Time to replace the ink

Back in July I posted about my new(ish) printer, in which I wrote:

…by posting this post I hope to have some kind of record of how long the cartridges last.

Well I now need to replace one of the replacement cartridges.

The first setup cartridge to run out was the double sized black cartridge which is used for black and white output. This lasted from the end of March to the beginning of July, just over three months.

The replacement XL version lasted from July to January and is still going, so lasted over six months.

I have replaced all the cartridges over the last six months and it looks like the XL cartridges are on target to last as long as the XL black cartridge.

Going through the ink…

Though modern printers are cheap as chips, the ink costs are usually astronomical. My new printer is no exception, though one reason I did purchase it was because it had separate ink cartridges rather than the usual one black and one colour that lower end printers have.

The Canon MG7752 printer comes with, what are called, setup cartridges, I have no idea how different these are to the regular ones, but having got the printer at the end of March they started to run out this month, July.

Canon MG7752

As well as regular document printing, it is also used quite a lot to print photographs, the second 6×4 paper tray makes that simple and easy to do from either the Mac or from the iPhone.

The printer has two black cartridges, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and also uses a specialised Grey cartridge too.

The printer can take regular cartridges, which I am assuming contain more ink that the setup ones. There are also XL high yield cartridges which according to the marketing hype deliver twice the pages of a regular cartridge.

The first setup cartridge to run out was the double sized black cartridge which is used for black and white output. This lasted from the end of March to the beginning of July, just over three months. The colours started to run out in the third week of July starting with the Cyan, followed by the Magenta, then the Yellow and then the Grey. The other black cartridge still has ink in.

I bought XL versions of the colour cartridges so it will be interesting to see how long they last. Challenging to measure effectively as the printing usage patterns in the house vary quite some bit. However by posting this post I hope to have some kind of record of how long the cartridges last.

The printer is dead again…

Canon MP600r

After ten years service, my Canon MP600R finally had to be retired after the print head failed. Back in 2012 my HP Photosmart printer failed for a similar reason.

I liked the MP600R for many different reasons, printing photographs, fast printing of documents, printing CDs and DVDs. It was a decent scanner (not the fastest) and I also liked the ability to print direct from the Compact Flash memory cards that I used in my Canon DSLR.

The main symptom of the failure was the main black cartridge would not print. Despite replacing the cartridge, cleaning the print head, both using the printer utility and even following some obscure guidelines from YouTube washing the print head under the tap as a last resort.

I would have been happy to replace the print head, but the cost of a replacement was around £150 and even then I wasn’t sure if it would have fixed the issue.

So in the end decided that the only real option was to replace the printer.

Looking over what printers were available, I started to make a list of features that I wanted and needed when printing. I realised that my printing needs have changed quite a bit since I bought the MP600R.

For example, printing CDs and DVDs which was quite a high priority back then, is still an useful feature, but not as much as a priority now for me.

Whereas AirPrint or the ability to print from iOS devices, which at the time I got the MP600R we didn’t have the iPad or even the iPhone. Today using those devices much more for communication means the ability to print from my phone or iPad is now a key feature I need from my printer.

I certainly wanted wireless printing (and scanning) for other devices too.

Looking over the products available I in the end went with the Canon MG7752 all-in-one Wireless Printer.

Canon MG7752

This had the key features I needed as well as some nice features that I didn’t. It has two paper trays, one for A4 paper and one for 4” x 6” photographic papers. It also had NFC capability, which I believe works great with Android phones, but not with iOS, typical! I also managed to get £30 off too, which was nice. Oh and yes it is that colour too!

The printer was much easier to install and configure than MP600R and I was even able to do that from a mobile device. It was also really nice to be able to install the printer on a range of Mac and Windows devices around the house.

The only issue I did have was that the Canon My Image Garden software wouldn’t work with the default OS X Canon print drivers, even if the printer would print. This means you can’t easily scan or print printable CDs and DVDs. The solution is to install the Canon drivers from the Canon website, once done everything worked as expected.

Print quality was excellent as was speed of printing, so much faster than the MP600R.

Overall the Canon MG7752 is an excellent replacement for the MP600R and I hope it lasts nearly as long as the printer it replaced.

Tech Stuff – Top Ten Blog Posts of 2015

Not too many posts on the tech blog this year,  surprised though that the post  Google Glass is Dead, or is it… didn’t make the top ten!

Looking at fonts especially those designed for comic strips was the tenth most popular posting in 2015. Written in 2010 it was about the excellent Comic Book Fonts available. Read the post Comic Book Fonts.

Thinking about the Apple TV back in 2012 was the ninth most popular post on the blog. Apple TV Thoughts was quite a long post on my reflection on the Apple device.

apple_tv-q410-angled-lg

The eighth post is from 2008 when Apple added free episodes to the iTunes Store. The high ranking for this post is probably down the blog post title: Free iTunes TV Shows (on UK iTunes Store).

A few years ago my HP printer died when I replaced the inks. The seventh most read post is about my dead printer. My printer is dead!.

HP PhotoSmart B110a

I haven’t done a podcast choice for a while now, but the sixth most popular post on the blog was the second in the series, Podcast Choice #02 – Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4. Quite a popular post as people seem to keep wanting to have my copies of the shows I have downloaded over the years through iTunes.

Comic Life is one of my favourite apps on the Mac, but once I lost my styles and that is at number five. Where are my Comic Life Styles?

Wifi makes an appearance at number four, with my experiences at a Haven Holiday Camp. Haven no wifi.

More Wifi this time with my experiences with BT Wifi networks resulted in the third most read post, called I don’t like BT FON.

In November 2014, we finally got free wifi on First Great Western trains, and my post about this, Finally, free FGW wifi on the train was the second most popular blog post in 2015.

Cadbury Twirl Bites QR Code

I use to post a lot of posts on QR Codes and the most popular post the year was this one from January 2015 about the ones you found on Cadbury chocolate bars. Cadbury QR Coding and Twirling.

Happy New Year and all the best for 2016.

Dusting off the Pogo

Polaroid Pogo printer

Many, many years ago I went out, after listening to people on the Twitter, and purchased a Polaroid Pogo printer, well according to the Twitter it was six years ago in 2009.

I bought it for £50, though it soon fell in price to £17…

I did use it for a while, but there were some core reasons why it never really clicked for me, partly the size of the prints, just 2” x 3” which was too small for most things. Couldn’t really see a practical use for such small prints, even if they were stickers. The other main reason was that the quality of the prints was quite poor in comparison to the HP photo printer I had at the time. So like many other devices after the novelty had rubbed off and the curiosity value had waned, it went into the cupboard.

It was recently though that after making notes in a my new work notebook (trying out visual note taking for project planning) that I realised I actually wanted to include a diagram in my notes. I could have attempted to draw the diagram, but I am not that good at drawing clear diagrams. Also in this case I wanted the actual diagram, not a drawn representation of the diagram. I then remembered the Pogo printer and I wondered…

I had to connect it to the power adapter and remember that the easiest way to do this was to send it the image file over Bluetooth. I was actually quite surprised and impressed that it worked.

I then realised how useful it would be for making notes, well supporting handwritten notes. I could use it to print off slides from Powerpoint presentations, diagrams from said presentations, covers of reports (as visual reminders), images as visual cues for notes, cartoon strips (usually xkcd) even photographs of locations where meetings or events were been held.

There are some challenges in using it. It only likes JPGs and only in 4:3. It will print other ratio but expect to get some unexpected cropping. One strange outcome is that square images (like those created in Instagram) come out in portrait mode.

The most consistent way of printing has been sending files from my Mac to the printer via Bluetooth. I have had success in doing this with a Windows 7 laptop, but the experience has been inconsistent and some days it just won’t work! Alas because of the Bluetooth restrictions imposed by Apple, you can’t print to it from an iOS device such as the iPhone or the iPad. Having said that, LG released a ZINK printer that utilises an iOS App to enable you to print using your iPhone. It should be said that the process works fine with an Android phone.

Aa a result if a diagram is in PNG format and not in 4:3 ratio then you need to use an image editing package to ensure it will print correctly. Likewise if you export a wide screen Powerpoint presentation as JPGs, you again need to adjust the size of the image (canvas size) so that it all prints and ensure that the Pogo doesn’t crop the slide image.

The ZINK paper it uses isn’t easily available on the high street, so I just bought some on Amazon, watch though as the prices vary quite a bit, I did manage to find 70 sheets for £8.99 which was reasonable.

So far I have found using the Pogo printer a really useful tool in supporting my note taking and planning. I am not sure I would go out and buy one just for this, I was lucky I had it in the cupboard, but they do go for quite cheap prices on eBay if you are interested.