Inkjet printer woes

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What a wonderful contraption is an inkjet printer! Countless different models of so many manufacturers are out there, only to be constantly superseded by new models with new innovations, such as new number or letter suffixes for the name. A new suffix for the printer model can decide between flawless driver integration and driver selection hell, when you try to match the printer’s name to the available driver out of 10^6 options.

If you let these things autoinstall the software they come packaged with, be prepared for a big ball of mud that will drain your system’s resources after installing all the things they throw at you, none of which are actually required for printing.

And this is only scratching the surface. Continue reading at your own risk, but think well before, if you can stomach it.

Inkjet printers depend on a mythological substance that would have been probably praised by medieval alchemists for its elusive qualities. Printer ink. On a metaphysical level, curses are the second, intangible ingredient for operating a printer, but at least they don’t strain your budget ( unless the penal code of your country implements fines for cursing ), and therefore will not be covered here. With printer ink, you are not that lucky.

Ink cartridges are sometimes more expensive than the printer. And it leaves one wondering where all the CMYK and black ink vanishes to. Internet lore even tells us about printers accumulating black goo somewhere on the inside just to trick the customer into buying new cartridges. Since many printers clean their nozzles by flooding them with ink, the story cannot be dismissed entirely as a legend. Even the alien trilogy has picked up the subject of black goo, where fittingly everybody who touches the black goo is turned into a mutant. A subtle warning against disassembling your printer perhaps? Disclaimer: I have not witnessed any cases of mutation yet, only tears and curses over the wasted ink so far.

And nobody knows why printers can be huge and have really tiny cartridges. The HP Deskjet 4100 on the bottom of the printer stack in the picture is huge, its cartridges are tiny and its hunger for ink inexhaustible. Also these cartridges have the printing head attached to them, to make them more expensive and harder to refill or replace with imitation products.

Let us take a look at the lifespan of the average inkjet printer. Once they are in use, they are required to exercise their printing prowess every few months or dry up. If the ink dries up inside the printing head, all that will be left is a big hunk of garbage.

Happened to me with the second printer in the row, the Canon Pixma IP4200. I tried cleaning it with alcohol, but the only result was that my hands looked like Van Gogh’s after a psychotic painting seizure.

Regardless of what I do, black PGBK does not print even a dot. This problem occurs so often and forums on the net are filled with it, that many have used the word planned obsolescence to explain its frequent emergence.

What can you do with an old printer? Absolutely nothing. People will not even take it, if you offer it for free. If you are the flowery kind of person you can remove the printer’s innards and plant some flowers inside. Or if you are lucky enough to have ample storage space, you can cram your old printers in there and offer them to posterity some decades later as dreadful artefacts from the past that drove people crazy.

My advice on inkjet printers:

-try to avoid them

-if you can’t, get one with cartridges that come without electronic circuitry attached to them. They are cheaper to refill.

-buy an all-in-one thing that can also scan and copy. It will safe you some space.





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