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Thread: frustrating 'puter printer problem

  1. #1
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    frustrating 'puter printer problem

    I have a HP all-in-one scanner/printer. Not a bad unit for the money. But, I can't find the option to make it collate when printing multiple copies of something. So, I went to the HP site and sent a question on this mini-issue. After three exchanges, the support tech handling this 'case' cannot understand what I am asking. She (named "Stella", if you can believe that) obviously simply does not know what the word 'collate' means. Doesn't matter much. On my want list, after a Barracuda chuck and wolverine type sharpening jig, I plan to get a good printer. I don't care to screw with low price printers that require me buying two to four ink cartridges a month. I want a photo-quality printer with large capacity cartridges. Problem there is, at local Staples, they have 'ink jet' printers, 'laser jet' and 'laser'. I know about the first and last but don't have a clue what 'laser jet' means compared to 'laser'. And, apparently, the Staples store operates without employees. At least I couldn't find any last time there.
    This probably wasn't a question. Just a vent.

  2. #2
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    A question and an observation.

    Q: What's the model number of your HP all-in-one unit?

    O: As far as I know, HP owns the name "LaserJet". HP came out with the first laser printer back in the '80s ... the HP LaserJet. It was followed by the HP LaserJet Series II, and eventually by a myriad of other "LaserJet" models. Go ahead and lump the LaserJets in with the 'lasers'.

    On the other hand, Okidata makes laser-like printers that use LEDs instead of laser beams and rotating mirrors. Fewer moving parts, and the "print head" usually has a longer-term warranty. The end result is comparable, but those LEDs sure seem to crank out BLACK blacks.

    [Disclaimer: The above was current several years ago. The industry could have changed a lot since then.... ]

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Burton View Post
    A question and an observation.

    Q: What's the model number of your HP all-in-one unit?

    O: As far as I know, HP owns the name "LaserJet". HP came out with the first laser printer back in the '80s ... the HP LaserJet. It was followed by the HP LaserJet Series II, and eventually by a myriad of other "LaserJet" models. Go ahead and lump the LaserJets in with the 'lasers'.

    On the other hand, Okidata makes laser-like printers that use LEDs instead of laser beams and rotating mirrors. Fewer moving parts, and the "print head" usually has a longer-term warranty. The end result is comparable, but those LEDs sure seem to crank out BLACK blacks.

    [Disclaimer: The above was current several years ago. The industry could have changed a lot since then.... ]
    My HP is a Deskjet F4180. Which begs the question: how do you jet a desk?
    I'm interested in better quality photo prints and larger ink capacity. I buy about four black cartridges a month now, at $14.00 a shot. The whole unit only cost $58.00 new. So, I'm repurchasing it every month. The cartridge is only 5 ml. That's just drops.

  4. #4
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    Watching with rapt anticipation as I am about to buy an all-in-one printer myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    Watching with rapt anticipation as I am about to buy an all-in-one printer myself.
    Look for cartridge capacity as major consideration. Except for small footprint, the all in ones don't do any more than separate units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Look for cartridge capacity as major consideration. Except for small footprint, the all in ones don't do any more than separate units.
    I'll make capacity my top concern. Footprint is not too much of an issue for me as the one machine will replace my flatbed scanner, laserjet printer, desktop photocopier, and an HP Photosmart inkjet. I should have room left over!
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    Frank, I've got an HP PSC 1610 all-in-one (no fax), and it seems to stretch the cartridges out pretty well for me. They are bigger, but also pricier. I think they are in the $28 to $32 range (each, for tri-color or black), as I recall. I've had it for about 3 years now, and it has held up well. I suspect you print more than I do though, and I don't know what's currently on the market in the "big cartridge" category.
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  8. #8
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    Frank, on your all in one.

    The little collate daig check box may come up "after" you choose
    more than one copy.

    The collate check box will not come up on my hp printers on one copy only when
    trying to print a pdf file.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    My HP is a Deskjet F4180.
    Frank, I downloaded the F4100-series manual, and sure enough ... no "Collate" option.

    But as I thought it through, it made pretty good sense. Let's say that you have a 136-page document that you want to print 3 collated copies of. For the printer to handle the collating, it would have to be able to store all 136 pages in its memory. Since printer manufacturers don't know in advance how large of a job the users might want to send to a given printer (maybe it could store and collate a 5-page job, but not a 20-page job?) they probably just choose to leave that feature out altogether.

    Which brings us to your application software. The application (word processor or whatever) has an advantage, because it has direct access to the original source material. It can send pages to the printer in whatever order it's capable of, and then it can turn right around and do the same thing again and again. The sticky wicket is whether the application in question was programmed with this kind of paper control.

    For example, here are some screenshots of the Print dialog from Microsoft Word 2002:The "Collate" option on this dialog is "Word-wide" and not specific to any printer or driver. (I switched between several printers to make sure.)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Burton View Post
    Frank, I downloaded the F4100-series manual, and sure enough ... no "Collate" option.

    But as I thought it through, it made pretty good sense. Let's say that you have a 136-page document that you want to print 3 collated copies of. For the printer to handle the collating, it would have to be able to store all 136 pages in its memory. Since printer manufacturers don't know in advance how large of a job the users might want to send to a given printer (maybe it could store and collate a 5-page job, but not a 20-page job?) they probably just choose to leave that feature out altogether.

    Which brings us to your application software. The application (word processor or whatever) has an advantage, because it has direct access to the original source material. It can send pages to the printer in whatever order it's capable of, and then it can turn right around and do the same thing again and again. The sticky wicket is whether the application in question was programmed with this kind of paper control.

    For example, here are some screenshots of the Print dialog from Microsoft Word 2002:The "Collate" option on this dialog is "Word-wide" and not specific to any printer or driver. (I switched between several printers to make sure.)
    Hey, great tip. I'll check it out after church. Going back and forth with the tech support girl who doesn't understand what collate means. Granted my printer is a low end, low price jobby from Wal-Mart. Up to now, I have always considered printers disposable items. Two years life, tops. But, now I want a good unit and will start shopping.

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