Can I Give Up My Printer?

by James Wallace Harris, Monday, May 28, 2018

I hardly ever print anything anymore. I just tried to print a software manual so I wouldn’t have to study it on-screen when my printer stopped printing and demanded I install a magenta ink cartridge. A set of three colored ink cartridges is $34 from Amazon (or $48 at Office Depot if I wanted to immediately hop in the car to finish this print job). If I wanted to be a Boy Scout and get another black cartridge to have ready when my half-filled one ran out, it would be another $23 at Amazon (or $31 at Office Depot).

Epson 3540 printer

I just don’t feel like spending $57 for ink. $57 will buy a new all-in-one printer. That makes me wonder if I could give up my printer? Lately, I’ve mostly used my printer to print for other people who have given up their printer. Or as a copier for when I want to save a bill for my files. It annoys me that the printer won’t finish the job in black and white since I have a half-a-tank of black ink.

My immediate impulse is to print the manual to PDF to read on my iPad, and then unplug my printer and put it in the closet. The main thing I use it for is the scanner.


I’m probably going to regret this. One day I’m going to have an emergency print job and will have to set up my printer again and then run down to Office Depot to pay full price for a magenta cartridge.

Since I neither go to school or work, it would seem I could do without a printer. Let’s see.

I still have a house phone. I guess I’m the kind of person that hangs onto old ways. Most of my friends have neither a printer or house phone. Some of my friends have given up wearing their watch. One friend even abandoned his laptop and now only uses a tablet. My phone has allowed me to give up a lot of gadgets, like GPS, camera, iPod, Kindle, voice recorder, etc.

Maybe the age of nifty gadgets is over. Of course, I’m learning this after everyone else. Why didn’t y’all tell me?


10 thoughts on “Can I Give Up My Printer?”

  1. I do think the age of individual gadgets is over. When they were created they technology for each one was at different levels of sophistication so it made sense to have separate hardware for each one, but now it’s a whole ‘nuther kettle of kittens. 😀

  2. I need my printer. My son Matt is applying g for a passport and needed to print the passport application. I have to print my boarding passes for my upcoming g cruise and also the luggage tags. I need to print and copy the articles I write for my writers group. When I buy music, I like to print it, although maybe I could play it from the I-pad. When I rewrite my will, as far as I know, it won’t be legal if I don’t print it, unless I do a holographic will in longhand, and then, no one could read it. It goes on and on.

  3. I think different people have different needs and preferences. I love my printer for printing recipes which I collect which are mostly sorted and filed in 2 huge binders on top of the refrigerator. I hate having my iPad so close to my little messes. In North Dakota I have no printer – (unless I go over to my daughter’s house) so it sits on the dining room table and I often run back and forth.

    I don’t have one of those new pressure cookers either – I like slow cooking – oven, range, slow-cooker or microwave (rarely). I’m getting to be an old fogey and stuck in my ways.

    No, I don’t have a land line, but I have my flip-phone and an iPad. I don’t want to try to read on such a tiny device – the iPad is fine and I bring it if necessary -that and my pretty good flip-phone. I can’t imagine checking my email while running errands. I used to bring the iPad to the store to check recipes but not anymore. The only reason I’d get a smart-phone is for status – I wouldn’t use it like it should be used (like my granddaughter uses hers).

    Try what suits your own personal needs and desires, Jim.

  4. Ditto, and ditto!

    I last had a printer about ten years ago. Mind you, there still is a printer in the house—my housemate uses one for work, and about twice a year I ask her to print a page or two for me.

    I have a house phone as well (we call it a “landline”; do you?), and I’m constantly perplexed and irritated when I find that most other people don’t seem to. When I’m asked for my phone number, I always give the house number first, but when a call comes everyone seems to default to the mobile number.

    1. We also call them landlines too. My friend Mike just told me he hasn’t had a for ten years too. And when he needed one he sent a pdf to the local FedEx store and they printed his job for a $1.

  5. I use my printer almost every day. I guess I’m just a print person. For example, I’m planning to post a tribute to Gardner Dozois later this week so I’ll be rummaging around in the “D” section of my Library to decide which books to include. Amid the books I’ll find a few sheets of paper consisting of the Dozois Bibliography I printed out months ago. I have hundreds of these printed bibliographies scattered throughout the shelves so I can easily consult them when I’m looking for books. Yes, printer cartridges are hideously expensive (and a ripoff) but I’ll pay for convenience.

  6. yeah inkjets are evil. printer-scanners have more complicated drivers that malfuncion more than printers and scanners separately. and Adobe ruined printing for everyone, taking what used to be a functional and open format, postscript, and taking it over and making a proprietary version of it (pdf of course) and adding increasingly dysfunctional features to it….

  7. I use a printer once a week or so, mostly for the scanner, sometimes to copy something. My wife uses the copy feature for her quilt work. As for your magenta cartridge, I have my printer set to default to B&W, and rarely switch it to color. I go through 2 or 3 black cartridges before I need any of the color set.

  8. If you are planning to give on your printer as you hardly use it for printing purpose, then you should do it as early as possible. If a printer is not used regularly for printing it might cause harm to the printer or the cartridges used in them.

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