To Boldly Go: Space Walking & the Epson 2880

There is now a new toaster oven sitting on my desk! Well, at least after Ann makes a quilted cover for it as she offered, that’s what it will look like. The Epson 2880 is rather large-seeming after many years of 8×10 printing, but folds up nicely and leaves me some desk surface for the spreading of clutter that makes the wife so fond of me. Hey: its MY clutter. And I prefer to refer to it as my UHSREP: Unsorted Holdings Staged Randomly for Eventual Processing.

The first day with the Epson was marked by successes–the installation of 8 ink cartridges. And then there was the remainder of the afternoon during which I learned the depths of my ignorance. Hours. It took more than an hour to figure out in the Photoshop printer dialogue that yes, even though you’ve changed very little of what used to be available (like selecting your paper, how to handle color, that sort of thing) against your better judgement, you go ahead and hit PRINT thinking “this can’t be right!”

Yes, Dilbert. Hit PRINT and all the other choices come up. Forget the fact that you haven’t a clue what choices to make.

Trudge, trudge, trudge–up the learning curve. Does each Epson paper (of those indicated as compatible with this model printer) come with its own basic color calibration? What are the characteristics of each paper that make you chose that one and not another–a question I can only learn by a certain number of future “Yuk!”s. And where do I find how to calibrate the Apple 23” monitor so WYSIWYG?

I am filled with hopeful dread.

Three kinds of photo paper is on its way. Thanks, all, who recommended Altex. I like the way their page pulls up all the inks and papers for the 2880 AND gives the best price!

I’m going to try to enjoy the journey, relish having something both geeky and creative to sink my teeth into with this printer and printing learning curve. I appreciate having folks around for help, encouragement and dope slaps.

Many of you were along when I was at this same confused state with regard to writing and self-publishing. And remembering that, this seems like yet another sortee into uncharted territory, filled with stunning vistas–and bogs of despair. I think I need more coffee before I cast off into the vacuum of space. See ya later.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. My husband uses a calibrator made by Colorvision. It’s referred to as a spider. You hang it on your monitor. It’s about $300 to $400.
    Yes, every paper has an ICC profile. You download the profiles from the Epson site.
    Allen says, “when I print I click “no printer correction,” and then select the paper profile (ICC) for that paper. The profile controls how and how much ink is deposited. The monitor calibration is what makes the print look more like the screen. I’ve never had it perfect because the screen is a picture back lit and the print is front lit. But I get closer than I used to. There are many tutorials on the web if you search. The colorvision site has lots of info also.”

  2. Don’t be afraid. We all had to go through this learning faze. Me with my 3800. It’s so much fun now, and easy too!