Dead Printers Society
by Perry Michael Simon on December 21, 2010
My printer died Sunday night. Cause of death: Undetermined spontaneous occurrence. Time of death: approximately 5:30 pm Pacific Standard Time, December 19th. Age of decedent: Approximately three years old.
Does anyone have luck with printers? Because mine die every two to three years, right on schedule. One moment, they’re happily printing away and guzzling ink in prodigious amounts. The next, this:
See, the problem is that there IS a print head installed, the one that came with the printer, the one that up until the appearance of this show-stopping message did its job with little complaint. And before any of you Canon printer owners chime in with your “solutions,” yes, I removed and cleaned and reinstalled the print head, and, no, I never used a refilled or non-Canon ink cartridge, and, yes, I did all the hold-the-reset-button-down-and-press-the-power-button service mode things you’ll find in a Google search. The result is that the machine still doesn’t work, and won’t allow scanning or faxing, either. It’s stuck on failure. A new print head would cost more than a new printer. So, it’s time for a new printer, and it’s just my lucky timing that I need to procure the item five days before Christmas. UPS shouldn’t be too busy with deliveries this week.
I sometimes think it’s my bad luck that my wake is littered with the lifeless carcasses of printers past, but a simple search for practically any brand or model turns up countless people complaining about how their inkjet suddenly bought the farm not too long out of warranty. It just seems too close to planned obsolescence.
But if I have the reverse-Midas touch for printers, I also know it could be worse. Some people have the same luck with more expensive things — cell phones, laptops, cars. You can post your runs of bad tech luck in the comments. Maybe it’ll ease my frustration a little while I wait for the replacement printer to arrive.