There are three things I fear as a sole proprietor
1) Having my work computer go on the blink
2) Having my plotter stop working
3) Having my bond copier stop working
Nothing brings a chill to my spine more that working late at night on a project because you have a meeting the next morning and one of the three items listed above happens. At 2 AM in the morning there isn't much you can do.
I've had my trusty Designjet 500 (don't laugh it goes well with my AutoCAD Release 14) plugging away for years. Last Thursday night I could hear it stop long before it had time to complete the sheet I wanted. So I went to investige. As I looked at the plotter's LCD screen it indicated a paper jam, but there was no paper jam. I also noted some "black" items on my sheet that shouldn't have been there. I initially thought it was excess ink. After about the 4th "jam paper" incident, I felt the paper and realized with wasn't ink at all, it was a piece of rubber. I examined the carriage belt and the rubber gears were falling of the plastic band. So the Designjet was retired for the night.
So I thought I would just print out what I had on 8 1/2 x 11 on my desktop printer. It is an HP photosmart 1115. Hey, If it ain't broke don't fix it! I wouldn't call my equipment vintage, but it is economical not having to buy new equipment. Wanting to print in black and white, I was surprised to get a nice shade of red? Yep, ink cartridge out and did I have a backup in the office? Of course not! My trip to Office Depot would have to wait till the morning.
So plan "C". I also have a backup plotter a used HP Designjet T1100PS. I haven't used it since I got it. After moving things around I finally got the USB cable over to the T1100. I loaded the CD into my work machine so I could have the proper drivers installed and lucky me it did work on XP! So I got my work machine recognizing the plotter and on the first "test plot", I get a message that one of the ink cartridges has expired? I had never seen that one before. Taking it out and reseating it seem to satisfy the plotter, so a second try. This time another ink cartridge (the black on of course) was empty and needed to be replaced. None of my local stores had it, but my blue print company did! So I ordered one on Amazon as a backup and drove across town to get the local cartridge. I finally got the new black cartridge in and made a successful plot. I was back in business. Not two plots later the T1100 kindly imformed me that my Yellow cartridge was low.
So new cartridges have been ordered, I have ordered a new carriage belt for the Designjet 500, and I am back functional again!
I keep telling people that as soon as you think you got things under control, BAM!, things go a muck. I tell them that chaos is the norm, just most people don't acknowledge it.
I didn't panic, I knew within a few days I would have things back up and running, but my what a pain. Just a bump in the road of life. You need to be prepared for your misfortune (aka bad luck). That night it was just one bump after another, but by Monday I was a "Pickin' and a Grinin'" again!