Thursday, November 30, 2006


I got home today and found that in the midst of daughter's finals and term papers, the printer had died. Gone tits-up. Finis.

So, second son and I sallied forth to the local Wal-Mart. He for thermal underwear, me for a printer. If you want a scanner/fax/copier/printer it's about $80.00. They're giving the things away.

The printer I had been using was three years old and did a pretty fair job of printing text and the occasional picture. It cost me over a hundred bucks. The printer I brought home tonight is a better printer than the one I had, and it is smaller and lighter. No, I didn't spring for the copier/scanner model. I have a scanner. It works. When it dies, I'll go whole hog and throw away the printer I just bought.

Two ink cartridges are going to cost more than the printer. With kids in college, ink becomes a major expense. I wish they had some sort of tank device where you could buy ink by the quart and pour it into the cartridge. I suspect that Hewlett Packard gives away the printers so you're forced to buy ink for the damned things.


Eowyn said...

Have you considered investing in a laer printer? They're down to not all that much money, and one ink cartridge is good for thousands, rather than hundreds, of pages.

Since most student papers are printed black/white rather than in colour, this can help cut expenses down significantly.

(And yes, I keep a colour printer handy for when I really really need it.)

Anonymous said...

There's no "if's" about it, where they're making money is on the ink. Basically, the printer companies have moved to the "gillette" business model - give away the razors, and people will buy the cartridges. A laser is a really good idea, you can get one for $150, with a cartridge good for 20K pages from HP.

Hillarie said...

Hey PawPaw, there are refillable ink systems out there. I think I bought some off for an old Canon printer I had. Came with little needles to suck fresh ink and inject into your empty cartridges. quality was still very good and much cheaper than new ink cartridges. Of course, now many office supply stores (Staples, Office Depot) will exchange old cartridges for a ream of paper or give a coupon, so that helps... a little.

Anonymous said...

We're nearly to the point of printers being disposable. A new printer with ink isn't much more than replacement ink cartridges.