All is A4-OK

Printers and computers always want us to be specific.

Pilot fish is in charge of the mainframe product that converts output to Printer Command Language so it can be printed on regular network-attached printers, and he has a regular set of questions ready for when client representatives need some trouble shot.

And when he gets a call from a client representative who says that, whenever a report is sent to one of the printers, the users have to press the “OK” button so the report will print, he starts running through his questions.

Type of printer? No surprise there. Is it a new printer? Nope. Where is the printer located? 

OK, that last response is a little out of the ordinary: The printer is fairly remote. On another continent. Seven time zones away.  

Fish is willing to go check out the printer, but no one is buying that free-vacation dodge.  

Moving on, then, fish asks what size paper they use. Answer: They use what is available to them locally, which is letter-size paper.

The reports, however, are formatted for the common paper size used at HQ, which is A4. The two sizes, of course, are similar enough that it shouldn’t be a problem to switch one for the other. But computers and printers don’t like ambiguity, so every time, the printer asks if the output meant for A4 should be printed on letter-size. And someone has to press that “OK” button.

 The solution is easy enough, though: A4 paper is sent to the remote location.

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Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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