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Archive for May, 2013

Why is toner so expensive?

Yesterday I fulfilled an old and almost forgotten desire of mine: To own a color laser printer.

I remember the first time I used a printer. A real printer, none of that dot matrix bullshit. It was some sort of cheap inkjet, but the idea that the things you saw on your computer monitor could be printed out (into the real world), fascinated me. Soon after I got myself my very own cheap inkjet and started printing my world. From my head, to my computer, to paper. You might think of this is a little small in terms of transforming ideas into tangible objects (“hey Ron, why didn’t you pick up sculpting asshole?”) but I’ve always been a fan of two dimensional color imaging.

It was in elementary school, back when I didn’t give a shit about anything, that this chick in my class presented a paper for some class with some graphics in it. She let me take a look at it and when I saw the pictures they struck me as odd. They were not blurry or wet looking (the result of inkjet) but instead looked like they had simply appeared into the paper, with beautiful color and sharpness. I then demanded to know what sorcery was this and she said her father owned a color laser printer. I immediately imagined a dark room where a sheet of paper suspended in mid-air was shot at by various colored laser beams until the resulting image was etched into the paper with deadly precision and gorgeous hues (which is not that far away from reality if you think about it).

Anyway, that was a little over 16 years ago and I have never forgotten that magic moment. Since then I’ve owned my share of inkjets. Good, reasonable printers, but no laser magic. And what is life without magic? I’ll tell you what it is; It’s blurry and wet looking. Until now.
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