Shitty Printers

Shitty Printers


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“You can print from an iPhone®. It’s the dumbest thing.”
- Bo Fahs, writer and host of Tele-Friends

From the moment we began to digitize our world, we created machines that worked tirelessly to pull all that information zooming around back to the physical world. Enter: the home printer.

Perhaps as payback for forming a nonsensical dichotomy, these printers couldn’t just work. Not without a fight, at least. No. They insisted on screeching at plane-like decibels, plopping out pages at an excruciatingly slow pace, streaking only the most important documents, and running out of ink when you know you JUST refilled the cartridge.

From the first consumer inkjet to more modern monstrosities, Sh*tty Printers breaks down the worst offenders of our home offices. Featuring popular and exasperating home staples such as:

• The HP Thinkjet 2225A
• The Lexmark Z22
• The long forgotten Canon BJC-85
• and many more

Each printer is beautifully photographed and ruthlessly torn to shreds as their individual strengths, weaknesses, and charisma are scored on sliding scales born from relatable frustration.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944515560
Publisher: Blue Star Press
Publication date: 02/20/2018
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Bo Fahs is a writer and the co-host of the popular podcast 'Tele-Friends.' He lives in Austin, Texas.

Read an Excerpt

While writing the foreword to the very book that you hold in your hands, something preposterous happened:
A picture, very likely not painted by Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci, sold at auction for 450 million US dollars, thus jeopardizing my entire plan for this piece. Because up until this moment, the printer—specifically, in my opinion, the at-home inkjet printer—was the single object most emblematic of man’s folly, of his casual, unwitting cruelty to himself and to his fellow man. 

In 2011, the gross domestic product of the island nation Tonga was 439 million USD.

Consider the printer.

It is a machine that delivers on exactly the opposite of the promise of the Information Age. And it is therefore the truest manifestation of the era.

From the very start, the promise of the personal computing revolution was two-fold: all the world’s knowledge at one’s fingertips, and streamlined communication for both personal and professional reasons. And as soon as there were personal computers, there were printers, fucking things all up, taking two giant leaps back for every one step forward we took into the future. 

Putting what computers worked so hard to digitize back, needlessly, into the physical world. 

“So you mean to tell me,” you might have asked the clerk at CompUSA in 1999, “that now I can fill out this medical form entirely, as you say, ‘online?’”

“Oh, no,” he’d have told you, sagely shaking his head. “Digitally signing things won’t be hot in these streets for at least another 10 years.”

“So I—”

“What you can do now, here, in 1999, is you can print out a copy of the medical form from your email, sign it, and send it back to them. But in order to do that, you’ll need one of these hellish 3-in-1 machines.” He would have turned then on the heel of his all-black sneaker, and, with a flourish, gestured—as though revealing from behind an imaginary curtain—at several of these printers with the flatbed scanners bolted to the top and made by companies like Lexmark, Canon, and Epson.

“I understand that it prints and scans. What’s the third function?”

“Copying or faxing, probably, but I can’t be certain. No one has ever attempted either.”

It didn’t matter then and it doesn’t matter now, because the fact remains that, on top of a filing cabinet, or in the side table in some corner of literally every home office in the world, there squats one of these insane devices. Soldiering away. Taking virtual content from computers, and making documents that resemble that content using ink that squirts out of little tanks and paper and dozens of little gears and servos all designed with planned obsolescence in mind. Little skeuomorph factories, immovable objects, always ignored, and in constant need of maintenance.

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