*NEWS*WHY HALF EMPTY ,IS HALF EMPTY
*NEWS*WHY HALF EMPTY ,IS HALF EMPTY
2006-03-07 at 11:03:00 am #14723
Why half empty really is half empty
taken months, used thousands of pounds worth of ink and reduced those
involved to tears, but the results are unmissable.Remember those
headlines, ‘Welcome to the paperless office’, ‘No more paper in the
future’. ‘Paper mills set to close, very soon indeed’? Headlines, I’m
sure, that PC Pro was guilty of in the dim, distant past. Well, I don’t
need to look much further than the past seven days to realise that the
paperless office is as likely to exist as Narnia.
You see, I spent
Thursday night printing out photographs. An evening that should have
been devoted to some random American crime drama on Channel 5 was
instead spent cursing photo-editing software. It took me 30 minutes to
coerce the damn thing into printing a passport photo that the UK’s
near-militant Passport Office might deign to accept – it had already
rejected my first offering because the face was ‘too big’.
frank, at 10pm that Thursday evening I didn’t give a meerkat’s neck
hair for how much it was costing me to print out a 6 x 4in photo. I
just wanted to leave the office so that I could arrive home at some
time before midnight. But in one of those bitter, ironic twists that
Alanis Morissette might have sung about if she’d looked up the word
‘irony’ before writing her song, I’d spent most of that afternoon
examining this month’s article about the true cost of ink.
have to admit, it’s frightening stuff. Until it decided to break down
around a month ago, I was the proud owner of an HP Deskjet 970CXi.
a new one, which is why every second I spent reading about inkjet
printers in our latest, mammoth investigation was time well spent.
this month, we haven’t just stretched the inkjet-testing envelope, we
haven’t merely pushed the boundaries. We haven’t simply gone an extra
mile. In fact, I struggle for a friendly metaphor. All I know is that
Dave Stevenson and Jim Martin – the intrepid duo who put in all the
hard work behind our inkjet group test-cum-feature – will never be able
to look an ink cartridge in the face again. In their quest for
definitive results, they’ve disassembled printers, weighed 204
cartridges to the nearest milligram and used almost two pints of the
world’s most expensive fluid: printer ink. No wonder their
investigation took over three months to complete.
It’s been worth
it, though, because they’ve unearthed secrets even the News of the
World would deem too scandalous to print. The fact some printers waste
half their ink just during cleaning cycles. The fact a 6 x 4in photo on
some inkjets will cost you 25p per print, while on others you’re paying
One of our most controversial conclusions is that, much
of the time, you’re far better off printing photos online rather than
at home. But even this is fraught with pitfalls. As a partner to this
month’s ink costs feature, we ‘blind tested’ online photo services and
the in-store offerings from Boots and Jessops. In one particular case,
the results were startling in all the wrong ways.
But sometimes, you
need immediate results. I’d been commanded to get that passport photo
done by the end of this week, and an ‘it’s in the post’ excuse simply
wouldn’t wash. Luckily, that particular problem has been solved, and
I’ve now ordered my new home printer too. It’s not overly expensive, it
doesn’t waste ink, and when I do want photos they’ll be superb and the
right price. So, Dave and Jim – thank you. Now, who’s going to
volunteer for our photo paper test?