Printers suck

I have never loved a printer. I've had printers that print out great high quality pictures and documents, but I've never loved a printer. I've worked with dot matrix printers, ink jet printers and laser printers and have never had a really good user experiance with them.

Face it despite the fact that printers are smaller and offer better print quality they're the one piece of technology that is still stuck in 1979 when it comes to user interfaces and ease of use. I include in this the printer/photo copier/fax machine combos that you get these days, and you're still back in the '70s.

Take the printer at work (please!). We have to change out the ink every second week, if we're lucky. We don't do a considerable amount of printing, but it is always out of ink. The ink costs about $70 a pop, which within two months means we've spent far more on ink than on the printer itself. It jams at least once every two days, which I feel is actually a workable ratio, and that's not counting when the network decides that it doesn't want to talk to the printer anymore, I assume because it's as sick and tired of all the slacking off that the printer is doing as I am. When it does work it will often leave big black blotches on the paper, or just add vertical black stripes where ever it feels the material it is printing needs a little sprucing up.

My printer at home is slightly better, but only slightly. It prints well and the picture quality is great, but I rarely use it since I am living my personal life is as paperless world as possible. The trouble is if you've not been using your printer it will still run out of ink, simply because it dries out. Having to buy $50 + in ink every six months when I print maybe ten pages during that time puts my cost per page up to about $5 a shot. Which is a bit lower when I'm in school and printing things regularly, because it doesn't have the chance to dry up from old age.

This all does not include the old Apple Bubble Jet printer that I plugged into the wall without a converter when I lived in France and caused it to smoke as it printed. It still smells of burning electrical wires whenever it runs. It was the best printer I ever had, and the fact that if I could find a printer cartridge for it it would still work is amazing.

Does that mean printers peaked in 1995?