I love my MacBook Pro. Like most Apple products, almost all of the time it works great. I no longer fear major operating system upgrades, like I did when I was a Windows user many years ago.
The "blue screen of death" is an almost forgotten memory. I trust Apple software to do its thing without fuss or bother, and usually that trust is rewarded.
But Apple stopped making its own printers decades ago.
The apparent reason is that no one makes much money selling printers. The big bucks is in selling the cartridges needed to keep the printer functioning. Which is a lot like spending a mere $50 bucks to adopt a dog, then finding that your new pet eats up that much in dog food every single freaking month.
So us Apple devotees are forced to make do with non-Apple printers. Invariably, I find them to be much less reliable and easy to use than my 13 inch MacBook Pro, which has been my laptop computer of choice for quite a while.
I'm old (70). I'm also kind of old-fashioned.
I still like to read a print newspaper, and I much prefer paper books over e-books. Now, I bet many, or most, young people have little use for a printer. Their smart phones may be all the "computer" they need, and rarely is there anything on a phone that someone needs to print out.
Me, though, I like color laser printers.
Heck, I still write an annual Christmas letter which -- shock! -- my wife and I actually mail to some people. So for this and other reasons, my HP Color Laser Jet Pro MFP M477fnw is a frequently-used, yet not highly adorable, part of my electronic life.
It prints wirelessly. Except when it inexplicably loses the wi-fi connection, and I've got to fiddle around with a control panel on my laptop that isn't exactly a poster child for Ease of Use.
There's something appealingly retro about printers in this 21st century.
Since I have a MacBook pro with flash memory and no fan noise, plus an absolutely quiet iPhone 8 Plus, the HP printer is the only computer-related gadget I have that makes a sound. Periodically it comes to life on its own and does something or other to keep its print cartridges all neat, tidy, and aligned (obviously I don't really know what it's doing).
And when I need to restart the printer, it whirs away for over a minute, doing... you guessed it, something or other.
My current frustration with the Laser Jet Pro is that it has refused to print our Chase credit card statements. I'm pretty sure this happened after Chase redesigned the look of the statement, which I download every month from the Chase web site. I check off each of our VISA receipts against a printout of the statement -- again, this shows how old-fashioned I am.
Well, the error message isn't totally indecipherable, since I can read about what a "limitcheck" message might mean. If I worked for a big company, probably there would be an information systems person who could figure out what's going on between the VISA statement and my printer.
But there's just me, myself, and I in charge of my computing world, and none of the three of us have any idea why the Offending Command of "imagemask" is causing the VISA statement to have become unprintable. Except on my wife's Canon printer. And except if I copy the VISA statement file to a USB thumb drive, and insert the drive into the printer.
Then the VISA statement prints fine. As does everything else I want to print on the Laser Jet Pro.
Tonight I had the bright, albeit obvious, idea of checking to see if there were HP software updates for the printer, since I'd recently upgraded to the newest Mojave Apple OS (operating system). Indeed, the HP web site had both a software update for OS 10.14, plus a firmware update for the printer.
Each took a while to download via our slow DSL connection, which is all that's available out here in the semi-wilds of rural south Salem, Oregon.
I was a bit nervous about installing the updates, but that process went smoothly. I got a message that the printer was ready to use. So naturally I was eager to see if the updates caused the VISA statement to print.
Nope. Same error message popped up.
So it looks like I'll be using the USB thumb drive to print the statements every month. Not exactly a horrendous task. Still, it shows that when it comes to personal printers, we're still a long way from the seamless integration of human and technology that Tom Cruise exhibited in the movie "Minority Report."
I've tried waving my hands and telling the HP Color Laser Jet Pro to print the damn VISA statement from my laptop, but have had no luck. Of course, since marijuana is legal here in Oregon, maybe I wasn't stoned enough.
With enough weed in my system, I could probably imagine the statement was printing, even if it wasn't.