New Year: New Printer

It has been quite some time since I’ve bought anything technology related. Since my wreck in December, all of my time, money, and any other resources have been directed towards saving for a new vehicle.

And then my HP Officejet 6000 inkjet printer decided to just randomly bite the bullet. At first, the printer would intermittently refuse to print, before making harsh “banging” noises and eventually driving the ThinkPad T420 insane by throwing “General Printer Errors” all over the place. (As if the driver software HP provides isn’t intrusive enough, it’s even more annoying when you have a real issue. And, as you’d imagine, it never told what was causing the issue.) Eventually, the issue worsened to the point where the printer wouldn’t even print at all, while the “Fault” light blinked non-stop, and the computer displayed the “General Printer Error” code.

And, as with almost any problem that’s going to occur, it occurs right in the middle of a time where the operation of that machine is critical.

So, I had two choices. I could either use the printers at my high school to print off everything I needed (including some personal, sensitive stuff such as tax forms, etc.), or purchase a new printer. I chose the second option.

Why a new printer?

Some people may be banging their heads against the wall after hearing that I decided to replace, and not repair, the printer. We’ll that’s not particularly true.

Since it is my senior year, I was going to purchase another printer within six months. My parents need a printer (despite them using computers seldom, they do print a lot of things off) as well.

I’m going to investigate deeper (when I have the time) into the HP Officejet and see what caused it to suddenly fail. I’ve ruled out paper jams (there is no paper, or small chunks of paper, stuck anywhere – besides, that would’ve brought the machine to it’s knees when it got jammed), a stuck print head mechanism (it moves freely.) This must mean that there is something else wrong.

I’m hoping it is a simple and cheap fix, such as a broken belt or something. However, the print head moves when it is supposed to. Perhaps it is something to do wit the paper feed tractor mechanism? (The print head moves along a mechanism that is very similar to the one found in the IBM Wheelwriter I discussed earlier.)

The Replacement

I will be posting a follow-up to this post discussing the Officejet’s successor when it arrives.

I’ve decided, after much research and weighing of my options, to purchase a Canon Pixma MX922.

The replacement will be my first non-HP, as well as my first all-in-one printer.

Since it is an all-in-one, it will be more functional than my HP Officejet 6000 ever was. The Officejet had one function: print. This new printer can do multiple things, such as copying, scanning, and faxing (although I’ve never faxed anything, and I don’t even have a dedicated fax line.)

I’ve been wanting to purchase a scanner. However, standalone flatbed scanners can run anywhere from $70 to a couple Benjamin Franklins. I did have a flatbed scanner, a Canon CanoScan model from the late 1990s/early 2000s which I was given. It worked, with some help of a trialware driver, but finally gave up recently. Due to the age, and the trialware driver, the image quality was poor at best. (Hey, it was “free”, I can’t exactly complain.)

It will also have a smaller footprint than my Officejet.

I’m excited to get it and try it out. I’ve heard good things about Canon printers, and it will be put to the test. Check back soon to see my thoughts on the new printer.