Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Silverware, Grenades, And Toner Cartridges

Another sign of spring: fresh toner. My printer was down to its last few ashes of toner. This is a nuisance since I use the printer in several ways: I print out the strips at the micro-newspaper size to see how they hold up; after I sketch my roughs at a size smaller than the finish, I scan, enlarge, then print them en route to the light table; and today, while I work on my Sunday, I enlarge and print out the sections (I don't draw my Sundays in one piece.)

I've had this printer since '98, I think, and I change the toner once every few months. And I'm still amazed when it I lift the hood and slide a new cartridge inside. I have trouble fitting forks and knives into a silverware drawer. I've never been able to change the film in a camera without lobbing it like a grenade missing its pin. When I worked in retail, nothing turned my blood to water faster than the dread streak of red on the register tape that signaled the need to be replaced. So it's a miracle of design that the NEC printer takes the cartridge as naturally as a baby taking a pacifier.