How to Print Anything in 18 Painful Steps

Need to send a fax to an Asian bank or print a label to return everything you've ever bought to Amazon? Follow this brief 18 step guide to making magic very slowly.

How to Print Anything in 18 Painful Steps

Have you ever needed to send a fax to an Asian bank? Or sign something in a way that looks realistic rather than a pixelated, legally questionable scribble that some app produces?

It's OK to fantasize about this.

Stop panicking, and start rejoicing at the revolution of convenience and only mild insanity that somewhat modern office technology provides. Printers are here!

Now, it can be a little tricky getting your printer set up the first time, but luckily, you'll only have to do this every single time you print, due to your constantly moving desk, upgrades to your operating system, the rarity of having to print anything and, I believe, the weather.

Step 1: Find the nearest three printers. The first printer you find will be out of paper (you'll know, as someone will be standing around it saying "it's out of paper"), the second one will never show up on the network (though everyone else will claim "I don't know man, it works for me... try IT") but with any luck, the third one will be it.

Step 2: Go back to your computer and install the appropriate printer driver. You can do this by going to e.g. and poking around in random menus for around 30 minutes. It's like Costco, they like to make it difficult so you download more things you think ou might need later, like Japanese OCR software that kind of works, but only on Windows.

Step 3: Re-install the printer driver after it fails. Are you on the VPN? Do you need to be? What was the IT Helpdesk URL again? Wait, do you need to use that IT config software to install drivers, or go to the website?

Step 4: Install the CORRECT printer driver. Be aware the SP4510DTNE is NOT the same driver as that for the SP4510DTNE-A. Whew! Almost created a bit of needless churn there.

Step 5: Restart your computer as instructed. Doop-dee-doop

Step 6: Wait 37 minutes for all system updates to install. Why did this need to be right now? What's happening on Instagram anyway?

Step 7: (an hour later) OK you're ready. Print the document!!

Step 8: Forget about it for a while. The printer is so far away. Besides, you really need to read about a comparison of several cameras you're thinking of getting from Amazon before returning all of them except the one you forget to return until outside the window.

Step 9: Walk back over to the printer and fetch it. This is exciting! You're basically a hacker. Does anyone else even know how to do this? This is what makes you invaluable.

Step 10: Try to figure out which piece of paper is the one you printed. Why isn't it in here? Wait... this page of garbage that says "Error: Invalid Font. Stacktrace to follow A6BF 8A42 48F1 AABO (etc.)" has your email in it. Is it this?

Step 11: At this point, cancel all future meetings for the day.

Step 12: Go back to your desk, unplug your laptop it from the byzantine cobweb of peripherals, which will never quite work the same way again until you've rebooted. Take your newly liberated laptop back to the printer.

Step 13: Print again. Yes! It was that garbage!

Step 14: Install the *correct* printer driver. Leave the old one in there because there is actually no way to remove it.

Step 15: Print the document. When it says "network error", reconnect to the WiFi and VPN and then print again. Now try it without the VPN on. Ah! Seemed to go through.

Step 16: Wait around for a while. It seems that the legal department has, in the meantime, started printing something out in triplicate. How long is this thing? Man it's huge! Wait, is there even enough paper?

Step 17: Put in more paper, and wait for the legal document to finish printing.

Step 18: It's finished! And yours is the last page on top!

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