So I went down to my office to do a little work tonight.  I decided to print something out and found that nothing came out.  I had a set of new cartridges, so I put them in to find that the black would work half the time and the red would work, the yellow and blue how ever…..did not.  So after multiple head cleanings I still had the same results.  So I put some head cleaner on the heads and am now sitting waiting and I started to think of just how much a scam the whole home computer printer thing really is.

Years ago when I bought my first inkjet printer it was a Cannon Bubblejet 4000, it was snazy and could print color! not like my old dot matrix.  I bought it at Service Merchandise (how many of you remember them?)  I worked in the electronics department there, it had to be about 1995.  I waited for the floor model to keep getting marked down, eventually I paid 149 dollars for it (at the time it was like 300 new)  At the time it took 2 cartridges, a black and a color.  or you could remove the printhead carriage and cartridges and put in a double sized black ink cartridge (I believe it was the BC-21) The double sized cartridge I think was like 25, and the two small cartridges were I think 15 a piece.  That printer lasted me till about 2002 before I replaced it with a lexmark that had USB.

So that was like 7 years, since then I’ve had at least 5 inkjet printers by various manufacturers, why?  Easy, I would go to what ever store to buy ink and find that the color cartridges plus the black cartridge would be like 50 bucks, if not more (especially Lexmark and Epson) but right next to the cartridges would be refill kits that were cheaper!  So I started filling my own cartridges, it was a bit messy but it worked….until some jerk wad at the printer manufacturers decided to put microchips in the cartridges that made it impossible to fill! (without a reset tool, of course the tools were a bit hit or miss so…)

So with that being done, I would go to buy ink, then again I would see that the ink for all the cartridges I needed ranged between 45 and 60 bucks.  A few aisles over on the other hand were printers that came with the ink, better features then the old one, usually on sale for like 90 bucks, sometimes less!  Why would I buy the new printer instead of the ink cartridges?  Easy, in the early days (my beloved Cannon BJC-4000) if the ink stopped flowing because the printhead had gotten clogged or went bad, no problem, you could buy the carriage with the printhead, plus the double sized black ink cartridge had its own print head.  You can’t do that with most newer printers, so I would buy the cartridges, go home and put them in only to find the print head was shot, so I would try to clean them with solution, sometimes it would work, other times, I would be out the cost of the ink and then buying a new printer!

So now, half of the time, I buy a printer, refill the cartridges once or twice until they or the print head fail, then just buy a new printer for almost the same price.  How sad is that?  I mean why even sell the ink anyways?  Anyway, just thought I’d talk about it a bit, I think we’ve all had that moment when we’re at the store looking from the cartridge boxes to the shiny new printers and back again.  What do you think? What do you usually do?  Leave it below in the comments area, for now, I’ll be trying to get my printer to print until I go buy a new one….