machine's print quality had always been abysmal, even when the paper feed didn't snatch so violently at one corner of one-or-more sheets that it would be fed through all skew-whiff, and the crappiness of the supplied control software had reduced it's status to that of a mere fax machine. The printing function has been taken over by an OKI B4200, which sits quietly churning out vast copies of high-quality and low cost black and white prints without fail. Let me emphasise that -- the OKI B4200 has never done anything to give offense, nor has it ever failed to do it's job, and to me that is the purpose of technology -- to avoid irritating it's owner, in my case "me".

The Lexmark irritated me from Day 1, and when this morning it failed in it's one remaining task of sending a fax, by either failing to feed in any of the to-be-transmitted pages or by feeding them all in at once, it was time for it to meet it's end. I could have donated it to Goodwill of course, but that would have been a crime against humanity. Like a vial of 1957 H2N2 influenza virus it had to be destroyed for the good of mankind.

It took the first drop manfully, losing only it's paper feed support tray thingy and it's aura of smug self-satisfaction, and no real damage was noted until the third drop, a front-right corner-first effort that made the control panel shoot off sideways and my cat to hide under the bed. Two more drops later and it was finished. I had expected it to fly apart on the first drop, but it surprised me to the end.

It occurs to me that it's functionality has not only remained undiminished by the mornings events, but it is a sight more energy efficient sitting in the trash with the diapers/nappies than it ever has been before.

8 Comments:

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Dave said...

Why the link to Disney's web page ;-)

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger DaPi said...

" . . . and my cat to hide under the bed." In the garage ? ? ? ?

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger David Aldridge said...

dave, I think you'll find the Playhouse Disney site to me of more value than that of Lexmark.

DaPi, you underestimate both the loudness of the smashing and the closeness of the garage to the bedroom. Which is not to denigrate those who have a bed in their garage -- my two older sons currently choose to sleep on the floor of their closet instead of in their beds, so obviously it takes all sorts.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger DaPi said...

" dave, I think you'll find the Playhouse Disney site to me of more value than that of Lexmark." and it has a button marked "grown-ups" - that's what they call an "adult link".

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Bill S. said...

[quote]but it is a sight more energy efficient sitting in the trash with the diapers/nappies[/quote]

And that would be next to the beer, right? ;-D

Had a Lexmark Z-32 for awhile (first and LAST Lexmark) so I can sympathize with you.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger Peter K said...

Working off our stress, are we? :D

At least we know that Lexmark printers are built well. My company is in the midst of replacing the whole of them throughout the organization.

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Bill S. said...

OT - I saw this morning that you got a very nice write-up on Mark Rittman's blog concerning your DW articles - congrats! I started to read your articles, but got sidetracked on another project, so I have to go back to them as soon as I get done.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger David Aldridge said...

>> My company is in the midst of replacing the whole of them throughout the organization <<

Are they replacing with a different brand, or are they stupid? ;)

 

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