Friday, July 28, 2006

Routine Replacement Of A Replicant

I was sitting here last night looking at my new printer,and I was thinking it looked like the Tyrell Building or something out of Blade Runner (1982). Earlier, I had blogged about my Fourth of July when a lightning strike fried my computer and printer.

At the end of that week, power was restored, and the Ethernet replaced, but I didn't get around to replacing the printer until this week. I must say, the Hewlett Packard all-in-one 7410 is a rather daunting piece of equipment and a detailed manual awaits reading.

"Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or ink nozzles."

At first, I was going to go wireless and bought the necessary router and cables and started tackling the problem, but I only got it so far and remained blocked when it came to getting the computer/modem/printer to communicate with each other. A wiser-than-me friend said, "Look, rather than try and deal with this right now, return the router and cable, get your money back, plug the thing into it's USB cable and get going with it." Which is exactly what I did. Later, for the wonderful world of wireless printing.

"You were made as well as we could make you."

So I'm sitting here staring at this desk top behemoth, it's panel full of LED lights and buttons, half expecting to raise it's lid and find a factory full of replicants.

"I need the old Blade Runner. I need your magic."

This morning, I saw my poor, rejected and replaced HP 5510 sitting on a table by the door, waiting for it's disposal, and I swear I thought I heard it utter, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

"You can exit this mode by pressing any button on the control panel."


Blogger The Absurdist said...


I'm not convinced that your printer is a replicant, but thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite movies.

I've never read anything by Philip K. Dick, the author who wrote the story that is the basis for Blade Runner, but I probably would enjoy his writing since I also enjoyed Minority Report based on another of his stories (despite the movie starring Tom Cruise). I'm planning to go see A Scanner Darkly and one of these days I'll see Paycheck when I get to it in my (very long) Netflix queue (it turns out that 500 is the maximum length of your queue).

I think that what makes Blade Runner and Minority Report great stories is that they aren't really about artificial peoepl and seeing the future, they are about great existential questions about what makes make us human?

I think there's a subject for a book in there: The Existentialism of Philip K. Dick.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Castor OiL said...

Why be a relicant when you can be a repliCAN!!!!

Get high on life, (or by huffing a bag of mothballs, whatever gets the job done).

12:15 PM  
Blogger Castor OiL said...

That last nonsensical post was brought to you by the "friends of the started drinking bloody mary's at 8:45 A.M. Society."

12:17 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Cube: You were made as well as we could make you.
HP 5510: But not to last.
Cube: The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long and you have burned so very, very brightly, HP 5510.
HP 5510: I've printed... questionable photos.
Cube: Also extraordinary photos. Revel in your time.
HP 5510: Nothing the god of Flickr wouldn't let you in heaven for.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean that there are alternative endings for the HP 5510?


1:04 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Absurdist: Each to his own in reading tastes, but I was, at one time, a huge fan of Philip K. Dick, and he is still one of my favorite writers of science fiction (which I don't really read anymore...I think the last thing I read in that genre was called Cryptonomicon.) Blade Runner is based on his book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and I love that title so much that I will sometimes drop it apropos of nothing into the comments field of someone's blog.

Castor: Well, it made sense to me, since I happened to see that moth ball story this morning. I was also thinking about making up bloody mary's over the weekend, so there ya go. I've heard that Major Peters' Bloody Mary Mix is the best, and I'll be testing that in the near future. You can also be a replicator or a Republican aka Republican'ts.

Hammer? You are my hero.

Grince: I've got to hold on to the old true and steadfast 5510 until I can see if my homeowner's insurance is going to cover some of the things that were wrecked during that storm. It sits and mourns it's rightful place in the Smart Room.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

Apropos of not a whole lot, your mention of Phillip Dick struck a chord. Specifically his book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" because I had that recently introduced to me as a beautiful screen saver.

The still images are lovely, but to see this thing swoosh and twirl and evolve and disintegrate in and around one another is simply inspiring!

Once you are done with the old printer, you may want to consider Freecycling it. ( ) for someone a lot more competent with a soldering iron than I. At least someone may want it for parts? One man’s trash….

As for your wireless router, as an instructor I am asked all the time, "When will X replace Y?" (as in fiber over copper, wireless over wired, low earth orbit satellites over geosynchronous orbit satellites, etc.). My answer has yet to change. There is room and reason for both. Why install a WiFi wireless router to replace a USB cable between ONE computer and ONE printer? If there are other reasons to do establish a wireless network in your setup, then by all means -- but with only that one singular goal in mind... it certainly seems like asking for unnecessary and burdensome complexity for your configuration. (Now, if it were Bluetooth....)

Oh yes… and castor oil’s comments made me blow Diet Coke out of my nose! Damn you, man! I did NOT see that coming! LOL

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Siryn said...

Ah, the Requiem for a Replicant. Alas, poor HP5510, we knew thee well.

What's sad is that the Blade Runner-esque printer will be old hat in a couple of years.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Drew, btw, was the wise one who said, "Screw this. Ditch the router and hook it up with it's cable." P.S. to Drew: I got a kick out of Castor myself, minus the snorting soda take.

Siryn: I marvel at how rapidly technology changes and, of course, the fact we can't even repair these things without waying the cost of repair viz replacement. Two months from now, there will be probably be something with one more little widget that makes the 7410 obsolete. We can't put salt on our corn on the cob (pig food,) but rather peach colored sea salt from Hawaii. Whatta world.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

re: printer widgets

My printer prints directly onto CDs. Insert white-backed CD on one side, gorgeous artwork backed CD comes out the other side. None of these kaflouie label thingamawhatsis.

I know THE feature I can't live without from this point forward. :)

And I wonder... would DVD-RW be considered an android post-it note?

4:54 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Cube: step slowly alway from the printer. Put DOWN the manual - slowly! - now take a deep breath and turn your back on the replicant for at least 24 hours. OK? Did I talk you down? No? ... oh well!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Reya: You should see the manual on this thing, and yes, I am the type who reads the manual. P.S. When I first saw Blade Runner I was rooting for the replicants.

8:32 PM  
Blogger ThaiMex1 said...

Listening to Kim Wilde's album, "Teases and Dares" which has the track in homage to Ridley Scott. Song title is "Bladerunner."

AND, I have no preference. I like the movie with the voice-over and without. Though, the deleted scenes tell more about Decker and what he is.

Sean Young was a hottie in the movie!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

I've never seen Blade Runner. Is it worth adding to the queue?

I've got a long-dead inkjet printer sitting here in my apartment. Someday I'll figure out a way to donate it for parts. But when my old desktop computer died, I did find a great non-profit organization that refurbishes old machines for school kids and I donated it. The best part was that they came to my apartment to pick it up!

10:40 PM  
Blogger ThaiMex1 said...

Stef? It is worth putting "Bladerunner" on your queue. Enjoy the soundtrack by Vangelis and how it fits into the movie. Think of the movie as a flim noir with many discoveries about plots and selves.

Would I or Cube EVER steer you wrong on anything? (smile)

5:44 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Of course you rooted for the replicants! So did I - Darryl Hannah was never so cute as in that film. Never saw a movie so claustrophobic as Blade Runner except maybe Devi, that Satyajit Ray film about the girl everyone thinks is a goddess. Great film, though.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Megarita said...

Aw, is it bad that i've always loved that final Rutger speech?

12:44 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

The antics of Daryl Hannah lately make me appreciate her getting blasted with a shotgun in the movie even more.

Perhaps you should do the same to your printer.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Wrethcat said...

Rutger Hauer (Ladyhawk)used to make my heart patter, although he has not aged tremendously well to my chagrin. I don't care how Harrison ages though, I still see that crooked smile ala Han Solo and melt.

Who can't appreciate a completely crazed blonde that is out of control? Darryl Hannah needs a new psycho role. How about a movie called "The Anti-Barbie"?

I am officially stating that anything PEPCO does is not my fault. Just for Cubie.

>^, ,^<

1:03 PM  
Blogger ThaiMex1 said...

Wrethie? How about Darryl Hannah in "Kill Bill" as Elle Driver aka California Mountain Snake??? Wasn't she over the top in her little white nurse's outfit with a white eyepatch that had the red cross? And let's not forget her non-regulation white high heeled shoes!

7:30 AM  
Anonymous John said...

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. " -- That got me to spit coffee. Nice story, and yep, a downright daunting printer.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Wrethcatr said...

Ah! Right you are Thai, but then you would remember a hot, overly assertive girl in high heeled shoes Mr. Fettish master.

I did love her whistling. Poor lamb lost both eyes.

>^, ,^<

10:14 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I am convinced that my printer has hidden powers that I am not aware of, but until I find out what those may be, I will refer to this post with hope for Sir packard.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Johnny said...

Does this mean you are secretly a HP printer?fp

2:48 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

Say no to the manual. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

11:26 PM  
Blogger The Lily said...

It's much like the IKEA commercial where the lamp is sitting outside in the rain in full view of its replacement. You feel sad and then the spokesperson comes on a chastises you for personifying a lamp.

Silly cube. But seriously, why don't you donate your old printer to a women's shelter or something? At least then it will serve higher purpose, or you just won't be the one to throw it away.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Thai: It was an excellent venue for Sean Young. That, and "No Way Out."

Stef: Definitely add it to your list. It's a classic. I usually see all of Ridley Scott's films, even if they are clinkers, because he has such a strong architectural eye for set design, and you will definitely get an eyeful of that in this movie.

Reya: How could we not root for the Replicants?

Mega: It's one of my favorite quotes to toss off at odd moments.

Phil: It would be a waste of buckshot on the printer. 'Tis already dead.

Wrethness: I would never blame you for anything the evil empire of PEPCO produced.

John: I have only taken babysteps so far in learning how to use the thing to it's full capacity, slowed down by the purchase of a new digital camera which takes precedence.

Janet: Sci-fi writers always imbue objects with human qualities, so who knows. I'm sitting here and it would appear the printer is smiling at me.

Johnny? No. :)

Playful: I always read the manuals. I like to have a complete understand of how things work, as best the manual can explain it in five languages.

Claire: The printer is already on it's way to the happy dumping ground. I wasn't able to donate it or pass it on to anyone because it was totally fried.

1:26 PM  

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