I miss computing’s Cambrian period, when Datasouth printers still roamed the Earth (or at least its offices). They were made in Charlotte by durability fanatics and could not be killed. The DS-180, for example (that image is a fossil scan of a fossil fax of one), was a thundering dot matrix mother that could pound clear type through six-part forms, endlessly, and without complaint. Loved those things.
But that was then.
Printers do lots more now, and much better, during the brief spans that the fucking things actually work.
I am convinced that printers today are designed for suicide. They are made to kill themselves, but only after consuming toner or ink so ravenously that your $50 laser or your $120 ink jet has digested $5600 worth of consumables before failing right after you buy some more, which (of course!) won’t work with the new replacement models from the same company. Fun!
I bring this up because I have a dead Brother and a dead Espon here, one with new toner and the other with new ink, and I need to go out in the snow and buy a replacement for at least one of them. Let’s hope that one has at least some will to live.* (Alas, hope is the best I can do. Faith is asking too much.
*Proven short life expectancy actually makes the 2-year $4.99 “protection plan” worth the money. Just be sure to affix the paperwork to your fridge with a magnet, because death is near the moment you plug the damn thing in.
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