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Looking for Some Info re Cost of a Printer & Ink
As strange as this may seem, I have owned a Windows PC for the past 20 years but have avoided the need to buy a printer until now.

I hardly do any printing - perhaps one or two pages per week; and almost all of that is B&W. I only need to print color pages perhaps once or twice per year.

During the past 20 years, when I have needed to print a few pages, I have either imposed on a friend or made use of the Public Library which is just across the street (ten cents per page for B&W). But now, I need to buy a printer.

The last person I spoke with about this topic was an old friend and he told me the cost of the ink is much more expensive than the cost of a printer. Believe it or not, I only need to print about 10 pages per year. This friend also told me that if you own a printer and fail to print something every few days, the ink will clot and you will then need to buy a new printer.

So, I hope someone can answer these questions:

Almost all my printing is B&W. I may want to do some color printing. But that would happen even less frequently than my B&W printing. So, the first question is:

1) Should I expect the cost of a printer to be extrmely low compared to the cost of the ink?

2) I know that some people who buy a new printer will spend many hours or days studying their printer manual(s) to learn all about their new printer. My attitude towards selecting a printer is, "the less I need to get involved, the better". My preference is simply to select a file and then press the "PRINT" button. The files I need to print are almost always one or two 8.5" x 11" pages per file. It is extremely rare that I need to print any other size other than 8.5" x 11". It is also extremely rare that I need to do any other kind of printing. (such as color or landscape, etc.).

2) Are the issues involved in printing color pages similar to those involved in printing B&W pages? Do I need to print a page every few days in order to prevent "clotting"? If so, how often do I need to print a page to prevent clotting and are there any pages that are recommended to prevent clotting?

3) How much should I expect to spend on a small "entry level" printer and how much can I expect to spend on the ink (both B&W as well as color)?

4) How often do I need to print a B&W page to keep the B&W ink from clotting?

5) Same question as above but substitute "color" for "B&W".

6) I'm guessing a new printer comes with one color ink cartridge as well as one B&W ink cartridge. Is that correct?

7) Is there any preferred brand name that you would recommend for me?

8) If I want to be able to handle sending & receiving faxes, what kind of hardware will I need to buy and how much should I expect to spend? I do not need to send and receive faxes myself. There are many services that I can use to send and/or receive faxes and pay a very small fee to send and receive faxes. The reason I want to be able to do this now is because if I need to send/receive more than 5 or 6 pages per week, it becomes inconvenient to go across the street and let some service handle my faxes. There is also a privacy issue. I don't feel comfortable having all my faxes available to people who use that same service.

If I want to be able to send/ receive faxes, what kind of unit do I need? Is it a printer? Or is is a photocopier that can be plugged into my PC? Or, perhaps it's some other kind of unit?

I'm posting these questions here because I would very much prefer to get the benefit of your advice before I walk into the computer store and have a sales person try to "advise" me.

There is one issue of which I am quite certain. That is: to avoid getting sucked into an "extended warranty".
1. the printer will be cheap, the ink will be expensive.

2. you don't need to study shit. unless you get something fancy, just hit print and enjoy tangible porn again.

3. entry level color printers go for about 150 to 300 us.

4. once every few days

5. once every few days.

6. yes

7. canon

i always go for the extended warranty with printers... pays for itself when it stops working.
"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
free printers....expensive ink
consistency is the hobdob
of small minds[
Thank you both very much. Sorry it took so long to reply.

Before buying a printer, I just need to check about Laser Printers.

As I understand it, I can get an "Entry Level" Laser Printer for a few hundred dollars and there is never any problem with ink clogging.

Given that I only need to print a few B&W pages each week, could it make any sense for me to buy a Laser Printer?

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