Warning: this blog post does not tackle the big issues of the week. But it is about one of life´s recurring frustrations. Printers. Guardian Money reported yesterday how printing companies are screwing consumers with smaller cartridges. Measure-for-measure, ink is now more expensive than vintage champagne. Hewlett Packard cartridges, for example, are five times worse value than a decade ago. The other manufacturers are just as bad, making cartridges smaller and harder to refill. They´ve got ink on their hands. Epson say the technology is more efficient now, meaning it´s better value. They´re efficient all right, when they work.
Comments: I have three printers on a tall stand next to my laptop. Why, you ask. Or perhaps you know. It was cheaper to buy a new printer with a set of cartridges than it was to buy a set of cartridges.
This propels me into a rage akin to Dpole confronted by a windmill. I think I´ll dig out the old Panasonic dot matrix (yes, that would be No. 4), see if it works. I know I have a couple of ink cartridges somewhere.
When I figured out my Epson color printer was combining the colored ink to print in black, even though it also had a separate black ink cartridge, I realized how badly they were screwing me. So, I pitched the printer and will never, ever buy another Epson printer.
Oh, it also "cleaned" the print heads so often that I suspect half my ink was used up that way, too.
For some months now, I have had the intention of advertising that on a certain Saturday afternnon at 2 p.m.... " a local attorney will take his HP ( Model No.) printer out in his front yard and destroy it with a hammer. The ad would go on to say ´ This is not negotiable. This piece of trash will never mess with anybody again ´." I keep putting it off in spite of the fact this dog refuses to perform, and frequently at the most critical time. I would like to replace it with one like the used Dell I got at a yard sale for $10.00 years ago. Someday I will.
Thanks #1--will try the cheap knock-offs for the printers I´ve already laid off but not the new Canon. I did ruin a printer with cheap look-alike ink one time.
#2, Epson isn´t the only printer to do that. You can go into your printer preferences and choose black only, which I do frequently.
Also, right in the middle of something vitally important an Epson will suddenly stop and a message on your computer will say, words to the effect, that your printer is now past its useful life and it won´t print any more. I did find a site online which gave good instructions on how to defeat this quirk but I´m afraid you´ll have to do a search. Can´t remember where it was.
NO, NO, NO! Printing machine companies are nefarious... printing machines are frustrating... I, on the other hand, am a "printer." Take it easy on me, guys!
And, #2 - that´s an artefact of four color printing, the two different blacks (K and CMYK-composite). It´s a fact of life in digital printing. You can switch from full black to K only. However, a lot of gradients and so forth require full blacks, so printers default to them (except when set in grayscale).
It does seem that in the day & age of 3D printers (just around the corner!) that they could build a better, simpler printer. I always swore by Epson, but switched over to Kodak for home use & I´m happier with it.
In the early days of computer printing, it was fun to print family photos in color even being a very expensive hobby with photo paper and cartridges. Now, you can upload digital photos to practically any drugstore chain and pick them up. I haven´t used a color printer for years. An low end, inexpensive laser printer with refurbished toner cartridges will save a bundle. The color cartridge is the biggest ripoff in the computer industry.
I haven´t heard of the "greenies" going after the print cartridge people yet. If they did, they could probably solve global warming and the next oil shortage at the same time. Unfortunately, the redistribution of wealth from buyers to sellers would end.
Recently I thought I had a ‘bad batch’ of refilled black cartridges for our HP printer/fax/copier. The machine kept giving me a ‘printer cartridge error’ message when I would try to replace the empty ink. Only after throwing out several (probably perfectly good) cartridges did I think to reboot the machine. Turned out the cartridge was fine. The machine was programmed to show an error if not rebooted when a non-OEM cartridge was installed. Cycling the power apparently bypasses that part of the programming.
Our fax/copier is an HP, but the more frequently used printer/scanner/copier on our family wifi network is a Kodak. It´s cheaper on ink and the photo quality printing is excellent.
My spin is a little different. The latest HP printer/scanner/fax I got on sale for $125 is so vastly superior to the more expensive seven year old model it replaced its shocking. Most important to me is the bulk scanning capability which it performs flawlessly even after thousands of documents. The wireless capability, internet driver updating function and effortless installion and setup make the new model a pleasure to use. Yes printing may cost more, but the overall value and usefullness of the printer is greatly improved. Its just like your cellphone, they do more than ever before, but the monthly fee is also greater. Have you checked the price of a ribeye at the grocery store lately - its more than the price of an ink cartidge! For sure don´t print pictures, go down to Walgreens and get them done for pennies, and they look a whole lot better.
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