Printing noes

Posted on Oct 3, 2022

At what point do you just say no?

My job consists of me being the only full-time dedicated admin, which means I end up tackling a whole bunch of things just because I happen to be there. Unfortunately, one of those job happens to be dealing with printers.

My last job resulted in me moving to a telecoms based role, away from a more desktop support orientated position, where I dealt with a range of Xerox MFDs - which at the time, I was quite chuffed about. Looking back at the desktop support role, printers weren’t actually that much of a problem as the devices were all pretty modern and well documented and maintianed. Parts were easy to replace and the main problem was typically colleagues going in and trying to replace toners, transfer units and so on by themselves, ultimately making things worse. My current job isn’t so fortunate.

I’ve had a ticket in my queue for a month or so. One reason is that I’ve been busy with everything else going on, but the main one is that it’s a printer. I finally went to tackle this last Friday. I checked the ticket to have a look over the problem again before I hiked up the five floors to the office:

  • new printer
  • can’t connect to it


On entering my colleagues office, I discovered that the printer was infact not new. It spawned from the depths of hell when my sister was five. She’s twenty three now. It’s an HP 2600n and looks exactly like it came from 2004.

I spent a good two hours on this with no avail. Windows support is a no-go according to HP diectly, only linux support is available, where even at that stage the support matrix has it listed as “end of support”. Our CUPS server actually runs on a FreeBSD instance, which is normally fine, but in this case we’re getting nowhere even with the HPLIP package.

I knew what my answer was to this is, and that’s before I even looked at the manual page of the printer and seeing wannacry, meltdown and spectre focused documents. I’m all for making technology last, getting the most out of it, not creating waste and destroying the environment, but good god - this is just torture for both me and the printer.

So… at what point do you just say no?