Tech Support Pits column from  Dear Webby's Humor Letter
widely read, forwarded, copied and imitated daily since 1994
Dear Webby's Humor Letter, daily since 1994


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DearWebby is actually Helmut Morscher, the CEO of Webby, inc.

Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear Webby Humor Letter.

This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.

Have FUN!
DearWebby
   
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
09/10/04: Printer not feeding reliably

Tech Support Pits:
From Mindy=== Dear Webby Our printer is getting erratic with the paper feeder again. Last time, about a year ago, we brought it to a shop and they "fixed" it, but it cost almost as much as a new printer. What is there to "fix" and how? Thanks Mindy Dear Mindy Usually that is just the little rubber rollers getting glazed with dust from the paper and the paper coating. To do a complete overhaul you will need the following: A long Phillips screwdriver with a reasonably sharp tip A long flat screwdriver Q-tips A 1 ounce bottle of Gas-Line Anti-Freeze or Methyl Hydrate Except in the deep South you can get those tiny bottles of Gas-Line Anti-Freeze at any gas station. In the South you may have to go to the drug store and ask for Methyl Hydrate or "Wood Alcohol". "Everclear" grain alcohol works too. Once you have all the stuff ready, and a good size working area clean and asolutely free of any other stuff, shut down the computer, then the printer, then unplug the printer. Take the outer covers off the printer and lay them down the furthest away from it. Continue taking covers and plastic off, laying the pieces progressively closer to the printer. Eventually you get to a level where you see the rubber rollers that move or guide the paper. Vacuum out the printer and wipe any surface with a damp microfiber cloth or a cleaning rag moistened with window cleaner and wrung out well enough so that it does not drip. Fill the cap of the Gas-Line Anti-Freeze bottle half full, and dip a Q-tip into it, and use that to scrub the rubber rollers. And I mean scrub, not just wipe. The trick is to massage the surface and soften it with the alcohol. When the rubber roller begins to feel just slightly tacky or sticky, move on to the next one. Once you think you have all of them scrubbed, look for any that you may have forgotten. Some printers also have pie shaped quarter wheels with a strip of rubber. Those of course also have to be scrubbed. When all rubber has been processed, put all the covers back on, closest ones first, furthest ones last. Let the printer sit for half an hour, then plug it back in. Turn it on and run a few test prints. After that it will be good for another 5 boxes of paper. The same procedure also works fine for old-fashioned ball type mice. Also clean the two shafts that the rubber ball touches. Before closing the mouse, pull the cord in a tiny little bit, so that the previously most bent and kinked part of the cable, just where it exits the mouse, is now inside and safely "retired". Have FUN! DearWebby
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