Over the course of the last hour or so, as I’ve scanned the web for interesting stuff to talk about on my KMOX show, I printed out at least a dozen pages of articles and other info. But when I finally got around to taking them out of the printer, every one of them was unreadable because the printer was too low on toner. That meant having to go back and find all of those websites and print them out again, after putting in a new toner cartridge.

Why isn’t there an indicator to tell me when the toner level gets so low? There’s one on my car to tell me when I’m low on gas. The printer even sends a message to my desktop telling me when I’m out of paper. So why isn’t there a similar onscreen message or icon saying, “you’d better put a new toner cartridge in, or you won’t be able to read anything you’re printing!”

C’mon, HP, Canon, and every other printer manufacturer, this shouldn’t be a tough one — and I know I’m not alone in the problem.