Monday, April 22, 2013

Farewell, sweet prints

Image: Wikipedia
Would you prefer to gas the car up, or throw it away and buy a new one? Seems obvious, doesn’t it? 

Apparently not to printer manufacturers, it doesn’t. I’ve just experienced the dubious delights of trying to replace the printer cartridges for my old Epson All-In-One printer/scanner. The only two shops that had ink cartridges for this model at all only had yellow. Clearly, nobody’s been printing pictures of sunflowers, and nobody knows where cyan and magenta may be found. I don’t propose to waste a day of my life trying every shop in Khalid bin Al Waleed Street to be repeatedly told that they’re Not Coming In DubaiTM. I’ve already been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

It’s planned obsolescence. You buy a printer, and then later have to throw it away while it still functions perfectly because the ink cartridges are no longer available. Infuriatingly, they are available. Just not in all colours.

Further stupidity reigns when a new All-In-One printer costs only slightly more than a full set of ink cartridges would have, if they’d been available.

So it’s not the cost that is at issue; it’s the hypocrisy. We’re constantly bombarded with messages to Save The Planet, to recycle, and to wear homespun tofu. And yet if we’re to print documents, we need to consign a perfectly good plastic case, rollers, electric motors, circuit boards and all the other gubbins to landfill, as they are slowly digested over a thousand years.

There seems little point in recycling the device unless someone, somewhere, has access to print cartridges. And if he can find them, then why not I?

I now own a new, faster printer that doesn’t even need a piece of electric string between it and the computer. I also have yet more spare power and USB cables to add to my collection. The salesman was keen to point out that, because it's a new model, ink cartridges will be available for years to come. Me? I expect to be having this exact same rant in about 2018.

I now possess a spare printer. Perfect condition, FSH, light domestic use only, one careful owner, low mileage, ink cartridges rarer than rocking-horse shit.


1 comment:

The Yellow Box Of Doom said...

Now try moving countries having bought yourself a high end fancy studio quality printer photo printer as a leaving present only to find that while the catridges are available in Australia they are region coded so that I would hae to Moore the cartridges from USA!!


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