I am not normally given to ranting. I consider myself quite a balanced soul really, and where computers are concerned I usually have enough good nature and technical skill to deal with most problems that come my way. But some things are just beyond the pale. I would like to think that to think that computers generally help to make people’s lives easier and when I find something that is so crass, stupid and ignorant as this I feel I have to write something.
The problem is a simple one. I have a brand new copy of Photoshop Elements 9, a recent model HP printer (C7280) and a desire to take a picture out of the former and print it on the latter. So that it fills an A4 page. And appears on the paper as it does on the screen. This does not happen. It does not even seem to be possible. I can get close, but the picture is always cropped or scaled so that it doesn’t fit. I was printing pictures with my Amiga around 20 years ago with fewer problems then I’m having now. I had the same trouble with an older version of Photoshop and in my ignorance I assumed that they would have fixed this by now because someone would have got back to them during their extensive testing to tell them they had made a product that was fundamentally useless in this respect.
I’ve just wasted two pages of expensive paper, and a lot of expensive ink, printing the wrong thing in the wrong place. The reason I wasted the second page was that I asked the printer driver to show me the page before it printed and it ignored me.
Photoshop will let me print collages, albums and all kinds of stuff I don’t want. The HP printer is clever enough to tell me that the ink has run out in a cartridge before it actually has. This technology is state of the art, and it stinks. I’m now reduced to carefully scaling printouts wrong so that they print out right. There is probably a fundamental setting that I’ve missed somewhere that could be adjusted to make all this work, but I’ve not found it yet. And if there is, why isn’t it set on by default?
Anyone like me who has been unlucky enough to invest in these useless products has my sympathy and an apology on behalf of those of us who have been promoting computers as a way to make things easier.