04 March 2008

An inkling

Much has been writ about the cost of bubble-jet ink, & today I’m not going to make an exception. Oh, yes, & I seem to be in whingey mode anyway...

One person I carefully instructed to get good-quality 3rd-party (Calidad) cartridges for their printer had a dependent (instructee is visiting relatives) complain to me yesterday that the printer would not print.

On surfacing at the premises, I discover that the instructee had paid $17 a cartridge for branded ink instead of $8 a cartridge for Calidad ink (which, for that printer, comes in double-doses) & that the printer had exhausted not the black ink which they were printing with, but the Yellow & Magenta cartridges (within a few percent of axeing the Cyan as well).

Replaced the cartridges with $8 ones & all works well.

While I was grabbing the ink, I noticed that the wholesaler had an MFC (MultiFunction Centre; ie, printer plus scanner, usually fax, often copying facility) on special for $59. Now it happens to use the same cartridges as instructee’s printer, so a full set of replacement branded cartridges is 4x$17 or $68 — 15% more than the MFC!

I’m betting the printer manufacturer wonders why customers buy $32 worth of ink (a mere ½ of an MFC-worth) from their 3rd-party competitors & wind up with twice as much actual ink.

Not being one to look a gift horse in the laser (well, not too hard :-), I invested in one.

Hopefully, this will spell an end to a long stream of small, hand-written notepad pages. I’ll share it on the LAN so mine current hosts (who have a mono laser, not plugged in) can benefit from it also. Another form of “board.”

WRT the ethernet card which went bung yesterday, an enormously expensive ($10 retail inc) TP-Link Ethernet card fixed it up nicely.

The switch concerned seems to be a bit dodgy (whether dodgyfied by the last mucking around or not, I don’t know), so I might have to lash out another $8 for a replacement for it.

This will be partially financially remedied by the discovery of an unused $39 (66%/MFC) wireless LAN card.

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