Paper Jams

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When I was living in Seattle, I owned a computer store for 12 years and over the last six, it morphed into a copy and print business. People were buying computers online and I could not compete on price so I moved over to graphic arts and taught myself how to run a printing press (I had two). My Mom's family had a large paper business in Pennsylvania so I was exposed to printing from a very early age and always liked it. Had a lot of fun running the business but the profit margins simply were not there. I got a killer job offer at Microsoft so I sold the business and moved on.

For people interested in copy machines and graphic arts and paper, Joshua Rothman has a delightful article on Paper Jams at The New Yorker:

Why Paper Jams Persist
Building 111 on the Xerox engineering campus, near Rochester, New York, is vast and labyrinthine. On the social-media site Foursquare, one visitor writes that it’s “like Hotel California.” Conference Room C, near the southwest corner, is small and dingy; it contains a few banged-up whiteboards and a table. On a frigid winter afternoon, a group of engineers gathered there, drawing the shades against the late-day sun. They wanted to see more clearly the screen at the front of the room, on which a computer model of a paper jam was projected.

The jam had occurred in Asia, where the owners of a Xerox-manufactured printing press were trying to print a book. The paper they had fed into the press was unusually thin and light, of the sort found in a phone book or a Bible. This had not gone well. Midway through the printing process, the paper was supposed to cross a gap; flung from the top of a rotating belt, it needed to soar through space until it could be sucked upward by a vacuum pump onto another belt, which was positioned upside down. Unfortunately, the press was in a hot and humid place, and the paper, normally lissome, had become listless. At the apex of its trajectory, at the moment when it was supposed to connect with the conveyor belt, its back corners drooped. They dragged on the platform below, and, like a trapeze flier missing a catch, the paper sank downward. As more sheets rushed into the same space, they created a pile of loops and curlicues—what the jam engineers called a “flower arrangement.”

A fun read. The article references this scene from Mike Judge’s 1999 film “Office Space”

Classic - we have all been there...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 10, 2018 6:05 PM.

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