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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 19 July 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Philip S
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: In some cases its cheaper to buy a new printer...

I've heard of some cases where the printer is cheaper than
a new refil, although this sounds like a great idea that
you can just buy a new printer instead of cartridge, its
been rumoured that some printers, you buy new but only get
half a catridge....

What it comes down to, is when your looking at buying an
ink jet printer, take down what printers you can afford,
then go and have a look at how much the ink costs :)

From: Nik
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Printing at home

I have both one of the latest HP inkjet printers and an
ancient HP Laserjet 4L. I get about 50 photo pages per
inkjet refill and about 2000 or so pages from every toner
refill in the laser, yet they cost about the same.
(Actually, $80 for Laser & $90 + $80 for both injet colours)

It may be 10 - 15 yrs old, but ironically, the laser prints
about the same speed as my injet for a fraction of the
cost. It also beats the inkjet on text quality :) To top it
off, the HP Laserjet works with every OS I've tried. There
is something to be said for older printer technology, it
was built to last and is more cost effective.

From: Ray Dobson
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Epson Stylus 600

   I have a Epson Stylus 600 and, like you, found the cost
of ink cartridges too high so switched to getting then
refilled. These did not prove satisfactory so am now using
MMC cartridges from Harvey Norman.
Colour $25-95,   Black  $14-95 (about half the price of

From: PeterB
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Ink and taxes

When my Epson 740 cartridge carrier jumped off the rail (don't ask - mea
culpa) I put the printer in the cupboard.  I since moved and the
cartridges got separated from the printer.

A few weeks ago I decided to fix the printer, but I can't test it without
cartridges, which appear to have been irretrievably misplaced during the

Dilemma:	Pay for new cartridges to test a printer that may not work?

So, I decided to price a new colour printer, including running costs.  My
goodness.  Some manufacturers sell cartridges for $95 a pop.  And they
don't last very long, especially when your wife is active in creating Girl
Guides programme materials....  (trust me on that one, saving empty cans,
egg cartons or soft drink bottles is one thing - having your ink go down
by a third in one day is where I must draw a line :-)

Serious, to keep a long story short - I chucked the printer in the hard
waste pile in my garage, and as soon as my HP 4L laser fails (will it
ever?), I'll buy another laser.

I'd love to know if there is a brand/model of colour inkjet out there that
does not become another dependant once adopted.

From: Nathan
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Printer Ink

... and then you have printers that take two cartriges, at
around $80 each.  For a little bit more you could buy a
brand new printer, that comes with the two new cartriges.

Maybe buy a new printer with its new cartriges, and just
before it runs out of ink flick it off to cash converters -
 and put the money towards a new printer!

From: Alan Ragg
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Printer Ink

I am just giving you a quick reply here before i go off in
search of the definate solution.  I was a paint technician
for Toyota many many years ago and theres one fundamental
truth about all known paints (applies to ink also) there
is always always a thinning agent for it, and 90% of the
time that thinning agent is not allowed to be supplied to
the public in a computer store or stationary store.

If paint is anything to go by then many thinning agents
are totally uncompatible with different brands and types,
although toyota used to have several types of clear over
base paint for example, they needed 3 different thinning
agents to work right.  Sure the other thinners worked, but
nowhere near as well as the correct one for the job.  If
you apply this to printer ink and its not such a big step
to take, they are both solvent based liquids with colour
pigment in them, then your generic printer cleaning kit
will more than likely not work on all inks as well as they
do on others.  You can get ink thinners that will probably
thin your ink just fine, but will not work on congealed or
dried ink for this reason.  It also stands to reason that
the better thinning agents are not over the counter items
for general public to use - for example the thinner and
paint used at Toyota contained poisons that would kill
someone without the right breathing apparatus (in large
doses of course).

After having a quick look around the net I have noticed
that most websites that tell you how to clean your printer
say that "alcohol based, or solvent based thinners should
do the job" which I find surprising because they are
completely different for example, alcohol based thinners
can be diluted with water while solvent based will not
mix.  From what I have read the thinner used is xylene
based like most paint thinners, but you could go to a
cobra or 2k based thinner for better results in my
opinion.  I'll let you know soon as im going to try an
experiment here this week coming and if i actually find
the magic mix it would be a help to a lot of people I'm
sure - at least if they use genuine Epson ink as I'm sure
that third party refills will be different again.

By the way, I also have an epson printer with blocked
heads, so its not exactly a selfless act.

I'll keep you posted

From: Conrad D
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Crayon based printing

When we were looking at a new laser printer at the office,
we became aware of some 'wax based'  printers.  Somewhat
more expensive than the existing office laser, but colour
and with really, really low running costs.

Eg. http://www.itreviews.co.uk/hardware/h281.htm

From: George Sivyer
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Consumables

Myth has-it that Henry Ford sold his motor cars at cost.
And then made his profit by selling the spare-parts.

History teaches. Or it repeats ( pardon-me ! ) itself.

From: Grant
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: ink cartridges

We use 4 Canon Bjc printers in our office and the old girls
have been grinding out good quality prints now for over 4
years, 7 in one case. The cartidge price is a bloody rip
off though plain and simple. The company we used to get to
refill them has suddenly taken a dive in quality which has
left us a bit stuffed, back to $65.00 a pop off the shelf
at Harvey Normans again.

The cartridge price hacks me off. In fact a lot of things
hack me of with my computers at the moment, like floppy
discs being of crap quality. I agree with you Aardvark, It
bloody annoys me when I copy something at home to finish at
work or vice versa, and the disc won't open cos it's self
destructed Mission Impossible style.

What also hacks me off is Worldcom buying a perfectly good
ISP like Voyager and closing it down, inconveniencing a lot
of customers by turfing them off- whats wrong with my money
anyway, not good enough for them? Maybe its not, my money
is real, not funny money. Whats even worse is their email
redirection letting a lot of spam through, it never used to

Don't even get me started on the 6 month computer upgrade
scam, why should I have spend thousands of dollars a year
to double my speed and ram etc, what a load of crap, I can
see the point of US corporates refusing to upgrade any more
until they get a measurable bottom line dollar and cents
return from doing so, putting Intel into the red.

Yes Sky winds me up too, especially when rain fade stops
the picture during the Bledisloe cup.

4.15pm Friday. Time to throw the computer out the window
and go to the pub.

From: Lindsay Williams
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Printing Costs

You are not alone, Bruce! I have owned a HPIID laser since
late 1992 but it went awol a few months ago. So I bougth a
Canon S300 to replace it (I also have an Epson stylus 700
for photos but it is too slow and expensive for normal
printing). I cringe using the Canon thinking of the
dollars going through. But I usually use it in draft mode
so that helps. Harvey Norman reduced the black cart from
$22 to $17 so this helped, as well.

But I decided to get the old HP repaired and it was a
reasonable cost. The cartridge in it is 5 yrs old so it is
not expensive printing!

So now I have two inkjets with the same problem as Bruce.
You have to keep them periodically exercised to stop them
bunging up!

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