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Printer problems....

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Endoscope, Apr 23, 2005.

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  1. Endoscope

    Endoscope Guest

    The next door neighbour bought the my landlords old computer for £60. I'd
    spent a bit of time upgrading it with new/better bits and pieces and sorting
    out the crap that other residents had done to it.

    The blokes a bit of dickhead. He's shelled out for the Readers Digest 'Teach
    Yourself XP' book (it's got 98 on it), so I let it go.

    It's not as if the stuff was worth much in terms of resale value. I ripped
    most of it out of my clunky 120MHz pentium and I'd had a lot of use out of
    it. I did save the recently bought USB adapter card though.

    So, he buys a new printer and can't get it to work. He comes around and asks
    for some help so I go for a look.

    It's a USB printer and..... he's gone and plugged it into the network
    adapter card.

    OK, so it's not as bad as plugging the telephone line cord into the network
    adapter. I have seen someone plug something into a hole in the box with
    nothing behind it........ Yes.. they have got mobile phones with funky
    ringtones.

    Fair enough, I'm not Gods gift to my own asshole. Well, I might be. If I
    wasn't here it would lie on the floor and dry out. But.....

    I explain things and sell him my USB adapter, at cost. Lids off, plug in
    card, swear a lot, have serious arguments with what Windows thinks it's
    trying to do and finally succeed. Perhaps I should have read the manual(s).

    Anyway..... Hooray!! Working printer.

    He insists on bunging me some extra money for my services. I decline, he
    insists, I decline..... this goes on for a while.... I am forced.

    Six months later the printer stops working. Today, eight months later, he
    manages to drag me around to have a look at it. OK so I'm drunk and feeling
    affable.

    Sure enough the computer bitches about not being able to communicate with
    the printer and suggests some remedial action. There are also some other
    software bits and wongles going on so I kill/fix them first.

    In the meantime he's in my ear blithering about whose fault it might have
    been and what the thing does. Yadda yadda yadda.

    The suggested remedial action does not work. Sigh, I am not surprised so,
    not being an expert but thinking I know a bit I go and uninstall the printer
    software and then try to get rid of the USB card, via System, so I can
    reinstall the whole lot again.

    Hey, short of a complete rebuild, it's the natural reaction.

    Bugger, good old Windows, every time I kill the USB it sticks it back in
    there again. Aha, thinks I, I'll unplug it, kill it, and then plug it back
    in again. Lids off time again.....

    Retrospectively this would not work. The bugger already has the drivers and
    will just do the same stuff.

    I ask for a philips screwdriver and get a flat bladed one. Ahem, I ask for a
    crossheaded screwdriver.... perhaps I should have said pozidrive, bingo.
    Take out the screw and ease the USB card out.

    Now, I'm thinking I'll just dangle it out the side of the box with the cable
    still plugged in.

    There is no cable plugged into it!!!!! Hmmmm?

    So, I look around the back and... There it is.

    The USB cable from the printer is plugged into the network adapter card.

    Well, I ask him what happened and listen to some stuff about someone playing
    cards on the computer (again). I don't push it, he's insistant.... wasn't
    him. Fair enough, what's the point?

    Stick it all back together again. Plug the cable in the proper hole.
    Reinstall the software.

    Hooray!! Working Printer.

    He insists on bunging me some money for my services. I decline, he insists,
    I decline, he insists, I suggest a bottle of Cider, this goes on for a
    while.... I end up with the monetary equivalent of three bottles of Cider
    with 15p change.

    I am trying to give this shit up (or I'm not, it's other people messing with
    my head) so I buy a bottle of Cider some nice crackers some nice cheese and
    a couple of Korma sauces with £2 change, oops.

    And I'm sitting here tonight typing this shit and I've just put 2 and 2
    together to get 'the' answer.

    When Mr Neighbour first got the computer he sort of set it up on a table, as
    you do.

    This time, when I went around, he had a fully fledged (MFI type)
    computer/office desk thing with slidey out keyboard shelf and cubby holes
    for bits and pieces.

    Very AOL......

    Forgive me for thinking that he might have had to unplug the bits and pieces
    to get them into the new desk and plug them back in again.... with the USB
    cable in the network card.

    Oh no, someone was playing solitaire and that broke the printer.

    Snurk

    DNA
     
  2. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I have two new, identical Dells, with XP. After installing all my
    stuff on one, I image copied the hard drive to the other. Now they are
    absolutely identical, no? No! On the original one, whenever I plugged
    in the USB memory stick thing, three copies of the usb Zip drive icon
    would appear all over the desktop. The other machine was fine.

    Eventually, with some combination of things connected (can't remember
    which) I clicked a thing in the tray called "Safely Remove Hardware"
    and that fixed it. I think.

    John
     
  3. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    Pardon.... Which network adapter card has a USB socket? AFIK they all
    come with RJ45 (ethernet) sockets.

    SNIP
     
  4. Mac

    Mac Guest

    Right. That's what makes the story so funny. Genome's landlord is such a
    moron that he didn't realize he was putting a USB plug into an RJ45
    socket.

    Sheesh. Must EVERYTHING be explained to you! ;-)

    Before I got the hang of my laptop, I tried to put a USB mouse into the
    Ethernet port several times. But I must be slightly less of a moron than
    Genome's landlord, because I could tell it didn't feel right as it went
    in, and that prompted me to find the actual USB port.

    --Mac
     
  5. Colin Dawson

    Colin Dawson Guest

    There's no such thing as identical computers, even laptops of the same model
    have different combinations of parts.
    There used to be a running joke at one of my previous jobs. When we
    purchased 20 PC's, on one purchase order from a company, they'd send us 20
    PC's with "identical specification". The first thing we'd do it take the
    lids off, and see that we had 20 "Similair" machines, no two would have the
    same configuration. There'd be at least 5 different motherboards, 5
    different CD-Roms, we were lucky to get 2 floppy drives of the same brand, 2
    or maybe 3 hard drives all different sizes (even though we specified the
    same size for all).

    Thank god we were switched on enough to realise this and that ghosting the
    machines wouldn't work. We insisted on using the same network card, so we
    ordered them from a different supplier, even then we ended up with a couple
    of different versions of the same card!

    Colin.
     
  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Have they gone and changed Reality again?

    Unless I've missed a page, it's impossible for a USB to even anywheres
    _near_ fit into an RJ jack. It's like putting a 3/8" bolt into a 5/16"
    hole!

    Or, maybe, it's the Change of Reality I've been waiting for for all of
    these long years - after all, I always have been the round peg that
    everybody thinks should fit into a square hole.

    Should I sign this with one of my aliases? I do have a BAC somewhat
    greater than zero at the moment. Yeah, shame on me.

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  7. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest

    Endoscope wrote:
    <funny story about sausages and cider>

    At least he didn't complain about breaking off the convienient 'coffee
    cup holder' that comes out of the front of the box when he pushes that
    little button.
     
  8. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest


    For a minute I thought the OP must be having a lend of us to see if
    anyone would pick him up on the point of a USB plug actually being
    able to fit in a RJ45 socket. I've tried and tried but I just can't
    seem to get my USB plug to fit in....
     
  9. Genome

    Genome Guest

    No, but someone just sold him some duff CD-Rs and the drive he has is read
    only.

    DNA
     
  10. Mac

    Mac Guest

    Interesting. I just double-checked, and my USB mouse plug will definitely
    fit into the RJ45 jack on the back of my laptop. It is a Dell Latitude
    D600.

    I must admit I find this a bit perplexing! How could a USB plug fit into
    only some RJ45 jacks. Aren't they all pretty much the same size?

    Oh Well.

    --Mac
     
  11. Mac

    Mac Guest

    I Just double checked. My USB mouse plug fits into the RJ-45 jack on the
    back of my laptop (Dell Latitude D600). This is a fact. I offer no
    explanation, but I hope you will accept my word that I am not lying, and I
    hope you believe that I am intelligent enough to not be mistaken about
    this simple matter.

    Barring that, I hope you will defer to my ego and not contradict me, even
    if you secretly believe I am stupid or delusional. ;-)

    --Mac
     
  12. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    There are two types of USB commonly (not counting the USB mini type)
    used Type A and Type B. Type A is the wide flat plug and I could not
    get this to fit a RJ45 (8P8C) socket. On the other hand the Type B
    which is not so wide but a bit thicker will fit.
     
  13. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    I stand corrected. The only kind of USB plugs I've seen are the "A",
    the wide flat one, and the teeny tiny one at the other end, which I
    had ass-u-me-d was the "B" type.

    So, to prove my point, I took a big "A" USB plug, and started looking
    around the office for an unused RJ45 jack, and on the back of the
    DSL modem, there's a "USB" output which must be that other "B" they're
    talking about - it was almost exactly the same size and aspect ratio
    of an RJ connector.

    Thanks!
    Rich
     
  14. I read in sci.electronics.design that Rich Grise <>
    That's a 'C' type. The 'D' type is totally invisible to the naked eye.
     
  15. Barry Jones

    Barry Jones Guest

    I'm gonna regret admitting this, but I've put a USB plug in an ethernet
    socket on the back of this laptop. I was too lazy to turn the laptop
    around so I could see what I was doing. It actually holds in quite
    nicely. Feels like the real thing.

    I was amazed and relieved that the ethernet card still worked. I guess
    you can short out all the pins in the ethernet socket without popping
    anything. In fact, I proved it!

    All in the name of science, of course.
     
  16. Colin Dawson wrote:

    I don't know who you were dealing with, but a couple decades ago
    I worked for a Systems Integration house here in AZ. We went to
    absolutely ridiculous lengths to get identical parts for all the
    puters we sold a given customer.

    Frinst, we got a really huge contract (two _hundred_ 386's
    running custom-written QNX-based software, rows and rows of PLC
    cabinets, conveyor-belts and associated hardware for them to
    control, cute little keypads in steel boxes for the zip-coders to
    use, dozens and dozens of shoebox-sized laser barcode scanners,
    hundreds of videocameras and video switchers to keep an eye on all
    the machinery from a few locations, huge welded steel cabinets that
    housed three to four puters, four color monitors with touchscreens
    and six B/W video screens, and on and on...) with the USPS and boy,
    was I glad all the machines were indeed identical when I had to go
    to Texas to teach their "techs". They "fixed" problems by following
    onscreen prompts (written by us after many allnighters drawing fault
    trees) to replace whatever broke out of huge crates of spares we
    shipped with the as-builts, like preloaded HDs; just plug 'n' play.

    Mind you, lots of the stuff was built in-house; the video
    switchers, the keypads, the clutch-brake controllers on the belts,
    and like that. _All_ of the puters were built up from boxes and
    boxes of cards etc. and _all_ of the drives were loaded in-house.
    From floppies. By hand. "Drive imaging" wasn't even a pipe dream
    back then.

    Oh, and one of the hardware engineers (not me) was nearly fired
    because he wrote up a joke spec for an "Industrial-Grade Rat" that
    would stand up to abuse a mouse couldn't; waterproof gasketed
    stainless steel shell, payphone-style armored cord, and like that,
    and it somehow got to the customer who would absolutely accept
    nothing less. I still want one. :(

    Those were the days...

    Mark L. Fergerson
     
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