Monday, August 12, 2013

Don't Want to Buy a New Printer

Back in about 1993(!) I bought a HP LaserJet 4 printer.  I was in college at the time and I needed to print a lot of stuff.  Plus, even then I had ambitions of being a writer (I was working on Rock Killer at the time) and figured I needed a good printer.  I remember paying about $1,500 for it.  My wife actually used some of her inheritance money to purchase it.

At some point we put more memory in it because my wife was trying to print big graphic files with it and it just couldn't handle them.  We were living in Vancouver, WA at the time and so that was before 1999.  I remember it needed (expensive) Apple Mac RAM units.

So now it's 20 years later and that printer is . . . starting to jam.  Badly.  It'll jam on the first page and then the rest will accordion behind it (never knew an 8x11 sheet could be made that small).  About a month ago I printed out a 400+ page manuscript and for the first time in its life it streaked about half the pages.  So I ended up printing about 600 pages and it shot them all out in stride.  Maybe that was the last straw because since then, it's been jamming.

So the question is, do I fix it or do I buy a new (color laser) printer.  The problem I have is I believe most printer companies now sell what I call "disposable printers."  They sell you a cheap, piece of crap printer for either very little profit or at a loss and make it up on ink and toner.  I don't want a cheap printer, I want one that will last another 20 years and spit out paper reliably.

So tomorrow I'm taking it in to get fixed.  I'm hoping that will solve the problem for another 10 years or so.  But I'm also worried that, like an old car, it'll start nickel and diming me to death.  Parts wear out, plastic gets old, rubber dries out.  It might be time to move on.  I just don't want to.

UPDATE: Cost $60 to fix. Hoping that solves the problems for a while.

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