I’m reasonably sure this is true, I think I’ve got this figured out. Johannes Gutenberg was a wuss. He’s done the sales talk, he’s got the investors, he’s got really impressive and quite smelly equipment and he’s standing there when someone asks if this is the printing press that will revolutionise the world.
And he goes uh-huh. Nods. Gives every impression that the answer is yes, that the answer is definitely yes, this is it, we’re done, I am fantastic and don’t you ever doubt it.
But the printing press doesn’t work.
It never worked.
It did always look like it should if only you had the right toner cartridge. And certainly paper goes in here and comes out there unless you’re doing something very stupid. You. Not it. You.
From 1450 until his death in 1468, Gutenberg covered it up by hand-writing every book in existence. Many, many times. You’ve got to give the guy some credit for patience, diligence and exceptionally clear handwriting, but you can’t give him credit for the printing press because it never bloody worked.
If he were alive today, he’d be so relieved that it was all over. For here’s my printer. I had to search the house for it and I’m only surprised that I didn’t find yours at the same time.
For one brief moment this week, I thought I needed to print out something official. I didn’t, I was able to open the PDF I was sent, add a signature to it and send it back as PDF without taking my hands off my Mac’s keyboard, but for a moment there, I thought I did. So began Day One of the hunt for the printer and later this week on Day 417, I found it up there on a high shelf.
There is a part of me that wants to get it down, to plug it in to the mains and to not plug it into my Mac because it’s supposed to be a wireless printer.
But then the rest of me remembers that the wireless bit was a joke and that anyway, this is a printer.
Printers never work because they never have.
If Gutenberg were alive today, he’d be busted. I’m just saying.