So, a couple years ago, I bought a Canon printer. I didn't need anything fancy or multi-wonderful. What I needed was a basic machine to print out simple black-ink pages of my writing project. While we are in the computer age of electronic books and all the software we need to write and read them on our PCs, phones and tablets, there's nothing as useful for writers as the printed page. I can't even fully comprehend how to edit and make notes without actual paper pages in my hand.
I bought the Canon Pixma MG2100 because it looked simple to operate, didn't take up a lot of space in my cramped work area, and it was around $50 bucks. I remember that when I saw it at the store, I joked to my friend that, even for a simple printer, the price was almost too good to be true. She thought that I'd lucked out big time. So I bought that piece of bitch.
First let me point out the positives about the printer - because there are some things I like about it. It is pretty quiet when printing, and it connects easily to my PC with a USB cord. Also, the printer looks good; it's not some ugly piece of appliance that you want to hide under a cute throw when it's not in use. It was set up to scan, copy and fax. I can scan and copy right from my Android phone so I wasn't worried about those functions but, hey, to have them all in one for a super-low price... Not bad, right? I didn't really have any serious complaints until the ink ran out so fast that I swear I only printed may 20 pages (some color, some black). After that, I had to keep fiddling with the settings to get any more use from the cartridges.
For a while, I had no problem replacing cartridges. Until a few weeks ago.
Walmart was out of the replacements I'd bought previously. When I looked at home for the manual (to see if I could use other brands, etc.) I realized I'd packed the book in a storage room. Under about 9 million other things I'd put away between moving from one place to another. No problem, right? This is the age of the internet so I should be able to find a manual online somewhere. Maybe even at Canon's website.
Canon's website is perfect for getting driver updates and all kinds of product support. For everything but my model of printer. I decided to use their contact form to ask about the MG2100. That model is not even listed. I can contact them for the MG-this-one or MG-that-one, but not for the MG-one-that-I-have. I had to cheat on the form and use the closest model number (because you can't "submit" the query without inserting a model number).
I'm waiting to hear back from them about obtaining a replacement manual. I won't be surprised if their response doesn't turn out to be a polite version of "What'd you expect for 50 bucks? That we'd keep product info available for owners of the old printers?"
Guess that $50 price wasn't marked as a bargain as much as it was for dumping old inventory.
What I really wish is that I had never gotten rid of the old dot-matrix printer I had years ago. That thing printed from a ribbon that lasted forever. I was a little annoyed that it rocked the printer stand so much that everyone downstairs from me thought we were having a minor tremor, but I loved being able to print and re-print my work every time I made revisions.
My birthday's coming up so, when I was whining to my sister and niece about this cute little Pixma paperweight, they asked if I was hinting for new printer. (By the way, my family has always believed in my future as a writer. Good love from good people.) I wasn't hinting but, since they brought it up... Ha!
Tell you what, I will make sure that if I am getting a printer for my birthday, it won't start with "C" and end with "anon". The folks in my life love me, but I don't think they love me enough to supply me with printers every time Canon comes out with a new one. And, who know? This might be the way things go with all products, but I won't get burned twice by the same flame.
Now, let me go see which one of the fam loves me enough to run off a print of my rough draft...
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