Monday, November 15, 2010

Printer Issues

Before I start this blog I want to make one thing clear, I don't usually point out specific brands as bad, at least in technology. I will never tell you that Macs are bad computers, because they aren't, they just have a different audience, and if you are not in there targeted audience, then don't worry about it. I will never tell anyone that a brand is straight up bad and should not be bought...except for this one product.

A few years ago, I purchased my first laptop. I paid for it completely, it was a low end Toshiba laptop however since I paid for it, I felt it was the best thing money could buy, or at least my money. Included with it was an Epson printer, another reason I thought my laptop was awesome. This thing was sleek, it had a scanner and copier as well as a USB port and memory card slot. But don't be fooled by this great exterior, while the printer was able to produce decent quality prints, its no wonder they were able to give them away for free.

You see Epson has this genius business model, sell printers cheap, sell ink cheap, make ink last for a month. Epson printers low ink indicator typically starts when the cartridge is at half ink. Then by time you are at a third of ink it says no ink and its impossible to force it to print.

I have now been in college for a little over three months and so far I have gone through two full cartridges of ink. Now at a total cost of $110, I am pretty frustrated with Epson. The first time I ran out of ink, I thought to myself, I'll just take it to the Office Depot down the street and have them refill it, however for some reason they can't refill it. Wouldn't surprise me if its some sort of legal issue that Epson prevents others from refilling the cartridges. So I am forced to buy ink again and this time it lasts for a little over a month and a half. Well I bought new ink over the weekend and hopefully it will last me till the end of the semester.

I want one more thing to be clear though, I hate printers. I feel that its a task that we have been doing for so long now that we should have been able to perfect it. I think we all hate printers though. Sometimes I feel a team building activity in the workplace would be to grab a few buddies, take your office printer and a bat to a nearby grassy valley, and just beat the shit out of it. I think that a lot of people would feel a lot better about, because it let's the printer know who's boss. This way, when you are at the office, trying to print an important report, five minutes before a meeting and the printer is being resilient, you can think to yourself, "Stupid printer has it coming, just two weeks till beat the printer day." This solution would also keep companies up to date with the never changing world of printers.

Okay, I'm done ranting. I would like to offer some light to this story. The next time that you are looking for a printer, consider a laser printer. Laser printers are becoming cheaper, and I think the technology is better than traditional ink printers. Its going to cost you to get started but I think in the long run, its going to save a lot of money. I have always had a better experience with laser printers, while still not great its still better than with ink printers. First of all, the toner seems to last a lot longer, and when it finally says low towner, just take the cartridge hit it on your palm a few times (CAUTION: HOT) and you should be able to pump out a few more sheets.

Well that about sums up my whole life of printers. If there is anything I want you to take away from this its:
1. Avoid Epson printers, while it may seem cheap, the printers have been known to steal your ink.
2. If one of my parental units happens to read this, I want a laser printer for Christmas and a year supply of toner for Hanukkah. My birthday is still up for grabs, have fun!

I should be releasing a second entry later this week about a very special robotics team at the Texas BEST Robotics competition in Denton this weekend. Go Krakens!

P.S. Bubby, I am still trying to get them to change the mascot from a Kraken to a Bubby. Nothing says fear my robot like a talking pink bear with no fingers.


  1. Epson printer's have a tendency to be crap, good luck to any Krakens!

  2. Nice allusion to Office Space Sherman. I lol'd. I would heavily agree though. With all the money computer companies are investing in laptops and portable technology nowadays, i'm surprised they havn't found some way for you to print full sized 11x8.5 inch sheets from your phone. I myself havn't tried out any laser printers, but I'm sure it's a step up from the printer I have (currently in the bottom compartment of my desk, still non-functional).

  3. How about a talking pink bear with no fingers dressed up as a Kraken???

    I love the concept of "beat the printer" day! I have a whole stack of nonfunctional HP printers ready to tee up!

  4. I have an Epson printer as well and am heartily displeased. My printer ran low on ink and the ink (in my opinion) was actually very expensive. I use my printer to print last minute one-pagers right before class. So i got this idea to refill the ink myself and did so (or made James do it, whatever, black fingers was the result). Apparently, Epson doesn't care if your ink cartridge is actually full or not, you MUST replace it with a new cartridge because of a stupid chip it has in it.

    That being said I ran low on color ink as well and bought some new blank ink. I only need black ink since I'm only printing doesn't matter. ALL ink cartridges must be full in order to print ANYTHING! So as of now, my printer takes up space on my desk as a worthless piece of !@#$.

    AND don't you dare change the Krakens!!! I was president when we came up with the name and it deserves to say. Nothing says fear like 6 tentacles coming at you with suction cups ready to pluck your eyeballs out. =D