This is not new. I hated copy machines first because we had copy machines before we had personal printers. Once we “advanced” from dot-matrix to laser and/or inkjet printers, I really started to hate them. If you are a child from the 80s or later, a dot matrix printer is like a gigantic typewriter. Back in the day, they were big enough to need a room of their own and were the province of specialized printer experts. They didn’t produce great looking products, nor did anyone expect them to.
I didn’t have to hate them because I didn’t have to deal with them. They were “Somebody Else’s Problem” or what Douglas Adams called an SEP. An SEP is invisible to most people because we can’t see anything with which we aren’t on some level involved. Things we don’t want to know about are always SEPs. Climate damage has been like then until recently when it became difficult to not notice. They still make dot matrix printers for businesses that do a lot of printing. But, I digress.
At some point in the early 90s, early inkjet printers arrived. I hadn’t stopped hating copy machines, but now, I had a personal printer to hate. I could never get the cartridges in correctly. Paper jams were my bane.
I kept my first Epson inkjet printer for more than 10-years, sparing me the necessity of learning anything new. Our previous (and as of today, ex) printer was installed early in 2017 and it was working fine, as long as Owen changed the cartridges. I refused to do anything except send documents to it and collect the copies.
Owen felt we needed a new printer. I said why? The Canon inkjet we had was was working fine. It just needed more black ink. That, Owen pointed out, is a big part of the problem. Inkjet printers use tons of ink. Companies sell the printers for short money because you are going to repurchase that printer every other time you buy cartridges. You have to keep a color cartridge in it even if you never print anything in color. The printer won’t work unless both cartridges are installed and have some ink. It’s designed to keep you buying.
Ink-jet printers are worthless for printing photographs. The ink isn’t good enough and will fade. Not slowly, but in less than a year, your full color photograph will be a pastel version of the original. You’d have to buy special ink. This assumes your printer will accept special ink. You’d really need photo printer and it still wouldn’t be as good as any print you can buy from my online vendor for around $4 for an 8X10. It’s not much more for a bigger print. You can also get your photograph (or whatever you are printing) put on wood, aluminum, various kind of textured paper, glass, and canvas. And framed. Or you could add it to a set of t-shirts or coffee mugs. Whatever you want, they will print it and drop ship it to you in just a few days.
I don’t actually think I ever printed in color on the Canon Pixma MG2922. I had to replace the color cartridge every couple of years because they dried out, but I only printed in black and white, usually in draft print mode to save ink.
Owen wanted a printer that would work with his iPhone and iPad. I wanted something that would print a good, clean black and white page. A laser printer. I would have bought one the last time when our printer died back in 2017, but they were still too pricey. This time, if I was going to buy a printer, I wanted a laser printer. We split the price and bought a Canon laser printer. Why Canon you ask? Because they are the optical people.
It is a Canon imageCLASS MF242dw All-in-One Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer. It prints and copies in black and white only, but scans in color. Prints at 28 pages per minute with a 12-second start up time. It will also print (automatically) on both sides of the page. It can hold half a ream of paper in its paper holder. 600×600 dpi, 512MB memory and it has 5-Line LCD that lights up so you can see what you are doing even in dim lighting.
It does everything it is supposed to do and does it well. Now, the bad news.
They include a DVD in the setup kit. Does any computer still have an included DVD? I have a standalone for those occasional older software items that need to be installed from a disc, but seriously? Skip the DVD and include real instructions and a USB cord.
When I was reading the reviews, all the negative reviews focused on the absence of installation instructions. As a former tech writer whose skills were determined to be obsolete around 2009, I was not surprised. I’ve bought wildly expensive cameras that came with no instructions — and they really need instructions. My Kindle had no instructions. And to be fair, all the Kindle needed was a diagram showing where the plugs go and which buttons do what. If only the cameras were that simple.
But this was a complicated installation with quite a few steps that many people would never figure out on their own — and many might not figure it out even with instructions, but at least they’d have a fighting chance.
The included instructions were all pictograms. I’m all for visual information, but there are times when you really need an explanation and this was one of them. The manual, which I downloaded (virtually) to my hard drive from Canon, also has no installation instructions. Seriously Canon?
The only place you can find complete — adequate — instructions are on a YouTube video. It’s made by Canon and it has all the information including the fact that to find the router, you have to plug the printer into the router, find the router, click it, then hit “Next.” Until you do that, it won’t know there’s a router in the room.
This information is omitted in the manual and in the installation pictograms which are a waste of your eyeballs. It really took about half an hour to install it, minus the time it took to remove the dozens of pieces of tape and protective coverings — and then, after realizing it isn’t working, find the video. Then run around and hope you have the right USB plug. For the few cents it might have cost to include a cord, there’s no sensible reason to NOT include it with the printer.
I still hate printers, but I’m encouraged knowing I’ll probably never need to install a cartridge. Because I doubt I’ll ever print 2400 pages.