HP Envy 6455e

I’m so proud of myself.

I bought a new printer. I didn’t want to, but the old one no longer printed in color. And then it printed blurry black and I put two new cartridges in and it didn’t fix the problem, after cleaning the heads and doing the rest of the procedures in the app, and I decided to buy a new one.

I haven’t bought a new printer in over a decade. I’ve GOTTEN a new printer since then, a couple, in fact I’ve got at least one in the garage. But there’s an issue of them working with the latest operating system.

I’m on a Mac. There, I said it. Hate me if you want, I can handle it. I’ve also got a Windows machine, but like they say, it’s unintuitive. You can learn the procedures over time, but it’s just not natural.

As for Macs… If you’ve got one, you’ve got an iPhone. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Mac user with an Android, but now I’ll get e-mail testifying to the fact. Bob, you ignorant slut… But, you might have read, actually, probably not, with so much info in the pipeline these days, that the iPhone population in the U.S. now exceeds the Android population. iPhone penetration is going up in the U.S. Which is not what prognosticators predicted. Word was it was only a matter of time until Android killed iOS, just like VHS killed Beta. But that’s why you live, for the surprises. That’s what I’ve been thinking about the war in Ukraine, the election in the U.S., you never really know what’s gonna happen. It’s kind of like baseball, long and drawn out but no matter what happened in the previous eight innings, a team can come from behind and win in the ninth, there is no garbage time like in the NBA or NFL, a comeback is always possible, I’ve seen it. As for the rules changes… I’m down with the pitch clock, I’m even okay with the bigger bases, but the ban on shifts… God, I remember shifting back in Little League, it’s part of the game, is baseball turning into football, where the rules constantly change and the rules supersede the play at times? I don’t know, but you don’t go to war on statistics by eliminating them, you adjust accordingly.

ANYWAY, when it comes to printers, there’s always an issue of drivers. And Apple releases a new OS every year. And too many printer companies don’t update accordingly. Which is why I go with the biggest, i.e. HP, because having the most market share they must put out new drivers at the same time the OS is released. Whereas if you have a Canon or Brother or Sony or Epson this may not be the case, usually isn’t the case, Apple is a sliver of their business.

Oh, I left a loose end. I’ve been foggy for weeks. Did you see that article in the “New York Times” about the end of fog in San Francisco: https://nyti.ms/3UgIBU9 I don’t know, I’ve been overwhelmed. It was hot and now it’s fall. Politics swings from side to side. It’s hard to keep one’s mind straight. But the reason I haven’t bought printers is they come for free with a new computer! That used to be the promotion. After all, the money is in the ink. But the printer companies are doing their best to change that paradigm, with different approaches, more expensive printers and cheaper ink and…

Oh, that’s another thing. Inkjet won. I started off with a laser, with Postscript, remember that, and Aldus Pagemaker? That machine cost thousands, today you can get a laser for hundreds, ah, the march of progress, but not one in color.

And word used to be that inkjet wasn’t sharp enough. And then we all decided it was. But parents bitched about the cost of ink. I didn’t, I mean how often do you even print anymore?

Well, during the pandemic I printed cards for Felice, there are some good ones online. But like I said, my printer stopped printing color, so some cards were unusable and…

I decided to bite the bullet. I bought the HP Envy 6455e. Why they call them Envys, I’ve got no idea. No one has ever envied an inkjet printer, except maybe for those large format ones in print shops, which are not called Envys anyway.

As for which model HP… You don’t want the base model, it’s too slow. And you don’t need the best model. I ended up spending close to $200. I could look it up, but that’s not the point of this screed, the point is all about scanning.

So Macs no longer come with printers. And I’m wondering about buying a new Mac. I need two. A laptop, to go on the road with… And a desktop. Believe me, it’s hard to use a 15″ screen when you’re used to 27″. But now Apple has gone to new chips, and I’ve got one in my iPad Pro, it’s spectacular, but my iMac5k works just fine, I mean I always max out my machines. But they’re pushing it into the sunset. Yup, can’t use the latest OS. I’m still getting security updates, but… And I don’t want to buy one of those new Mac Studios until they fix the display, it’s a rip-off. And believe me, you’re always best using the Apple product, interoperability is built-in. Which is now the game, the ecosystem. I mean come on, when you see someone with a green bubble in iMessage? Oh, that’s another thing people don’t know, because there’s so much to know. iMessages are blue because they go over the internet, they don’t use your cell service, but when they do, when you’re out of internet range but still have cell service, they appear green, yes, even on an iPhone.


The machine arrived.

Used to be you judged a product by its weight, its heft. That old LaserWriter of mine was in the neighborhood of fifty pounds. Today’s printers? Better hold on to them before they fly into the sky. They’re light, Rube Goldberg contraptions, you’re stunned that they work at all. You can see the gears, everything is so flimsy, then again, you didn’t pay much.

And… Setting up an HP on a Mac? Wow, they’ve taken all the guesswork out of it. You don’t even have to read the manual, you just follow the prompts and then…

And then you must decide whether you want Instant Ink. That’s why there’s an “e” at the end of the name. You see if you agree, you can’t ever use another type of cartridge other than brand new, original HP ones. But if you agree, HP will send you some free ink and monitor your machine to see when it needs ink and…


Do I really care that my printer company monitors the number of pages I print?

Oh, I’m trying to fight back. You estimate how many pages you’re gonna print, because at first the cartridges are free. So I estimated a ton, so I got the extra large cartridge, which may last me years. I think I’m beating HP. As long as I remember to unsubscribe after six months, and I’ve got it in my calendar.

As for using bogus cartridges… That’s not my style, I’m into the genuine article. As for being able to repair my products… This is a ridiculous construct. Because for almost all of these products, it’s cheaper and easier to replace than to repair. Even your flat screen TV. Breaks, and you toss it. Just about everything. The repair costs almost as much as a new one, and then it breaks again, it’s happened to me, with a copier, I no longer fix anything, I don’t trust the repair people! As far as fixing it yourself… Nobody wants to do that.

But there are people on Android because they believe in extreme customization, despite having a hard time getting updates to the operating system and dealing with security issues. And there are those who will buy remanufactured ink cartridges. As for repair… You bring it to a shop anyway, no one does it themselves.

But truth is irrelevant, people have decided everything must be repairable at a cheap cost. If this were ever come to be, and it won’t, everybody will end up paying, the products will become more expensive! Screws instead of glue and…

The printer works. There was huge gratification in that. Although the paper tray is quite small. And the buttons, well they’re lights, have no words on them and I’m still not sure what all of them mean.

And I’ve had to print some important stuff, even in color, that the old machine wouldn’t have, so I’m feeling good about my purchase until today…

Today a doctor sent me forms. Why can’t we move to computer forms, where I can type in the values on my screen? Why do we still have to print, fill in with pen and scan. I mean it’s amazing how far we’ve come, the internet is de rigueur, but we’ve still got miles to go.

Like I figured they wanted me to mail the forms back, but they wanted me to E-MAIL THEM!

All good, but that meant scanning almost twenty sheets!

Ah, the HP scanner software…

First and foremost, why is there always that horizontal line in the middle, huh? What does that represent? You know, in the picture of your document.

So, you launch the HP software, pick the picture of a scanner and then…

You’re confronted with a whole bunch of choices. You think the defaults are cool, but you’d be WRONG!

First and foremost, dpi is 75, which is positively eighties, you want 300, it’s been the standard for decades.

And why is the default the Downloads folder? There’s no downloading involved! I change that to Desktop.

Oh, and you can name the document right in the app! Took me years to realize that, I always renamed them in the Finder.

So, it’s always a learning curve when I go to scan, but today… Was I really going to hand scan twenty pages? There must be a better way.

I mean the Envy came with a document feeder. But does it work for scans?

That’s where Google comes in. I started to do research. To see if it was POSSIBLE!

Turns out it was! But the instructions were worthless, I was wasting time.

So I went to the app, examined the choices.

Turns out you can change the Scan Mode from Flatbed to Document Feeder! Who knew!

Man, I’m starting to get excited.

So, I put my paper in the document feeder, which it took me a moment to find, turns out you’ve got to pull back a cover which I thought was permanent to access it. The cover is the feeder when it’s opened. Believe me, they’ve thought a lot about this, after all, they’ve had years to work on the design.

And I’m smart enough to know that the paper’s going to flip over, I think I’m feeding it right, and then…

It all starts to work. God, I can do something else while it’s scanning! No time wasted, isn’t technology great!

But, I decide to check the scans along the way. Which I’m always anxious about. If you started computing in the eighties you know anything can go wrong. That was the big breakthrough of OS X. You couldn’t break it! I’m still uptight when I update anything, I remember when the odds of success were way less than 100%.

And I check the first scan and…

It’s blank.

Well, maybe that was a test scan. I was futzing around trying to make it work at first.

But then I checked the later scans…THEY WERE ALL BLANK!

I hit cancel. And it stopped scanning but kept feeding, and I was too uptight to pull the pages for fear of getting them out of order, they were not numbered, and…

I align the pages correctly and start again.

It works beautifully! But when I check the results, they’re upside down. Not the worst result, but still… I opened them all in Preview and reoriented and saved them.

And then I had about five more pages to do and I got it right.


It would have been easier to do it just one by one. Because there was research involved, trial and error, time wasted, whereas I knew how to do it manually.

And document feeders are notoriously wonky. I mean is it worth the bother?

But I did the research, analyzed the app, experimented and got it right. VICTORY!

And I know you don’t care, but I know you understand. We live for these moments. Where we make personal progress, where we figure things out, where we’re set for the future.

That’s another thing about people… They get old and they don’t want to learn new tricks. I know so many people who won’t use their banking app. For fear of… I’m not exactly sure what. I mean not only do you have a name and a password, they send you a text to authenticate and…

I mean there’s nothing worse than going to the bank. Talk about wasting time… It’s people who are afraid of technology and merchants with a zillion checks, makes me want to kill myself.

The app will even send physical checks for you! But why bother, when you can send the money electronically, even use Zelle for instantaneous transfer to your friends.

And you can check your balance if you’re into that kind of thing.

And I do my best not to write a check, not after my IRS payment was stolen out of the mailbox right in front of the post office, some guy changed it to his name. Believe me, the internet is here, it’s no longer newfangled. It works.

But help is almost nonexistent. You can’t even pay for it with most sites and products. First they rationalized it by saying they were giving you the product for free, and why should they, like with social media. Then the philosophy spread to physical products too. You want ’em cheap, this is what you get! NOTHING!

And people are unbelievably cheap. They’ll change airlines for a buck. And then they’ll get on last and ask you to switch from the aisle seat up front you paid for to a middle seat in the back so they can sit with their kids. PAY FOR IT!

Anyway, I paid for my HP Envy 6455e. And now I’m using it to the fullest. Feels so good!

But your mileage may vary.

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