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I think you have two problems. 1. Yes, the carriage is locked. There may be ink built up around it causing the catch to be stuck. When you first power the printer up, it will try to unlatch the head assembly to test motion. If you can catch it during that period and pull the plug again, you can clean.
2. Lights flashing alternately often mean that the printer has "parts at the end of their life". This means that the ink absorption pads in the bottom of the case may be full. Epson is pretty conservative with these, and you can usually get away with resetting them at least once before they leak all over your table.
There are a number of utilities you can use to reset. Here's a link to the Epson one: http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Storesupport/InkPadsForm.jsp
Ink and paper light on : head carriage error/general error. Head can't move extremely to right : head carriage blocked or CR motor error.
Turn of printer, unlock head carriage lock. Move head left and back to right (to parking position). Is it move freely?
Try unplugging the unit and then plugging it back in. When you first power it up, it should do an initial system check, which involves moving the print head. Unplug the unit the moment the print head is in a position to change the cartridge. I did this with my old Canon when I had the same problem and it worked. Hope it works for you too.
Here is a link to the Epson printer RX600 support page which has downloads of latest printer drivers for your unit. Did you remove any type of protective material that may be on the cartridge before installation?
I seem to have fixed my own question. Thanks to the "silly girl" pressing buttons. On the Epson Stylus Photo RX600 try pressing the stop button, color button, B&W button and the On button all at the same time. It starts up without that fatal red indicator with a message saying the ink tray has been emptied. Press the OK button and things are back to normal, I hope!