Printer’s Devil

PrintYou may look that one up on Google if you wish. I was once in that delightful position and can testify to the fact that it was a lot of fun. My favourite task was shovelling used type into the electric furnace to be melted down into new typemetal “pigs” for the linotype machine. I succeeded in a summer in melting all of the backlog of type and converting them – the operator had never had such a keen worker.

Okay – linotype aside, this is a post celebrating the lousy performance of modern inkjet printers and the apparent delicacy of their mechanisms. I do not intend to damn with faint praise as I have no praise whatsoever.

I bought an Epson 3800 printer several years ago and was delighted with the performance right up until the time when I was not. I had incautiously let it sit idle for several months and the ink inside the head clogged up some of the impossibly fine nozzles. The quoted cost for replacement of the head was also impossible – I purchased a lesser printer and have exercised it weekly to prevent like disappointment.

Today in the shop a fellow Epson user brought in an entirely different set of ruined prints from what appears to be some form of dustball in the machine. We sent her to the repairer and can only hope that the verdict is cheaper than before.

Before the Epson agent rounds on me, I will say that I have seen similar sadness in Canon and Hewlett-Packard items. I bewail the frailty of the species, not the breed. Can they never make anything that performs longer than two years? And must they make such changes between one model and the next as to preclude using the same ink tanks?

Gentlemen, make us a printer that prints something other than money for you and your ink division.

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