March 12th, 2019

Bill vs. the Technology Stack

I finished up the taxes in the spreadsheet. The next step was to download the PDF forms for the Federal and Illinois taxes so I could fill the data in. And I got that done.

Then I went to print the Illinois tax form.

And the printer went berserk and started throwing out sheets complaining about "ERROR: syntaxerror, OFFENDING COMMAND: --nostringval-- STACK: /read_image_file false". Lots of sheets of paper. It would have thrown out more if I didn't keep terminating the job.

Eventually, I narrowed the problem down to the last page of the form. Unfortunately, being able to print four out of five pages of the form won't actually get your taxes filed. Nor was I able to print a page of the empty form that I could fill out by hand.

Hmm. It's printing to a Postscript driver for this printer. Maybe the PCL driver will be better. Why can't I *get* to the PCL driver?

I finally uninstalled the printer and reinstalled it from the previously downloaded drivers. This put the PCL driver front and center (with the PS driver nowhere to be found). And having done that, I was able to print the Illinois tax form.

I have many other tax forms that still need to be printed, but I am done for tonight. I will finish this up tomorrow. :)