Parallel Ports & USB Connections
Posted: February 2, 2007
I may have mentioned on occasion that I am not very well versed with computers. I do what I have to do to produce this weekly newsletter, but I do not understand the intricacies of a computer or its related parts. Having said that, I did not know how difficult it would be to replace the computer printer in my office.
Apparently, the computer industry has been discontinuing the use of parallel ports for printers for the past five or six years. Instead, computer printers are furnished with USB connections. My two office computers which utilize the same printer did not have any USB connections. Consequently, short of purchasing two new computers, I had the hard drives upgraded to allow for USB adaptability. (I am very disappointed that the Menomonie computer retailer who sold me a computer last year did not mention the transition to USB ports).
After spending about $120 on the new USB cords and for the service work, I was hoping that I could print this week's issue of The Bottom Line off of my new printer. Unfortunately, the new printer I purchased is not compatible with Windows 98 Second Version. This means that I will now be forced to upgrade to Windows XP, which is another unforeseen expense.
A colleague of mine told me about "Planned Obsolescence". This is when the computer industry sells something that it knows will become outdated in a few years and force customers to buy the next wave of innovation. It is similar to what is happening in the electronic industry where televisions are going through the next upgrade to high definition. Television owners do not have to buy a high definition unit, but we all know that those with HDTV will receive a better picture than those who continue to use outdated equipment.
To prove the point, I was told when buying the USB port and its associated cords that the products I was purchasing probably would not last a long time. The computer store technician suggested that it would be in my best interest to consider buying two new computers sometime soon.
All I wanted to do was upgrade my office printer so I could use my existing printer at home. Nothing is as easy as it first appears when attempting to make technological improvements.