“RUNNIN’ ON EMPTY” an Op-ED by Sir_Blaster


Trying to do my part on the “War On Terror” gets frustrating, tiring, and arduous. Other unrelated events get me side tracked and everyday life gets in the way. As a prelude to this, some background is called for. I’ve been messing with computers since I took my first computer technology class in college in 1974. From then to now I’ve been vested in computer to one extent or another not a professional but I am an above average user. The height of it was in the late 80’s thru the 90’s, and growing less interesting and more frustrating in this new millennia. In the early days it was comparably far more expensive then than now. Almost everything has gotten far easier and better and cheaper, with an exception.

This is where Runnin’ On Empty comes in. A word that WAS a computer world BUZZ WORD and overused in the early days is rarely heard now- PERIPHERALS. Do you remember that word and what it most generally applied to? PERIPHERALS were then as they are now, a pain in the ass. Daisy wheel, dot matrix, hot tape have generally all been replaced with inkjet and laser. By now, you’ve guessed it, PRINTERS!

Dramatic changes have been made in the computer world and printers are no exception with one thing staying the same- the PAIN IN THE ASS FACTOR. It’s amazing that you can go out and get a printer for as little as $39 when the wind is blowing right. They aren’t JUST printers anymore, they scan, fax, print copy, compute, surf the net, self update and all sorts of things. So what’s my point? The most common printers use INK. While the printers are cheap the ink isn’t. It’s not uncommon to spend much more on ink than the printer cost. I’ve owned just about every brand of printer made. I keep going back to one particular brand. When the cost of ink isn’t an irritation, then the printer head is. Once the printer head goes out then the printer is nothing more than a poor boat anchor. Some people have had the same cheap printer for years with no problems at all. Others, like myself just live with constant problems and irritations. If you dismiss computer viruses then computers are pretty much trouble free mechanically. As long as the software cooperates then the computers are very reliable. Printers on the other hand, not so much.

About 6 months ago I tried a different solution to printer conundrum. I purchased a business class heavy duty printer. It’s large, bulky, fast and reliable. I can print about 12,000 pages on one black ink cartridge. Yes, the ink is more expensive but the cost per page is much lower and it actually works when I hit the print button and it spits it right out, very little waiting and fantastic print quality. So- why the article? Just blowing off steam. It still irritates me that the printer manufacturers pretty much give their printer away, but then charge and arm and a leg for a couple cents worth of ink. The physical cartridge costs far more than the ink inside it. Used to be that you could refill them yourselves and save a fortune. Now- technology has pretty much stopped that.

So for the time being I’m very happy with my new printer and the ink. I’ve justified it in MY mind that I made the right decision, expensive printer and expensive ink adds up to less cost per page and the irritation factor of an unreliable printer is gone.  Problem solved. Yes and no. Printer works great, but now my trusty 5 year old computer has decided it’s time to be replaced…….

Making decisions on printers and computers are just like politics and voting. Sometimes no matter how hard you try you just never know until the decision is made and it’s put to the test. While I freely share my thoughts on world problems and politicians, I’ll keep my preferences to computer brands to myself.


Feel free to share your thoughts in the COMMENT section below! J

About Author

FORMER- Cop, Fireman, EMT, Trampoline Instructor, Gunsmith, Firearms Instructor, Minister, Law Enforcement, Private Investigator, Body Guard, Biker, Race Car Driver, Carpenter, Furniture Maker & Wood Worker, Highly Qualified Industrial Maintenance Technician and Manager, Instrument maker, Adventurer, Scuba Diver, Plane owner and pilot, River Boat Skipper, Writer, Author, Journalist, Welder, Mechanic (I can fix most anything and just about have). Meteorite Hunter, K9 Trainer, Dog and Cat lover. Typically I am unsociable and just plain hardheaded. Though I have taken a few prodigies under my wing. LOTS more than I can't remember for now.

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