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… I thought I had it licked – that small office laser printer we bought for a song a couple of years ago that is so cartridge hungry. It sits alongside the donated but too-obsolete-to-fix multifunction photocopier that occupies half the utility room. We sourced an interstate toner company that, when buying in bulk, kept us within budget. I questioned whether we needed the colour function as the cost of replacing each of the three colour cartridges was more than the initial cost of the printer itself. Bright idea – we masked the colour button to dissuade people from using it. Anyhow, 12 months on, inbuilt chips tell us its time to replace the unused cartridges, and we will not be permitted to use the black function until we do. I am invited to purchase replacement cartridges that would buy me four printers. I search the net and find a “toner replacement kit” for $30. It arrives and it comprises three toner bottles, some sort of soldering iron and seals for burning holes in the waste and unused toner compartments and replacement computer chips. Turns out I’ll need about three spare hours to fiddle with all this stuff. How much is my time worth? So looks like we are looking for a viable printer – monotone only – to suit small volume office work economically.