I have an Epson Photo R200 printer. I like this printer a lot, so much so that I bought my wife one, and I even recommended it to my mother and a friend of mine, both of whom bought the same thing.
I do have a problem with it, though. It doesn’t like to print envelopes. Actually, the printing part is fine; it’s the feeding the envelopes through the printer part that it won’t do. I have to literally push the envelope into the feeder and hope that it takes it to get envelopes printed. If I’m only doing one envelope at a time it’s not such a big deal. But when I’m doing some of my marketing and I’m pushing through between 20 and 40 envelopes, it’s very irritating.
As I started to think back on it, I realized that every printer I’ve ever owned has been an Epson, and I’ve always had the same problems. That’s over 20 years of envelope problems, yet I keep buying the same thing. I know I’m the loyal type, but I’m thinking that’s a bit ridiculous in retrospect.
Then I started thinking about other tech things as it relates to my computing, or in some way interacts with my computer, and things I’ve tolerated over the years. For instance, I’ve had a Palm of some type since 2002. For the most part they’ve all worked pretty well. But every one of them invariably had an issue. And, oddly enough, I realized that at some point I sent each of them back to the company because something had failed; how weird is that? I love the fact that I can carry all my addresses and passwords and music and calendar and the like with me easily enough; but have I really gotten my money’s worth and had my time be really efficient in the long run with some of the technical issues I’ve had to deal with?
And then there’s my computer itself. Some of you remember my tale about getting my old computer fixed by the computer guy and the subsequent story the next day. The computer I had before that one was a terror as well. As a matter of fact, for all the complaints I’ve had about Vista, the truth is that this is still the best running computer I’ve had since the very first computer I ever had, my double floppy special back in 1987 that I never wanted, and look at all the trouble it’s led to in my life. 🙂 And I have had a few problems with this computer that I’m not sure are Vista related that makes me wonder what it is with tech companies to begin with.
I mean, is it that they’re all following what we know as the Microsoft Principle, which means put it out there even if it’s not perfect and we’ll try to make it better as it goes along? Yeah, I know, nothing’s perfect, but is there anything that any of us have bought that we can truthfully say we’ve never had even one little glitch with it?
I’ve had to replace my scanner four times. I’ve had to replace the battery pack to my laptop twice, and the hard drive once. My GPS unit just won’t update itself online through this computer, even though it’s supposed to, which means that was a waste of $65 to update the maps. I tried to update the software for the transfer of files between my cell and the computer and ended up losing access to my computer for a few hours until I figured out how to get back into it and do a system restore; thank goodness I could do that. I had to buy a USB headset because my previous headset and my microphone suddenly wouldn’t work. One of my external hard drives has bit the dust, and it was considered a highly ranked enclosure when I bought it. I can’t count how many hard drives I’ve lost over the years. And I’ve had to replace two monitors in my lifetime.
Am I expecting too much in my tech, or do many of you feel the same way? And, not that I’m going to change all that immediately, but is there a printer out there that’s not a HP (let’s not even go into why I’m not buying a HP) that will easily load envelopes so I can remove that bit of minor stress from my life in the future, that also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?
I was reading a post by Adria Richards of But You’re A Girl on a topic called Is Google Voice Racist, and knew I had to comment on it. However, since she uses Disqus, and you know how I feel about Disque and blogs that use that kind of commenting system (I found another one called Intense Debate that’s like it that I don’t like either”, and I mentioned that I was clearing away iritations in 2010, I don’t want to comment there, so my comment will be here. By the way, you need to read some of the comments on her post also; quite telling, I might add.
Her gripe is that a girlfriend sent her a message and said “Hey Girlfriend”, but Google interpreted that as “Hey Negro.” Okay, what the heck is that about? She then posted a video that I’ve seen before, and commented on the post where I saw it, where HP has this new face recognition software that will have the camera follow you around, but, at least for many, it doesn’t work on black people. I mean, just because we’re tired of being followed around in stores doesn’t mean we don’t want software to work like it’s supposed to.
There’s always been things like this that pop up from time to time online and in software. Those of us who are offended find it either racist or bigoted. Those who aren’t say they don’t see it and wonder why we always say it’s racist or bigoted. Those who aren’t offended are never minority, by the way; that seems to figure when it comes to trying to identify racism or bigotry.
First off, I don’t see race everywhere, though some of my friends think I do. But I call things out whenever I need to. For instance, through this blog and my business blog I’ve called out people for many things. Back before the last presidential election I called people out for overt racism against Barack Obama and Muslims in a post called What, A Muslim Can’t Be President? I called out racism by the New York Post after they posted a cartoon equating President Obama to a monkey. I actually talked about the topic of what a racist is, because so many people throw the word around way too often. And I had to join Rachel Maddow in her smackdown of Pat Buchanan when he made a bunch of racist statements on her show earlier this year. I’ve even addressed it here, with my strangely named President Obama Calls Limbaugh A Racist post.
But these types of things just keep coming up over and over. There was one Microsoft software program where, if you typed in a certain thing asking about black people, a picture of a monkey came up. There was also a specific search term for Michelle Obama kept bringing up a picture of her with a monkey face. Even now there’s another Microsoft program running in Poland and another photography program. Sorry folks, but that’s racism no matter how you slice it.
Here’s my issue. There’s always going to be racism; I understand that. I don’t like it, but as long as there are people who look and act different and everything else isn’t equal. What I’d like is a little bit more accountability for when these things happen, then a little bit more support from people who may not be directly affected by it, but know something bad when they see it. Adria didn’t deserve to have the one guy say she was wrong and that’s just how software works; that was probably one of the more moronic things I’ve seen in a long time. It can’t always be minorities looking at something and saying it’s racist or bigoted or whatever; someone else has to step forward, in higher numbers than what happens now, and call those perpetrating this mess out on it.
And, by the way, not only racism. Add sexism, homophobia, and other intolerances to the list as well.