Monday, May 04, 2009

Dump Your Home Printer!

It's been over a year since I unplugged my HP All-in-One Scanjet and Printer. I have missed it not at all.

Printing: Who Needs it?
Most of the stuff I had been printing was for a single use, such as directions to my mother-in-law's. Once I got to the point where I could just email them to my cellphone, I stopped printing ephemera.

For a while, I'd print documents for meetings (...I have TOO MANY meetings..don't you?) One day I loaded the meeting's documents on my laptop; they stayed nicely organized and I could enter notes instantly. No more printing documents!

The other use I'd considered for my All-In-One was printing photos, but I've never liked scanjet photos; they just look crappy and are easily damaged. To me, any image on a glowing screen is more compelling than the same thing on paper. There is something about the light emanating from a screen that an artist or scientist could explain; I just found that everyone liked to look at photos on my laptop than printed out.

My occasional printing, such as tax forms, I do at the public library; I'm quite happy to share the printer there with 20,000 other Mercer Islanders.

Scanning: Kinda Cool, Years Ago
The All-in-One was a great convenience for scanning book covers and uploading them to Amazon. (An amazing number of books are listed on Amazon with no images, and uploading images was for a while a minor hobby. Here's my Amazon image collection ) However, now my cellphone camera, while not as good as the scanner, is plenty good enough for Amazon, so there was no need to take up desk space.

Dump the Boat-Anchor-With-Print-Cartridges!
I discovered that, contrary to everything I'd seen on TV, I had no real use for a home printer. It's a nice gadget with no fundamental flaws except that it eats desk space, electricity, paper and print cartridges. I tucked it away for a while; a year later, I've almost forgotten where it is.

I suggest you try tucking your printer away in a convenient spot, where you can still get it if you feel insecure. In a month, move it to a closet, then the garage. When yardsale season comes around, take any cash you can get for it; otherwise donate it to a nice thrift store and give yourself the gift of the space it used to take up. I'll bet money you won't never regret it!