The Copy Machine is the Debil

The Copy Machine is the Debil

Please make no mistake when I say that copiers and printers are the debil! As a computer technician, it is my job to fix, resolve, and repair the copiers and printers. I had been at war with the Ricoh copier at one of my three schools for a month. Here is how it went down.

Meeting the Debil for the First Time

In August, the principals return, and teachers follow a few weeks after. The first issue I am called on is the Ricoh copier machine is not printing. The copier is leased and not really owned or maintained by the school. However, as a technician, I have to try to resolve why the copier is not printing. Come to find out the copier is set using a passcode. Passcodes are assigned numbers to identify how many pages each user prints or copies on the machine. The issue? The user attempts to print from their machine, and the print job sits in queue, never printing anything.

My supervisor helped me work through getting the principal working on the Ricoh machine. However, the process was so long and complicated; it took us nearly an hour or more to resolve the issue. At the time, I was so overwhelmed with the process, and I decided to worry about the method later when I had a little time.

Months Later…

Skipping forward to December, it is time to address the Ricoh copier. The staff is using the color laser printer, and it is becoming expensive! Only half the staff can print to the copy machine.

Getting Ready for the Battle

I get my Macbook and head to the office to see if I can figure out how to set up my machine’s print job. I fail miserably. Oh well, at least I tried. So I reach out to a few of my co-workers and ask if they are familiar with the Ricoh setup. Paul decides to join the battle.

The Long Gruesome Battle

On Wednesday, Paul visits my school to begin the attack on the copy machine. The battle begins at roughly 10:30 am. At noon we are going around circles; sometimes it works, and other times it won’t work at all. We are scratching our heads with the inconsistency. We finally decide to take a break and head off for lunch.

Returning to the Battle

At 12:30, we resume the battle with the machine. Paul is now making some progress and has three machines printing successfully. However, we still cannot get one machine to print. We try to troubleshoot by looking for similar issues, narrowing out what worked or did not work, and finally trying to reduplicate what did work. No matter how many times we would reduplicate the process, the one machine still would not print. Before we know it, it is 4:00 pm. We leave the battle half defeated.

War with the Debil

At the end of the week (Friday), I decide it is time to beat the machine. One of us is going to come out a winner, and hopefully, that winner is me! Before I head back to the school, I visit a veteran technician who outlines how these machines work. He talks me through the steps of setting up passcodes and users on the machine. It appears that Paul and I were on the right track; however, he is stumped why our attempts were not working for all devices.

I quickly resolve a printing error issue on a teacher’s MacBook and head off to my third school to fight with the debil. I had my fancy shades on, with my clogger shoes, jeans, and tee ready for battle. I intend to win. I get my machine and wipe out the print setting and attempt to retrace the steps as explained. I hit the print button and…. (crickets)

OK, so this was not a good start, so I message our remote technician she is having issues getting the Mac machines to print on the Ricoh; we begin brainstorming together what has not been detected yet. We finally narrow it down; it is a browser issue. However, how do we solve it? How do we get it to work on Chrome?

Along came Paul, my best tech buddy; we share information we discovered, and he gives it some thoughts and begins the process of troubleshooting. (M) our remote technician suggests setting up on a different browser other than Chrome and sees if that works, we are skeptical but have nothing to lose at this point. Paul chooses Safari even though (M) failed to get it to work on her end. We have success! We grab a testing machine and duplicate the process, and again another printing success! We set it up on my machine, and YES! It works! We quickly run the halls, adding the Ricoh printer to the teacher’s devices before the day ends. After all, it is Friday, and those teachers are ready to go home once the class is out.

A total of five technicians jumped into this battle, trying to resolve or narrow out possible issues with this Ricoh setup. One was from the networking department. Crazy.

The Fat Lady Sings

I am glad to say that Paul has defeated the Ricoh and the battle has been won. Who knew a copy machine could cause so much drama? Next time, I will be more prepared.

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