I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

The Laserwriter

Today we took one of my possessions to Goodwill, as a donation. I have a feeling they may just recycle it, but who knows. Back in what was probably 1993, as a sophomore at the University of Rochester, my roommate and I began to fight over the sharing of his laser printer. Not everyone had computers in our dorms, but we both did, and he brought a LaserWriter NT from home. It was not Apple's most full-featured printer, as it was slow, but it did the job, and I was genuinely appreciative that he'd let me print over our little dorm room network. Until he played his card and shut it off. He didn't really care if I printed, you see, if was simply playing a chess piece of control. I have no clue why, now in retrospect, but I am sure I was playing my own pieces too to maintain some friction. That's when I called home and asked my mom about getting my own laser printer. She agreed I should have one, as the DeskJet she bought me several Christmas' ago wasn't sufficient sitting at home. I never cared for the printer, either, and for my work, I needed a good quality printer. Our campus computer store wasn't far from the dorm, and after several trips, I realized I had a choice to make: Apple was selling two similar models, one at 300 DPI and the more expensive one, at a new resolution: 600 DPI! I asked them to print a Finale file (music notation software), and honestly, the more costly printer was clearly superior (compare that, perhaps, to the original iPhone display compared to one of Apple's newer "Retina" displays. Once you see the clarity, you want the better product. So I told my mom, and she reluctantly decided I could get the more expensive printer (I was lucky in that regard). So, a few days later, I was attempting to haul up the hill this 50 lb. box by myself. It was a LaserWriter Select 360. I'll never forget my roommate's face when I finally made it up to our fourth-floor room. "You got it? Hmm... is it the 300 or the 600? Really? Hmmm...." Somehow after the new printer arrived, our rivalry faded into history and even though printing wasn't what prompted the tension, it was soon enough gone. I learned to deal with his empty Snapple bottles and piles of laundry, if he could stand some of my Bach CDs. So, this printer has been with me since. From Rochester, NY, to Cleveland, OH, to Richmond, VA. Yes, it was nearly 17 years old. Who keeps printers for 17 years? Well, how many still work? Sure, the individual sheet feed had been flakey for at least the last 9 years, but I hadn't replaced the toner too many times, and while it took forever to warm up, it still printed good copy. It was official PostScript compatible. You had to print to it using an ancient device: the Asanté AppleTalk via Ethernet adapter. This thing used these little "Localtalk" boxes that you connected with plain vanilla phone cable to a box that bridged Ethernet. The Ethernet cord went into the computer, and Apple's proprietary 8-pin DIN plug went into the back of the printer. When Apple killed AppleTalk in OS X Snow Leopard, they put the death sentence on the LaserWriter Select. Yes, this printer had the old rainbow Apple logo on it. And it worked. Today I lost it to a Goodwill donation. I haven't used that printer now for about a year; we'd "upgraded" at home to an HP printer (several generations, of course removed, from my pre-college DeskJet inkjet model) that warms up in seconds. It too has great resolution, at 1200 DPI. It even duplex prints. But it lacks the character of the LW Select. The printer was with me for almost 17 years. I should not feel attached to an object, but we sometimes do. A favorite sweater, a pair of jeans, a family portrait... a laser printer. I think the cost at the time was expensive - by any measure. But who knew it would have lasted for 16 years of great service? If you care to peruse, there's another picture here. I didn't get a farewell photo of my own.

Bach Sonates, Chorals, and Trios

The World is What We Make of It