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5:01pm on Friday, 23rd September, 2016:
My Samsung CLX-3185SW printer had given me sterling service over the past several years, but the imaging unit needs replacing and a recent driver update took the decision that I merely want to own the printer, not actually print anything with it. I had to wake it up manually every time, and when the scanner stopped talking to my graphics program I couldn't even do that. I decided to replace it.
Now I could have bought a replacement over the Internet, as I was fairly happy with the 3185. The ink cartridges are a bit pricey, though, so I thought I'd see what else was out there. Staples and PC World are only a 3-mile drive away, so off I went.
The buying process took longer than I was expecting.
I wanted a 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 colour printer with a reasonably small footprint that can print a ream of paper without needing a new ink cartridge. This turned out to be a tricky combination. The main issue was the pages-per-cartridge criterion, as most of the printers seem to manage around 350 pages before demanding to be fed with more ink. My 3185 could print 1,500 pages before it complained, and then hundreds more if you ignored said complaints and overruled it (a particularly smart thing to do for colour cartridges, as the slightest smidgeon of colour on a sheet decremented its sheet count for that colour as much as if you'd printed the whole page in it). I did find some printers with 1,000-page cartridges, but I didn't find the cartridges on the shop shelves.
The latest model equivalent to the 3185 was like this. There's something suspect about a printer that isn't sold alongside its cartridges, and I also didn't like the fact that the cartridges looked almost the same as the ones in the 3185 except for not being compatible. OK, so this time I didn't have a stock of cartridges in stock and therefore wasn't going to be annoyed that they wouldn't fit, but I dislike this kind of sneakiness. Also, not having them meant I could look at other manufacturers, too.
All the Canon printers except the big laserprinters were cheap and plasticky. They looked to be meant for student use. I wasn't going to buy one on those grounds, but the fact that they spelled "colour" as "color" on the front of the machine was also a show-stopper. Hewlitt Packard's printers were much better quality, but I've been bitten too badly in the past by the bloatware they insist is installed on my PC to wish to experience that again. Samsung would have been acceptable, but there were surprisingly few machines on offer.
Eventually, I found something that fitted my needs: an Epson WF-3620. It's not as large as the 3185, which is good, and you can get a black ink cartridge for it that lasts 2,200 pages (half that for colour cartridges). I can print on it just fine, and although it's WAI rather than TWAIN I can still scan from my graphics program just fine. It's also able to print double-sided, which the Samsung one wasn't, so I'll save something on paper with it. So far, I'm very pleased with it.
After I got it working, I went through all the software Samsung had installed on my PC over the years and uninstalled it. Unfortunately, one of them remains on my hard drive because my security software didn't like what it was doing and neutered it before it could delete itself.
Also unfortunately, one of the Samsung programs I deleted was the one that lets my PC talk to my mobile phone. I may need to put that one back...
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