Ms. Epson . . . .

No sooner do I think I have “Bertha” figured out — page controls good; ink supply fine; color fidelity and clarity marvelous — then she reports, more or less, “Cannot print.  Need Cyan.”

How about some Light Gray to chase that Cyan?

Nothing comes easily, so all adults know, and ordering ink proved no exception: I expect HP’s computer failed to recognize and vet mine on the way to online checkout.

On Skype, sez I!

The computer-phone call to call center worked, but “next business day” might be Monday, so push Bertha’s off button and, oh no, she hangs and orders her power supply unplugged.

Good grief!

Well she ain’t shakin’,  guzzlin’, spittin’, or checkin’ herself out now, but even quiet, dormant, sleeping, I wonder what the hell HP put in that moon unit so attractive to eclectic physicians and artists.

I’ve a mind to triple the prices of sales I’m not seeing and pretend to consign the print business to my old custom shop, which always got its share of Washington’s museum work.  Resuming that relationship would not be a bad idea, but as in the olden days, I get a kick out of seeing what I do — in photography, have done — printed for viewing in real space.  And then too, as now and then it happens, a few of these things have made it on to walls owned by people I know but a little bit or not at all.

Totally cool.

“Jim — We are recycling a few printers, and I wanted to know if you had any interest. They are Epson Stylus Pro 9880, eight color 48″ roll fed ink jets.”

Don’t think I’m not tempted!

On the other hand, I believe I’m suffering enough.

Next episode of “Photography with Bertha”: Monday morning or early afternoon.

Printing from Mumma Farm Snaps

Antietam National Battlefield Park, March 10, 2013


Window, Outbuilding, Mumma Farm, Antietam National Battlefield P

Ah sweah “Bertha” — HPB9180 — has a mind o’ her own and won’t do nothin’ consistent apart from swillin’ ink around suppertime, just pumpin’ it through her system, spittin’ it out in a little cup, keepin’ track o’ which micropores are open which are clogged.

For all that, she’s pretty good!

Should anyone buy a print, and it arrives off-centered, my permission is hereby given to cut and mat according to taste.

“Giclée” print makers of a certain masochistic bent know how well HP’s expensive dinosaur and headache print — and what I get are technically gorgeous and flawless archival prints — and how badly, how tortuously, how hanged and damnable its software has been to make up for its mechanical prowess.

And just to make sure photographers owning the B9180 suffer on their own, HP, by and large, has supported the absolute worst, most aggressively sabotaging customer service in the world: in one naive episode, the “tech” (overseas) got me to download and load the software for a related machine, which provided me with minimum utility on the unit at hand.


There is a Yahoo user’s group.

I haven’t followed it too closely, but I think I might go to it as one may got to any number of social help groups for victims of one sort of abuse or another.

I’ll tell them, “My name is Jim, and I’ve been beaten up really good by Bertha, my printer!”

The fact is I’d replace here if she didn’t turn out prints like a pro.

You just got to treat her right, I guess.

Lord knows the other models in printing have their problems too, but I doubt any drive their owners as crazy as “B” (9180).