Snake in a P . . Printer!

December 6, 2008

Okay, we have all had this situation.  We are using a printer and it doesn’t work for whatever reason, so what do we do first, well if you are already having a bad day, you hit it.  Well thankfully, this guy in Austrialia did not do that.  Apparently, he had a brown snake that decided to take up residence in his printer.  I wonder if this covered by warranty?

Here is the link to the full article.

Advertisements

HP Price increase effective September 1st, 2008

August 7, 2008

As I stated a few months back, prices for consumers will be going up by the end of the year.  First was Kodak and now, HP.

Price Increase Announcement – HP LaserJet Print Cartridges

August 1, 2008

As of September 1, 2008, HP is increasing the list prices on all Mono and Color LaserJet Print Cartridges.

As part of HP’s normal portfolio management, the company regularly reviews pricing. In response to rising production and supply chain costs, HP is now adjusting the price of HP LaserJet toner cartridges by five (5%) percent. This price increase will affect a total of 156 products.

NOTE: The following cartridges had their prices recently increased and will be excluded from the September 1st 5% price increase: 92274A, C3903A, C4092A, C3909A, C3909X, C3906A, C3906AG, 92298A and 92298X.

HP LaserJet print cartridges will continue to provide superior value, reliability and high-quality output. From pioneering the desktop printing industry to its new smart print supplies system, HP is committed to developing products and services that meet its customers’ needs.

And

Price Increase Announcement – HP Inkjet Cartridges and Print Heads

August 1, 2008

As of September 1, 2008, HP is increasing by approximately 5-6% the list prices on Inkjet Cartridges and Print Heads.

As part of HP’s normal portfolio management, the company regularly reviews pricing. In response to rising production and supply chain costs, HP is now adjusting the price of HP Inkjet cartridges and print heads.

HP Inkjet cartridges and print heads will continue to provide superior value, reliability and high-quality output. From pioneering the desktop printing industry to its new smart print supplies system, HP is committed to developing products and services that meet its customers’ needs.

So if you need or use actual HP cartridges, best stock up a little bit prior to September 1st.  However, be aware that some places might increase prices prior to the deadline.

While we at O-ink try our best to keep prices low for our customers, with HP increasing all of their prices, we will unfortunately be increasing our prices as well on September 1st.

The above quotes were forwarded from HP through our supplier and of course all of HP’s copyright stuff “© Copyright Hewlett-Packard Company 2001 All Rights Reserved.” for the quotes I used.

Just so I do not get sued.

Please keep in mind that O-ink’s prices for the remanufactured cartridges will not be going up, in fact in the last month, some of them have went down.  Here is the link for HP Inkjet cartridges.


College Life and printers

July 30, 2008

In about one month from this post, the colleges across the United States will be filling up with students looking to expand their knowledge while hoping to do it without a lot of debt ( I am still paying mine off). New students are spending money right now to have all of their supplies and needs met.

  1. New sheets
  2. New cloths
  3. pens, paper, etc
  4. shoes
  5. technology (tv, computer, etc)
  6. and more

While some things are needed, not all of them are. Take printers for example. Most college students do not need them. Most of the ones that they do get come with the new computer they just purchased (Thanks Dell and HP). But the question remains, what is the best printer for college students? I am going to narrow the list down a little bit.

First thing first, what not to buy.

Stay away from Lexmark and Dell printers. While they may seem cheap to buy or in Dell’s case you get them for free with a computer purchase, the cost of the printer cartridges is extremely high. Plus, it can be hard to find the printer cartridges for certain Lexmark printers (see our post about Circuit City), and Dell cartridges are limited to Dell and Staples (although Staples only sells the low yield cartridges). Their quality is subpar as well.

Epson isn’t bad, but I still recommend staying away from them. They make great photo printers, like the R800, R1800, R1900, R2400, however, their lower end printers (under $200) have a high cost of ownership, meaning low ink volumes for high dollars.

All of the printers we recommend are based off from economic value of the printer cartridges and overall quality.

All-In-One’s

Price Ranges $100-$300

Offering’s from Canon – College students do not need a fax, so I am staying away from those. The Canon Pixma MP520, MP610, MP600 or for those wanting great photo quality MP970. You can find them from about $150 to $300 depending on the model you want. They all have individual cartridges (ranging from 4 to 7) along with duplex printing. Cartridges can be found on our site for $10 for the black and $9.25 for the colors.

Offerings from HP – Photosmart C4385, C5280, C6280. All of them offer good quality print outs and low cost of ownership as long as you stick with the XL cartridges.

Printers

Canon – Canon Pixma iP3500 or iP4500 $80 and $130 for each. The iP4500 gives you duplex printing and a dye based black for photo printing.

HP – This one is wide open so instead of printers, I will just list some rules of thumb.

  1. Keep the printer more than $80
  2. Stay away from printers that use the 21 or 92 black and the 22 and 93 color cartridges. They are the most costly cartridges that HP makes.
  3. Check to see if your printer will take an XL cartridge, if they do, buy the XL instead of the standard as it is more economical.
  4. If you get a printer that uses the HP 02 cartridges, do not buy the photo pack of cartridges. They are only half full versions of those cartridges so they cost more to run than the standard cartridges. Side note – The HP 02 cartridges that O-ink has are filled to double the capacity of the standard HP 02’s.

Well if you are off to college, good luck, study hard. I hope this helps you in finding a printer that will work for you.

While I did not cover laser printers, if you are looking for a low end laser printer, look at Brother’s HL-2140. It is more economical to keep than any of HP’s low end printers.

Once you get your printer, make sure to keep it loaded with cartridges.  Check out our site to get the lowest prices as well as great quality


First Sony installs spyware, now Lexmark does.

July 15, 2008

In one of our industry forums that I visit, there has been quite a buzz with the Lexmark Return Program cartridges, and how much a pain they are.  Recently one of the members posted a message about a file called lx_cats and that deleting it helped his customer.  So I did some digging and found a great article at http://www.theinternetpatrol.com.

Do you have a Lexmark printer? If so, you could also have Lexmark’s Lx_CATS spyware — which Lexmark euphemistically calls “tracking software” for “reporting printer and cartridge use back to the company for survey purposes” — living on your computer, without your knowledge.

A user calling himself “Commander” has posted to the printer-focused Usenet group, comp.periphs.printers, that:

“Just the other day I purchased a new Lexmark X5250 All-in-one printer. I installed it as per the instructions and monitored the install with Norton as I do with all new software.

On reviewing the install log I noticed a program called Lx_CATS had been placed in the c:program files directory. I investigated and found a data log and an initialisation file called Lx_CATS.ini. Further investigation of this file showed that Lexmark had, without my permission, loaded a Trojan backdoor on to my computer. Furthermore, it is embedded into the system registry, so average users would likely never know it was there and active.”

Commander noticed that the spyware was programmed to surreptitiously report back to a URL, http://www.lxkcc1.com, every thirty days. lxkcc1.com is registered to Lexmark International, Inc..

When Commander called Lexmark to demand an explanation, the company first denied that they had installed any spyware at all. Ultimately the person with whom he spoke conceded that Lexmark installs “tracking software” on their users’ computers “to report back on printer and cartridge use for survey purposes.” While the Lexmark representative avowed that they did not transmit any personal information, they also admitted that the program does transmit the printer’s serial number, which of course is registered to the user. No personal information my foot!

Rumours of the installation of spyware along with their printer software have swirled around Lexmark for several years, and posts to Usenet complaining of Lexmark spyware date from as early as 2001. Some users complain of their computer trying to connect to the Internet every time they print a document; others worry that the program is reporting not only their cartridge usage, but whether they are using non-Lexmark cartridges, or even refilling their own cartridges, thus possibly setting the stage for a denial of warranty service.

According to “Commander”, the offending files include a program file called lx_CATS, and a related .ini file, lx_CATS.ini, as well as 2 DLL files in the c:program fileslexmark500 folder.

In order to remove Lexmark’s spyware from your system, delete the file (probably in your c:program directory) called “lx_cats.exe”, and also search for and remove a file called “lx_cats.ini” (and, for that matter, any other file including the term “lx_cats”).”

It seems that Lexmark is taking Sony’s playbook for a ride.  If you delete these files and folders, do not worry, your printer will still work, however your ink level might remain at low, even when you exchange your cartridge.  We are recommending all of our customers to delete these files ASAP.

For the full article visit here


New Products

June 26, 2008

Once again, it is time to update what are some of the new products at O-ink‘s Website and our two stores.

First up – Pitney Bowes USPS Branded Postage Meter Cartridges – These are the official Pitney Bowes cartridges.  Now in stock and ready to ship.

Next – As mentioned in previous post, replacement cartridges for the new Kodak printers.

Next – HP 60XL cartridges.  O-ink does not sell the standard, as they are not economical.  Both the black and color are in-stock.

Finally – HP CB540 Series.  While we ranted about these in the past on the bad economics, we are still selling them.


Oil prices and cost of printer cartridges Part 2

June 3, 2008

This is a follow up post to my post at the beginning of May (here is the link). I have noticed some interesting things happening in the past month that I thought were a few months off.

  1. Prices have already started to go up. I have checked two local Walmart’s and the prices for their cartridges have already gone up about 10% roughly. Now this is not a nation wide affect yet, but for our local Walmart’s the prices are staying.
  2. More people are looking to save – We have seen our sales keep going up. Granted in May, June, and July we are usually slow, however, our slow down this year has not been the same as in years past. We are seeing higher traffic from people who want to try and save some cash.
  3. The cartridge manufactures are starting to increase their prices. Here is an article from Kodak. With them increasing prices, that means that their black cartridge will increase by about $2 and color about $3 if the prices affect the cartridges. Their printers, which are mentioned in the article, will go up from $20 to $40.

We personally have seen small price increases in our OEM products, but not in our replacement and refilled products. In fact, as for the next 6 months, O-ink should not have to increase our replacement or refilled prices, of course barring a major increase in prices.

With that being said, I am going to change my outlook for the year. The prices will probably go up from 5-10% to 10-30% by years end.

Also, if you are looking for Kodak Cartridges, here is the link for our replacements.


Customer Appreciation Day – Coupon

May 31, 2008

5 years ago on June 2nd, 2003, O-ink opened the Mt. Pleasant Store. After making it for 5 years, we have decided to throw a little bit of a party of sorts for you, our customers.

Our First Annual Customer Appreciation Day

If you live either near Mt. Pleasant or Saint Johns Michigan, you can stop in our stores that day and get 10% off replacement cartridges. If you have an HP or Lexmark cartridge that we can refill, you get 50% off.

For those of you who shop on the web, at our website, www.oinkinkstore.com, you can get 10% off any replacement cartridges using the following coupon code at the check out, thankyou.  This offer is valid only on June 2nd, 2008.

In New Cartridge news:

We have added some new products to our website and store’s computer systems. First is the high yield replacement for the Lexmark T430. This is a 12,000 yield cartridge priced at 189.99. The second cartridge will be available June 6th, is the HP CB435, which goes into the HP Laserjet P1005 and P1006 printers. This cartridge is rated for 1500 pages and cost 57.99