When it comes to tech, you get ripped off a lot. Text messages are essentially free to every cellular provider on Earth, and I’ll bet a lot of you still have a texting plan. Similarly, you pay for Internet only to discover that many providers put a cap on it, as if you were burning an actual resources instead of just downloading things.
Still, there’s no bigger rip-off in technology than the squat toad sitting at your desk. He eats dead trees and farts out documents, when he feels like squeezing out a few pages. He costs a fortune to feed because his food is insanely overpriced.
He’s your printer, and it’s time to kick that bastard to the curb.
I choose today to tell you this because it’s not exactly edgy to do so. Lexmark, one of the biggest printer makers, is getting out of making inkjets, although it’ll still be happy to sell you some overpriced ink. This is the equivalent of discovering AOL still has three million subscribers; it’d be funny except it feels like witnessing fraud on a massive scale.
I haven’t owned a printer for nearly a decade now. I have, however, spent a lot of time repairing the printers of friends and relatives, and I’m a little shocked how everything I ever hated about printers has gotten worse. First of all, most consumer-grade printers are shoddy. There’s a reason for that, they’re made at a loss. That said, the printer companies of the world have margins, by God, and this thing is designed to do one thing, and one thing only: sell ink.
I won’t waste your time by pointing out what a rip-off printer ink is: There are plenty on the Internet happy to do that for me. I will say that I’m a little offended at ink prices at this point. It’s especially annoying when a cartridge “expires,” because then I have to explain this concept to an old person. Instead I want to ask you a question: How many pages do you print out a year?
I bring this up because, as you might suspect, I’ve outsourced all my printing. Granted, this is an option for me because there’s a UPS Store literally right down the block. But I’ve yet to cross twenty bucks in printing costs a year, and I’m in that place every couple of weeks for some reason or another. So, take a hard look at your printer. Ask yourself if it’s something you really need. And if not, it’s Office Space time.
image courtesy OhBuoyancy! on Flickr