So my printer broke down recently, and after going through every troubleshooting step I could find in the manual and online, I concluded that it needed to be serviced. I wondered if the time and trouble and money that would cost me was worth it. I determined not, and bought a new photo printer, pictured here. I got it on sale at Caltech's bookstore. It's pretty simple, on the cheap end of things, and yet it's also a scanner and copier, and hey, if you use this site and copy your scans to a Word file you could have yourself a fax machine as well. So what do you suppose I paid?
I'll tell you: $21.49 including tax. Not kidding. I bought myself a printer for twenty bucks. The replacement ink for this thing is going to cost more than that! In fact, it would therefore make sense for me to buy five more cheap printers, just for the ink cartridges they come with, but I cannot bring myself to do something so wasteful.
Oh, and as long as I'm bragging, I bought my cell phone three and a half years ago for $20 and it's still working well.
The cheap and ready availability of technology I would have thought incredible twenty years ago puts me in mind of this YouTube clip that's been making the rounds: Everything's amazing, nobody's happy.