In case it benefits someone, I still use an Epson CX6400 for its scanner only; however, I could not have done this without using free S/W out there called the SSC Service Utility. ANYONE who still owns an Epson inkjet supported by this utility should get it, since it will enable you to only clean the specific color currently clogged (instead of all colors which is what Epson only permits from their driver/panel).
But the reason it ultimately saved me is due to how the printer stopped working at some point, because the ink reservoir is presumed full (perhaps pessimistically, from all that wasted ink for colors not really clogged!) and thus unsafe to print anymore - apparently they expect you to pay for service to empty the reservoir? (the unit was only $100!)
The punch-line is that this situation also prevented SCANNING - how evil! Anyway, the SSC Utility also can reset this "protection counter", albeit with the caveat that you now run a risk of an ink-stain under the printer. But, I've never printed from it again, just keep cartidges in it to appease use as a scanner (and Win-7 drivers are available, which is more than I can say for my HP ScanJet 3300C).
I'm almost embarassed to admit this, but I have a H-P IIIP laser printer for close to TWENTY FIVE years. Admittedly, I don't use it much anymore, but it went from being attached to an EVEREX 386/25 PC to a DELL 486/33 PC to a DELL TOWER, running WINDOWS XP PRO. The BIGGEST problem I've had with it in all this time was that I had to replace the laser motor driver board. About $60, which came with a VCR tape and complete step-by-step instructions for disasembly & reassembly. Now, the problem is replacement cartridges. The last one I purchases a few years ago came from a source in CA. I doubt I'll be able to buy another one in the future, and the couple of TONER/PRINTER cartridge refurbishers claim they can't renew them...... But, 25 years ain't bad either!
p.s. Also have an OKIDATRA ML 393 dot-matrix printer, still going strong, and it too was purchased in that same time frame......
Now I see the disadvantage of having outdated printers... it will be difficult for you to find drivers online and search for compatible models. Good thing brother laser printers like TN2000 is updated.
The other thing Kodak did wrong was assume all users took photos solely for the purpose of uploading to social media like Facebook. Their cameras aren't (easily) recognized as another USB external drive. Instead bloated software loads (and loads and loads) and you have to answer No to about four social media prompts before you can simply copy the images to your hard drive.
Much easier to simply remove the SD memory card and put it into a reader, but many users don't know how to do that.
I was reading Wirebenders comments on the Kodak printers and had a similar experience. I purchased an ESP-3 printer shortly after they came out with the hope of saving on the cost of ink. I immediately ran into several problems. The printer sucked down ink when calibrating and cleaning the print head. That was minor compared to the issues with the print head. I started getting "print head not found" issues. I called Kodak who had to mail out a new one. It lasted about 2 days and then failed. They sent me another one along with more ink which it ran through while calibrating the new head. I then called them to complain about the printer. I had to give them my credit cart # and they sent me another printer which failed in the same manner. They then sent me an ESP 7 which printed jagged lines right out of the box. That was the last straw. I contacted a Kodak executive and demanded my money back. They resisted at first but then finally mailed a check. I had to fill out a tax form to get that. I took my money and bought an Epson Artison 700 which has given me no trouble over 3 years.
Ink is the "razor blade" of the printer industry. They get their money out of you thay way. The problem with the Kodak printers is that all of the colors are in one cartridge - you run out of one color and it's useless and the cartridges were small. My Epson printer has 6 cartridges which are expensive but they last much longer and I can limp along if one runs out.
It's no wonder Kodak went down so quickly. I believe the print head on their printers has a serious design flaw. That along with over promising savings on the ink as well as other major corporate blunders put them on a disasterous path.
Charles, your explanation is probably correct for a large portion of consumers. But I have noticed a very disturbing trend of incredibly short attention spans among a lot of people, mostly the younger ones, and so it would seem that another bunch is simply not able to realize that their product has failed after a fairly short time period. Of course, wanting the very newest toy goes right along with that.
My theory, William K, is that a lot of electronics consumers are willing to put up with poor quality because they can't wait to get their hands on the next version of their product. If it fails, it means they can run out and buy a new one, which they wanted to do anyway. I have no proof or user surveys to support this opinion. It's just something I've seen with my own kids.
We have a Kodak ESP-7 all-in-one that is now a doorstop. We had repeated problems with the ink cartridges not being recognized. The solutions provided by Kodak were, in chronological order over a period of several weeks, reseat the cartridges, remove and reseat the printhead, replace the printhead, and finally update the software. This last rendered our XP PC inoperable requiring us to boot into safe mode and remove all things Kodak. Oh, and like others have mentioned, the ESP-7 wouldn't scan without a properly operating printer.
As far as drivers, we've been using a Brother HL-1850 monochrome laser printer for over 12 years now. It's reasonably fast, doesn't jam, will do double-sided printing and envelopes, and the toner cartridge lasts a long time. The problem? No driver nor any plans for a driver (according to the Brother website) for Win 7. So, I can't use it with my laptop connected via Wi-Fi.
So far, I haven't had any problems with my HP DesignJet 430 D-size plotter, mainly since it's connected to my main desktop running XP Pro. It scares me to think that some day in the future I might be forced into replacing this plotter, not because it wore out, but because Microsoft comes out with the next touch/gesture/brainwave/whatever -operated OS that's just so much FUN to use. (MS is a perfect example of 'just because you can do something, doesn't always mean that you should do that thing.)
CANON & NIKON and now SONY through the defunct MINOLTA have taken the same approach. Look at their product line for the past 5 years. Each manufacturer has incrementally changed a few design elements in an existing product, yet for the most part, given it a completely new model designation.
For example, in CANON.... the dSLR 10D was the first in a series of xoD models. It had a 6.3 Megapixel sensor. It was followed by the 20D a few months later. The change? An 8.2 Megapixel sensor. Practically all other parts were the same. Then, in a short time hence, the 30D appeared. Same 8.2 Megapixel sensor, BUT a larger LCD & a better menu system. MOST other features remained the same. Then, the 40D, which increased the sensor to 10 Megapixel level, AND a larger LCD, AND the first self-cleaning sensor mechanics. I could go on, but it's not necessary. Now, CANON is poised to release the 70D, an incremental change from the 60D.
What KODAK's problem was that they didn't have a base family of cameras to transition to, like CANON & NIKON did. The ONLY dSLR cameras that KODAK had were very expensive, fringe units based on a NIKON film camera body, and later, a CANON film camera body. It was destined for the press photographers market..... NOT exactly the way to penetrate or saturate the photo market in general.
Chunka Mui's recent articles for Forbes online about Google's driverless cars have a great post-mortem on Kodak. Basically it comes down to trying to take an incremental approach to digital photography to avoid disrupting current business. Kind of like the big car companies are doing right now.
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