One from the department of good intentions.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

Students in the departmental computer teaching lab of a large research university are conservation-minded, so they recycle the paper used in the laser printer by printing on the back side of used sheets, says a pilot fish on the scene whose job includes supporting the lab.

But fish put a stop to that practice after someone tried printing on the back of a page that had so much black toner on it, it might have been a solid-black test page. Fish can’t say, because what he finally extracted from the printer was a cylinder of fused layers that resembled nothing so much as the core of a roll of toilet paper.

What happened was that, when the page got to the fuser, the fuser melted the used toner on the back and the paper stuck to the fuser roll. The printer continued to pull the page in, and as the paper wrapped around the fuser roll, the toner glued the layers of paper together. That finally stopped the printer.

It being a research university, fish’s cleanup job was facilitated by using a borrowed scalpel.

As for that “toilet paper roll”? Reports fish: “I kept it until I retired.”

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