A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Reviews of photography products that enhance the enjoyment of taking pictures. Published frequently but irregularly.
22 April 2013
We reviewed the Canon i9900 13x19 dye-based printer in Oct. 2004. And a year later, we bought one. Its good looks, simple operation, fast output and luminous results made it our favorite for years. And we only reluctantly put it into mothballs when we were swamped with printer reviews to do and didn't really need it. But today, we put it to work again.
Whatever possessed us, you might wonder.
We had just checked the ink supplies in our active fleet of printers. Seems we're down to the warning lights on our dye printers. And when we put the i9900 aside a few years ago (2007 for the most part, although we connected it to make a print on it in Dec. 2009), it had full cartridges in it.
So why not see if the old dog still had some fight left in it? Might stretch out the cartridges in the newer printers for those snapshots we put in the mail to keep in touch with people who don't use the Internet.
We mentioned mothballs but we hadn't been quite that clever. We had simply disconnected the printer and stored it on a shelf under a typing table. No plastic bag, not even a cover. For years.
So we did a little dusting to start with.
Then we found our old cables patiently lying where we left them under the printer table. There was a FireWire 400 cable and the i9900 power cord. We fired it up and it wiggled to life just as it always had.
The i9900 wasn't running when we moved from our old PowerBook to a MacBook Pro. So we had to install the printer on the MacBook Pro using System Preferences.
Apparently Mac OS X 10.7 doesn't look for printers on the FireWire connection so when we tried to add the printer, it wasn't there to be added. But there was a USB cable staring us in the eye under the table, too, so we tried that. Turns out it was connected to a hub connected to our Airport Extreme.
What are the odds of that working, we scoffed. We've been intermittently (and therefore unsuccessfully) trying to share a LaserJet 4 on a Prolific USB-Centronics cable for a while so we didn't expect this to work.
But it worked.
We added the i9900 to our list of printers and popped into Photoshop CS6 to work on a little image we wanted to send. When we were ready to print, the i9900 cleaned its nozzles, fed the 4x6 sheet with a grunt and swiftly printed another gorgeous image.
It works fine.
Even after sitting around on a shelf for almost three and a half years, it answered the call. Outright prolonged applause.