Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Tale of Two Projects

Today was a project day. Bob and I worked in parallel - each with our own projects -each fraught with frustrations, deconstructions, reconstructions and semi success.  I was working on the printer, Bob on the windlass.
An unrelated photo, because I had no photos of my project!
While we were in Oregon I was having a real love - hate relationship with the printer.  When it works,  it performs beautifully. I was able to scan a lifetime of photos and put them on my laptop and share them with my son.  However, when it does not work it is a very different story.  I spent days on the pe with a tech guy (probably in India) and his attempts to fix it. I thought the issues were resolved,  which is why the printer was included in the crate and lugged down to Rhapsody. 

Today I needed to print some financial pages for the sale of our house in order to sign them and send them back to the States, so it was the first time that I pulled the printer out of its hole and attempted to call it into use. 

Problem #1 - The cord that I had packed in with the printer was the wrong cord.  It looks like a printer cord, but it is obviously not the right printer cord.  I had visions of trying to find a Radio Shack or some store of their ilk and trying to find a replacement.  I looked at the plug that was needed, and a light went off in my head,  the shape was the same shape as half of the cord used to charge the laptop. I was able to cannibalize the cord and get the printer powered up. 

Problem #2 - The laptop and the printer were not talking to each other.  This is the core of the problem that I was having in Oregon.  This is what the tech guy spent days working on. 
Pathways on the sea

Attempted solution #1- At home I was able to get them communicating through our home network. On Rhapsody the laptop is not yet hooked to the Internet (a project for another day). I tried to facilitate communication between the laptop and the printer with a cord. No luck. The laptop could not see the printer, and the printer appeared to be insisting on a wireless connection.

Attempted solution #2- I noticed there was a slot for an SD memory card. It looked to be the size as the card in our underwater camera. I got out the camera,  took out the card, inserted it in the printer, and sure enough, it fit. I was able to view all of the pictures on the card, and I  could have printed them if I so chose. (It made me realize that I have a lot of pictures sitting on the camera that I should do something with!)

My next attempt at being able to print the necessary papers involved hooking the tablet to the laptop to send the desired documents from the first device to the second, hooking up the card reader, copying the files to the card reader then inserting the card back into the printer and printing the files.

Everything but the last step worked. The only files that the printer will read off the card are photo files. My next thought was to bring up the documents on the laptop, take a picture of them and use the memory card to print them off.

However, in pushing every button, and reading every menu on the printer, I noticed that there is an email address for the printer.

Attempted solution #3- While the laptop is not connected to the internet, the phone is. I was able to pull up the needed files on the phone and send them by email to the printer.

Big smile.

Except...

I have no printer paper!

I found one sheet that was printed on only one side, fed it into the printer, and voilĂ , sucess. Now all I have to do is find some printer paper...

Within 15 minutes a neighbor from an adjacent boat dinghied over to say hello.

"Do you, by any chance, have some printer paper?" I asked.

"Yes I do," he replied "which is odd, since I don't have a printer."

He turned his dinghy around, zipped over to his boat around and returned with a stack of paper.

Ahh, the sweet sound of the printer working.

A roundabout success, and I am not convinced it will work every time, the printer is just like that, but it worked this time, the papers are printed, filled out and signed, ready to be dinghied to the Post Office in the morning.

All this time Bob has been working on getting our new windlass installed. (Yes, it finally arrived). His saga continues in the next post... 

We love to hear your comments.

  1. I have a similar relationship with our shipboard printer. I have recently changed from a wi-fi router that gets internet from a Bullet to a new router and a new Bullet... that I'm still learning to use. Add to that, the fact that every time I use the printer it seems that I must change out an ink cartridge or two. Expensive beasts, printers on boats. But... I have paper! Glad you got it working without assistance.

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    1. Let's talk routers next time we meet.

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