The wonders of technology
December 20 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

The wonders of technology | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

The wonders of technology

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

Sometimes, I'm just amazed.

I learned to type and wrote my first term paper on a manual typewriter.

I remember being impressed with the portable electric I bought in college.

In graduate school, computers were just coming into vogue, and I thought the dot-matrix printer I bought for my new Zenith PC (with two 5 1/4 floppies but no hard drive) was the cat's meow.

Then ink-jet printers came along, and I bought one of those, and it wasn't long before they were even printing in color.

It's hard to believe what is on the market now.

My wife recently bought a new printer for the home office, but it's more than a printer.

We now have a copy machine in our house - no more trips to the post office or library to copy the tax forms.

What's more, it's a color copier, and it even does a beautiful job copying pictures on photographic paper.

But that's not all.

It's a fax machine.

And a scanner.

And a computer printer - in both black and in color.

And get this - it cost less than the portable typewriter I bought 30 years ago, with no adjustments for inflation. It costs less than the dot matrix printer I bought 20 years ago, less than the first inkjet I bought 10 years ago.

You can have this magic machine for $150, which is probably close to what the manufacturer has in it.

Why do they sell the handy dandy do-all machine so cheaply?

Because they know you have to buy their proprietary ink cartridges to make it work. While there is little or no markup on the home-office-in-one-machine, the printer companies average a 60 percent profit margin on their ink cartridges: two sets of black and color replacements will set you back about the same amount as the printer itself.

No matter what new song technology sings, you still have to pay the piper.

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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