Gas station without pumps

2013 August 15

Moving bookcases

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:34
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My wife has been trying to reassemble her school library at her school, after a year of having the library in a trailer.  (You may remember that there was a fire at the school, 2012 July 4).  We had a moving day a couple of weeks ago, with several people moving everything out of the trailers whose rental period was ending.  Nothing could be put against the walls in the rooms, though, as the final building inspection had not happened yet.  The teachers were finally let back into their classrooms to set up this week.

So for the last 3 days, I’ve been spending half my days helping my wife move bookcases, fasten them to the walls, and set up her computer and printer. As usual, I had a little trouble finding the studs in the walls, and on one wall I ended up with 5 test holes before hitting the stud.  Luckily, all the test holes are hidden behind the bookcase.

She wanted to set up her Brother 2270DW printer on a filing cabinet across the room from her desk.  We had selected that printer last year because of its wireless capability, but she had been using it with a USB cable previously.  It turns out that setting up the 2270DW to operate wirelessly with a Mac and no wireless router is almost impossible.  The user interface for configuring the printer is the most arcane ritual magic I’ve ever seen in any product.  You have to turn on the printer while holding down the Go button, then release it when 3 lights light up.  Once the ready light is steady, you have to press the Go button 6 times and wait for the ready light to come on again, then hold down the Go button for 15 seconds, then wait at least a minute and press the Go button 3 times and wait for the printer to print 3 pages.  The information you need for setting up the printer is on the last of the 3 pages.  Then you have to connect wirelessly to the printer and configure it to look for the wireless network—note that if you are planning to use the Mac as the access point, you can’t have the wireless network it is to look for up while you are connecting to its temporary SETUP network.  If anything goes wrong start over—but wait, the 15-second hold of the Go button doesn’t turn the wireless card on—it toggles the state!  Note: don’t try to follow these directions, as I may have swapped the 6-times and the 3-times button presses.  There are many other magical sequences of presses for this button (like to tell it that the toner cartridge isn’t really empty, though it often thinks so).

Note: none of this arcane direction is in the user manual or the network manual for the printer, which just tell you to put in the (Windows-only) CD and run their setup software.

At this point I gave up, and told my wife to put the printer on top of her desk, where she could connect to it with USB cable.  I also swore never to buy or recommend a Brother printer to anyone.  “User” interfaces that unfriendly (just to avoid having more than one button) are such bad engineering that no self-respecting engineer should provide any support for the company.

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