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Time, money and patience wasted by incompatible computers, printers and software

A friend asked me to post the following on her behalf. It was pompted by her won frustration at havng wasted hundreds of dollars adn days of time attermpting to get a printer to work with her Intel-based computer running a Microsoft XP. - James Sinnamon.

I am so sick of buying printers. Each new series has more bugs and expenses than the last. Every time Windows comes out with new software or I upgrade my computer I run into problems. At the moment my HP Photosmart 3100 series refuses to print all black, despite a brand new cartridge (ridiculously expensive and small) until I replace the magenta cartridge. My friend, who uses Linux, has an ancient little printer which prints without special programs, without fuss, without self cleaning... it just does the job. It can be filled with generic inks and the cartriges manually refilled. It does not waste my time. HP Photosmart 3100 series WASTES my time. I hate it. I resent the several hundred AUD I spent on it. And I have another printer - a Canon laser. It simply refused to collaborate with my new computer. So now that my HP Photosmart 3100 series is holding me to ransome (and another member of the family has a car so I can't go down and blow some more money on a magenta cartridge in order to print in black and white) I tried printing with my other computer (you need a few; they are so damn jinxed by windows XP [I certainly won't be buying Vista]) using the Canon, but, wouldn't you know, there is a big blaze of white down the centre, so I will have to fill out the missing words in biro so I can take the article to read at my radio show. I think I may mention the problems with printers there. We customers are simply being hung out to dry by big business which is commercially all in league to herd us to less and less useful, more and more complex, resource intensive 'solutions'. I guess it keeps us out of politics a little more than we otherwise might be.


This also raises an ecological issue.

How much of the mountains of e-waste, which are now poisoning our planet is the result of the insistence of Computer and printer manufacturers and software companies, most notoriously the profit-gouging monopoly Microsoft, forcing their customers to upgrade their hardware and proprietary operating systems year in and year out?

Even at the bottom of the mounds of e-waste must lie many computers, printers, monitors and other hardware items. perhaps twenty years old, that could still have been be put to good good use if the IT industry has simply standardised their products, had been forced to provide support for older products and had been less relentless in their upgrades.

If any one example cries out for more government regulation and more government intervention in the economy, this one does.

If Governments had fully thrown their weight behind alternatives to MicroSoft such as the Open Source Linux operting system, then most of humankind would have long ago broken their costly depency upon MIcrosoft products and hardware built for Microsoft products and the problems described in the aticle would be rare.

Each item of e-waste, that has been needlessly created. has consumed yet more of the world's finite non-renewable metals, petroleum and other fossil fuels in it's manufacture. Future generations will pay the cost.

It should have been no effort for a government owned telecommunications corporation, not driven by the need to maximise shareholder profit, to have provided a network that would have allowed membes of the public useful access to the Internet using old computers and old operating systems.

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You mentioned Micro$oft. Apple is another company that you have to watch out for. I can imagine that if they have the same monopoly power that Microsoft has, they can be at least just as bad as Microsoft.