Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When you put profit before principles you'll end up with neither.

   Bought a printer for your computer lately? I did. About a year ago I got myself a Brother MFC-6490CW. Sounds pretty impressive, and it even looks pretty impressive. But looks and sounds is about as far as it goes. When it comes to printing? Oh Brother!

   For the purpose of context, I do not print many things. If I generate in excess of ten pages a month, I'd be amazed. The occasional document and boarding pass. That's about it. 

   In light of that, I expected a long and happy relationship with my large impressive printer. But it stopped printing a few weeks ago. The printer indicated that it was out of blue ink. Fair enough. But as I wanted black printing, I didn't think that was much of an issue. However, I have come to find that many printer companies now force you to install a new cartridge to proceed regardless of whether you'll be using any of that color ink.

  Previously you could sort of fudge your way through having to buy one until there was almost no ink of any type left. The old way made sense. The printer did its best to sort you out with what it had "on-hand". Not any more.

   For those who may be unfamiliar with the economics of the printer business, it is a low profit business on printers but high profit on cartridges. Thus the new "engineering" to force additional cartridge purchases. It's a sort of document extortion. 

   This blog is part love letter to an inventor, or printer executive that wants to take over the industry. People want a printer that prints, even when the inks a bit low. Ideally that'll be a very sporadic condition. I'm virtually certain you can charge more, way more, for a printer that screams "I'll be ready when you need me!" 

   In the interim, I managed to unearth an old laser printer from the closet. One manufactured before someone led the whole industry into a "profit before principles" mindset. How regrettable that nobody stopped to think that when you put profit before principles you'll end up with neither. 


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