That Was Easy.

When Ames and I got married we had two of a lot of things you should really only have one of. Two beds, two can-openers, two toothbrush holders…you get the idea. Within the first 6 months of marriage we had eliminated a lot of that extra clutter, but even after 2 years we still had our two old deskjet printers from our undergrad days. We always had (at least) two computers around, so having two printers was no big deal, except when they ran out of ink. Fortunately, we never had to buy both new ink cartridges for both printers at the same time. For the last few months, one has been low on color, and one has been low on black ink, but now they’re both low on everything. Actually, I take that back. One printer still has some magenta, and the other still has some cyan. Still, that doesn’t work when Ames needs to print out homework; and if we have to print out a Google Map, magenta roads are hard on the eyes.

We were all prepared to go to Sams Club and plop down a whole lot of money for new ink when I got the idea that I could probably buy a shiny new printer with ink for what I was going to pay for 4 cartridges. After talking to Amy about it, we began our search. We scoured the Internet and the Sunday advertisements to find the best bang for our buck and we discovered that we could do a lot better than just a network printer. We decided on the Brother MFC-5440CN from Staples.

The All-In-One - Brother MFC-5440CN

For $99 after rebate, it’s obviously not the top of the line model, but it is a huge upgrade from our previous printing, scanning, and faxing solutions. Rather than having to get a USB hub, it connects directly to the router, which means if I set up some port forwarding, I could even print things from outside the home network. It would be amazing to me if Amy could print something out at home from her iBook at school. On the iMac, I followed some advice I read online and didn’t use the CD at all since there have been some changes since Tiger came out. I just downloaded the drivers directly from Brother which allow the iMac to communicate with the unit via Bonjour. They even have a handy dashboard widget that displays the ink levels. On the PC, I’m having some trouble communicating with scanner. Everything else is working great though, and I just got a fax this morning from the eye doctor with Amy’s contact prescription…so I know that works too.

The All-In-All - A stack of obsolete peripherals.

Little did we know when we decided not to buy ink cartridges that we would be getting rid of such a huge pile of electronics. It all works…but it’s all old. The scanner takes up a lot of desk space and doesn’t play well with Windows XP, the fax machine works great, but was kicked out of it’s perch by the all-in-one, and the printers of course are out of ink. I was initially going to sell it all on ebay, but a friend suggested that I donate it to the Salvation Army, which I think is a great idea.

That was easy.

I forgot to mention that I bought a new desk toy while I was at Staples. I tried pressing it a couple times yesterday while I was working on some complicated database code, but nothing happened. Oh well…at least my printer works again.

8 comments on “That Was Easy.

Ray says:

You mean they sell those Easy buttons?! I want one! That’s so awesome. Call me retarded, but it’s simple things like the Easy button that can entertain me for… oh, I don’t know… at least five minutes. So now that you’ve got the desk a bit less cluttered, are you going to post a shot of your desk with the iMac? You know, like those pics on Flickr that show off how tidy the workspace can be with a Mac.

Brian says:

Tim says, “Get it!” So, I’ll be off to Staples later this evening to make sure I get me one of those. I can put in where I have the faxer and get rid of the printer sitting on the floor b/c it has nowhere else to go and it’ll be on the network.


Well Ray, I may have a mac… and the all in one unit did reduce SOME clutter, but lemme give you a quick rundown of just a few of the items on my desk: an empty water glass, the MFC-5440CN’s User Guide, the remote for the fan, two watches that I need to take in to get new batteries, my sprint bill, exactly 3 $1 bills, 9 twist ties, a few random pieces of paper with notes scribbled on them, a sound blaster live! driver cd, and the belt clip for Amy’s ipod mini. That doesn’t include any of the desk toys, the wacom tablet, or the other things that are SUPPOSED to be on my desk. I definitely can’t brag about having a tidy workspace.

Nick says:


I was interested to see you were having some problems with the network scanning function on the 5440CN. We’ve got the same problem on our network and wondered if you’d had any joy solving the problem.

Would be interested in hearing any progress you’ve made!


I haven’t had any problems scanning from the Mac, but I did originally have issues with scanning from the PC. I believe I cleared that up with new drivers from Brother.

Mike says:

Any issues with ink going fast and MFC reporting “Ink Empty”, even cartridges are half full. Any solution for that ?
Too bad easy button is not working for that!
Thanks, Mike

I haven’t had that problem (yet). 🙂 I did run out of black ink once already so far, but that’s because my wife has been printing a lot of stuff for school.

Scott says:

FYI- You could have paid for your Easy Button with your empty ink cartridges. Staples will give you a $3 coupon for every empty cartridge you bring them…a lot of companies are getting in on this. Walgreens will give you 10 free digital prints, or you can look around online- some websites will pay cash.

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