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Technology Untangled: Multifunction copier lacks key functions

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Usually if I am writing an article about a piece of technology, it is because I like it. Most of my reviews concentrate on the positive aspects of a device, but today we will look at a multifunction copier from Canon that disappointed me. I hope some of the things I learned will help you when shopping for your next small office copier.

The Canon ImageCLASS D1120 black and white laser multifunction copier boasts a long list of features and a reasonable price, but overall its performance did not impress me. On sale for only $400, I thought this Canon was worth a look.

It seems like a relatively robust unit for this price. The rated duty cycle is 20,000 pages a month, a good rating for small office use. This copier is a good notch above a “personal copier” in quality, at a price that is similar to many light-duty copiers. The quality of the D1120 seems fine, but its many operational quirks turned me off to it.

Like many digital copiers, at its heart this machine is essentially a digital scanner married to a laser printer. What first attracted me to it was the automatic two-sided document copying, printing and scanning. The next intriguing feature was the advertised network capability, but that turned out to be rather limited. Yes, the unit can function as a network printer, but not wirelessly.

One big disappointment was learning that the scanning functions specifically would not operate over the network. The scanner works only in conjunction with the one computer that it is tethered to via USB. The scanner will scan both black and white and color documents, but that feature is limited without an automatic detection capability for color pages. You have to tell the scanner in advance whether you want to scan in all color or all black and white. Auto color detection is an important feature for recognizing highlighted or colored pen markings on discovery documents, for example. Yes, you can scan everything in color, but that leads to unwieldy file sizes compared to black and white scans.

The two-sided scanning feature has a quirk, also. It cannot be set to auto-detect for two-sided originals. You can only choose all one-sided, or all two-sided. Scanning always in two-sided mode can lead to many blank pages in your electronic document set. Good scanning software should have the ability to remove blank pages automatically, but the Canon software does not. When scanning for copying, defaulting to two-sided mode doesn’t matter as much, although it does put excessive wear and tear on the paper transport mechanism by feeding and “printing” a lot of blank backsides of pages.

I was also dismayed to learn that the D1120 has no copy counter of any kind, not for individual projects, nor for a lifetime total. To me that is an important feature of an office copier, especially one advertising on its box as “Heavy Duty”. An hour on the phone with Canon tech support revealed that this feature was only available on Canons’ next higher, more expensive line of ImageRUNNER copiers. Even the most inexpensive laser printer has the ability to tell you how many total pages have printed through it. Curiously, the D1120 does have the capability to set up to 99 individual user codes so limits can be imposed on the number of copies each user can run. So it is clear that the unit does know how to count. It is my opinion that Canon purposely omitted the counter feature so people would not hold them to task on over-specifying the number of copies you can get between toner replacements. So far it seems that the cartridges only last one-half to two-thirds of their rated life.

Another miss: this multifunction device cannot scan and copy simultaneously. If you need both hard copies and electronic copies, you must run your stack of papers through the document feeder twice! That is just dumb, because there is no technical reason that the scanned image data couldn’t be sent to both the copier for printing and out the USB port for saving to computer. Since virtually all of the copies made in our office are also saved electronically, this feature deficiency makes the Canon D1120 hopelessly inefficient.

What finally and completely knocked the Canon ImageCLASS D1120 out of contention as a useful office tool for me was the excessive non-printable area of the page margins. Many, many of the pages I tried to copy had the edges of the images cut off around the margins, with almost a quarter inch of unprintable area. The aggravating thing about this was that the scanned images looked just fine on the computer. This means that the scanner captures more area of the page image than the printer/copier is capable of reproducing. The only “fix” is to reduce all copies to 97 percent.

If you are currently shopping for a copier, my advice is to take a pass on the Canon ImageCLASS D1120.•
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Stephen Bour (bourtech@iquest.net) is an engineer and legal technology consultant in Indianapolis. His company, the Alliance for Litigation Support Inc., includes Bour Technical Services and Alliance Court Reporting. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author.

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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