I am sure that everyone has a trick or two for the printer that they use all the time, so please comment and let me (and others) know what they are (you can comment about any printer not just the Kodak 8500). I will be updating this as I run into more tips and tricks.
Over the past few days I have been printing excessive amounts of photos because, well, it's fun! A lot of the photos are of a wedding. The pictures are outside with a light blue sky. The bride is in white and groom in black. Both have black hair and the flowers are very dark red, orange and yellow. I ran into a problem that just about drove me nuts. The printer has a bleed problem. I thought that it was my file, but after printing one out on the Epson, it was definitely the printer. So, obviously, I figured out how to prevent it (or this article would really be pointless). If the dark is above the light, you are OK. If the dark is under the light, you need to rotate the image 180 degrees so that the bleed bleeds back into the dark. Sounds odd, right? It works. This is what happened- I have a picture of the bride and groom in front of very light water and sky. The hair, the boutonnière and the tux bled up into the sky. I rotated the image 180 and printed again- no bleed. Tried this method on three other prints and the results were the same. Easy fix for an annoying problem!
Second "tip". Clean the ribbon rollers before you start printing a bunch of prints. If you don't, they may get gooped up (not sure why). If this happens and the rollers get sticky, the printer will start printing then stop because there is too much resistance on the rollers to forward the ribbon. I figured this out after a couple prints would "jam" after printing the magenta layer. Unfortunately, the error says "paper jammed" instead of "ribbon stuck" or something like that so I had wrongly assumed that it was a paper issue. Hopefully Kodak will get better error reporting and a faq that covers real issues not just "I have a mac, will this printer work?"
And, as an observation, the higher end the camera/printer, the less instructions come with it. I guess they figure that you have to have an IQ greater than a turnips (which I don't) to use it, so you don't need instructions. My printer comes with a really lame online "guide" that you get to through a very unintuitive interface. The only support "faqs" are nothing that you can't read other places, and their support phone number will tell you after hours that you called after hours but doesn't tell you when their hours actually are. (I think Kodak could improve on that). I have also heard the same is true about their digital camera backs (which I would love to get my hands on and see, but I don't have the cash...)
Overall, I am still extremely happy with the printer. It has been way less hassle on its bad times than my Epson was on its good times. I give it a hug before I go to bed each night....I think it likes me....