form feed tapes on printers (was Re: Mona Lisa)

Tony Duell ard at
Thu Oct 9 08:55:43 CDT 2008

> I heard tales of students who kept a "skip to channel 0" job handy
> (in the days of electronic, not punchcard job submission, so early
> 1980s, IIRC)... when they spotted an item (stack of cards, paper,
> disk pack!) sitting on top of one of the large printers, they'd
> submit the job to run the paper out intentionally, and, here's
> where the prank comes in, certain models of large printer would
> automatically open when the paper was out, spilling whatever was
> on top onto the floor.

In my undergraduate days, I remember the time somebody (not me, I hasten 
to add) put a plastic cup of coffee on top of such a line printer. And by 
chance (there was no 'prank job' involved AFAIK) the printer ran out of 
paper. The result is obvious, shall we just say the printer, the user 
concerned, at least 2 innocent bystanders and a lot of printout got soaked...


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