Friday, June 21, 2013


I'm too mean to replace printer inks when the machine lights flash at me, or, its operational centre (what a grandiose title for a chip) tells me some of the ink cartridges are low.  It's never just one, is it.   Me, and many people like me, wait. I have found you can get a lot more mileage out of the ink cartridges than the warnings suggest.  As it is, some of the colours appear to have rationed contents. 

It becomes a bit of a Poker game to see how far you can stretch the period for re-nourishing the printer inks.  I believed I had become pretty good at it. 

There's always back up stored in the cupboard for when I am sure a particular colour - usually black - cannot be pushed to work any further.  Just to reassure myself, I do periodically glance at the stock of  ink cartridges stored in the cupboard.

Tonight when my printer refused to budge - not even one dot - I had no choice but to change the cartridges. I pulled out the packets, unwrapped, unsealed and revealed the ink hole of the first one.  I fiddled - carefully - but like Cinderella's slipper it was not going to fit. Ooops.  This was not going to plan.  I checked three other cartridges then realised what had happened.  I only had  a couple of the correct cartridges.  

Another older machine I have, has different fittings.  The boxes look confusingly similar but the cartridge designs  are totally incompatible. That printer does not get used regularly and it has back-up supplies.  So, here we are just now with a couple of the right replacement cartridges fitted into the main printer, while all the other lights flash like impatient children wanting to wear their new shoes. It's sooo frustrating!  ...... 

Dejected, I press the printer 'go' button.  Would you believe it, the machine sparks into life and it prints a couple of sheets. With any luck I might get away with keeping things going as they are, till I receive my newly placed order of printer ink cartridges.      


David Oliver said...

I'm a bit of a tree hugger so I print as little as possible. I've had the "low printer ink" warning for about 6 months. I'm shooting for a year!

ZACL said...

Happy shooting David!

Thanks for your comment

Anonymous said...

I think that most people moan more about printers, and especially replacement ink cartridges, then any other computer equipment. Flighty xx

ZACL said...

I agree with your observation Mr F. We know that there has been, probably still is, cynically priced printers that you soon have to buy quite expensive inks for, especially when the printer is under guarantee. Who wants to negate the 'insurance' with compatibles. - no-one, if the printer itself was not the cheapest on the block.

The real cost of that part of the I.T. set up, is very much tied up in the absolute requirement to purchase the accessories (inks). It's no wonder the user negativity is extant.


Snowbird said...

Oh now there's a real problem for me....I have a super duper power printer [to print artwork] and when the ink runs out it's simply hell on earth! It takes days to sort the darn thing, it sulks, whirs, clicks and whistles as I put the jets in back to front or upside like you I print until the last drop....xxxx

keiko amano said...


On using my inkjet printer, I was also stretching its use after repeated warning. It finally stopped working, so I went to buy correct cartridges, but the machine didn't work anymore. Probably I need to send the printer for repair, but I no longer ever want to replace those colors I do not use. They just sit on the printer and get dry.

So, I bought the cheapest but good canon laser printer. I'm sure a replacing basic black ink is not cheap, but at least, I don't have to keep up with all the colors.

I wish I can send you all my unused color cartridges. They are in Yokohama.

ZACL said...

There's a lot of us out here Snowbird, I am pleased to say. It's like the 55th minute in the consultation isn't it...the inks always do something pertinent, like give up the ghost. xx

ZACL said...

I have Canon printers,including the old one. My very first printer was the same make. I have had other ones in-between times. There are so many models of every machine, it would be vital to know for which one to obtain cartridges; printers are deliberately designed to take different types of cartridges.

I did like having a laser printer for general printing of correspondence, text etc. and I might go back to one when the time comes. The cartridges are expensive, however, they do last for a long, long time.

Thanks for the kind thought Keiko. :)

keiko amano said...


I'm surprised to hear your cartridges last a long time. I wonder if inkjet printers in Japan are made to make more money or not.

I stay half year in Japan, and I have to change all the cartridges at least once even though I hardly use the printer, maybe, once in a great while. The class is only twice a month, so probably I'll print my manuscript several times for each class, and about six or seven pages. I edit on computer as much as possible.

The frustrating thing is that I never ever use yellow, blue, and red.

ZACL said...

Hi Keiko,

I meant that the laser printer cartridges lasted a long time. Even when I was writing assignments and eventually, a dissertation, with all the re-writes and editing that you have to do, a laser cartridge was the longest lasting form of printer ink, in my experience.

My experiences with the colour inkjet printers is the same as yours. I dread to think how many times I would have been buying and replacing inkjet cartridges while I was studying. I am glad I did not have to find out!! :)

Unknown said...

My behavior towards that low ink indicator is similar to yours. And since I only use my printer for plain documents, I have little worries because I can just use the colored ink after. ;) -Stasia @ Albuquerque Image Products

Unknown said...

For some reason, printers tend to run out of ink just as you have to print something really important. But sometimes, the remaining ink just actually thickened and failed to flow through the nozzle properly. I use a hair dryer to warm the ink when that happens.

Fletcher Hevey @