If there's one tech product category that people love to hate, it's printers. The technology has been around for years, but it never seems to improve much. The problems you have with a laser printer at work are basically the same problems you have with your inkjet printer at home, and they're little different from the struggles you likely had with the dot-matrix model you used 20 years ago. You know what I mean: paper jams, replacement-ink hassles, bizarre sounds that foretell disaster, and an innate ability to screw up right before you need to hand in a major project or research paper. Is it any wonder that when you type "Printers are" into Google, the first suggestion you see is "from hell"?
Don't get me wrong--these devices can be great for printing photos at home (unless your printer is finicky and likes only a certain brand of photo paper). They can also print out map directions (if you have enough ink, which you never do). And they can help you craft your own greeting cards (if the software works with your printer).
Let's face it: Printers have never been worry-free. They break down often, they cause heartache, and they are always demanding your attention, begging for paper refills, driver updates, and the occasional system reset. But printers can also be funny--when they do such things to somebody else. So let's take a trip through the wonderful world of printers, where gags can go wrong, cats attack, and water does a better job than paper ever could.
This has to be one of the most interesting forms of printer technology ever. The George P. Johnson Company teamed up with Steven Pevnick, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, to create the Jeep Waterfall experience for Daimler-Chrysler to use at auto trade shows. The waterfall uses water instead of paper to "print" different words or symbols, such as the Jeep logo. The waterfall includes a 24-foot drop where the image appears, and is about 54 feet wide. Almost 1000 gallons of water travel through 3000 valves similar to the valves in an inkjet printer. According to the video, the Jeep Waterfall recirculates water to keep waste low; it loses about 20 gallons from splashing and evaporation during the course of a day.
You've probably seen this type of gag many times on TV, in movies, and in comic strips: An office drone becomes bored with his job, and decides to have a little fun by photocopying his rear. Watch this video to the end, and you'll see what happens when the real world meets fictional antics.