Friday, February 05, 2010

Too Good To Be True?

Over time I've accumulated a lot of old computer junk. Some was purchased, but a lot was given to me by others after the particular item was replaced due to malfunction, old age, or obsolescence.

Printing in our home has been a mess for a long time.

As this week began, there were 10 printers in my house:
* HP 612C - given to me when a friend replaced it - no clue as to its condition
* HP 682C - was Jessica's, purchased in the late-90s. This printer worked up until a housecat attacked it while it was printing something a few years ago. Since then it had paperfeed issues.
* HP 3620V - given to me, never removed from box - unknown condition
* HP LaserJet 5L -- frequent paper misfeeds
* HP PSC500 All-In-One -- Untested - got this as part of a bundle, used, from CL or Freecycle a long time ago - was reported to work perfectly, I've never opened it. (includes box)
* Canon Pixma ip4000 -- works sporadically - I think it needs a new printhead ($50). When it prints, it is a beautiful printer.
* Okidata OL600e - needs drum and paper pickup rollers. As-is it provides a readable, but marred printout, and has paper pickup issues.
* Primera inkjet CD printer -- hasn't been used in 5 or 6 years, probably.


* Lexmark Z52 with unopened black ink cartridge -- works perfectly, but there is no Win7 64-bit driver for it. This has been used regularly by Jessica (from WIndows XP) for sometime now. We bought the printer shortly after Nate was born in 2001.
* Okidata OL400e -- works great if something small is placed underneath it to press up on the paper tray, otherwise has paper misfeeds (needs revitalized pickup rollers) I keep a small notepad underneath it and it works flawlessly. This printer has been used regularly by me from my Windows 7 laptop. I bought this printer new in 1993 or 1994.

In order to print to either of the printers from our laptops I had to print through a Windows 2000 desktop on my network. I've never found a USB printserver that worked properly, and the Okidata is a parallel printer so it wouldn't connect to modern equipment anyway.

The desktop is 10 or 11 years old and I'd like to decommission it altogether.

The final motivating factor was a recent purchase of a ReadyNAS storage unit. The ReadyNAS has 1TB (mirrored) storage, so I can move all of the data on three un- or underused desktops in my house on to the NAS, and then get rid of the three desktop PCs. That will reduce noise, heat, clutter, and electricity use in my house. PLUS, the ReadyNAS has a printserver built-in. Considering this isn't a low-end budget device I'm hopeful the printserver might even work.

So yesterday I posted an offer on Craigslist. I described 8 printers I had (forgot abotu two of them at the time), and wrote that I'd like to trade all of them for one decent USB printer that was Windows 7-compatible.

This afternoon I completed the trade. I gave the 10 above printers to somebody, and in return he gave me a brand-new, still factory-sealed in the box Hewlett Packard CD055A.

He and his girlfriend came to pick the old printers up and seemed genuinely happy about the haul, explaining that they planned to recycle the old printers. Obviously I was thrilled to get a good, new, printer that I can use on the network from all of our computers.

Plus, the printer has wireless functionality built-in so I don't even need to use the printserver on the ReadyNAS if I don't want to do so.

Everything seems too good to be true, but so far all seems OK. Admittedly I haven't removed the printer from the box yet, but I expect it to be exactly as if I'd brought it home from Staples myself.

It will be a mystery for me.

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