TBT: My First Big Purchase

Do you remember your first big purchase?  I remember mine, it was a used (barely) Oyo Techstyler, a thermal imagesetter, and it really was revolutionized my little two-man print shop which was in its infancy.  I bought the machine at a local auction that I attended with a friend/former employer for roughly $4700 dollars.  This was a real steal as the machine ran about $15k brand new.  Now, in all honesty I could not afford the price tag as I was dead broke, but my friend/former employer was good enough to lend me the money and even allowed me to pay him back interest-free over the next six months!  Thanks Steve!  Of course neither of us were aware that the machine did not come with RIP software (truthfully, I didn’t even know what a RIP was).  When I found the appropriate Harlequin RIP I was shocked to discover that it would cost me another $3600, the funds for which I had to borrow off my parents credit card.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

This purchase was a huge risk at the time considering that it cost more than all the equipment I already owned combined, but I believed so strongly that, small as it was, my shop needed the right equipment as a foundation for success and growth.  The trusty Oyo Techstyler did not let me down and it ran like a champ for the next seven years until we moved to CTS technology (a much, much bigger investment).  As a bonus, when I finally sold off the Techstyler I was able to sell it for more than I originally paid.  Score!

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The Techstyler was a pretty badass little machine. It was thermal technology, meaning no chemistry. It was easy to work with and never quit.

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We did some awesome work with the Techstyler, including some of our first hi-res halftone jobs

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This is me in the year 2000, aged 20, scruffy and stinky, showing off the $3,600 RIP software

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