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Brad Fitzpatrick

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I hate printers [Apr. 6th, 2004|01:13 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
I'm sick of crap printers.

Are there any good printers nowadays? I'm willing to spend more than $30. I don't want a fucking free toss-in printer you get in a Happy Meal, only to be reamed the rest of my life on ink. Honestly I don't even mind the reaming. I just want the printer to work, and not be implemented entirely in a driver.

That's an hour of my life I'll never get back.

CUPS was easier than I remembed it being, but still a pain.

Then no program would understand the margins. The app, the driver, and the printer all had different ideas about who had what margins and who should add them.

Then it finally started to work, printing out some more craptastic output, and I ran out of ink.

Surprisingly I had some ink cartridges on hand from when I bought the printer. I replaced them but the printer kept flashing yellow by the ink light. No amount of reseating it took.

So if you're in Portland and want a free printer, I'm ditching this bitch (HP 3820?) and going back to clay tablets.

[User Picture]From: vanbeast
2004-04-06 01:21 am (UTC)
I'm a big fan of older HP laserjets. You can find them relatively cheap, the toner is still an assload, but they. just. work. I don't have a use for color and would much prefer the crispness of a laser to the jaggy crap most inkjets vomit out.

Most (all) of them support the PCL/PS stuff, so you can reasonably expect that what you send them is what you're going to get on paper.
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[User Picture]From: mapzter
2004-04-06 02:29 am (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. My HP LaserJet 4M will be 10 years old this year, and it still works flawlessly.
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[User Picture]From: mendel
2004-04-06 06:59 am (UTC)
Thirded. New HP corporate printers are good too, incidentally -- it's not so much "old HP is better" as "consumer printers are throwaway".
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[User Picture]From: jwz
2004-04-06 01:29 am (UTC)
A year ago, I threw away my (home) printer and fax machine. And any time I try to print at the office, it doesn't work. So now I just don't try. My life is better now that I assume that producing paper is not an option.

rzr_grl is frighteningly happy with her Epson 2200. It produces fantastic photo prints. She uses OSX, though, not Linux.
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[User Picture]From: kunzite1
2004-04-06 01:30 am (UTC)

ive always had decent luck with hp printers. dad has a laserjet 6p, but i cant find them on the website anymore.

HP LaserJet 1300n printer (b&w) (from $599), HP color LaserJet 1500L printer (from $699).

my girlfriends roommate has one similar to the HP Deskjet 3650 printer (from $79.99).

couldnt get a direct link to their printers section. this gets you to their main products page, click on or mouse over "printers" near the middle to jump into their directory system.

all depends on what yer lookin for. hope this helps get you on the right track.
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[User Picture]From: kunzite1
2004-04-06 01:35 am (UTC)

hmm... thats odd... i cant reply to my own screened comment? interesting...
anyway, i also have an old canon bubble jet 200 that i got from one of my computer science teachers. i havent tested it out yet but my teacher said that it doesnt work with winxp for some reason and he couldnt figure out why.
comes with instruction manual and power cable. printer (parallel) cable needed.
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[User Picture]From: vanilla_x
2004-04-06 02:00 am (UTC)
try having a brother hl-660. god it's so archaic. thing chugs its way through toner like a german at oktoberfest. i work at a computer place and the amount of people who ring me up complaining about ink cartridges and that their printers won't read them is astounding. All HPs. Usually they forget to remove all the casing and plastic crap that it comes cocooned in.
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[User Picture]From: j7xz49br3m93xrr
2004-04-06 02:34 am (UTC)
It's not a laser, but some time ago I bought a Canon S200SPx bubblejet printer for about $50 and have been blown away. The ink cartridges (not the name brand, obviously) cost me $5 each and last me about a couple of months each with light usage. The Canon cartridges, however, are not expensive, about $15 I think. Anyway, it totally kicks my old $300 Epson inkjet's ass, and works a treat.. is fast, nice quality..

Course, if you want pixel perfect black and white, you can't go wrong with the new uber cheap $120 laser printers these days, as long as you get one whose toner doesn't cost a packet. So.. my vote goes to Canon bubblejets, it may be a fluke, but I think Canon are probably on top of their game right now. Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: edm
2004-04-06 02:34 am (UTC)

Laser Printer

Seriously, if your printing needs are modest (eg, just black and white) buy a laser printer. The up front cost tends to be higher (for one thing they're not giving you the printer with your happy meal), but the running costs don't work out that much more expensive (toner cartridges cost more, but last longer than ink cartridges). I had (still have, somewhere) an ink jet printer but it was more of a pain than it was worth.

I've got three second hand HP Laserjet 4s, two of which I use (two different offices) and one of which I'm keeping around just in case, and they've been quite good (especially once I went through replacing the paper feed rollers). You might be able to find something similar around second hand. I've also seem reasonably good results with Brother printers, at least the more recent laser printers.

If you need colour printouts then either be prepared to spend a Whole Bundle on a colour laser printer, or deal with the pain of colour ink jets. If it's only occasionally you need colour then get some photo shop to print them for you instead, it'll be cheaper and less painful.

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From: ex_debgirl0
2004-04-06 04:58 am (UTC)

Re: Laser Printer


This is why I use my work's printer.
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[User Picture]From: annenahaymus
2004-04-06 02:44 am (UTC)
I really like my little Canon i560. (my .02)
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[User Picture]From: mucho_suerte
2004-04-06 02:50 am (UTC)
Buy a laserjet if you are likely to print a lot of pages of text at one go. Faster completion of the job. Switched to laser because I so rarely printed - had to buy a new cartridge each time I printed with ink! Now using a Lexmark E220. Basic product - toner cartridge is identical to higher end ones, but stripped of some plastic here and there. No rocket science.
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From: pinterface
2004-04-06 02:55 am (UTC)
Most of the printing here is done on a networked HP LaserJet 4si. Works great from Windows, of course, and my linux box can print to it, but I don't recall ever trying to print anything fancy (web-page, PDF document, image from the GIMP, etc.), so I don't guarantee much. But you probably don't need a four-thousand-dollar printer, anyway (well, new -- they seem to be in the hundred-odd dollar range on ebay, plus another hundred for shipping).

For color stuff we use a ... some color laser thingy. I'd check the make/model, but I don't recall offhand if I ever got that to work to my liking from linux. It's significantly cheaper to run than the inkjets we have, though.

Assuming you don't need color, it might be worth looking into a thermal printer, because then you don't have to buy ink or toner at all... but I guess that depends on how much printing you're going to do. And we don't happen to have any thermal printers here, so I can't give any recommendations anyway.
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From: kfringe
2004-04-06 03:18 am (UTC)
You've caught a pet peeve of mine, that printers seem to get shittier by the month. The safest bet is an old, postscript capable HP laser. My 5MP is still running strong after 8 years. Hell, my IID is still going after 15 years.

The newer lasers feel a bit less sturdy than off brand playmobiles, but they do print a better quality page more quickly than the oldies. They also come without the extras that you get with really ancient printers (like unexpected combustion, random squiggles and oddly placed hair follicles). The important part lies in buying one that speaks postscript.

I've personally had good luck with some newer lasers. Here's an abbreviated list:

HP LaserJet 1300N
Speaks postscript. Has 16 megs of ram. Has an ethernet jack.Runs about $600.
HP LaserJet 1300
Same as above, but without the ethernet. Runs about $400.
Samsung ML-1750
This should be the worst printer out there. It doesn't speak ps. You get to pick between an emulation of pcl or the Samsung Specific GDI driver. Oddly enough, though, it hangs together very well. Setup isn't quite as much of a sleepwalk as the HP models, but it still takes less than two minutes since the driver is part of the ghostscript install. The print quality is fine, the speed is good, and it feels better put together than HPaq's offerings. The downside is that toner isn't quite as easy to come by. This is the only non-postscript laser that may be worth the trouble. Runs about $200.
Random Epson inkjets
I think the deal here is that you have to go to the printers that actually cost more than one ink refill. Then they tend to work eventually. I think I managed to get one working once, but I was pretty drunk by that point or I wouldn't have bothered.

The HP toner is cheap enough. I tend to get about 3500 pages of text out of a cartridge (a bit more than two cents per page). I didn't use the Samsung long enough to find out how long the toner lasted, but it's rated at 8000 pages (the HP is rated for 4000).

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[User Picture]From: illikaeri
2004-04-06 04:49 am (UTC)
I hate printers, and they hate me back. My first printer was a bubblejet-type one, and it was really retarded. A Canon something, I don't remember. I just remember screaming at it before stalking off to bed. The second one I got was a something-type one (I get the impression it may have been a bubblejet too) and that was incredibly retarded. An Epson Stylus Color 460. So many times I wanted to just throw it out the window and jump around on it screaming like a maniac. Nagged my Mum for a while to get a laser jet, and last year she got me one. Kyocera FS-1000. Works fine, only there's times when it prints all stupid, and spews weird looking 'code' all over my work. But other than that, it works fine. For now that is... I'm actually waiting for the day to wake up in the middle of the night with my computers surrounding my bed, holding knives, just to torment me a bit more.

But yeah, printers these days are shit.
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[User Picture]From: gaal
2004-04-06 10:35 am (UTC)
If you have the cash to throw on this up front, try a phaser. These are great: very fast, very neat. Marginal cost for B&W prints is low. But yeah, high purchase price.
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[User Picture]From: octal
2004-04-06 08:31 pm (UTC)
I like my HP Laserjet 8150N.
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