*NEWS*PRINTER INK THE NEW BLACK GOLD

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*NEWS*PRINTER INK THE NEW BLACK GOLD

 user 2006-10-19 at 1:48:00 pm Views: 65
  • #16553

    Printer ink the new black gold
    I don’t know about you, but every time that “ink
    low” warning comes up on my printer driver, my day gets a little bleaker.
    Ink and toner cartridges (known as “consumables”–probably because
    printers eat ‘em up like candy) are one of those expenses that few of us can
    avoid. You have a printer? You need ink. And the printer manufacturers are
    happy and eager to sell you some–in fact, one of the reasons so many printers
    have dropped in price lately is that consumables are the great cash cow of the
    printer industry.Of course,

    there are hundreds of alternative sources for
    ink out there, some of which are perfectly legit, some of which are a bit
    shady, and a few of which are outright nuts. For example, there’s the Lyson Continuous Ink System,
    which pumps a continuous stream of ink into your Epson or Canon printers via an
    assembly that sits outside the printer. If you’re a little put off by that,
    there are a bunch of kits that let you inject ink into your existing
    cartridges–none of which I’ve ever had the cojones to try on any of my
    printers (I was nervous about both the safety of my printer and the safety of
    my clothing). And there are a wide range of third-party ink providers that will
    ship their own versions of your printer cartridges (or manufacturer cartridges
    that they’ve refilled) for a nice discount. My favorite one of those has got to
    be the LaserMonks, if
    just for the name…Most of these companies (although not all) have been below
    the radar of the printer manufacturers because they’re too small or not
    audacious enough. Oh, there was the occasional flurry of lawsuits, mostly
    involving patent violations–just enough to make sure that these companies toe
    the line, and that the majority of printer users stick with name-brand
    cartridges. As do I–not just because it’s a lot easier to walk over to Staples
    and pick up a new cartridge, but also because I ruined the print head of at
    least one Canon printer by buying inexpensive and less-than-great-quality cartridges
    from an online vendor.However, third-party cartridges have now surfaced from
    their underground lairs, and stores such as Walgreens and Staples are offering
    either cartridge refill services or less-expensive third-party cartridges. It
    appears that the printer manufacturers are tolerating these new enterprises,
    perhaps because they have good relationships with many of these stores, and
    perhaps because these larger businesses can also afford a team of high-priced
    lawyers.It’s a fascinating story. You can read all about it in the article
    Special
    Report: The Cartridge Wars
    .” And let us know how you feel about the
    high price of ink–have you tried some of the new sources such as Cartridge
    World or the services at Walgreens? Have you been getting your black gold from
    some small, third-party Web company? Or are you satisfied with using name-brand
    cartridges that may be pricey, but can also be trusted? .