There's a lot of paperwork and administrative duties when you're an international man of mystery. So Doc spends a good part of his day behind a desk pushing paper and filling out performance appraisals just like everyone else. And, I do a lot of printing.
Fortunately, at Doc's secret world headquarters, we have a number of high-end multifunction printers (MFPs). In fact, right now Doc works regularly with printers from Canon, Ricoh, Xerox, HP, and others. Don't worry, I'm not naming names, but it's safe to say that each brand has its pluses and minuses.
What Doc finds most important is the ability for the machines to work with the least interaction necessary. When I walk up to the MFP, I don't want to make decisions. I want to make copies. And when I hit "print" I want to know there is a reasonable chance I'll be picking up what I want from the output tray.
I'm not suggesting I don't make mistakes, of course, but I expect a good machine to somewhat anticipate them.
User interface and machine design is an art as well as a science, and some manufacturers do a better job than others. There's one touch screen in Doc's office that makes me feel like I'm Alice in Wonderland – too many helpful icons! Help. I just want an 8 ½ x 11 color copy.
So, like a lot of people in my office, I find myself favoring certain machines over others. My choices often have less to do with convenience than with the quality of the output or the ease of operation. I'd hate to be told I had to default to one machine. Each one is good for something a little different, and I like having a say in where my pages get printed.
Plus, it's the little details that make the difference. Things like error reporting, how easy it is to clear a jam, paper loading, etc., can be the deciding factor for me in choosing an output device. Even though it's not my job to maintain the machines, I find myself interacting with them on a mechanical basis more than I would prefer.
The good news is that all of the machines I work with are truly amazing compared to those of just a few years back. The speed of output and the quality of color is remarkable, and now, I just take it for granted.