I bet if you work in a grocery store, you spend part of the time rearranging food that you know is going to get thrown away after it doesn't sell, so you feel like you're going to a lot of trouble for nothing. That's what buying a printer feels like. I hate buying printers because I'm highly skeptical that I can find one that will still work after six months, after Kelly and I have gone through a long series of them for the last ten years that all broke down like flimsy pieces of crap. Now I need papers printed weekly for Gothic Earth, and Kelly's latest printer has gone to the home office in the sky, and so we began the pointless ritual over again.

I had a great printer in the nineties that lasted eight years and never jammed and rarely ran out of ink. My parents had good printers back then too. What happened, I wonder? My research indicates that printer technology changed early this decade, when built-in obsolescence became the norm and printers began breaking down frequently. So it's not just me! There are also Lexmark printers that have a microchip that prevents the same cartridge from being refilled and reused, and Epson printers that refuse to stop printing after 175 sheets on a single cartridge, whether it still has ink or not. I could pay less per sheet at Kinko's (or whatever FedEx renamed it to again). My research indicates that Kodak makes expensive printers but requires you to buy ink less often and at lower prices, so we brought home their least expensive model and we're one day into it without a failure yet! Let's see how long this one lasts.

I'm grateful to Kelly for doing a lot of research and for hooking it up.

Seven Replies to Buying a Printer

Amy Austin | July 25, 2009
I am completely sympathetic to this, and I firmly believe that obsolescence planners should be made obsolete themselves.

Steve West | July 25, 2009
I'm generally happy with my Lexmark All-in-one printer that scans and copies too (cool features) but that sumbitch eats ink quickly.

Lori Lancaster | July 25, 2009
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Dave Stoppenhagen | July 28, 2009
Yeah I've had good luck w/ my Canon for the last 5 years or so, it is an all-in-one combo, and although not specifically for pictures it prints out very good copies. The cartridges seem to last a decent amount of time as well.

Jackie Mason | July 28, 2009
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Amy Austin | July 28, 2009
Hahaha... "beginning to", Jackie??? I've been pissed about this for the last 20 years (around the time that wood furniture became rare and MDF took over the world of cheap shit -- heavy as hell (heavier than wood!) and God forbid you should ever get the stuff wet! I once heard someone call it "beaver puke", and that's about as accurate as it gets!!!)... it's just that it's actually getting WORSE that's so fucking unbelievable.

Jackie Mason | July 28, 2009
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