On the sorry state of printers, 2021

What does the Verge think of printers?

Printers are the worst. They’re unreliable, they guzzle reportedly $12,000-a-gallon ink, and their manufacturers have been known to use dirty tricks, scare tactics, and DRM to strongly encourage you to buy cartridges exclusively from them.

Whoa! Strong but true. What prompted this? Well it seems…

Some of Canon’s own toner cartridges are now being detected as fakes — and they’re forcing the company to teach customers how to bypass its own DRM (via Techdirt).

Wild. You can read more about that here: Canon printers now think Canon’s own toner is fake – The Verge.

I have always wondered why printers are in the sorry state they are. While they are common, they are almost seen as a dead end technology. People don’t write about new printers the way the write about new smartphones. They are seen as a necessary evil in many cases. No one in Silicon Valley is coming along to disrupt the printer business.

I remember when IBM spun off their printer division into a company called Lexmark. And I can remember over a decade ago Kodak made printers with cheap ink. Now when I go into a computer store, those brands aren’t there. It’s the Canon’s and HP’s of the world that are making printers and presumably making money from them. Perhaps the only way to make a go of printers is to make them poorly. Which is sad.

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