Battle of the Printer: I Win!

Chiseling for dummies

Chiseling for dummies (Photo credit: quinn.anya)

Not the war, though, the printer will win that one.  More accurately, the company that makes the printer wins the war.

I’m very proud of myself for the progress I’ve made over the last ten years, getting used to the computer and technology.  Honestly, I never thought I’d be able to “think” straight onto a keyboard.  I wrote longhand for years, only typing once I had my work exactly as I wanted it.  Even once I began writing with the computer, I did a lot of printing.  Every time I wanted to proofread, revise, edit, or just generally obsess over my suckage, I had to print the pages and hold them in my hands.  I feel so terribly, horribly guilty when I think of how much paper I wasted for a few years, even with recycling old pages.

Lots of progress for Mrs Fringe.  But there are still a couple of points in editing and revising where I need to hold the hardcopy in my hands and use a pencil to make notes.   This is one of those points.  Today I needed two copies of the WIP; one for my greasy mitts and red pen, and one for Husband, so I can keep an eye out to make note of the points where he falls asleep.  I have a workhorse of a basic laser printer, cutting edge when I got it 9 years ago.  Sure, it’s a little “touchy,” and God help you if you don’t fan the papers just so before loading, but it still works.  Sadly, this is the end of the road.  The last time I needed “ink” I was told the printer was discontinued, and there were no more cartridges available.  I begged the guy to search his storeroom, and he found one.  I was thrilled, until I heard the cost.  It literally cost me the same for that toner as it would cost for a new printer.

Why and how have printers become disposable?  Once this cartridge runs out of toner, the cost to find and purchase a replacement will be well over the cost of a new, equivalent printer.  It feels wrong to me,  this must be on the list of venial sins.


Rosary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obviously, now, I’m trying to nurse this cartridge along, and make it last as long as possible.  I printed one copy of the manuscript, and brought it to the copy place to have the second copy made.  Remember, this is the first draft.  I tend to write “short” so the end product will likely be an additional 5-10,000 words from where the word count sits now.  I haven’t brought anything in to be copied for me in a few years.  Holy cannoli, prices have risen!  $38. for one complete copy.

As I was printing here at home and listening to the click and stutter of rollers inside the machine, I experienced a strong sense memory of standing in the office of my elementary school, waiting for mimeo copies to bring to the teacher.  Anyone else remember them?  The copies always had a smell like Elmer’s glue and the ink was barely deeper than lavender.  Not cutting edge at the time, but the machine still worked, so it was used.  I think I’m going to look for a mimeograph on eBay.

English: Jackson & O'Sullivan "The NATION...

English: Jackson & O’Sullivan “The NATIONAL” Duplicator. Made in Brisbane, Queensland during World War II. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



  1. I wish I could be of more assistance. But, I don’t even have a laser printer. I have an ink-jet one, and let’s just say, we’ve had our share of battles too. I feel your pain about the rising costs of printing at places like Kinkos or Staples.
    Still, I’m at their mercy for things like birthday invitations. I’m not willing to spend big money on a color cartridge.


    1. Our household printer is an inkjet that also has color, makes copies, and faxes.

      The laser printer is *mine.* Only b&w, not wireless, but the speed and ease to print many pages of clean manuscript copy has been invaluable. 🙂


      1. Yes, a laser printer seems essential to printing a clean copy of a manuscript. By the way, is the manuscript you’re referring to a draft of your book?


  2. Well then, a HUGE congratulations is in order! As for being in revision hell, I’m sure it’s a painfully blistering process but so worth it. Please keep us posted of your progress and a future release date. Super exciting news!


    1. Thank you. 🙂
      But, bwahahahaha!

      First there will be many rounds of revision hell, then many rounds of querying agents, maybe, maybe hopefully getting one, more revisions, then many rounds of querying publishers, maybe, maybe hopefully getting a contract, then more revisions….
      Have no doubt, if I land an agent, and then a contract, you’ll hear my loud rejoicing round the world. 😀


  3. Yes I remember the mimeograph at school and the smell of the copies………….and I also so get what you mean about the cost of printers compared to the cost of replacement tonners it is just stuipid that it cost as much if not more to replace the tonner as it would to get another printer………..


    1. It is stupid. And I can’t quite decide which makes me more of a fool, not buying new for the same price, or tossing a perfectly good piece of machinery.


  4. I have to buy a laptop, a camera, and a new phone that isn’t locked by the greedy company that “provides service” only in the U.S. I forced my son into the “Academy for Compulsive Computer nerds” and have come to rely on him for all advise from T.V. remotes to which car is computer/driver friendly. Best shove I ever gave him.
    On my Way…


    1. LOL, yes! My big boys are invaluable when it comes to helping my old brain figure out these new fangled gadgets 😉

      Ugh on finding electronics that are “unlocked,” the unchecked greed is an absolute disgrace.


  5. I just wanted you to know I Unfollow and follow you to get your listing on top where it’s easier for me to find. Huz showed me that. Re-read your post and saw the rosary. Gave mine to Nicaraguans who did our laundry for us. It was a good trade, for me.
    On my Way…


    1. 😀 Does the “reader” not work well for you?
      Rosary/clean laundry. Well, I do pray I’ll wake up and find clean laundry–maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong 😉


      1. It takes so long to scroll down the reader, then it has a fit, kicks back to the top. Slow scroll. Kick up. Slow scroll. Impossible. People I like to read get re-followed so they are within easy reach. Nicaraguans here are the simple people – one million who do all the dirty work in a country of five million. A new rosary was enough for a couple of hours laundry.


        1. I find the reader works well for me with certain blogs I follow, and then misbehaves with others.
          Glad you figured out a way to find and follow my posts, I love when you come to vist 🙂 new rant today, btw 😉

          A couple of hours worth of clean laundry, I’m all shivery bliss at the thought! 😀


  6. “There’s nothing sexier than clean underwear – don’t bring me flowers, you dope, go home and do the laundry.” A line from my revision work I just read yesterday. I think that would be my advice if I was asked to couple council. Our 5 year-old neighbor knows as much or more about technological gadgets as we do, and offers solutions, not just sympathy…but that’s all I got to offer, so…I sympathize. Can ship 5 year-old…utilize her for advice, or black market trade for new printer is a thought.


    1. LOVE IT! and want to read it. Cause yes, clean underwear is super sexy. 😀

      Thanks for the sympathy, I’ll get to my solution, one page at a time 🙂


  7. Yes I remember mimeographs! And “dittos.” And paper coming out warm and getting my fingers covered in purple ink if you touched the paper too soon. 😀

    I’m sorry your printer is dying a painful and expensive death. We’ve never had a laser printer here. I hope you can find something to meet your needs without it being excessively pricy!

    Yay on steps forward in the manuscript… Hope you don’t burn your feet too much as you wade into revision hell. 😉


    1. LOL, your school must have been economical, too–cause you’re younger than I. 😀

      The thing that drives me nuts is that the printer isn’t actually dying, I just can’t replace the ink for less than the cost of a new, equivalent printer. Talk about disposable society. 😦

      Baby steps on the manuscript. Some backwards ones, too. Good thing my feet are calloused. 😉


  8. Dump the inkjet–it’s a hole on your desk where your money goes. There a lots of nice, low cost laser printers out there now that won’t break the bank. My personal favourite is the Brother DCP series as they combine a sheetfed scanner with a printer that has–get this–low cost toners. Recommended. As for colour prints my expensive and very nice inkjet is never used anymore–like I said too durned expensive. These days I get Costco (I’m in Canada) to do it for me. They only charge $2 for a large format (8.5×11 or larger) glossy print. Heck I can’t buy the paper for that!
    If you are interested, here’s the one I recommend and NO I am not in sales; I’m an educator.


    1. Awesome! Thanks for the recommendations. I’m making a note of them, and when I’m ready to buy I’ve got a focus 🙂

      And I agree, the ink jets are impractical for anything but limited and sporadic use.


      1. One thing to add. The toner that comes with new printers is always a small one (the one that comes with the thing is good for 800 sheets or so) because the manufacturers really make their money from the supplies. The brothers tend to have two choices–a standard and a high capacity. the high capacity ones are generally good for about 2500 sheets and can be had from local stores for between $80 and $100 (Canadian Dollars) but can be bought online for much less if you tend to print a lot. The one I noted prints on both sides. Not good for submitting manuscripts, sure, but much better for personal use.


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