Prints of Darkness

Graphic Joshua Barkman

Remember the good ol’ days, when phone calls cost just a quarter, when people listened to Walkmans and nobody loled? While you’re going down memory lane, remember when printers (wait for it…) actually printed?

Well, folks, the new printing system has officially taken over Concordia’s campus! The machines can scan, retrieve jobs from across the country and do everything but order you pizza—except reliably print, that is.

The incredible backlogs, infuriating (and inexplicable) delays between print jobs and frequent breakdowns have made the system, well, somewhat not liked by both students and library staff. The irony that it’s called “DPrint”—when that’s precisely what it fails to reliably do—always cracks me up when my machine stalls for the umpteenth time.

Remember the old machines? Sure, they weren’t flashy like these touch-screen marvels, but they were reliable, hardy and happily blinked “hello” at you. It was a nice, personalized touch.

What had been a rather mundane printing experience has now become an epic journey with no predictable outcome. Photocopying takes three times as long as planned. And as for printing, better bring a filled-up card and a snack to share, ’cause you’re going to be there a while.

Flashy new systems might impress the tour groups of prospective students, but Concordia would do well to remember the old saying: the more the machine does, the more it can do wrong.

—Randy Pinsky,