That Annoying Whining Noise

WritingLight, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

No, this isn’t another blog post about marrying The Stig or even that weasel’s annoying voice. I’m sitting here listening to my printer.

I don’t know how to describe an Epson inkjet printer if you’ve never heard one. I have a 2200 and, when you take it off the quality setting, it prints an 11×14 exhibition print in under 20 minutes. That may seem like lightening speed, and it is, actually, incredibly fast, but it’s not quiet. For 20 minutes, I’m sitting here, and I can hear is this “weeeehhhh waaaaaaah” kind of a noise. It’s a bit hard to describe, but it’s the noise the print heads make when they go to one side (“weeeeehhhh”) and then lay down ink en route to the other (“waaaaaaaaah”) Oh the horror of it all. It’s like nails on a chalkboard, I swear. It’s so annoying that I now have an announcement to make:

Some day, when I’m sitting in the asylum, and they’ve run out of medications to dispense to me (I become an official “lost cause”) I’ll be sitting there making an odd “weeeeeeeh waaaaaaaaaah” sound all the while knitting a sweater that’s not really there. (Do notice I said, “when” and not “if.”)

Don’t get me wrong, I love digital printing. It’s great. It’s wonderful that I don’t have to put up with a lab. Really, you have no idea how much I hated the labs in Austin (I’ve even got an oddly shaped voodoo doll I like to call “Pete Holland“) But, there’s something about the quiet solace of the darkroom I’ll always miss. It was very relaxing, if not a bit smelly (from all the chemicals) in that joint. And, it was quiet in there-so quiet you could hear yourself think. God, I miss that. That’s probably the only thing I miss about darkroom printing but, man, do I really miss that. The quiet lull of the darkroom was so tranquil compared to this pixelated/DPI mess they’ve gotten us all into now.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, “why isn’t this about driving?” I’m here to tell you that it is. It actually is about driving because, you see, the DAMN PRINTER IS DRIVING ME CRAZY.

And to think, if all goes well, I’ve only about 20 more prints to go. (“Weeeeeeeeh Waaaaaaaaaah” Weeeeeeeeh Waaaaaaaaaah” Weeeeeeeeh Waaaaaaaaaah”)

Until next…crap, it’s finished and it needs more paper….



  1. -ahd-
    November 6, 2008 / 6:44 am

    I came in late … 11×14 *feet*?

    (I feel like I’m doing specs for a Spinal Tap concert here …)

  2. Carol
    November 6, 2008 / 3:31 pm

    No, 11×14 inches. 11×14 feet would probably kill me. I’d probably have to stick a sharp object into my ear just to make the whining stop. Not to mention that the framing would be a best on that one.

    Oh, and, btw, welcome. It’s not very organized around these parts, but you know, it can be quite funny at times.

  3. -ahd-
    November 6, 2008 / 3:55 pm

    It’s the 20 minutes which threw me.

    My Epson R320 is rated about three times as fast (I have no idea on the relative quality of the two models), plus I general don’t print photos.

    Don’t mind me …

  4. Carol
    November 6, 2008 / 6:34 pm

    I use only Epson pigment-based printers all in large format for archival reasons (I exhibit and sell my work.) When you take the “speed” option off, it gets very slow in Epson-land, since the print heads only lay down ink in one direction. (I believe the R320 is dye-based but not sure about that.)

    The newer model, 2880, uses the K3 inks (fantastic!) but there are some hardware issues with it. The 2400 was a bit faster than mine, clocking in at about 13-15 minutes for an 11×14 (on “quality” with all print options set.) Mine is ~15-18 or so, which I (kind of) round up to 20. It’s not so much the time, more the noise that bothers me. I wish they’d make something with less squeal.

    But, yes, 20 minutes is about what it takes for an exhibition print. Still much faster than the old darkroom though.

  5. -ahd-
    November 6, 2008 / 10:25 pm

    I saw the exhibiting part … I didn’t know the models used different technology though.

    (What can I say, I’m still software more than hardware…)

    Katherine knows more about printing, because she’s written on organic semiconductors

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