you are a printer we are all printers

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

Anyway, here’s the best printer for 2024: a Brother laser printer. You can just pick any one you like; I have one with a sheet feeder and one without a sheet feeder. Both of them have reliably printed return labels and random forms and pictures for my kid to color for years now, and I have never purchased replacement toner for either one. Neither has fallen off the WiFi or insisted I sign up for an ink-related hostage situation or required me to consider the ongoing schemes of HP executives who seem determined to make people hate a legendary brand with straightforward cash grabs and weird DRM ideas.

It’s sort-of alarming that Brother are the only big player in the printer space who subscribe to a philosophy of “don’t treat the customers like livestock”. Presumably all it’d take is a board-level decision to flip the switch from “not evil” to “evil” and we’d lose something valuable. Thankfully, for now at least, they still clearly see the value of the positive marketing the world gives them. Positive marketing like like this article.

The article is excellent, by the way. I know that I’m “supposed” to stir up hatred about the fact that its conclusion is written by an AI but… well, just read it for yourself and you’ll see why I don’t mind even one bit. Top notch reporting. Consider following the links within it to stories about how other printer manufacturers continue to show exactly how shitty they can be.

I recommended a Brother printer to the Vagina Museum the other month. I assume it ‘s still working out fine for them (and not ripping them off, spying on them, and/or contributing to the destruction of the the planet).

Yours Quim-cerely

A lovely letter from the Vagina Museum – which I’ve not had the opportunity to visit yet – came through my letterbox:

Printed letter on Vagina Museum headed paper, reading: Dear Dan Q, I'm assuming you donated £50 on 1st February in response to my desperate plea for help on Mastodon. I'm pleased to say this was printed on our brand spanking new Brother Laser. The entire Vagina Museum thanks you for your generosity in our hour of need. Yours quim-cerely, Zoe Williams; Head of Communications and Fundraising
“Yours quim-cerely,” doesn’t appear in any style guide but is now the best sign-off in any letter I’ve ever received.

This moment of joy was kick-started when I casually dropped in on a conversation about printer recommendations. I’ve got a big ol’ Brother printer here, and it’s great, not least because even though it’s got a tonne of features like duplexing and (double-sided) scanning and photocopying and it’s even got a fax machine built in for some reason… it doesn’t try to be any more “smart” than it needs to be. It doesn’t talk to Alexa or order itself more toner (it even gets-by with knockoff toner!) or try to do anything well… except print things, which it does wonderfully.

For this and other reasons I recommended they buy a Brother.

Then, alongside some other Fediversians, I chipped in to help them buy one.

Totally worth it for the letter alone. Now I just need to find an excuse to visit an exhibition!

Printed letter on Vagina Museum headed paper, reading: Dear Dan Q, I'm assuming you donated £50 on 1st February in response to my desperate plea for help on Mastodon. I'm pleased to say this was printed on our brand spanking new Brother Laser. The entire Vagina Museum thanks you for your generosity in our hour of need. Yours quim-cerely, Zoe Williams; Head of Communications and Fundraising×