Printers are evil

Before we start let’s be clear that I’m good at working with printers on OSX and MacBooks. Setting up your new printer in your home or office to work well with your Apple Computers is not a problem. But this does not change the fact that Printers are Evil.

I hate printers. Printers are evil There are many reasons for this. Mostly because of how much frustration they bring to the people who use them. Most customers I have encountered expect to keep a printer for years, they become very disappointed when the printer breaks down after a few short years or is unable to find inks.

I am sure that printer companies will refuse to hire me after this blog post and honestly I’m ok with that.

Bad construction Deliberlty

Most printers are not designed to be repaired. Even a skilled technician looks at a printer with dread because we know once we open it we may never get it back together. (Laser printers are the exception) In most cases, all the parts are made of plastic and break when you are attempting to take the printer apart for repair

Every time someone would bring an inkjet printer to be repaired we would always tell them to buy a new printer. The reason for this is that is would cost more in labour for the tech to take it apart than it would buy a new printer. Not alone the parts.

Inkjet printers under $500 are not worth repairing.

In one case when I was repairing a laser printer. (Worth the repair by the way as they could not afford to buy a whole new printer 5000 USD ) The detailed instructions told me to unplug the purple wire. When I opened up the printer to discover this. I ended up having to trace every wire to the part that needed to be replaced.

Purple Wire See Printers are evil

Planned obsolescence

I do not believe in planned obsolescence in computers in the terms of greed. This is not the case when it comes to printers.

Have you ever wondered why printers are so cheap? It is because the company who designed it never expected it to last. Their hope is that the device will break down outside of the warranty and you will be forced to waste all the ink when you buy a new printer. Check out the cost of Ink as a liquid in comparison to other liquids you think are expensive.

If printer manufacturers wanted their printers to last they would have their ink cartridges universal or allow you to refill them without violating their warranty. You would also think they could find a way to prevent the inkjets from clogging if you don’t use it for a few months.

I’m certified to repair laser printers of a brand that will remain nameless. During my certification at the office of the company that produces the printer, the trainer would often talk about how their printer is set to work so long before a new part was required AND that the settings on the printer can actually adjust that number before it is actually required. (Parts are crazy expensive)

Worst Software EVER!

When you have to buy a printer the best thing to do is to take the CD out of the box. (Yes I said CD not even DVD … CD ) put it on the table. Then place a hot cup of coffee on it. The reason for this is that the software was already out of date before it was even put in the box. Then it sat in a warehouse for a year or so before you purchased the software. By the time you have installed the software on to your computer (assuming you still have one that has a CD Drive) The operating system that your computer is using has about 2-3 times.

Not only that the software has almost always been designed by someone who is not thinking about your user experience. Many times when someone is having a problem with their mac resources being used I remove the software for the printer or scanner.

Many printers software comes in a bundled package. This means there is a whole lot of software that you will never use that all are trying to start up every time you boot your system.

When it comes to printer software on a Mac computer it is better to just allow OSX to find the software for you. OSX will grab the latest driver (Almost always automatically) and will only install what it needs. Best of all because all the tools you need to operate the printer are already part of the Operating system so it will not take up extra resources.

BAD for the Environment

So how many printers have you owned? How much plastic is now sitting in a landfill? Then you have the paper, the ink. The ink Cartegages. Do you really need to print out everything? See Printers are evil

Many printers will have all their diagnostics and setup information print out on a sheet of paper. Using ink. They clean the print heads using ink. And if you need to clear a clogged print head? guess what it uses ink

Going Paperless

For the most part, we have gone paperless in our office. With the exception of legal documents and the occasional report to a client (By request because we can email it to them), everything is paperless. Internal documentation, internal reports and even customer receipts are all paperless unless requested.

Printers would not be evil if…..

  • Printers were affordable
  • Ink cartridges were universal
  • Printers were designed to be repaired (Budget models)
  • Consideration was taken for better software

I get it … there is a good reason to have printers around. And I do not think that the world is going to go paperless anytime soon. However, I have made a good relationship with the local printer who can print this stuff out for me. They get money and I do not have to fight with another ink cartridge.

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