Printer Ink: How Do You Define 'Empty'?
Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:40 AM
So what you really need to do is to count pages at a certain print quality. Of course, they know you won't do that, so the onus is on you to attack their claim.
What we should all hope for is more competition in the inkjet market with respect to equipment and consumables.
And moreover, we should ask HP why it used to produce printers with separate yellow, cyan, and maroon ink cartridges and does not do it now, since the tri-color cartridges force us to throw away the cartridge even when only one of the inks has been consumed.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:14 AM
Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:52 AM
Posted 23 July 2008 - 05:55 AM
This is true. I had an old Canon printer and let the ink cartridge(s) run dry. I did not use the printer for several months after the ink was gone and print heads were
so clogged I had to get rid of it. There was no way to get the ink flowing again because dry ink cloggd the head and it was impossible to clean.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 05:56 AM
Let's say you buy a can of soda labelled "12 oz." You drink every drop you can get to, but at the end you discover that there's still a quarter of a can of soda left. Were you ripped off? It sure sounds like it, but maybe not. If the can had originally contained 16 ounces,your discovery means that there is 4 ounces remaining in the can. By subtracting the 4 remaining ounces from the original 16 ounces, it's obvious that you received the 12 ounces promised.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 06:17 AM
Posted 23 July 2008 - 06:39 AM
in the grand scheme, i don't care how much you're promised. i'm not even sure i care that much about how much i get. but i don't like the idea of wasting anything. so as long as there is ink in the cartridge, i want to be able to print with it.
i also don't need the manufacturer to protect me from my own stupidity. if i run a cartridge dry and let the printer sit there for a month, and the heads no longer work as a result, that's my problem and i probably deserve what i get.
i like the early warning system, so i can go out and buy new cartridges before i need them. i'll have them around for when the printer runs out, i'll put it in immediately, and i'm on my way again.
on a slightly different subject, i also have an HP2600n color laser. the factory default setting on this monster is to stop printing when its internal count says you've run out of pages on any of the four toner cartridges. i didn't know you could change a setting to override this behavior at that time; so out goes a perfectly good black toner cartridge. now that i've changed the setting, i get everything i can possibly get out of each cartridge. i also have one spare for each color on the shelf. BTW, i've been running on three color cartridges that the printer has declared "empty" for months.
bottom line... tell me when you think i'm running out if you like, but don't prevent me from using the equipment because your precisely calculated scientific estimate thinks i'm running out.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 07:31 AM
Posted 23 July 2008 - 08:26 AM
I printed 20 page and I'm out of black and almost out of color ink. I'm not happy.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 08:48 AM
How about doing an actual cost per page comparison and highlight the companies which shut down their machines to force a new purchase. Had I know this, I would have made a different choice.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 08:58 AM
When applications start the print process, there is an initialization process for printers capable of color to be told to go into COLOR mode or BLACK&WHITE mode.
In BLACK&WHITE mode, only the black ink cartridge is used. In the COLOR mode, ONLY the color cartridge is used. So how does it produce black?? By mixing in equal proporitions the cyan, yellow, and magenta dyes. Don't believe me? Try printing a black square or rectangle in a document that like a Word document: create a table with cell whose background color is black. Look at your printer settings and make sure that you have selected printing to be in black and white. Now try printing it again, but with the mode selected in color mode. But maybe the Word application is smart enough to tell the printer to go to black and white mode (use only black cartridge) and print all black-colored objects with the black object. You might try using a paint/bitmap program with a black object, and save it with a multi-color bitmap (4-, 16-, 256- and millions of colors file format). Then see how it prints.
Your ability to conserve inks depends a lot on how smart your application is in telling the printer to switch modes (color vs. B&W) even when it wants to print black-colored objects during the printing of a single page or within a single painted object (it is very unlikely to switch from color to B&W and back to paint a single graphic with black objects/elements). To FORCE B&W printing, use the Print dialog box and look for the tabs in the window/dialog that instruct the application to use B&W or COLOR, depending on how you want to enforce the printing.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:05 AM
The reason I ignore it is because I've found out that even after I get the notice, my prints are still coming out really nice and dark as they should be.
So, when the print starts getting lighter and lighter, that's when I know that it's really getting low, and I head for Office Depot to buy more ink. I go to Office Depot because when you take your used cartridges back, you get $3 for each one, (maximum 3 cartridges) which then reduces the price of your new ink! That's pretty sweet, if you ask me.
Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:29 AM
Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:46 AM
But if I take the cartridge out to look at it, it can tell it isn't new -- but it DOES print a full test page as soon as I put it back in whether I want it to or not, wasting more of the ink. The argument that you may have gotten what was promised even if some of it is left is bogus -- first because the ink cartridges won't tell you what to expect and second because performance even within brands is extremely variable. The COST of the cartridges is so ridiculous that the manufacturer owes me all the help I can get in milking the last of the ink out of them, not the opposite. And as far as leaving ink in for the sake of the heads - BUNK! If you don't print with a printer or an array (ie the color heads) for a long period, they will dry out and gunk up even if there is ink left in the cartridge. Been there, esp on HP's. And if you did print often with it and the cartridge ran out, it would only dry out afterward if you didn't replace it (which of course you would, in the middle of the night because that is when you are always working on the project that requires the one last page. And the replacement cartridge will be dry even though not expired, because that is what happens at midnight on an important project...and the mfr will only snicker....).
Posted 23 July 2008 - 09:58 AM
I print almost everything to PDF files, and save the files in my My Documents folder. How often do you REALLY need that piece of paper? The only things I actually print are things I need to mail or give to others - coupons, rebate forms, tax forms, airline e-ticket confirmations, copies of my resume, etc. Everything else - screen prints, printouts and confirmations of orders, letters, reminders, emails, etc. - I either do not print at all, or else I print to a PDF file.
You can easily install PDF creator software as a printer driver, and use the PDF creator just like any other printer. Except, the PDF creator prints to a PDF file and not to paper. I have been using PDF995 ( http://www.pdf995.com/ ) for several years, and I have saved hundreds of dollars in ink costs by printing to PDF files, rather than to paper. Not only do I save ink by routing the printout to a file, but I also save paper - all of which is good for the environment, and good for my pocketbook.
If everyone printed less, we could send a powerful message to the printer vendors that they need to change the way they run their business, and charge less for ink. Ink costs more per ounce than Russian caviar. Let's spend our money on caviar, not on ink.