Problem

Old HP 4000N had a paper jam and no way to remove the parts in the way of the paper jam.

Solution

Ran a folded pop-tart box through the rollers (with quit a bit of flossing) until the crumpled paper came out.

Backstory

It's been a while since I've done IT work. I've been working rather hard to get away from mundane tasks that make me go bonkers.

However, yesterday (Labor Day) I went to Border's, which is going out of business, and chanced upon an HP 4000N (network printer) from 1997, which, for whatever reason, I thought might be better than my current Brother HL-1240 (2mb RAM).

Aside: The problem with my Brother is that it can't print pictures. With only 8mb of RAM, I'm not sure the HP 4000N will do that much better.

So I paid $55 and got the printer, took it home, and discovered that it had a paper jam. No big deal, right? WRONG. Turns out that in 1997 printer engineers had yet considered that the end user might want to remove a simple paper jam without calling a service technician and there was absolutely no way to get to remove the components in front of the jam! They were part of the frame!!!

After a few hours of tinkering I was about to give up, but my girlfriend insisted - probably on the basis that $50 means more to her than it means to me - that we could get it working. We spent a while trying to take different pieces out, but the jam appeared to be in a solid part of the frame.

Nevertheless, thanks to her positive attitude and encouragement we eventually found a cardboard box about the size of a pop-tart box and found that by forcefully flossing it through the rollers we were able to remove the jammed paper.

I printed a test page and went to bed. It will be interesting to see if it can, in fact, print PDFs with pictures.

Aside: Since $50 doesn't mean that much to me you'd think I'd have a nice shiny 2005 printer or something like that... but I don't. In the 6.5 years I've had my hand-me-down Brother HL-1240 I've changed the toner once and for the most part it's done what I've needed.

Inkjets suck. Laserjets are amazing, except in the case of color printing - you just have to take your stuff to get printed professionally for that. Again, Inkjets suck.


By AJ ONeal

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Published

2011-9-6



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