Since I got this laptop going again I can’t seen to stop checking eBay for prices on Apple Powerbook G4s from 2005-2006. Twelve inch screen, 1.5 Ghz processor, and whatever sized hard drive. I’m not really sure why I’m even checking since I don’t need another but maybe it’s because I now have a second, broken, laptop that I can fix. Y’know the one I used to fix mine.

Fixing things is fun but with that laptop it’s all a rather silly endless loop. Get another to fix this one and I’ll need a fourth to fix the third. And so on endlessly. I think it’s that old human thing of wanting things even though we don’t need them at all. What would two laptops get me? I can only use one of them at a time. But still it would be cool to fix that second one. Oh, the imponderables of life.

And yet another piece of equipment broke on me this week. My printer. It was an Epson Stylus R1800. It, like my laptop, was also from 2005. But unlike my laptop it could not be fixed. It had to be replaced. It was not a cheap printer either. It’s a photo printer that prints on paper up to 13×19 inches. Those don’t come free with the purchase of some other piece of equipment.

Being that a printer has become an integral part of my artistic process I had to replace it right away. Whenever I draw I am always building a drawing by scanning in a drawing, blowing up its size, printing it out in blue line, and redrawing to my satisfaction. It beats erasing and gridding things up. I can manipulate the drawing and change sizes easily. I’m almost lost without a printer.

I decided against getting another Epson because for the last two years the one I’ve had has been twitchy. I’ve spent way too much time and money (in ink) trying to get it to print correctly. When it did print correctly it could make spectacular prints but too many times I had to deal with lines in my prints from clogged print heads. The R1800 doesn’t have too good a reputation for reliability and I can see why.

That’s why this time I went with a Canon. The Canon Pro 9000 Mark II to be exact. From what I could learn of it it made nice prints and was less prone to clogged print heads than the Epson. The print heads could even be replaced unlike my Epson.

Another thing that I read about and liked was that the Canon printed well on a wide variety of different papers. For some reason the R1800 was bad at this. Sure it made great prints on Epson papers but as soon as you went to another brand problems developed. As a consequence I have a whole bunch of Epson paper lying around and it’s a good thing the Canon can print well on them. I’d hate to have to replace my expensive paper too.

Ink is a pain in the ass expense with all inkjet printers. It costs a lot. The Canon ink is a little cheaper than the Epson but I really have no idea how much is in either cartridge. I do know that I wasted a too large percentage of my ink trying to get my Epson to work. Years ago I tried using a Continuous Ink System (CIS) with my first Epson (a Stylus 1270) and that ended up a disaster.

A CIS is when you hook up bottles of ink to the printer rather than use ink cartridges. Not buying expensive ink cartridges sounds like a great idea but I never could get the thing to work. It leaked ink everywhere and nearly ruined my printer. The tech support at the company I bought it from was no help, blamed me for the problem, and wanted to know why I wouldn’t let them help me. Jerks. I even had to dispute the charge on my credit card because they wouldn’t let me return it. That’s the only time I’ve ever had to do that.

The new Canon works great so far and I’m looking forward to having a reliable printer again. Of course I need to get some more ink for it because I have no Canon backup ink cartridges. Uggg… more money on inkjet ink. The world’s most expensive fluid.