Delusions of Genius, But Technology Wins…Again

I bought an all in one copier/printer/fax/scanner just before Christmas.  Upon its arrival, I slit open the box and lifted the flaps to see the top of the large printer.  I’m not sure exactly why I did this, because I knew I wouldn’t set it up yet.  I guess I wanted to make sure they didn’t pack a lead blender in the box instead.   

For five weeks the large box sat in my dining room as a reminder of my procrastinating ways.  This box lived only a few feet away from the still-packaged towel rack that I bought nearly two years ago (to replace an old one that is barely hanging on the wall).  All this time, I vacuumed around it, stepped over it and did my best to ignore it. 

It’s like subconsciously I knew that disconnecting my dinosaur fax machine and ten-year-old printer would bring misery and misfortune.  Dramatic?  Yes!  But sometimes the truth has a theatric flair.  I looked at the tangle of cords under my desk.  Years of inattention allowed them to twist into a pit of angry snakes ready to attack. 

They look angry...

On Sunday, a friend had some information about a contractor friend of hers to share with me and asked if I wanted to make a copy.  Yeah, I wanted a copy, but I had to admit to her that I couldn’t make a copy because I didn’t have the printer set up yet.  I missed out on that one.

That evening, I resolved to attack the task, figuratively speaking.  I enlisted hubby to remove the printer from the box because it was heavy.  He did the brawny work and I grabbed the instruction manual, turning it to page one to start my set up journey.  I verified that I had all of the parts and although I was a bit intimidated by the flow chart of the steps I had to go through, I soldiered on.

Maybe I should do this a different day...

Each step had the English and Spanish instructions side-by-side.  This was a bit confusing for me – I like it better when the manual is all in English and other translations follow in separate sections of the manual.  I’d write Canon to let them know this, but I’m 99.9% sure they don’t care.

I inserted the printer head backwards at first because I couldn’t follow written or pictorial instructions.  Luckily, my eight-year-old son approached at that time to advise me I wasn’t holding the part like it showed in the picture.  Ah.  I followed his directions, given in his ‘are-you-really-this-dumb’ tone of voice, and voila!  It snapped into place.  The manual stated that this part should not be removed unnecessarily once in place.  No worries.  I guarantee it will remain in place until the printer chugs out its last printed page.

I unwrapped and inserted all five of the ink cartridges, loaded paper in the bottom tray, set up the fax settings, installed the software on my computer and set the printer up on my wireless network.  I felt like a genius when I opened a test document, selected print and the page actually printed on my new printer.  Never mind that an eight-year-old came to my aid.

Last night, I tried to set up my husband’s PC to use the printer, but the printer couldn’t be detected.  I followed the troubleshooting steps and messed with several network settings I probably had no business getting into.  It still didn’t work.  Finally, I found the IP address of the printer and added it manually to his computer.    Ha!  I am genius, I thought with a smirk on my face.

I fixed it all right.  The computer recognizes the printer now.  The good news is that I can finally get stuff to print.  The bad news?  Anything printed remains in the printer queue and has to be manually deleted after the pages print. 

Yep, reality has wiped away all delusions of genius (and that smirk off my face).  I humbly admit my defeat to technology.  Now I remember why I still used a fax machine and printer that could’ve been on display in the Smithsonian…

Technology has the upper hand with me.  What about you?  Who’s boss – you or technology?


34 thoughts on “Delusions of Genius, But Technology Wins…Again

  1. Aligaeta January 26, 2011 / 6:52 AM

    I will not claim defeat. I gave birth to children of the technological age. I did my part. They can do theirs. In all seriousness, it’s a great feeling mastering these technological challenges.

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:19 PM

      It would be nice to actually master something. I just do enough to get by! In about ten years, I’ll have some free techie help, too 🙂

  2. 2blu2btru January 26, 2011 / 7:23 AM

    I have a printer/scanner/fax/copy thingie like this…the numbers are different. Mine was easy to set up (I just popped in the ink and pressed a few buttons, and the other languages were in a different section). I set up the fax, but didn’t connect the printer to the computer (genius, I know!), so I still have to put the disk in and all. So you are a few steps up the genius scale with installation (I just shop for my level of genius a little better, it seems ;-)).

    Has your new “business office” (as my printer is described) made a big impact? I usually have to print a hard copy of my stories before I can see all the mistakes. Does this happen to you, too, or do you not print until the bitter end?

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:23 PM

      Maybe you are a better shopper, but my printer was really easy to set up on my PC…it was my husband’s PC that gave me fits 🙂 I will see next week if I got the fax set up right. I’m crossing my fingers…

      I do print hard copies of my stories, but I haven’t written much lately (therefore not much need to print.) I do have a story almost done that I’d like to post soon. I’m the same way, though – I can’t see typos on the computer screen.

  3. duke1959 January 26, 2011 / 8:06 AM

    I did abit of research on your printer problem. A couple of things. One is ein options ( or setup) it may have a place for you to check to tell the printer how long you want to hold old on to print jobs. You also may want to check in your control panel for printers and make sure that is your default printer. Which is easy to do. It may be a simple case of your printer not knowing what to do with this imformation so it holds it.

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:25 PM

      Thanks for the tips, Duke. Tech support was the last thing I expected, but it’s much appreciated 🙂

  4. Clar Bowman-Jahn January 26, 2011 / 8:36 AM

    We have an Epson fax/printer/scanner machine that is not wireless but all you have to do is plug it into an USB port and it works. I love it. It works with both of our computers. Good for you for figuring out your technology as much as you have. I still don’t have a smart phone. I use a tracfone that is pay as you go. And an analog TV. No cable or dish or high definition. We’re very happy with our untech ways. It does date us though. We’ll only change when we’re forced to.

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:49 PM

      Clar, don’t feel bad – I don’t have a smart phone, either…and I’ve NEVER sent a text message 🙂 The only reason I got a new cell phone last year is because I accidentally washed mine. (I had it for five years before that happened.)

      As long as you can do what you need to do without technology tripping you up, I think you’re doing okay 🙂 Thanks for sharing your ‘relationship’ with technology!

  5. deehsarsiavo January 26, 2011 / 10:57 AM

    I can totally get your feeling of accomplishment on this one =D I have a friend who’s not too good with computers, but recently she came and told me in great detail about how she configured her anti-virus to update itself using the new proxy server.
    This same friend came to me later without any idea on how to share a screen on Skype though.

    Kudos on figuring out the printer though. lets hope you can get away with more later =p


    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:52 PM

      Thanks for your support, deehsarsiavo! Technology has a way of making me feel smug when I do figure something out, and then it knocks me right back down the next minute 🙂 I don’t suppose that will ever change.

      I can relate to your friend…I don’t know how to use Skype at all…

  6. 36x37 January 26, 2011 / 11:48 AM

    Ha! I love this post. I went literally 6 months without printing a single thing for the very same reasons you listed above.

    Personally, I think written/pictorial instructions are the devil. Thank God for children with technical savvy.

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:54 PM

      The thing about picture instructions is that they make me feel even dumber because I can’t even follow a drawing. On kids toys, we’ve resorted to just looking at the toy pictured on the outside of the box and then we hide the ‘spare parts’ 🙂 I’ll be fine with my children being more savvy than me, until they start charging for tech support….but then, I guess I can just charge them rent, so we’re even 🙂

      I’m glad you stopped by!

  7. Miss Rosemary January 26, 2011 / 1:23 PM

    Very funnily written though if it were me I would have punched the thing a long time ago. Keep at it, someone will know how to fix it 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:56 PM

      Uh-oh, Miss Rosemary – sounds like you’ve got a bit of a temper (or a shortage of patience)! I am afflicted with both, but my stubborn streak overpowers them 🙂

      I do hope I can fix it (or find someone who can). Thanks!

  8. Carol Ann Hoel January 26, 2011 / 4:24 PM

    I roll up into the fetal position and cry when something goes wrong, or when something must be set up or constructed, that has anything to do with anything related to a computer. Seriously. The tangle of cords under your desk looks like the epitome of organization compared to the mess under my desk. My best bet is to find someone to help me fast. I am impressed with your expertise in setting up your printer. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 7:59 PM

      Hehehe. I can relate to the curling up and crying (that’s what I’d do if I didn’t get so mad that I couldn’t figure it out!)

      The cords under my desk have been in worse shape, but my husband tried to organize them a couple years ago when we had to move the desk to paint the walls. I wish I could claim expertise got the printer set up, but I think it was more a matter of luck.

  9. Jguno January 26, 2011 / 5:31 PM

    It was so fun. And the upper hand must be technology, definitely. I major Computer Science and I have destiny to lose to technology. I sometimes think “It’s enough, I already know about tech so much” but that doesn’t last no more than one week. I think it is sad but true that nobody wins the game with technology. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 8:01 PM

      Jguno, I think if anyone has a chance to beat technology, it would be you (with the Computer Science major and all.) If you can’t get the upper hand, I may as well give up 🙂

  10. Brown Eyed Mystic January 26, 2011 / 6:39 PM

    Janna. You do it again. Haha.

    And I guess, I should have the upper hand (psst. . . the technology-zombie aint around, so I got to get this off QUICK).

    But then on second thoughts, I do not have a printer cum fax cum scanner. So perhaps I am plain lucky? 😉


    • jannatwrites January 26, 2011 / 8:03 PM

      I’m glad you got a laugh…I think you are lucky you don’t have an all-in-one printer to deal with. They can be a feisty lot, apparently 🙂

      I’m glad you stopped by tonight, BrownEyed!

  11. nrhatch January 26, 2011 / 10:24 PM

    I’m not very tech savvy. When I figure out how to do something (like you did ~ congrats!), I do a happy dance. When I can’t figure it out, I find someone else to walk me through it.

    I keep thinking that I need to understand a bit more about how the computer is connected to the mouse and the screen and the modem and the printer/scanner/copier but . . . then it goes on the back burner until I need to figure out how to do something specific.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2011 / 7:35 PM

      I do that too, Nancy – it’s hard to get motivated to learn all that stuff when everything is working fine. When it comes to hardware (printers, hard drives, monitors) my skills are near non-existent. I can handle my own on software usage, so I guess it evens out.

  12. Artswebshow January 27, 2011 / 5:26 AM

    Lol, sounds like you were victorious. even though victory involved a compromise.
    Me and technology fight all the time eventually i give up. technology wins. lol

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2011 / 7:36 PM

      I guess it could be considered a (small) victory. I’m surprised that you fight with technology. With your web show and all, I thought you had it beat 🙂

  13. Melissa January 27, 2011 / 11:01 AM

    Ha! I know this feeling of frustration. I’m only 25, and in the generation that still “knows everything” ( 😉 ) but technology is becoming the bane of my very office existence. I’ve somehow become the Tech Go To Chick within our office and I loathe every piece of technology coating these halls. Our own dinosaur printer/copier/scanner grapples with me daily.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2011 / 7:44 PM

      Too funny, Melissa! I bet you know more than I do (I think I might be part of the generation that “used to know everything”.)

      Several years ago, I walked into the office copy room to find another lady staring at the copier. Her print job stalled and the screen showed there was a paper jam. I had no idea what I was doing, but I started flipping open doors, lifting rollers, pretending like I could follow the diagram on the 4-inch touch screen until finally, I retrieved the paper and opened and closed the drawers in the proper order to satisfy the thing. It resumed printing and the lady thought I knew what I was doing (which was a BAD thing!)

  14. acleansurface January 27, 2011 / 9:27 PM

    Just the other day my 10 year old said, “No offense or anything, but you’re kind of terrible at technology.” Gee thanks, kid.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2011 / 9:35 PM

      Nice! How are we supposed to not be offended when they say things like that? My oldest usually just gives me the blanket statement, “you’re weird.” I just smile and tell him, “yes, and you are my son.”

  15. Addy January 27, 2011 / 11:07 PM

    Truly enjoyed the post Janna! Technology is something that I lost my virginity to a long time back, but I have learnt to compromise and adjust with it in my never-ending-althogh-I-want-to relationship 🙂 Nevertheless I do put a fight with it, “if necessary” ( Mostly not needed at all!)

    Best Wishes,

    • Addy January 27, 2011 / 11:11 PM

      Oh and I finally did Subscribe to your blog, Hope you don’t mind!

      Thanks 🙂

      • jannatwrites January 28, 2011 / 9:28 PM

        Thank you, Addy. And, of course, I don’ t mind at all 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 28, 2011 / 9:27 PM

      It sounds like you and technology are a good match up, Addy! I think you can hold your own, which is a good thing because I don’t think you and technology will ever part ways 😉 Thanks for your visit today!

  16. Val Erde January 28, 2011 / 10:23 AM

    Usually I have the upper hand but anything to do with techno-innards and I’m hopeless. I know the thing, though of trying to get around to (ie, have the courage to) open the box and take out and connect and then learn to use these things… it takes me ages, too. And I’ve also been known to walk around boxes for a long time.

    Personally I loathe the all-in-one machines. We’ve got one, but it’s nowhere near as good as the stand-alone ones.

    • jannatwrites January 28, 2011 / 9:53 PM

      I haven’t tried the other functions on the printer yet, but so far, the printer part is fine. I still have my old printer though; I have a brand new ink cartridge to use and I paid too much money to just waste it!

      Maybe technology will let us win a round one of these days…Thanks for relating to my experience, Val – I’m glad you stopped by.

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