My HP Officejet Pro 8500 is a F&%king Liar / by Erin Wade

This afternoon I was in the middle of proofing and printing a series of reports.  The printer I was using was my HP Officejet Pro 8500, which has the added nice feature of being able to print double-sided documents.  All was going quite swimmingly until, in the middle of report number six or so it stops and gives me the following warning:

Cannot Print
The ink in the following cartridge is depleted.
Black [K]

Prior to seeing this, there was no indication, no suggestion, not event a hint that the black ink was low.  The last letters printed were just as crystal clear, just as sharp, as the first.

Well - no hint aside from the little warning triangle saying "a cartridge is low" that first started showing approximately 24 seconds after I first set up the printer.  HP as a company would perhaps benefit from a study of the effect of false positives on the response of users...  But I digress.

Most troubling here is this specific phrase in the warning:  "Cannot Print" followed by "Replace the following cartridge to resume printing".  And it isn't kidding.  The device simply WILL NOT print until you replace the cartridge.  It resolutely refuses to budge no matter how many obscenities one screams at it.  

Or so I hear...

Older models of HP printers would warn you (again, ridiculously early) that you were running low on ink, but you could press on bravely, printing page after page.  Then, one day, months (sometimes years) after that first warning you would finally reach the point where the ink on the page began to fade, and it was clear that now, at long last, one might have to give in and replace the cartridge.  

Now, instead, apparently the printer has been programmed to engage in a sit-down strike until it gets its way.  And I can't help but think, given that the ink never faded (not once), that this thing is holding out on me, greedily holding on to those last drops of ink, resolutely refusing to give way.

Undoubtedly this change in behavior would be framed by HP as presenting with some sort of benefit that I just haven't yet considered.  Still, it seems to me that the entity most benefitted here is HP itself, as I have now been required - not just encouraged or warned, but required - to replace a print cartridge despite no clear signs of need just so I could complete my document.  

All of which is why I'm pretty sure My HP Officejet Pro 8500 is a F&%king Liar.