struck once again this year. Last year it was my internet connection gone crazy - I had to disconnect my wireless network and connect directly to the router to be able to transmit tax returns. Not a big deal - and I have come to appreciate the added security of a direct connection rather than a hackable wireless connection - but it was trying at the time, since I am not computer hardware savvy in the least. This year: my all-in-one printer/scanner/fax. I am not a big fan of those all-in-one contraptions, but this laser printer from Dell held up very well during nearly four years of continuous use, so I can't complain. The fuser was going and the noise that emanated from the thing was horrific - and it would cost almost as much to replace the fuser as it would to buy a new printer, so I'm sure you can see where I am going with this. And there's Aggie protecting Mom from the big, bad printer box.
Here's where I confess my lifelong love of HP printers - their durability, ease of use and long-lasting toner cartridges. This is not a paid advertisement - if you've ever owned one, you know what I mean. So, for a little more than the price of a new fuser for the dying Dell, I got a color laser printer/scanner/fax from Staples. Ordered it one day; it was delivered the next. The price was the same at all the big stores - but Staples had one in stock. Al came to my rescue by taking time out of his busy day to come unpack it and set it up for me; Jonathan cheerfully hauled the old printer and the box away. I love my friends! We printed a test page and voila! Beautiful quality - and no grinding noise!
An hour or so later, one of my clients sent me a fax - that worked. Good to know. And then I decided to scan the day's work. Or tried. And tried. Again. Apparently, you can't just hook an all-in-one machine up and be good to go. Well, if you just want to print and fax, sure - but not if you plan to scan. After a half dozen false starts, I finally consulted the installation instructions and found that it is recommended that one install the scanner software prior to connecting the unit via its USB cable. Once I worked through that little obstacle, everything worked just fine. The scanner is much faster, more efficient and way more user-friendly than the Dell ever was - so the little installation glitch has fast faded from my memory. Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard have greatly simplified my daily work-scanning ritual - it doesn't take much to make me happy!