Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

At some point during the last 2 weeks we received, via UPS our new multifunction printer, a reconditioned (by manufacturer) Canon Pixma MP600. Our old HP had served us well for many years, but it is not compatible with the new PC and it, like the old PC was showing signs of age, so it was time. I searched both locally, and on the Internet for 2 full days for a replacement for our old friend. I found several machines that had received rave reviews, and that seemed to have all the qualities we desired. Naturally, they were all more expensive than our budget allowed.

As I headed to bed the second evening I was mentally exhausted. I was near giving up. I included what seemed like a rather selfish request in my prayers that night. I requested what had become to feel like an impossible solution, a printer that would fulfill all my needs for a reasonable price. The next morning I resumed my search. For some reason I found myself searching a shop I had never considered, Sears. I was absolutely amazed when this particular printer, one I had seen reviewed and was impressed with, but it was no longer manufactured popped up for a mere fraction of the original price. This printer was not only within our budget, it was well below the price we had set as our limit! I jumped on it!

While the new printer is compatible with our new PC, and OS, it was manufactured prior to the release of our OS, therefore, we were unable to load the software and hook it up without an extra download. We went to the web site the instructions indicated, and found this particular model was not listed. Uh-oh! Now what?

I spent most of that day searching for a solution. I searched through every link provided on this website. Finally, late in the afternoon, I gave up on my DIY attempts, and called the 800# provided. Brenda, the gal who answered was quite helpful, and eventually led me to a different website which provided me with a list of downloads.

Now I had a different problem. There were probably half a dozen different downloads to choose from, and with my limited knowledge I was having a hard time choosing between them. I briefly considered just downloading all of them, but then I noticed the size of some of these downloads. I had a feeling I knew which one we needed, and naturally it was one of the larger ones. I hoped I was wrong. Again, I spent hours searching for information which might give me a clue as to which download I might need.

Once again, I had to admit defeat. I sent an email to the customer service folks. By the time I awoke the next morning, there was a response waiting for me in my inbox. Bobby sent me a very nice note, with the information I needed, as well as the option to contact Canon for a CD which would take care of all our problems should our ridiculously slow dial-up connection be unable to handle the download in a timely manner.

Approximately 2 hours later I had managed to download the files I needed and Pa began hooking our new machine up. I looked through the set up instructions and was rather nervous about the procedure. It seemed rather complicated. Upon running the largest of the downloads, the "driver" I was amazed at how quickly it proceeded, and was tickled to note it was actually much easier on our OS than the instructions indicated. It was almost too easy! That in itself made me nervous.

We got the new printer hooked up, placed the paper in the feeder, turned the machine on and ran the initial printing procedure. The machine hummed pleasantly, reassuringly. The lights flashed as the instructions said they should. So far so good. We waited, expectantly, nervously. The machine continued to hum but nothing seemed to be happening! I began peering at the machine, my face close to it's face, anxiously searching for an answer to the apparent delay, hoping it wasn't a malfunction. The kids inched closer as well.

All of a sudden a door in front opened down with a clang. I jumped and screamed. The kids jumped and laughed. There I was providing my family with entertainment again....The paper began moving. It moved forward, then backward, It moved up, and it dropped down. Then it repeated the process. Fascinated, we all watched each little movement, and cheered as it finally began emerging printed with little black and blue squares.

Once that process was finished we decided we needed to print something else. I found a picture in my "sample" picture file and selected "print". Once again I jumped and screamed when the little door dropped. Then I stared in amazement as the picture printed in what seemed like lightening fast speed. I picked up the printed page and was again amazed at the quality of the colors. Awesome!

We're quite happy with our new printer, as well as the customer support we received from Canon. Now we just need to find a camera that fulfills all our needs, and just happens to fit within our budget. Basically, we need something that would be perfectly happy taking pictures in a bar or tavern (indoor low light), as well as in the desert at high noon (outside, full sun), runs on AA batteries, both rechargeable and, in case of emergencies, your regular grocery store AAs, and will be happy loading into both our new printer and our PC. So, tell me, just what do you suppose the odds are we will be able to find something to fit all these requirements for less than $300? Perhaps it's a good thing I believe in miracles?

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