Saturday, September 30, 2006

Printers Printers

I used to think that I was bad as far as computer systems go. The number of active computers I run has ranged from 2-5 for more than a decade now. With two down right now (one probably permanently), I am down to two, the one I am using right now (SYSD), and my server (SYSH). And then I hook my laptop (SYSE) in to my network occasionally to sync and backup everything.

What I find I have now in abundance are printers. I now have five of them hooked up to my systems, most often through multiple paths. Why so many?
  • Inertia

  • eBay

  • Different printers have different advantages and disadvantages.
Here is the current list:
  • Epson EPL-8000:
    • High speed laser printer.
    • Connectivity:
      • LPT1 on router to Ethernet.
    • Advantages:
      • Very fast, esp. for easy printing;
      • Reliable;
      • Relatively cheap to operate;
      • Runs through print server to Ethernet.
    • Disadvantages:
      • It is old enough that it doesn't feed labels or envelopes anymore;
      • It doesn't have a sleep mode;
      • So, it uses a lot of power due to its age and lack of sleep mode;
      • Enough power that it can heat up the room in the summer;
      • Print cartridges are expensive (but last a for a lot of pages).

  • Brother MFC-5100C:
    • Multifunction inkjet scanner, copier, printer, FAX.
    • Connectivity:
      • USB to SYSH
      • LPT1 to SYSB
    • Advantages:
      • Flatbed scanning;
      • FAX.
    • Disadvantages:
      • Expensive to run due to cost of ink cartridges (esp. because it uses all four colors when printing B/W);
      • Somewhat flaky.

  • HP BusinessJet 2300:
    • High speed business quality inkjet printer.
    • Connectivity:
      • LPT2 on print server to Ethernet.
    • Advantages:
      • Very cheap to operate for an inkjet printer;
      • Cheap for color printing;
      • Capable of taking HP's biggest cartridges, which are now refillable;
      • Two paper bins/cartridges (I use the top one for labels and envelopes, and the lower has plain paper);
      • Fast for an inkjet printer;
      • Reliable and built to last - this is the type of printer that HP built its reputation on;
      • Runs through print server connected to network (I can buy an Ethernet adaptor for more than I paid for the printer, but with the print server available, why bother?)
    • Disadvantages:
      • More expensive for B/W than laser printers;
      • Prints colored text quickly, but complex images like photos are slower than Photosmart printer.

  • HP Photosmart 7450:
    • Photo grade printer.
    • Connectivity:
      • USB to SYSH
    • Advantages:
      • Fastest for printing colored graphics, such as photos;
      • Able to read different memory chips (which is how I now upload photos from my camera);
      • best quality print.
    • Disadvantages:
      • Most expensive ink;
      • Slower printing text than 2300 or laser printers;
      • Not built to last.

  • Brother MFC-8300:
    • Laser Multifunction for print, copy, and FAX.
    • Connectivity:
      • LPT1 to SYSH
      • USB to SYSB
    • Advantages:
      • Sleep mode for laser printer;
      • Laser printer for FAX (better cost and reliability);
      • Phone for FAX;
      • Laser for copying.
    • Disadvantages:
      • Scanner isn't flatbed;
      • Missing feed tray extender;
      • Shortage of software, esp. compared to MFC-5100C;
      • Somewhat flaky.


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