Goodbye old PITA printer, hello new PITA printer

Goodbye old PITA printer, hello new PITA printer

Summary: Over the weekend my workhorse Epson printer decided it had had enough with life, emitted a tiny puff of magic smoke, and was no more.

TOPICS: Hardware, Printers

Over the weekend my workhorse Epson printer decided it had had enough with life, emitted a tiny puff of magic smoke, and was no more.

Hardware death at the PC Doc HQ is quite a common occurrence. Stuff gets used and abused so much that the gear has a life expectancy of a drunk test pilot. The truth is though that I'm not upset to see the back of that printer. Within a week of owning that Epson Stylus D120 I'd started to hate it with a passion. I hated how slow it was, hated how noisy it was, hated the fact that it needed a head cleaning more often my I had to change my socks, and hated how rapidly all the ink colors were consumed despite mostly printing out black text.

The only real consolation was that I don't print out that much stuff nowadays, so my exposure to it was limited.

Well, now it's dead. Goodbye old PITA printer.

I wish I could live without a printer, but try as I might to pull that off, I just can't do it. If my handwriting were actually legible, I might stand a chance of being able to live my life printer-free, but it isn't.

So out I went printer shopping. I won't bore you with the actual details, suffice to say that I set a price limit and went searching for the unit that seemed the least hassle. I went for an HP Photosmart Plus all-in-one printer. As a rule I used to steer clear of all-in-one devices because the multiple components each introduce a possible failure point. I've gone this time for a printer/scanner combo not because I believe that the devices are more reliable, but from an acceptance that if it outlives its warranty, it's done well. I didn't go with a printer/scanner/fax combo because I hardly use a fax and feel that adding the devil's spawn of office equipment to a printer/scanner combo would probably make the whole thing unbearably annoying. Printers are already perfectly capable of stinking worse than Satan's sulfurous armpit, that I really don't relish the idea of throwing in my all-time least favorite device into the mix.

Hello new PITA printer.

I've got the printer out of the box and got it working, but I have to admit that there are certain aspects that bother me. First, all the cartridges that were supplied with the new printer are labeled "SETUP" which leads me to believe that these are some cheapo half-filled variation of the cartridges that will end up costing me big bucks down the line. I've weighed them compared to retail versions and the weights don't seem all that difference, but since we're only dealing with a few milliliters of ink here, and the majority of the weight of the cartridge will be the plastic housing, I'm still convinced there I'm being ripped off here.

Then I find out that my printer has an email address that I can send documents to my printer over the web. By extension, this means that anyone could send junk to my printer. No thanks.

Then there's an ambiguous "cartridge chip info" feature which happily informs me that it will "collect anonymous information about printer usage." This is on by default and offers no more information on what information is being collected. No thanks.

Oh, and one printer seems to have managed to create its own mini landfill of waste to get rid of. Most of this waste is cardboard and easily dealt with, but some of it is disguised as value-added stuff that I might want to keep but not do so. The power supply came in a little tote bag and the printer in a shopping bag. No thanks.

I'm off to print something ... because I can.

Obligatory printer-related Oatmeal cartoon ... enjoy!

Topics: Hardware, Printers

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  • Color laser printers are affordable now...

    Color laser printers are affordable now if you don't plan on printing photos. They're perfect for color documents. They're fast, usually quiet (depends on the brand), easily networkable, and rival inkjets in price per page. Depending on the model, the color toner may even be cheaper than most inkjets.

    Of course, for B&W, nothing beats laser printer in terms of quality, speed, and cost effectiveness.
    • RE: Goodbye old PITA printer, hello new PITA printer

      @olePigeon yea we have a HP 2600n color laserjet on our network at our house and its great. Even pictures come out clean and have nice color.
    • I Prefer Fax to Email

      It is amazing how technmology is moving at such a rapid rate; with faxes, laser printers and VOIP and PBX and other stuff - it is hard to keep up. But I prefer <a title="fax to email" href="">fax to email</a> technology as it has proven to make the entire faxing processes more efficient, but on the subject of printers - I wonder what's next!
  • So glad I don't have one

    I can take my documents onto campus to print. I hate printers with a passion and don't miss owning one.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Adrian, Adrian...inkjets are for SUCKERS

    Particularly when you can get a compact $50 laser that will last for years and run about $0.05 to $0.07 per page for black and white output.

    What, if anything, do you print in full color with?
    Ad Astra
  • i'd never buy an hp inkjet

    their software just sucks
  • How much junk does HP ship with their printers?

    We recently bought an HP Color Laser printer. Looking through the setup instructions, and all the accomanying documentation I simply wondered "Why would this printer setup require up to 300Mb of HDD space, when not too many years ago, they only required a few megabytes?"

    Personally, it's been a few years since last I had to deal with printer setups and such, ever since my entire household moved over to Linux (a whole other story in itself there!), where not only the printer drivers are mostly shipped with the CUPS and foomatic software, but also most of the advanced optionsn (not all, though) for HP printers are available through HPIJS and HPLIP officially endorsed open source HP projects, plus this printer happens to be netwroked and very easy to setup as stand alone in the network, which is how I finally set it up.

    Which invariably drove to ask myself, what it all does the massive amounts of software that nowadays accompany pretty much any printer and from various different brands?
  • Printer setup easy way

    Since about '98 I don't bother w/setup disk. I download latest drivers/& software(perhaps!) from HP or whoever. If on Ubuntu, it will 'find it by itself. Walgreen will re-fill most inkjet cart. for $10 ea, and I've had zero prob. Current is HP 7210 officejet print,scan,copy,fax. network-ready, tho not wireless. Been running w/o prob 5-6 years. No Crapware, but there might have been some on disk I still have but never used.
  • RE: Goodbye old PITA printer, hello new PITA printer

    I use to have the old Epson 188d PITA printers, because of oldness and the new line or printers sprouting out in the market I decided to switch to <a href"">hp officejet ink cartridge</a>s based printers.
  • RE: Goodbye old PITA printer, hello new PITA printer

    HP is the Devil's spawn. I prefer the epson, but truth be told, would really like updated drives for my truest Oki C5510 MFP which has been my printing partner for 8 years without fail. I need scanner drivers, but can print on it for now. When it dies, I'lll cry.

    I have another Epson inkjet in the basement I bought for the scanner, because it was cheaper than buying a sheetfed device. When it express? so what?
  • RE: Goodbye old PITA printer, hello new PITA printer

    I took a sledge hammer to my "new all in one" HP printer. Dam thing would not scan becasue it was out of yellow ink. Brilliant marketing move on the part of HP. Do you really think that I will buy or recommand any of your products again?

    Talk about e-waste. It's almost impossible to buy a stand alone ink jet any more. Has to be an "all in one". Oh well, by by ink jet, hello laser.
  • good idea about printers

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