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Home Office Printers -- Future proofing

 
master pollinator
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Hey folks, I don't print a lot but sometimes it's necessary.

I have been nursing a 15+ year old Canon laser printer, fighting to keep the drivers recognized with every Windows update. The damn thing still prints, as long as I am primed for combat on Patch Tuesday. My frugal/contrary nature demands that I keep up the fight. (Annoyance)

But Dear Wife is asking for a printer that can talk to her phone/tablet and not require hand-to-hand combat. So I'm shopping.

I would never buy an inkjet. Ridiculous operating cost. What a scam.

I am also leery of HP anything, now that they have a chip in the cartridges that force you to buy name brand instead of 3rd party. Pfft! (Absolute shameless sleaze!)

I know that consumer laser printers generally come with a low-capacity "starter" cartridge and you are forced to buy a real one quite soon. So I have to factor in the real cost of a real cartridge. (Annoyance, Sleaze and Scam)

Anybody fought this battle recently? Thoughts?


 
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We use ours so rarely that the ink dries up, in between the times we use it. So, we've given up. We just go to the library to print, now.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Carla Burke wrote:We use ours so rarely that the ink dries up, in between the times we use it. So, we've given up. We just go to the library to print, now.


Good idea. If I was within walking distance I would do exactly that. But I'm in the country so I'd have to drive (not my first choice).
 
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I think the only option is a black and white laser printer.
You already mentioned why ink does not work.

We still have a color laser printer that I need to fix … and only yellow is not being detected, so really the stupid thing has no reason to refuse working, but it does.
 
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Is there any way of converting the printer to wifi that the phone can talk to? My husband says you can get a dongle that plugs into the PC and makes it a hub under windows "share this printer" settings.
This link may help with a few other ideas: https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-make-any-wired-printer-wireless-in-6-different-ways/
 
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I refuse to buy another printer as we experience what others have said.

My local post office does my printing for me.

I send them an email of what I need printing and they happily print it, or so it seems.
 
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I use an HP inkjet and subscribe to HP Instant Ink. For $5/month, they pay for the ink cartridges and send them automatically when the printer gets low. And they include postage-paid mailers so I can send the spent ones back to be recycled. It might be cheaper to not do it this way, but we print a fair/middling amount and the convenience is worth something. With this level of plan we're limited to 50 pages per month but there's a rollover built in and it's painless to bump it up to a larger plan on months that we are going to do a lot of printing. Their mid-cheap printers ($100-150) seem to last about a decade the way we use them.
 
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You could hook up a rasberry pi as a print server if you’ve still got toner to use up.

But Carla’s method is how I would go, especially as plane tickets are the only thin I print now.
 
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It seems I rarely use a printer. I have a B&W laser that meets most of my printer needs.
 
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If you can, get one that is NOT wiFi connected. USB all the way. We have been thru at least 4 wiFi printers with all problems you can imagine and good ol HP 51600 is still chugging away in the basement since 2008.
We also tried instant ink, it is MURDER to cancel.
Look for one around a machine/tool and die shop, they replace all their equipment every couple of years.
 
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Hi Douglas,
My first thought is something that has already been suggested. There are ways to allow a phone/tablet to print. An easy way (for you) is for her to email whatever it is to the computer and then print it from there.

However, I understand wanting to go directly, and there are ways to do that with your old printer. A new one would be nice too. Here are a couple of thoughts, in no particular order, and I don't have any good suggestions for you for your situation.

Brother printers are also requiring their own toners, not just HP... I suspect other brands are already doing it or will be soon.

There are only three ways I know of to print directly from a phone or tablet. Bluetooth, NFC, and Wireless. I personally prefer Bluetooth if I'm going to do it that way. NFC isn't bad. I don't like wireless. The reason is that a "wireless printer" is so ambiguous right now. This could mean a printer that is plugged in, but shared over a network that you access wirelessly. It could mean a printer that is connected to the network wirelessly. Or it could mean the printer creates its own wireless network for your phone or tablet to connect to to send info to the printer.

When possible use wires... it's less complicated and has fewer problems.
 
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One other option although it may take some sleuthing....

HP introduced that restricted cartridge technology in 2016.  You could try to find a used/refurb printer from before that time and cross-reference the model with third party ink/cartridge availability.  Probably add to the list of desirables the wifi capability and versatility of connection and see if you can get one in color or have to settle for B&W.  Perhaps a long shot, but some models of HP laserjets could be pretty robust....while others more akin to the Ford Pinto. ;-)
 
Carla Burke
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

Carla Burke wrote:We use ours so rarely that the ink dries up, in between the times we use it. So, we've given up. We just go to the library to print, now.


Good idea. If I was within walking distance I would do exactly that. But I'm in the country so I'd have to drive (not my first choice).



Our closest library is 17 miles (a 22min drive) away. But, it's near most of the rest of the places we do regular business with, so we 'bundle' our trips out there.  Feed & hay runs, big grocery store, hardware, etc - all get bundled in one trip, 2, maybe 3 times per month.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Nancy Reading wrote:Is there any way of converting the printer to wifi that the phone can talk to? My husband says you can get a dongle that plugs into the PC and makes it a hub under windows "share this printer" settings.


I don't think so. My model (Canon MF3240) doesn't have drivers built in but rather needs them installed on the PC or whatever. This was apparently a good idea (pfft!) in the long long ago. Modern printers are more self-contained.

I searched DuckDuckGo and found a couple of shortcuts that may speed the driver reinstall process on my PCs. I'll drive the old beast until it dies.

But I'll still be sniffing around for a replacement, in the interests of domestic harmony.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Holy smokes, the copyright on the user manual is 2006. Is my Canon really 18 years old and still functional? I might buy another Canon!
 
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