Sunday, 17 September 2006

My desk showing the HP Officejet 5610 and the HP Pavilion computer with 17-inch flat-panel displayThe new HP Officejet 5610 is now officially configured and ready to go. But I don't know what to call it. Primarily, I purchased this piece of equipment to function as a printer. In addition to printing, however, it also provides scanning, fax and photocopying. All for less than $200. When I spoke with dad yesterday he recalled that he had purchased his fax machine in the late nineties for $170. Down goes the cost of technology. Up goes our level of satisfaction.

And I'm well satisfied. Generally trepidacious when confronting new IT bits and pieces, I got the thing rolling in about an hour's time. I painlessly configured it yesterday morning.

But some questions remain. I've set the fax to receive after four rings — the default setting is five — but I wonder what happens if I pick up the phone and find that someone is trying to send me a fax. Do I just hang up? In that case, the fax won't get through. I wish there were some way to divert the call from my handset to the fax.

It was a surprise to be able to set the new piece of equipment up so easily. Everything was in the box. I inserted the CD and followed the instructions, and voila! I'm online. So when I went to buy the broadsheets yesterday morning, I also picked up a ream of A4 paper. They didn't tell me that, actually, you need to have some A4 paper on hand when you set up the machine, but I muddled through by using some old sheets that already had some printing on them. I wondered if this would hurt the new machine, but evidently it doesn't, because it's working fine now.

I just printed the assignment of a classmate. The deal is this: each week the people in my advanced writing class who have been assigned to have their feature articles workshopped must e-mail their assignment to all the other class members by Sunday at 2:00 p.m. It just happened that, this week, the girl who was due to be workshopped sent hers out on Saturday instead. That's fine: earlier is better.

But I find it easier to read things on paper. So I printed it out.

The cost of replacement ink cartridges is also a bit of a worry. They're such tiny things, these cartridges. At Officeworks they are worth $62 a pair, but they are being offered on eBay at $50 the pair. I wonder what I'll do. It's a bit of a risk purchasing from an eBay vendor but, then again, saving ten dollars is always nice if you can do it.

The printer (or whatever you want to call it) is tiny. If I lay down the two dictionaries I keep on my desk (a Macquarie and a Nuovo Ragazzini English-Italian one) they together take up as much room as the printer. It's lovely.

Anyway, I programmed (in a trice!) my parents' fax number into the new machine as a quick-dial button.

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