Death Wish for a Printer

This post is more than 2 years old.

So, I'm about to ready to take a hammer to my HP OfficeJet 600. For all of the following:

  1. After printing 2 or 3 times, you start getting smudges. Not horrible smudges, but you NEVER get a perfect print out. The official docs at HP has like a 10 step process involving water and coffee filters.

Yes, coffee filters.

I've never heard of a printer needing coffee filters to clean itself.

  1. My color catridge was low on ink. On startup, the printer DEMANDS that you insert a new cartridge. You can't say no. You can't say don't worry about it. You can't say, "Hey, all I plan on doing is a bunch of simple text pages with no pictures, it's ok that it's not in color." No, you have to physically remove the cartridge and place it back in.

  2. And then trick #2 stops working. Now I can't print. Period. Even though I have plenty of black ink, I can't print.

So... can someone recommend a good fax capable printer?

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Chris Brandt posted on 6/11/2004 at 8:48 PM

Cue track 10 from the 'Office Space' soundtrack (

Comment 2 by Steve Nelson posted on 6/11/2004 at 9:40 PM

Man that's the story of my life. The last couple years i've just gotten in the habit of throwing away my printer the second I can't clean it within a minute or two. Then i run down to best buy and pick up a new one for $50-100. The price of a new one is less than an hour of consulting. Not worth the effort to continuously messing with it.

Comment 3 by Jeff Garza posted on 6/11/2004 at 9:55 PM

Get a printer that doesn't require those awful multi-color tanks that cost more than the printer itself. You might want to look at something like an Epson Stylus CX6400. It's an all in one that does everything but FAX. The beauty here is that it uses separate ink cartridges for each color and they are ~12 bucks each. Good Luck!

Comment 4 by anthony petruzzi posted on 6/11/2004 at 10:59 PM

I think I have the best plan here. I just print everything to pdf from my house, then I print out the important stuff when I get to work, so I don't need a printer. :P

In all seriousness, printers suck. Seems that since they have come down in price, they have also come down in quality. I know poeple who have a dot matrix printer from the 1980 and the thing still works. Yet my Office Jet 600 keeps screwing up.

Comment 5 by Michael Conger posted on 6/12/2004 at 2:33 AM

I too have had good luck with my Epson ink jet. I believe the model number is 825c. My dad, brother, father-in-law, and sister all have similar Epson ink jets. They've all been pretty happy with them.

The ink cost for epson seems a little high compared with a few others (lexmark for example) but it's about on par with HP ink jets I've used in the past.

ps. if you buy the right epson model it also comes with multiple PCMCIA cards to read camera memory cards. They're just standard PCMCIA cards that plug into the printer. The cool part is... since they're standard and removable, you can yank them out and use them in your laptop too... sweet!

Comment 6 by Peter Farrell posted on 6/12/2004 at 9:24 AM

Well, I have given up on all lousy inkjets - period (unless I need something in colour). I rely on my trusted HP laserjet series II from 1987 with a whopping 4 MB of RAM and a postscript cartriage (which is gathering dust due to truetype fonts these days). Buy yourself a steel caged old HP laserjet for your black and white needs. The only thing I've ever done to it is replace the fuser twice (about $37 each time). Come on - it's done at least 1.5 million pages by now. Check out the - they got a rfb one for $199. By the way, I have no connection to them - just good luck with them in the past.

Comment 7 by Chris Brandt posted on 6/12/2004 at 5:31 PM

You know what I'd like... When you do a nozzle check and you see that ONE of the print nozzles is clogged (one of the lines is misprinting) that you could choose just a single color to have the heads cleaned rather than wasting ink for all the other colors.

I once had to clean the heads on my epson 900 10 times in a row to get something fixed -- it used up half of my ink!

Comment 8 by John Blayter posted on 6/13/2004 at 1:55 AM

I recently beat the living crap out of my HP DeskJet R40xi after it had pissed me off for the last time after 4 years. If you decide to do the same to your printer make sure to play this while doing so.

good luck in hunting for a printer.

Comment 9 by Chris Brandt posted on 6/13/2004 at 6:57 PM


I think the printer destruction song is 'Still' - also from the Getto Boys.

Comment 10 by Paul Kenney posted on 6/14/2004 at 6:35 PM

Here's the link to the song (sorry, not my title):

Comment 11 by Rick Root posted on 6/15/2004 at 10:04 PM

Laser is the only way to go. I've hated inkjets since their inception.. I got my first laser printer back in the early 90s... a Panasonic Sidewriter KXP4400.. which was actually an "LED printer" supposedly, but it was basically a laser printer. My current laser printer is a Samsung ML1710, purchased about 6 months ago at Best Buy for $100... I've seen them "brand new" on ebay for even less than that.

Comment 12 by haiki posted on 4/23/2006 at 5:51 PM

Hewlett Packard ink cartridge, just another auto part to be recycled.

Do you have printer ink cartridge problems? Focus on the printer, not the ink cartridge.

Comment 13 by haiki posted on 4/27/2006 at 4:25 PM

Smith and Roberson’s Business Law, ninth edition. West Publishing. Chapter 43; ANTITRUST.
“Characterizing a type of restraint as per se illegal therefore has a significant effect on the prosecution of an antitrust suit. In such a case, the plaintiff need only show that the type of restraint occurred, she does not need to prove that the restraint limited competition.....Tying arrangements. A tying arrangement occurs when the seller of a product, service, or intangible (the "tying" product) conditions its sale on the buyers purchasing a second product, service, or intangible (the "tied" product) from the seller....Because tying arrangements limit buyers' freedom of choice and may exclude competitors, the law closely scrutinizes such agreements.”

Comment 14 by DOHMANN JOHANN posted on 7/8/2006 at 12:51 AM


Comment 15 by Dara Finnegan posted on 5/5/2008 at 7:42 PM

I've had an HP OfficeJet K80 for about 3 years and I've never had 1 problem with it.


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