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posted by hubie on Monday March 04, @04:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the big-brother-meet-big-printer dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/02/hp-wants-you-to-pay-up-to-36-month-to-rent-a-printer-that-it-monitors/

HP launched a subscription service today that rents people a printer, allots them a specific amount of printed pages, and sends them ink for a monthly fee. HP is framing its service as a way to simplify printing for families and small businesses, but the deal also comes with monitoring and a years-long commitment.

Prices range from $6.99 per month for a plan that includes an HP Envy printer (the current model is the 6020e) and 20 printed pages. The priciest plan includes an HP OfficeJet Pro rental and 700 printed pages for $35.99 per month.
[...]
HP calls this an All-In-Plan; if you subscribe, the tech company will be all in on your printing activities.

One of the most perturbing aspects of the subscription plan is that it requires subscribers to keep their printers connected to the Internet. In general, some users avoid connecting their printer to the Internet because it's the type of device that functions fine without web access.

A web connection can also concern users about security or HP-issued firmware updates that make printers stop functioning with non-HP ink.

But HP enforces an Internet connection by having its TOS also state that HP may disrupt the service—and continue to charge you for it—if your printer's not online.
[...]
The All-In-Plan privacy policy also says that HP may "transfer information about you to advertising partners" so that they can "recognize your devices," perform targeted advertising, and, potentially, "combine information about you with information from other companies in data sharing cooperatives" that HP participates in. The policy says that users can opt out of sharing personal data.

[...]
HP will charge subscribers who cancel their subscription before its end date up to $270 plus taxes (the amount decreases to as little as $60, depending on the printer rented and the length of the subscription). After two years, users won't see a cancellation fee if they return the rental printer and ink cartridges within 10 days after canceling their subscription. With these tactics, HP is creating the same type of subscription reliance that has made companies like phone carriers rich while limiting customer options.
[...]
In the blog post announcing the subscription, Diana Sroka, head of product for consumer services at HP, boasted about how people could "never own a printer again," "say goodbye to your tech troubles," and enjoy "hassle-free printing." The problem is that tech troubles and hassle-filled printing aren't the products of merely owning a printer; they're connected to disruptive and anti-consumer practices from printer vendors.
[...]
In addition to some HP printers suddenly not printing with third-party ink, other nuisances that more quickly come to mind include some HP printers not scanning when carrying third-party ink, HP region-locking printers, disputable environmental certifications, and HP inconveniencing customers under the guise of security.

HP is hoping to convince people that the answer to torturous printer experiences is to "never own a printer again." But considering the above frustrations, some might just never own an HP printer again.

In case you didn't already have problems with printing/copying/etc.

Obligatory "Office Space" scene of the crime (semi-nsfw, depending on workplace language guidelines):

Previously on SoylentNews:
Vendor Lock-In Is A Good Thing? HP's CFO Thinks So - 20231206
Judge Denies HP's Request To Dismiss Printer Lockdown Suit - 20230812
HP Continues to Pay for Abruptly Blocking Third-Party Ink from its Printers - 20220916


Original Submission

Related Stories

HP Continues to Pay for Abruptly Blocking Third-Party Ink from its Printers 16 comments

Settlement sees HP compensating some customers in Europe with $1.35 million fund:

HP continues to pay for abruptly blocking third-party ink from its printers. The company has agreed to pay compensation to additional customers impacted by HPs use of DRM to prevent third-party ink and toner from working in its printers. The settlement pertaining to customers in Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Portugal comes after the company already agreed to a settlement in the US and was fined in Italy.

HP printer owners were annoyed, to say the least, in 2016 when HP introduced Dynamic Security, a firmware update that prevented ink and toner cartridges lacking an HP chip from working in HP printers. Customers who already owned these printers suddenly faced error messages preventing them from printing with cartridges that were fully functioning before. At the time, HP claimed that the move was about helping customers avoid counterfeit and subpar ink and protecting HP's IP. However, it largely felt like a business tactic aimed at protecting one of HP's biggest profit drivers at the time, which was tied to a declining industry.

[...] Euroconsumers noted that while it alleged that "consumers were not properly informed that Dynamic Security would cause printers to reject certain non-HP replacement ink cartridges," the settlement isn't "an acknowledgment of any fault or wrongdoing by HP nor as an acknowledgment by Euroconsumers of the groundlessness of its claims."

Judge Denies HP's Request To Dismiss Printer Lockdown Suit 32 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

HP all-in-one printer owners, upset that their devices wouldn't scan or fax when low on ink, were handed a partial win in a northern California court this week after a judge denied HP's motion to dismiss their suit.

The plaintiffs argued in their amended class action complaint [PDF] that HP withheld vital information by including software in its all-in-one printer/scanner/fax machines that disabled non-printing functions when out of ink and not telling buyers that was the case.

"It is well-documented that ink is not required in order to scan or to fax a document, and it is certainly possible to manufacture an All-in-One printer that scans or faxes when the device is out of ink," the plaintiffs argued in their complaint. The amended complaint was filed in February this year after US federal Judge Beth Labson Freeman dismissed the suit on the grounds that it hadn't properly stated a claim.

Armed with their amended complaint, lawyers for San Francsican Gary Freund and Minneapolis resident Wayne McMath have succeeded at not only making relevant claims, but also surviving an attempt by HP to have the entire case dismissed for a second time. 

In the amended complaint, Freund and McMath's lawyers argue that HP's move to disable devices that were low on ink was intentional, citing HP's own comments from a support forum post in which an HP support agent told a user complaining of similar issues that their "HP printer is designed in such a way that with the empty cartridge or without the cartridge [the] printer will not function." 

[...] This isn't the first time HP has been taken to court over claims it improperly locked printers down. In 2022 the IT giant settled a European lawsuit for $1.35 million alleging it used security chips and DRM-like software to prevent any third-party cartridges from functioning in HP printers. The US corporation has dealt with similar cases in Australia and America, which were settled. 

HP hasn't responded to our questions about the latest lawsuit.


Original Submission

Vendor Lock-In Is A Good Thing? HP's CFO Thinks So 23 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

HP is squeezing more margin out of print customers, the result of a multi-year strategy to convert unprofitable business into something more lucrative, and says its subscription model is "locking" in people.

[...] "We absolutely see when you move a customer from that pure transactional model ... whether it's Instant Ink, plus adding on that paper, we sort of see a 20 percent uplift on the value of that customer because you're locking that person, committing to a longer-term relationship."

[...] By pre-pandemic 2019, HP had grown weary of third-party cartridge makers stealing its supplies business. It pledged to charge more upfront for certain printer hardware ("rebalance the system profitability, capturing more profit upfront").

HP also set in motion new subscriptions, and launched Smart Tank hardware filled with a pre-defined amount of ink/toner. These now account for 60 percent of total shipments.

Myers told the UBS Conference she was "really proud" that HP could "raise the range on our print margins" based on "bold moves and shifting models."

[...] An old industry factoid from 2003 was that HP ink cost seven times more than a bottle of 1985 Dom Perignon. HP isn't alone in these sorts of comparisons – Epson was called out by Which? a couple years back.

Something tells us that Myers' audience at the UBS gig might not view the cost of printing the same way as the rest of us.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Monday March 04, @04:20AM (21 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday March 04, @04:20AM (#1347276) Journal

    They all price gouge for ink, Epson uses ink that dries up and clogs if you skip even one day of use, Lexmark is just plain shoddy and they were among the first to chip ink cartridges, Brother doesn't play nice with Linux, and now HP has made their bull even worse? Who is left? Canon? Go find a printer from the early 2000s? Or a dot matrix printer from the 1990s?

    • (Score: 2) by julian on Monday March 04, @05:54AM (1 child)

      by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04, @05:54AM (#1347282)

      At work we use Kyocera (the size of a small fridge, not something you'd want at home) and a couple Xerox color laser printers which are very nice but extremely thirsty for incredibly expensive toner cartridges. They're both very good but not something I'd want to pay for myself.

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Tuesday March 05, @09:31AM

        by driverless (4770) on Tuesday March 05, @09:31AM (#1347421)

        I have a second-hand business-grade Kyocera which is great, every now and then I drop a $25 OEM toner cartridge in it, the displays shows "Original cartridge installed", and off it goes again for another 7? thousand pages.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by lentilla on Monday March 04, @06:07AM (1 child)

      by lentilla (1770) on Monday March 04, @06:07AM (#1347283)

      Brother doesn't play nice with Linux

      My experience is in direct opposition.

      If you want a laser printer that "just works" with GNU/Linux, buy a low-end Brother.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday March 04, @09:28PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday March 04, @09:28PM (#1347362)

        Depends....

        Our Brother HL2350DW worked great with Linux, and Windows, on WiFi, until.... we got a mesh router system. Something in the drivers doesn't play nice with mesh routers, yes the printer is at a fixed IP set by it's MAC address by the router, it just still fails to be found a lot of the time. It's not predictable - but if you mess around with trying different computers to print from, eventually it works most of the time.

        Personally, I'd like to print a lot less in our house, so I'm not eagerly fixing the issue.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Monday March 04, @06:57AM (4 children)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Monday March 04, @06:57AM (#1347284)

      Brother doesn't play nice with Linux

      I cannot second that, been using a Brother 3-in-1 color laser for years, with my Linux box not only playing perfectly with it but also serving as the printer server for the rest of the boxes around here.

      • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Monday March 04, @06:21PM (3 children)

        by pTamok (3042) on Monday March 04, @06:21PM (#1347307)

        Brother doesn't play nice with Linux

        I suspect it varies by model.

        I have a Brother HL L2370DN monochrome laser printer which works fine with Linux Mint (deliberately chosen to NOT have WiFi as I found a previous WiFi/USB printer from a different manufacturer to be dreadful). The initial set-up when I first bought it required some fiddling, as the Brother driver (downloadable from a slightly obscure bit of Brother's global websites) also needed me to install the Linux Standard Base support package from my distributions repository. However, since then, I think printer set-up has been improved.

        I get the feeling that Brother have put a toe in the water of making life difficult for people with some of their newer printers, but I hope they have decided against it. Historically they have played more nicely with Linux than many other printer manufacturers.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by drussell on Monday March 04, @06:40PM (2 children)

          by drussell (2678) on Monday March 04, @06:40PM (#1347317) Journal

          The very low-end Brothers rely on driver-side processing just like the old WinPrinters and WinModems.

          You need to look for the ones that actually have their own, proper, processor in it. They have more RAM and will tout features like "Unix LPR Support" on the spec sheet and on the box.

          If you find a Brother with network support, BRScript (Brother's Postscript-compatible language, currently version 3, I believe) and LPR, it will easily work fine from Unix, BSD and those other goofy "Unix-like" OSes (like that terrible systemd-based one everyone's always going on about. Yuck!)

          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday March 04, @06:51PM (1 child)

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04, @06:51PM (#1347323) Journal

            That would explain my experiences of a decade or more back. However, I now have a Brother colour laser and it 'just works' as the saying goes. Personally, I have had far more problems with Epson printers over the last 30 years so I stop even considering them around 2010. I now have a very old HP4050 BW laser which I bought in 2002 and it is still going strong, and the more recent Brother MFC-L3750CDW colour laser. Both are working well.

            • (Score: 2) by drussell on Monday March 04, @10:33PM

              by drussell (2678) on Monday March 04, @10:33PM (#1347373) Journal

              The original HP LaserJet III that my dad purchased for the office back in 1990 currently has almost a million pages on the print engine. (Canon SX) It seems to me he paid about $2900 CAD at the time. It was a major purchase.

              You should have seen the stacks of toner cartridges we used to go through back in the days when we printed tens of thousands of pages per month... ;)

              (It basically replaced the DataProducts LBP-300 "band" style line printer we used for high speed output AND the Okidata 393 that was being used for "Letter Quality" after retiring the Wang daisy-wheel printer. We still used the Okidata 393 with the sheet feeder for daily printing of the government forms, though. We later advanced to mostly using a couple of Color LaserJet 2840s, which are the ones I'm still using these days, although the volume through them is certainly far less now than it once was. ;) )

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mhajicek on Monday March 04, @07:35AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday March 04, @07:35AM (#1347295)

      Got a color laser from Canon for the home office. Use third party toner, no problems.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by deimtee on Monday March 04, @07:47AM (3 children)

      by deimtee (3272) on Monday March 04, @07:47AM (#1347296) Journal

      Had a Samsung CLP-10 colour laser for about 10 years until a credit card somehow got jammed in it and wrecked the drum cleaner. Came with linux drivers, and didn't get very much use, but always fired up perfectly when I did need it.

      --
      If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by drussell on Monday March 04, @06:34PM (2 children)

        by drussell (2678) on Monday March 04, @06:34PM (#1347311) Journal

        You just need a new R406 imaging drum unit.

        The whole assembly changes out like a simple cartridge, and they don't last very long to begin with.

        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Tuesday March 05, @11:45AM (1 child)

          by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday March 05, @11:45AM (#1347432) Journal

          Maybe, but I'm pretty sure it stripped some of the plastic gears that drive things.

          Funny thing is if I just need some data on paper I can pull the drum, clean it and print about 2/3 of an A4 page before it starts getting print shadows on it. Second and later pages are illegible.

          It's on my list of "strip down and see if I can fix it stuff".

          --
          If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by drussell on Tuesday March 05, @04:13PM

            by drussell (2678) on Tuesday March 05, @04:13PM (#1347472) Journal

            Your might have a problem with the transfer belt unit. It has more of the gears in it. They're replaceable as a cartridge unit on most of the Samsungs. They're only rated for about 20,000 pages.

            My cousin's family ran a Samsung color laser of similar model for many years, (I don't have the model # handy or remember off the top of my head, CLX-something I think, but I think I remember the numbers R406 and CLT-406) which I replaced the transfer unit on them at least three or four times (they print a LOT, she's the choir leader at their church and they have 4 kids printing for school, etc.) before they upgraded to an HP Color LaserJet 3550n (IIRC) which has a much better duty cycle to handle their heavy printing load. Now, I may be getting things confused and maybe the drum and transfer belt are all in one unit on theirs, but I don't think so. Regardless, look very carefully at the various parts when you tear into it, most of the geartrain is replaceable by service cartridges on many models. Good luck! :)

            I'm pretty sure I still have at least one brand new, unopened transfer belt in stock for theirs, but it's still packed away in one of my cargo containers from the last move, so I can't go check which one it is. :) I also have a couple spare transfer belts (just the part) somewhere to rebuild the used ones, once I realized you can get the main important part and rebuild them if the gears, etc. are OK by just replacing the toner transfer belt itself instead of paying $200 for a whole cartridge. (You also need to replace a small pico fuse on the side, the printer must see a short between two pins on the side so that it "knows" it is a new unit, then it blows the fuse and starts a page countdown to signal when it is time to replace the transfer belt unit cartridge after 20,000 pages or whatever, then refuses to print. If you put in another cartridge with an open fuse, it will still refuse to print until it sees a short again and resets the page countdown.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @06:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @06:51PM (#1347322)
    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday March 04, @08:44PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04, @08:44PM (#1347351) Homepage Journal

      I've been using a Brother laser printer for years. It has wired ethernet and wifi, can take a number of different network printer protocols, just worked with Linux once I installed the appropriate Linux printer driver, and if I want I can connect it via a USB cable as well.

    • (Score: 2) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Monday March 04, @08:53PM

      by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Monday March 04, @08:53PM (#1347353)

      There are refurbished LaserJet 4's, but they're priced in line with what they're worth.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday March 04, @09:31PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday March 04, @09:31PM (#1347363)

      We had a Canon inkjet from about 2008 to 2015 that was AWESOME - it cost a bit more when new, but the ink cartridges lasted really well and they were much cheaper than most other ink cartridges.

      Then, of course, the ink cartridges started getting hard to find, and eventually we switched to a Brother Laser because the cheap ink cartridges didn't exist anymore, and the new Canon inkjet printers were all much more expensive per page.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @02:11AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @02:11AM (#1347392) Homepage

      This is why I have a whole collection of old LaserJets. (~1990 to ~2014)

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 2) by SDRefugee on Tuesday March 05, @10:46AM (1 child)

      by SDRefugee (4477) on Tuesday March 05, @10:46AM (#1347429)

      Brother doesn't play nice with Linux

      I don't know where you're getting your info from regarding Brother & Linux, but I've had several Brother printers and I've had ZERO issues with them and Linux. Since 2010, I've used Linux exclusively.

      --
      America should be proud of Edward Snowden, the hero, whether they know it or not..
      • (Score: 2) by drussell on Tuesday March 05, @04:17PM

        by drussell (2678) on Tuesday March 05, @04:17PM (#1347474) Journal

        The ones that do the page compositing in the driver are a real pain to get working and keep updated since they require a whole page processing software chain to be run on your Linux PC. There are scripts and binary blobs galore, it's a nightmare.

        I never did get the one I fiddled with for several days running on FreeBSD, we just changed it out for a slightly higher model that composed the page internally and just takes raw postscript from the host PC, composes the page and prints it, easy peasy. See my other post.

  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @04:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, @04:33AM (#1347277)
    Any the enshittification of technology continues.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sgleysti on Monday March 04, @05:10AM (19 children)

    by sgleysti (56) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04, @05:10AM (#1347280)

    I haven't even read the full summary, but the businesspeople at HP who came up with this idea can go fuck themselves.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday March 04, @06:47PM (17 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday March 04, @06:47PM (#1347320)

      All I needed to read was: "$6.99 per month for a plan that includes an HP Envy printer and 20 pages"

      Since most months we print less than 20 pages, that's just $140 per year for a printer that we can buy at retail for $200. Of course, when we do print, we may print 100 pages or more, so with this base rate of $0.35 per page (you supply the paper, I'm sure), I'd expect to have to bend ALL the way over for the bill coming after a print-fest like that.

      What's really lacking in the world is some commercial viability for a printer company that makes a printer that "just works" without forcing consumers into this pay-per-page model.

      15-ish years ago, I was doing large format color inkjet prints - and while I wouldn't have minded springing $2K for the printer (assuming it continued to function properly for 10 years or more of the light use I would put it to), I absolutely did mind $700 for a set of ink that was virtually guaranteed to fail within 6 months of opening. Hear that Epson? $2K for a 10 year printer, not $14K for ink over the same period.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @02:13AM (16 children)

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @02:13AM (#1347393) Homepage

        And you could go to some print-on-demand shop and it would probably be cheaper. At least if it's on your way and not a special trip. Methinks they're trying to cash in on the Covid-sequestered, a few years too late.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @02:20AM (15 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @02:20AM (#1347395)

          That large format printer produces prints that sell on the order of $60 a piece from commercial printing services. The cost for ink runs about $20 per sheet if you have close to full coverage.

          For ordinary A4 or Letter size pages of text, local shops run around $0.50 per BW laser page last time I looked, but it's such an incredible hassle...

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @03:10AM (14 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @03:10AM (#1347397) Homepage

            That's an expensive print. Ouch just for the ink!

            Well, we'll have to wait and see how many people HP can sucker in.

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @03:48AM (13 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @03:48AM (#1347401)

              >That's an expensive print. Ouch just for the ink!

              If I'm remembering correctly it's a seven color process (some are nine I think) - and the cartridges were $100 each, and if you don't keep 'em flowing, like print a "test page" every few days to make sure that all the cartridges are flowing clean / not crusted over, then you can kiss the cartridge goodbye because what you've really killed is the disposable print head which is actually worth a lot more than the ink in the tank.

              Yeah, I made art that I could sell for around $60 per print, on 90lb 22"x30" paper that's about $6 per sheet these days. I think those prints took about 20 minutes each to run. So, when I had a "friendly" print shop that would run my prints for $20 a sheet, because A) I usually only covered about 50% of the paper in ink, and B) they just thought it was cool getting to do something besides political and real-estate signs, I did a hundred or so prints, showed 'em at "open calls" at a local gallery and sold about a dozen of 'em (not through the gallery at all...) But, later, when I found out that $20 was a VERY friendly price and commercial printers all wanted $60 and up for those same prints... the art hobby kinda faded.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @05:37AM (12 children)

                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @05:37AM (#1347407) Homepage

                Wow. That is something I was never into, so thanks for the description. Yeah, even with some sales that becomes an expensive hobby. What sort of prints were you doing?

                With the cheap ink carts for cheap home printers... they tend to crust up too, but I'd wash the print heads in alcohol, or run alcohol through the cart, and got serious longevity. At least 8 refills and usually died of accidentally bumping the headt rather than overuse. But jumped to laser printers as soon as the price got tolerable, and collected most of 'em for free. Consumables cost is no comparison.

                I do have a color HPLJ that I got for cheap (with a whole extra set of new toner carts worth more than the printer) but ended up phasing out the intended business and haven't used it. Oh well, it doesn't eat much, and I already have it.

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @12:29PM (11 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @12:29PM (#1347433)

                  We played the HP color laser game at home for one printer, it lasted about 4 years before we got fed up with the cartridge costs and other issues, then we moved to the Brother monochrome laser.

                  Back in 2005-ish, I got an AMD 64 bit system with 4GB of RAM - expandable to 8 or more which was remarkable for the age of 32 bits. Had to run Gentoo on it to get 64 bit memory access in user-space, even with 4GB 32 bit OSs were mostly limiting user processes to 2GB so I was getting some advantage of all that Gentoo compile time hassle. 4GB is enough to color map 22"x30" in RAM at 360dpi... I was taking photographs and running them through "flame fractal" transforms to make trippy warped figures from the photographs' colors and patterns. It was "cutting edge" stuff, for a couple of years - the kind of thing you could make a phone app for today, of course. Still, they look nice printed large in high resolution.

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @02:10PM (9 children)

                    by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @02:10PM (#1347443) Homepage

                    I've got six B/W laserjets, including a pair of heavier-duty models, tho my everyday desk printer is the little 1020... it's printed about 6000 pages in the past 15 years and the cart is finally getting tired. Rated for 2000 pages so no complaints. Only paid for the color ($100 with two sets of carts, one barely used and the other still sealed) and the newest B/W ($50) ... the rest were someone else's lightly-used discards. Hard to believe anyone would dump a laser printer for an inkjet.

                    You got lucky with your 2005 x64 AMD... I've got one in the pile of that era and turns out some have a bug where it'll only run a 32bit OS. Mine would still handle 8GB RAM but any x64 OS was right out. (Probably same bug, upgraded, that made some of the 32bit AMDs run only a 16bit OS. Friend smacked into it with one that would flat not run linux and railed at them til he got an explanation, and an engineering sample that didn't have the bug.) Seems to have finally been fixed after this generation, but it was sure annoying. It's one of the reasons I stopped buying AMD early on... I hit the bug several times with PCs built for clients, and here's 32bit Windows running at 16bit speed.

                    I remember when fractals were an overnight render -- in their early days a friend was really good at creating pretty ones from scratch. Neat project for the day. As you say now any phone can do it, but back then it was really different.

                    --
                    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @02:29PM (8 children)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @02:29PM (#1347451)

                      >You got lucky with your 2005 x64 AMD... I've got one in the pile of that era and turns out some have a bug where it'll only run a 32bit OS. Mine would still handle 8GB RAM but any x64 OS was right out.

                      Hmmm... I pretty specifically only purchased that motherboard and CPU because it was highly referenced as "64 bit OS capable" under Gentoo, by the Gentoo forums... worked first try, but yeah I may have been lucky and then just never looked back.

                      >It's one of the reasons I stopped buying AMD early on

                      Back in those days AMD was kicking Intel's ass in the power efficiency side of things... it's still something I care a lot about. I'd much rather have 2GFlops at 5W than 25GFlops at 200W... Intel started caring about power for a little while and I think AMD's lead in that dimension was gone by 2010... now Intel's creeping back up to the 100+W systems except in their really dismal performers...

                      >I remember when fractals were an overnight render

                      In 2005 these were anywhere from 3 days to 30 days to render. I did a "video" version around 2017 which rendered 2000 frames at 4K resolution (granted: lower than the 360dpi large format stuff), but I think those 2000 frames took about 36 hours to render.

                      --
                      🌻🌻 [google.com]
                      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @03:07PM (7 children)

                        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @03:07PM (#1347459) Homepage

                        I didn't care so much about power use (CPU was minor compared to all the cards and drives my PCs wind up with, and back then everything was on a card and 9 slots were not enough!) but I did care about showstopper bugs that affected me and mine.

                        In the present, I have an Asus E410MA, basically a Pi board in a small laptop form factor, that idles at 4W and maxes out at 6W. Slowest working non-antique system in my house (not excluding the 2002 laptop) but in its job as glorified word processor, it has reported battery life as high as 22 hours, and that's with Win11 cranking the little-CPU-that-could at 100% ALL the time. So it's become my drag-around, and yeah, low power consumption has an advantage there. Use it all day and still have 85% left.

                        That's some OMG-hope-it-doesn't-glitch-and-the-power-don't-blink render time!! Holy crap. Dedication.

                        --
                        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @03:38PM (6 children)

                          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @03:38PM (#1347466)

                          >That's some OMG-hope-it-doesn't-glitch-and-the-power-don't-blink render time!! Holy crap. Dedication.

                          Oh yeah, wife mistakenly shut it down after 27 days once - I over-reacted a little...

                          My favorite low power system isn't doing much, but it sits out in the yard with a solar panel charging a LiPo cell pack that feeds a Raspberry Pi Pico which is running a web server connected to our WiFi 24-7. You can open pages on the server and activate ultrasonic speakers to "bark back" at the neighbors' dogs (it helps a little, not as much as when it was brand new, but they still calm down sometimes...)

                          The Pico is super simple by today's standards, but it does have WiFi on-board, and more CPU and RAM/Flash than most things I was working with in the early 1990s.

                          Inside there's a Pico with a little color display running on a USB. In theory all kinds of things could go on that display, but in practice it's just fed weather forecast updates every five minutes.

                          Next to that, there's a PiZero with an audio driver board, running off of another USB out from the same brick, that one drives a speaker similar to the Pico outside, but this one plays bird calls on-demand. I had it being triggered by a ZoneMinder instance watching our IP cameras sounding different bird calls for motion detected in different camera zones. I shut down ZoneMinder when the NUC it was running on got older, fans started getting dust-packed and running fast and loud all the time when loaded with ZoneMinder... I'd really like to replace that NUC with a fanless one that will run for more than a couple of years before getting into that thermal issue with the dust.

                          That NUC also runs the weather interface, and the Netflix / Kodi / Chrome for the living room TV - and it has sort of turned into our "hacking spot" where everybody's personal accounts are logged in and accessible to everyone else, so if my wife wants to spy in my e-mail she can VNC into the TV and open my account in Chrome, whereas our "personal" computers mostly just have our own accounts logged in on them.

                          All these separate systems, focused on doing just one or a few things, are so much easier to maintain than having one "super computer" that tries to do everything all at once, and you have to cycle it out every 5 years or so.

                          --
                          🌻🌻 [google.com]
                          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @04:12PM (5 children)

                            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @04:12PM (#1347471) Homepage

                            +1, impressive daisy-chaining :D

                            Have you tried putting the dust-collector inside an old nylon stocking? -- I have fine-mesh filters on some of my intake fans and it makes a huge difference (my house dust is proof of spontaneous generation).

                            "All these separate systems, focused on doing just one or a few things, are so much easier to maintain than having one "super computer" that tries to do everything all at once, and you have to cycle it out every 5 years or so."

                            Yep, for that kind of work modular is the way to go. And if lifespans differ, not an issue.

                            --
                            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @08:10PM (4 children)

                              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @08:10PM (#1347498)

                              Nylon filter is a good thought, a little late for this generation but maybe next time... That NUC lives about 12" underneath an A/C air return that I change the filters on once every 3 months, the dust pulled out of the air up there is really impressively thick...

                              --
                              🌻🌻 [google.com]
                              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @08:35PM (3 children)

                                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @08:35PM (#1347501) Homepage

                                Ah, you too suffer from spontaneous dusting :)

                                --
                                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 05, @08:55PM (2 children)

                                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 05, @08:55PM (#1347503)

                                  That house in 2005 had an interior laundry room, dryer vent up and through the attic in a long (high back pressure) pipe. That was the same room I used for my AMD computer... by 2008 the CPU was buried under nearly 1cm of fluff, it's astounding it functioned like that at all...

                                  Our current home has the clothes dryer banished to the garage, venting directly through the wall. Still get dust, but not from that source.

                                  --
                                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday March 06, @12:35AM (1 child)

                                    by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 06, @12:35AM (#1347528) Homepage

                                    Especially as hot as those old AMDs ran...

                                    Dust here seems to come off the carpet... some year it'll get ripped out, but this is not that year.

                                    --
                                    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 06, @02:54AM

                                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 06, @02:54AM (#1347538)

                                      I occasionally worked in a NICU for premature babies. They gave the parents freshly sterilized cotton gowns to wear over their street clothes. Those gowns shed huge amounts of cotton dust, there were always massive dust bunnies all under the equipment on the floor, and the dust bunnies' colors matched the gowns.

                                      --
                                      🌻🌻 [google.com]
                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by drussell on Tuesday March 05, @04:25PM

                    by drussell (2678) on Tuesday March 05, @04:25PM (#1347475) Journal

                    HP's bigger, office-type printers are good and have low per-page cost, but the ones intended for home / small office use have just become pretty much total garbage over the years. Brother certainly has far better offerings for small, "low speed," low duty cycle printers intended for low-volume use.

                    Anything after about things like the LaserJet IIIP and 4P, maybe some of the first "1000 series" or whatever it was, went downhill very quickly.

    • (Score: 2) by Goghit on Tuesday March 05, @05:50AM

      by Goghit (6530) on Tuesday March 05, @05:50AM (#1347408)

      Aye. This downgrades HP from "Dead to me - ignore" to "Shoot on sight". Unfortunately my purchasing boycott can't go any lower than 0.

      How the mighty have fallen.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by krishnoid on Monday March 04, @05:15AM (3 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Monday March 04, @05:15AM (#1347281)

    ... you could buy this HP 4250 [printertechs.com] instead. The video about 2/3 down on the page has details on how they changed out specific parts to significantly improve its longevity.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Opportunist on Monday March 04, @07:00AM (1 child)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Monday March 04, @07:00AM (#1347285)

      Or, or...

      you could buy a printer that works for years without first rebuilding it with non-shitty parts.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Freeman on Monday March 04, @06:53PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday March 04, @06:53PM (#1347324) Journal

      We used some HP 4250 networked printers at work for something like 10 to 15 years or so. I think they finally replaced the last one in our area a few years back.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mendax on Monday March 04, @07:09AM

    by mendax (2840) on Monday March 04, @07:09AM (#1347287)

    I have an HP LaserJet P1102w printer on the bookshelf next to my desk at home. I bought it at the Staples in town during its going-out-of-business sale. It was a floor model, no box or manual included, and it had a piece of paper jammed in it which was easily removed. It was cheap, well under $100, and it has worked splendidly ever since. In that sense, HP deserves all the kudos for making a high-quality product. The other printer is an HP OfficeJet 4655 which I bought at Costco at about the same time. That printer, however, is a piece of shit. It malfunctioned and believes that there was something wrong with an ink cartridge. I ended up just giving up on using it for a printer; it's only now a scanner. I am not going to pay nearly $100 to replace all the ink cartridges and take a risk that they would not work. The laser printer's original toner cartridge long ago ran dry and I have bought on Amazon over the years some no-name brand cartridges that work splendidly. They're great, they cost less than half what I would have to pay for a genuine HP cartridge, and they're just as good. So, in short, HP has taken a bath with me as a customer and rightfully so because I refuse to buy their overpriced supplies for, as everyone here likely knows, HP sells printers at a loss and counts on the sales of their overpriced ink and toner cartridges to provide them with profit.

    Now this pay-as-you-go approach is not a bad idea. (You can flame me later for saying that.) It means that HP is directly responsible for malfunctioning equipment and will (I hope) quickly ship a replacement. But having said that, the price point they have for this service is simply NUTS! $7 for 20 pages a month??? $36 a month for 700? Buying the printer and the ink or toner would be vastly cheaper in the long run! This crazy idea is not going to have a happy ending.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Monday March 04, @08:21AM (5 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday March 04, @08:21AM (#1347298) Journal

    The All-In-Plan privacy policy also says that HP may "transfer information about you to advertising partners"

    Well, there are many issues one could raise with this, but this single piece tells me to stay as far away from this offering as possible.

    Especially if combined with this:

    But HP enforces an Internet connection by having its TOS also state that HP may disrupt the service—and continue to charge you for it—if your printer's not online.

    If I switch the printer off (because I'm not currently printing), it obviously is offline. Does that mean I have to keep it running all the time?

    Do they at least guarantee that they won't print ads on it at random times?

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by shrewdsheep on Monday March 04, @08:39AM (1 child)

      by shrewdsheep (5215) on Monday March 04, @08:39AM (#1347300)

      If I switch the printer off (because I'm not currently printing), it obviously is offline. Does that mean I have to keep it running all the time?

      The crooks usually give themselves away the way they set the conditions. Probably HP wants to run a crypto-mining rig on the printer you own, pay electricity and overpriced ink for and, for good measure, wants to sniff your network.

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by pTamok on Monday March 04, @06:23PM

        by pTamok (3042) on Monday March 04, @06:23PM (#1347308)

        Your degree of cynicism almost matches mine!

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by turgid on Monday March 04, @07:13PM (1 child)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04, @07:13PM (#1347327) Journal

      They get to see everything you're printing.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Monday March 04, @07:25PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 04, @07:25PM (#1347332) Journal

        This! Every letter you write, whether it is medical, IRS/Tax, personal or whatever you are giving it to them - everything! You think data mining is bad now? They will have your medical details, your email addresses, home address, telephone numbers, your marital problems, your familial connections, that parking fine or speeding ticket that you got, your bank account details, etc, etc...... And all from your own actions.

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday March 05, @02:15PM

      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 05, @02:15PM (#1347445) Homepage

      "Do they at least guarantee that they won't print ads on it at random times?"

      I think you just sledgehammered the nail on the head...

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Improbus on Monday March 04, @08:05PM

    by Improbus (6425) on Monday March 04, @08:05PM (#1347345)

    Buy a Brother printer. I have been using them with my Linux boxes for years.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JeffPaetkau on Tuesday March 05, @09:30PM

    by JeffPaetkau (1465) on Tuesday March 05, @09:30PM (#1347512)

    I guess it is to me to speak up as the lone voice of approval.

    I am an actual HP Instant Ink customer. Some years back I needed an inkjet printer for a photo printing project I was working on where a laser printer wasn't up to the task. I found a used HP Envy 5640 on FB marketplace for $20 and bought a new color ink cartridge for another $20+ something. It didn't even last for 4 full-page photo prints! I did a bit of looking and ended up signing up for the Instant Ink program. I get 15 pages per month which roll-over up to 3 month (45 pages) for $1.25/month. The cartridges they send last for 20+ full page colour prints and they automatically resend when they get close to empty. This week was actually the first time I needed more pages (printing badges for a conference) and it is $1.25 for an additional 10 pages which also roll over.

    As others have pointed out Brother printers are excellent. I also have a Brother laser for my day-to-day printing but there are some jobs where an inkjet is the right tool for the job. Those kinds of jobs are usually the kind that burn up ink.

    For me $1.25/month is totally worth it; I've more than got my money out of it compared with the alternatives. I don't know if $6.99 to get the printer included is worth it especially if you can find a used one cheep. I can also see plans being an affordable option for someone who prints very little but still wants the option. Obviously HP isn't targeting customers like me. They want people to sign-up, forget, and simply charge their card every month for years on end. Clearly that isn't a good deal. However, there are situations where the plans actually make a lot of sense.

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