Sunday, 28 October 2012

Lexmark E-120N laser printer: the start of serious networking

Some time in late 2007 or early 2008 I spied this printer at an ALDI Grocery store.  The asking price was a mere AUD 99.  Granted, it came with a small toner cartridge only.  However it was significant because from the first I  have used it exclusively as a network printer.  I can't honestly say whether I have ever hooked up a USB connection to it; I think not.

Until this purchase, network tinkering was a hobby thing for me.  Crawling under the floorboards to install CAT5 cable was "because I can" and "because I want to tinker" rather than "because I need to."

The attraction of this printer was that it promised high quality and reliability, and didn't require a host computer, because it connected directly to existing 10/100 Ethernet.  Yes, it's only mono, but now, 4½ to 5 years later, it is still printing reliably and well.  It has had one overhaul due to paper dust issues, and I now only feed it paper that has been laser-cut (as opposed to blade cut).  In Australia, Reflex is the most heavily marketed copy/print/office paper, but is not necessarily the best quality!

Starting with this tech toy a home network became an essential part of our tech infrastructure; hitherto, it had been just one more tech toy.

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