A technology company operating out of Stockholm has developed what it believes will be a whole new concept in printer technology.
"Most commercially available printers have an inbuilt fear of paper and an inherent antipathy towards ink," says Edvard Persson, CEO of Draugr Technologies. "Ask them to print out a document and they will spend about ten minutes receiving data, another fifteen cleaning the print head, eight minutes telling you to wait for no specified reason and then ultimately they will inform you that the document cannot be printed because there is a paper jam.
"There is no paper jam, of course, but that won't stop the printer repeatedly telling you to clear it. You're then stuck in a stalemate - you obviously cannot clear a non-existent fault, but neither can you cancel the print job, since the machine will steadfastly continue its attempts to perform your instruction in spite of all your attempts to stop it.
"Short of taking an axe to the thing there is nothing you can do to persuade it to desist. And even then there's no guarantee - reduce the bastard machine to a thousand splintered fragments and each of those pieces will still retain the memory of the task you gave it to perform, even though there was never any intention of actually carrying it out in the first place."
Unequal to the task
Researchers at the company have spent the last four years trying to resolve the problem and have come to the conclusion that most modern printers are simply unequal to the task of coaxing a 0.342mm thick sheet of material through a roller and simply surrender before they even attempt such a Herculean feat.
The plain fact is that, despite all the miracles that modern technology has achieved, no one has worked out how to put a piece of paper in one end of a printer and get it to come out the other without fucking losing it somewhere in the middle.
"It's frustrating," says Persson, "and we feel your pain. We've spent many, many hours shouting, cursing and screaming at equipment, but all to no avail. Turns out that printers are actually quite sensitive souls and react negatively to abuse.
"We have therefore initiated a programme to help empower our equipment and bolster its confidence. All of our printers undergo many hours of therapy before we release them onto to market, making them better able to cope with the stresses and strains of office and domestic life.
"By the time it reaches the customer it should be fully adjusted to its role as a printer and able to carry out that function without constantly issuing feeble excuses like the cringingly inadequate, badly designed, woefully engineered, shoddily constructed, criminally overpriced, laughably under-powered, pitifully ramshackle, embarrassingly shabby piece of junk that it really is"