Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Wednesday, 20 February 2002

I have a new printer!

My old printer had gotten slightly damaged on the return trip from Clarion. It still worked, but the plastic parts that held the ink cartridge in place had gotten slightly sprung, so it took a careful touch to get it to snap into place, and each time felt like it might be the last.

My new printer is a laser printer rather than an ink jet printer. It's probably slight overkill for my purposes, but it'll be really nice. It claims to print "up to 15 pages per minute." For most printing tasks, such statements tend to exaggerate what the printer will do in practice. But my main printing task--printing manuscript pages--is generally the one that printer manufacturers tend to use as the benchmark. So, I expect to get performance something like that. Quite a treat. (I expect that I'll get something close to the claimed 3000 pages per toner cartridge, too, for just the same reason. The estimates are based on printed pages being 5% black, which I think it about right for printing double-spaced pages of 12-point courier with one-inch margins.)

I've been working late every day at work. It's not so bad--there are four or five of us working together, so there's a bit of comradery. And we're making progress. We may even be done on time (given that we've just about proved that the most intractable problem we've been struggling with is actually in another piece of the system, so other people will have to fix it).

The people I work with (at the Urbana-Champaign site) have always been really good about working together. There's very little finger-pointing when things go wrong. But some of the other groups are different. They seem more interested in blaming someone else for a problem than they are in getting it fixed. That causes a lot of problems, of course. One of the less serious problems, but one that I have to face from time to time, is that you can't just say, "I think there may be a bug here, because this happens." Instead, you have to prove that the bug is there if you want them even to investigate it.

Anyhow, the day job is leaving me with little time or energy for writing. But I'm bound and determined to have something for the writing group, so I have to finish my current story by Saturday. Yes, I know I said that a week and a half ago. This time for sure!


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