PC Troubleshooting, and the Biggest Printer Ever

Went back down to Frankfort today, to help do some home computer installs/troubleshooting on Bob’s machine. He recently got a souped-up PC, and also got new DSL service at the house.

One of my initial tasks was to setup a wireless receiver on the computer. But in order to run the install disk, I needed to be in Windows. Turned out that when I fired up the machine, the copy of Windows hadn’t been activated yet… and it required Internet access to do so. Catch 22.

So we ended up hauling the machine downstairs, and hooking it up directly to the main router. Once we got Internet, it was a series of installs and setups to get everything up and running.

Upstairs, one of the tasks was to re-connect the large (and I mean LARGE) printer to the PC. Bob recently got the latest version of AutoCAD installed, and the printer needed to be set up again with all the right drivers, etc.

When I remarked on the size of the printer (an HP DesignJet 500), Bob printed up a test page for me, to show me how the thing worked.

A sample test page. Pretty crazy (and all of the info goes through a small USB port in the back of the PC). This printout shows a lot of the ductwork in the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville, IL. As Bob described to me the different bits of information conveyed in this printout, I noticed how beautiful it looked, from a strictly lines-on-a-page perspective.

In case you’re wondering, like I did, how much something like this runs? At the time he bought it, many years ago, it was $5,000. While I didn’t find out how much the color cartridges cost, a roll of paper (250 feet, 3 feet wide) is about $20.

After all this time, I’ve finally found a match for the largest typewriter ever.

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