All Fall Down

Yesterday was one of those days where everything went wrong.

1. I had orders to print, and they were all rush orders that had to go out today.  So I start printing on the 7800 and of course it starts leaving ink just at the edge of the right side of the image (if you are facing the printer).  I had this happen a few weeks ago, cleaned the rollers etc. and for a while the problem went away, but not completely.  So I decided to go to my backup printer, the 4800.

And sure enough, similar problem.  But now that printer was leaving some ink at the top leading edge of the image.

So I was going to finally have to try and figure out what was going on.

You stare at the 7800, and try and imagine how that ink is winding up on the paper.  Close your eyes, and think about the print head, the rubber rollers, the little curled wheels that guide the paper and keep it flat, and the only thing that makes sense is that ink is being picked up on the print head.  Fresh, wet, ink.

Is there a way to flip the print head up so you can clean it off and look at it?  Maybe, but I don’t know how.

And then it hits me – the maintenance tank.

The maintenance tank is where extra ink is deposited, after each trip of the print head, and it has to be coming from there.  So I pull out maintenance tank (which is fairly new) and sure enough, there’s a lot of fresh, wet ink on the top plastic part of the tank.  So with paper towel, I clean that as best I can – getting ink on my fingers which is still there – and pop the tank back in.

The problem is that I can’t really test this since there’s still ink (according to my theory) on the bottom of the print head.

So I let it dry and go back to futzing with the 4800.

Eventually, after several prints, they start coming out clean (although I haven’t done anything to it).

So let’s see.  I got 7 clean prints, and wasted about 10 sheets of paper, both silver rag and Epson “F” paper (just to see if it had anything to do with the paper width, the platen gap etc.)

I remember thinking that compared to a darkroom enlarger, inkjet technology was just so freakin’ complicated.  The enlarger could get misaligned (though that never happened to me in 20 years) and the light could burn out (that never happened either).   Whatever else happened to mess up prints was generally your own fault, not the machinery.

I’ve yet to re-test the 7800, hoping to let whatever ink there is on the printhead dry.

2. Given that I’ve had the new blackberry (curve) for less than a week, I decided to see if there was a way to improve the photography store (done in wordpress) for display on the tiny screen.  And sure enough, there are plug-ins that will help with this, though the best way is to have a subdomain such as where you’ve done a design for mobile devices.  That I haven’t done — yet.

But I did install a plug-in and it could detect what device the user was getting to the site from and would switch style sheets and a few other things if it saw that the user was arriving from a mobile device.  All was working well.  When I was at my desktop in Firefox, I got my normal site.  When I was going through the Blackberry, it was a bit better than it was before, though still lots of issues.

This morning, for some reason I went into Internet Explorer to check something from my desktop and guess what showed up: yep, the mobile edition which is a totally stripped down version of the site.  So I removed that plug-in.

Today I just need to package and fedex stuff… so let’s see what the third thing is.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

3 thoughts on “All Fall Down”

  1. Yev — yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been looking into. It means recreating the site with various modifications in a subdomain, and either having a link to it, on the home page, or some switcher that is reliable enough to switch you to the mobile domain. As far as the Curve goes – I just read tons of user reviews before upgrading to it. So far, so good – though if those keys were just a touch bigger…

  2. I consider that a waste of time. The Android-based phones (G1 and future models), the iPhone and others use real browsers. The mobile-web idea has jumped the shark, and the phones using it will be gone in a couple of years. Don’t waste time coding for it.

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