On a bit of a whim, quite possibly brought about by lack of sleep, heavy drinking, and a sharp blow to the head, I purchased a printer from eBay. Normally this would be cause for concern! Such a risky lapse of judgement usually results in waking up next to an ugly transvestite who promises to be a good wife. Luckily for me, instead of an exotic VD, this time I only got a really good deal.

Back in 1992, Hewlett Packard introduced a laser printer that quickly became an ubiquitous fixture in offices around the country. The Laserjet 4 is a printer that was rated to print 20,000 pages per month, at the previously unheard of rate of 8-12 pages per minute, and wasn’t discontinued completely until March of 1998. The Laserjet 5 line was discontinued only a few months later in May, even though it was introduced in 1995. Thanks to this, urban legend and hearsay places the Laserjet 4 as one of the most durable and maintainable printers HP has ever produced, the line only being discontinued to get people to stop buying it. Some even say HP told its engineers to never again design a printer so well, or there would be little reason for companies to upgrade their printers.

Whatever the case, I purchased a Laserjet 4M-plus, one of the last of a line of truly great printers. With standard Postscript and JetDirect features, I basically have a corporate quality printer in my home office, all for $130 before shipping. Once a business staple, it now sits in my project room, plugged into my router, happily awaiting documents to print. I now have 37 pounds of steel sitting on my desk, a hulking tank that could stop a .45 bullet while calmly churning out a page of highly legible text every five seconds.

I’ve been neglecting to buy a printer all these years because thermal ink printers are usually normally worthless crap driven by ink that is literally more expensive than rare wines. Only Canon still makes a printer where each color can be replaced individually. Either way, inkjet printers cost anywhere from 6-12 cents per page and I have yet to own one that works after a year of even moderate use. These printers are designed to be disposable; ink is the big moneymaker when it comes to cheap consumer printers. Laser printers have not yet gone this route, and my new printer has a cost per page of just over a cent. There simply is no comparison.

So, I finally have a printer. Now I can print all the working drafts of my book as I desire without fear of my printer suddenly skipping lines, needing a new cartridge every 200 pages, or beating me up and stealing my wallet. Now that I’ve taken a proactive stance at writing the book I started so many years ago, things just seem to fall into place.

Pounds Of Printers