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I revived my ancient printer
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My circa-1998 HP DeskJet 722C printer hadn't printed a page in a decade or so, but I decided it would be fun to get it running again! It's old, but it's always been a fast, quiet, and reliable machine. This printer originally came with a Gateway PC running Windows 98. The Gateway has had two motherboards fail me, so I scuttled the idea of trying to get the printer running on that computer.

This printer was designed for older operating systems and likely isn't compatible with Windows 10 (or 8, for what that's worth). Fortunately, I have a Windows 7 desktop computer that doesn't get much use anymore, so I decided to give that a try. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this 23-year-old printer played nice with a Windows 7 machine. Said Windows 7 PC is 32-bit and has a parallel port, which greatly simplified setup.

After downloading the driver, I got the printer and computer on speaking terms. However, when I tried to print a document, the page was blank. I suspected the ink cartridge had gone bad - it probably dates back to late 2004, maybe early 2005. There was a lot of gunk around the nozzle - it looked like Gooper Blooper had had a field day there! I tried cleaning it with a Q-Tip and some alcohol, but that didn't help - when I printed after cleaning, the output was still blank. The indicator on the cartridge suggested that there wasn't much ink left in the cartridge, and I'd bet it's all dried up by now.

Fortunately, I had a replacement cartridge on hand. This unopened ink cartridge is over two decades past its expiration date of November 2001! We got it from our school system's surplus sales center around 2005 - we wanted a backup cartridge just in case HP stopped making cartridges for this old but trusty printer. I have no idea what kind of abuse it suffered in its former life, although I know it suffered through some rather extreme heat sitting in the garage for years. I popped this old cartridge in our printer yesterday and was slightly shocked to see that the printer worked as good as new.

The moral of the story? Really old HP printers - and print cartridges - are surprisingly durable little things.
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Nice work there man! That stuff had to be dried up like driveway tar!
It's amazing how so many of these old printers are still running strong.

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@Nite Thanks! Yeah, it's amazing that this printer is working great after almost a quarter century. While computer hardware has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, printers are chiefly mechanical devices and haven't caught up - and companies have found lots of innovative ways to add "features" that are decidedly consumer-unfriendly! I doubt many of today's consumer-oriented printers will be running in 2044.
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