Printer Tune-Up
December 12, 2003 8:48 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting a new (used) printer, and I have a couple of questions [more inside]

So, my frequently maligned (by me) employer has decided to give me a printer, rather than pitching it. It's a Lexmark Optra Lxi. Since my current printer seriously blows, I think it's a welcome upgrade, though the model don't seem to fetch a lot on Ebay. My questions:
1. What do I need to due to tune it up? Just clean and lube the moving parts?
2. Remanufactured toner-- any reason not to use it?
3. Will I have any troubles connecting it? Will office-type printers work adequately fast off-LAN, with a measly parallel port feeding them?
posted by trharlan to Technology (3 answers total)
Depending on the vintage and abuse level of a former-workplace printer, it's often advisable to replace any rubber bits in the paper handling path. Rollers and the like get stale and lose the friction grip they need to prevent jamming. If you can't or won't replace them (it's not always easy to get the part), at the very least clean them thoroughly and lightly abrade them to improve their stickiness. Also, blow the whole thing out with compressed air to get rid of the accumulation of paper fibers and dust, but don't do so at a gas station; there might be particulate matter in the air line.

Parallel laser printers are never fast, but it should work adequately for your needs. If it's infuratingly slow, the investment in network hardware to use it in that capacity is very minor.

I can't speak to remanufactured toner, but recycled cartridges (with new toner in them) are perfectly acceptable if you do business with a reputable dealer who'll back you up if something goes wrong. However, unless you're printing books, you're not likely to go through much toner -- I've had an old LaserWriter 630 from work with the same toner cartridge in it for the last three years. In that time I've gone through probably three reams of paper.
posted by majick at 9:08 PM on December 12, 2003

(great reply, majick!)
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:07 PM on December 12, 2003

You, majick, are a saint. Thank you.
posted by trharlan at 6:51 PM on December 14, 2003

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