Journal: News & Comment

Sunday, March 19, 2006
# 10:55:00 PM:

Bought a new laser printer—the old one is free to a good home

Permalinks to this entry: individual page or in monthly context. For more material from my journal, visit my home page or the archive.

LaserWriter 360A few years back I bought an Apple LaserWriter Select 360 laser printer (codename "Viper") from my one-time boss Bernie. It's been a workhorse, and one of the oldest pieces of computer hardware in my current setup—the model was discontinued almost exactly 10 years ago. We've been printing to it through a wacky USB-to-parallel printer cable for a couple of years, but that has been unreliable, often depending on unplugging and re-plugging the USB cable to get it to work. Plus it requires that my eMac be on to share with other machines in the house.

Today my wife got fed up and asked me to get another printer. (Go out to an electronics store and buy something? Twist my rubber arm!) I brought home a Brother HL-2070N, which is superior to the old Apple tank in nearly every way. It's much, much faster—no surprise, since it has a 133 MHz RISC processor compared to the LaserWriter's poky 16 MHz CISC one (which was, to be fair, pretty speedy in 1993 when the Apple printer was first introduced, which was before either the Power Macintosh or the Newton had appeared).

The Brother is smaller and lighter, and makes nicer-looking prints. It has a networking port so any computer in the house can print to it, even over our Wi-Fi network, without a host computer. It has a Sleep mode that conserves power, but that lets it wake up when a print job comes in. Its toner cartridges are inexpensive, because the transfer roller is a separate part so you don't have to pay to replace it whenever you buy new ink.

The only demerits it has compared to the old LaserWriter is that it doesn't hold quite as many sheets of paper, the manual feed intake doesn't have a tray to keep multiple sheets on, and it's made largely of cheap plastic, while the LaserWriter has a lot of metal under the skin. And the Brother doesn't have real PostScript support, which the Apple does. Of course, the Brother only cost $250 Cdn, $200 after rebate. The LaserWriter listed for over $1200 USD on introduction.

The Apple printer still works fine—in fact, it would work just great with a Windows or Linux system (the irony!) that includes a Centronics parallel connector. Let me know if you're interested. There's a lot of life left in the toner cartridge, and the printer will be free to a good home. Ditch that inkjet and get something that prints in real black, why don't you?


Journal Archive »

Template BBEdited on 29-Apr-2010

Site problems? Gripes? Angst? - e-mail
Site contents © 1997–2007 by Derek K. Miller

You may use content from this site non-commercially if you give me credit, under the terms of my Creative Commons license.

eXTReMe Tracker