The Clickinks Blog | All posts by danielle-bernhard

Does Your City Government Encourage Ink Recycling?

Recently the Myrtle Beach Chamber Of Commerce in South Carolina announced a venture with local company Fisher Recycling. Together they will encourage ‘green’ policies among businesses in Myrtle Beach. Fisher Recycling will audit waste and provide recycling bins for materials including glass, aluminium and plastic. Of course, this latter category includes ink cartridges.

Individuals can opt into Fisher Recycling’s curbside collection route. The initiative will reduce the waste that goes to landfill, and is convenient for people seeking to dispose of waste responsibly. This includes people concerned with the environmental impact of printing.

Hence it is worth asking: Has your city started a similar initiative? If so it is worth exploiting! If not – perhaps it is worth asking why not!

If you fall into the second category, there are other ways to recycle ink cartridges. Staples reportedly pays $3 for every cartridge received. In addition, brands like Canon run recycling programs, free to their customers. These are listed below:

You Can Help the Environment by Supporting Responsible Corporations

Are you concerned about the environmental impact of printing?

There are several ways to maximize your positive impact on the planet. For example, print only when necessary, and avoid reprints by ensuring you’re satisfied with the page first. Alternately, remove unwanted elements from websites using applications like PrintWhatYouLike.com. This application lets you remove superfluous adverts and images from internet pages before printing. It’s an excellent way to save ink – and keep the planet healthy.

Buying from responsible corporations also makes a good contribution. For example, Hewlett Packard recently topped Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. Hence HP fulfils their obligations to the planet more effectively than anyone in subjects including: Climate Change, Environment, Human Rights and Corporate Governance. Buying HP printers then, supports their positive policies. It’s an indirect way to make printing greener, and something to consider when buying a new printer.

Are there any other ways of making a positive impact through printing you’d like to know about?

To see Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s complete list of responsible corporations, click here.

Inkjet Wars: Kodak vs HP

Kodak entered the printer market in '07 with a revolutionary business plan: charge slightly more for inkjet printers than other manufacturers, but charge half the price for ink cartridges.

They released the EasyShare 5300: an inkjet with cartridges 50% cheaper than HP’s equivalent model, the PhotoSmart C5180. They launched a full ad campaign, warning consumers that ink cartridges sold by other manufacturers cost more than crude oil.

Moreover, Kodak employed a new pigment-based dying process in their printers, which certified their images for 120 years. This contrasted favorably with the single year guaranteed by Hewlett Packard. Finally, Kodak promised they’d save consumers $110 annually.

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In 2007 Kodak sold 520,000 printers. Impressive? Not really, when you consider that 61 million inkjet multifunction printers were sold that year.

Yet the Kodak entry caused red alert at Hewlett Packard headquarters - both because Kodak aimed a stake at the heart of HP’s business model, and because Kodak targeted the most profitable consumers.

After all, Kodak’s promises of incredible savings wouldn’t mean anything to consumers for whom printers are dusty plastic boxes. It’s the printing maniacs – that 20% of inkjet consumers who purchase 80% of cartridges – with whom Kodak’s new strategy might resonate.

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Since then, the two brands have been firing back and forth at each other. Kodak designed the (possibly Star Trek influenced) printandprosper.com to accompany their EasyShare launch.

This website details the savings available with Kodak, and explains why other printer brands are soulless profit mongers. Hewlett Packard receives the worst beating from this campaign - arguably because the 63 cartridges types available from HP contrast with the 3 from Kodak.

In reply, Hewlett Packard launched The Truth About Printing – a site targeted like a cruise missile at Kodak.

It illustrates an infinite queue of frowning Kodak consumers desperate to return their EasyShares, and promises $50 toward an HP printer. That’s the printing equivalent of removing your gloves.

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More recently, this tussle has moved off the net and into the courts. Last year HP filed a complaint with the lengthily titled National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (his friends call him NAD) that Kodak’s claim to save consumers $110 annually was inaccurate.

Kodak failed even to send a representative to the complaints proceeding. Instead, they released a short press statement saying their advertising claims had already been substantiated.

NAD responded by bundling the case off to the Federal Trade Commission.

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Last December, the FTC decided that Kodak could claim their $110 savings – but on a minimum of four pages printed daily.

This tweaked text recognizes that consumers must guzzle an ink minimum before Kodak’s claims become viable. Kodak has asserted this alteration to their advertising vindicates them.

On the other hand, Hewlett Packard continues firing back. They most recently quoted a Lyra Research report that 50% of consumers never reach Kodak’s savings threshold.

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Who then does provide the cheapest printing? And do Kodak’s (seemingly) lower priced cartridges compromise quality? Comparisons of Kodak and Hewlett Packard’s printers are available through Google, though they report different things.

Broadly speaking – Kodak’s EasyShares give equal quality to HP’s PhotoSmart series, so long as Kodak photo paper is employed. This however cuts the potential savings of Kodak’s ink cartridges. By comparison, the PhotoSmarts offer a more vibrant printout – but degrade quickly.

Therefore neither brand is the undisputed champion of printing – putting to one side the minefield of ink cartridge pricing. The division between Kodak and Hewlett Packard will continue - while the consumer watches on, uncertain.

Clickinks March Madness Giveaway

I am so excited to announce a new Clickinks Giveaway! 

In February Clickinks held a popular Valentines Photo Contest, giving away an Apple iPod Touch to Valerie Blankenship of West Virginia. 

Now March has come, and Clickinks is mad about the giveaways! 

Make a wish and share!  Join the March Madness giveaway and let Clickinks make your wishes come true.  Let us know what you want and you may win your cart contents!




It is as simple as sharing your wish!

Become a fan on Facebook and Twitter, then share with us by post or tweet what you are wishing for. Save the items you would like in your shopping cart at Clickinks.com. At the end of March we will grant the wishes of 1 lucky winner!

Terms and Conditions
  1. The Sweepstakes entry period begins on March 1, 2010 and ends March 31, 2010.
  2. Clickinks.com shopping cart contents granted, up to $200!
  3. Open to all residents of US and Canada excluding employees of Clickinks.com and its affiliated companies.
  4. The winner will be drawn at random from all valid entries received.
  5. Clickinks.com reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value at any time.
  6. The winner agrees to use of their name and information to be associated with the drawing.

Scan Documents Straight To Evernote From Your Lexmark Printer

26. February 2010 13:06 by Danielle Bernhard in clickinks, print news, scanning, printer purchase, iphone, lexmark  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Lexmark has released a fantastic new application for their SmartSolution printers, enabling users to scan documents straight onto the storage website Evernote – without a computer.

The application is designed for 3 wireless Lexmark printers – the Interact, Prestige and Platinum. Straight from paper, documents and images are uploaded to the user’s Evernote account through the web-connected printer, simply with the press of a button.

For those that haven’t heard, Evernote is a storage service for users to capture and retain information through a range of devices. Stored data then remains available through anything connected to the internet.

Previously Evernote was accessible through devices including the iPhone. Lexmark’s application though is the first available for a printer.

For the SmartSolution printers meanwhile, the Evernote app is one of many available. Programs for MSNBC headlines and Google Calendar – alongside 18 others – come packaged with the wireless Lexmarks.

The Evernote app is available to download from Lexmark’s SmartSolution’s website.



Sources
Ben Parr, ‘Evernote Integrates With Lexmark Printers To Sync Your Scans,’ Mashable.com

How To Replace The Drum Unit In Your Laser Printer

Did you know the drum unit of your laser printer is separate from the toner cartridge? Like the toner, it occasionally needs replacing – at which time your printer LCD display may read ‘Change Drum Soon.’ However, if your printer doesn’t have an LCD display, you’ll know the drum unit needs replacing when prints have thick black spots, become blurry, or print out lighter than normal.

To replace the drum unit of your laser printer, please follow these simple steps:

1) If you’ve recently done printing, let the machine cool down. It gets hot!

2) Handle the drum carefully. It holds ink that can splatter!

3) Open the printer’s front cover.

4) If your laser printer includes a drum lever, flip it so that it’s vertical.

5) Pull the drum unit and toner cartridge assembly from the printer with the handle.

6) Hold the lock lever down on the assembly and remove the toner bin.

7) Take the new drum unit and remove the protective sheet.

8) Reinstall the toner cartridge into your new drum unit by sliding into place. If installed correctly, the lock lever will lift easily.

9) Slide your new assembly into the laser printer. It should snap into place.

10) Close the drum lock lever, if your laser printer comes equipped with one.

11) Close the top cover.

12) If your printer has an LCD display, press ‘Options’ then ‘Yes’ to ‘Replace Drum.’

13) Once the laser printer has finished recognizing the drum unit, you’re ready to print!

The old drum unit should be placed in a plastic bag. After that it can be recycled.

How To Install A Brother LC61 Ink Cartridge








If you own a Brother DCP or Brother MFC printer, you probably use the LC61 ink cartridge. But if you’ve had trouble installing it, follow these simple steps:

1) Close the printer’s document tray.
2) Lift the top cover.
3) Pull the ink cartridge hook toward you and remove the existing ink cartridge.
4) Take the Brother LC61 cartridge and remove the yellow tape from the cartridge front.
5) Insert the Brother LC61 into the empty slot, with the arrows facing skyward. Insert in the right direction, until the cartridge hook snaps into place.  Listen for a click, you may need to push firmly.
6) Close the printer top cover.

And that’s it! Your Brother LC61 cartridge is now correctly installed. Your PC may verify that the replacement cartridge is new – if so, press 1 on your printer’s dial pad. If not – press 2. After that – you’re ready to print again!

Printer Review: The HP OfficeJet 4500 Completes Your Home Office

23. February 2010 14:24 by Danielle Bernhard in clickinks, Hewlett Packard, hp, wireless printing, office printer  //  Tags:   //   Comments (2)








Does your home office suffer from a burning absence of professional quality color printing and 4 in 1 functionality? Have you sought for an integrated printer, copier, scanner and fax machine – but been put off by the massive prices of existing models? If so, the expansion of HP OfficeJet range may spark your interest.

The newly announced Hewlett Packard OfficeJet 4500 starts at $99 - making it HP’s “most affordable” all-in-one printer. 100 sheets of paper slot beneath its piano black chassis, and it prints 6 pages per minute. The recommended output per month is 3000. Meanwhile, the 1200dpi scanner includes a 20 page document feeder.

The more costly 4500 Wireless version comes with WiFi connectivity for consumers opposed to USB cables. Both versions will cut your electric bill – they’re Energy Star qualified. Finally, HP promises that printouts using ColorLok paper dry extra quickly.

Commenting in the Press Release, HP’s Vice President of Inkjet Business Solutions Hatern Mostafa said: “HP believes in the entrepreneurial spirit and strives to create products that help customers turn their ideas into reality.” Of course, this applies to people whose idea is saving space and money at their home office.

Summary

Release Date: March 2010

Manufacturer: Hewlett Packard

Features: Printer, Copier, 1200dpi Scanner, Fax machine, 20 page automatic document feeder, Wifi connectivity, Fast drying ink, Energy Star qualified.

Pages Per Minute: 6

Operating Systems: Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Ink Cartridges: Black - $14.99 (200 sheet capacity) and $31.99 (700 sheet capacity), Color - $21.99 (360 sheet capacity)

High tech burglars print a map of targets not home

17. February 2010 09:54 by Danielle Bernhard in clickinks, foursquare, print news, facebook, print map, pleaserobme, twitter  //  Tags:   //   Comments (3)
I admit it, I am a social media enthusiast. I began using Twitter even before main stream media, I use it both personally and professionally, and I honestly did a happy dance the day Foursquare opened up in my hometown.

Are we going too far? Last night as I was sitting home alone I saw a tweet from @PleaseRobMe. They called out my username and said I was not home. Talk about scare tactics. I try to be smart online, do not think the high tech burglars could find my home address to print, do not post anything overly personal and only friend those I know and trust, but are our beloved Foursquare and Twitter postings putting me at risk?

On their website they even provide search functionality allowing potential criminals to put a location in and hit go for a list of recent empty homes, including mine, that potential criminals could print and go.

Many of us location-sharing social media enthusiasts get so caught up in the novelty and bonuses that we ignore the possible reactions. There have been cases of Twitter burglaries (Israel Hyman) and Facebook burglaries in the past, now PleaseRobMe alleges that they are making potential targets aware.

Do you think PleaseRobMe is providing a public service by making targets aware? Or is it set up to assist would be criminals further their endeavours?

Will Packaged Printer Ink be held to Labeling Standards after all?

16. February 2010 13:09 by Danielle Bernhard in clickinks, Weights and Measures, print news, epson ink, hp  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Recently there was a meeting between labeling regulators and ink cartridge brands at The National Conference on Weights and Measures. 
According we reported in this blog, the US Conference of Weights and Measures would compel manufacturers to improve their labeling standards.

No longer could Epson cartridges list misleading printout yields. No longer would HP hide the ink volume of their cartridges. Instead consumers would pick up an OEM cartridge – they’d see that it housed 20ml of ink – they’d realize it cost $24.99 – and they’d snort with disgust.

Years later and OEM cartridge profits would plummet an estimated $5 billion.

Of course that was last month, and the brilliant dawn of realization hasn’t happened. There are two possibilities:
(1) the labelling regulators and toner brands are still debating or
(2) The conference was sensationalized.

Post-conference ink labeling standards remain the same, and we must accept that The Weights and Measures Conference solved nothing.

Yet there has been fallout in the blogging world.

On February 2 Taeho Lim at Cartridge News outlined his scheme to help consumers keep track of their toner use. He proposes that consumers who know their rate of ink consumption could make more informed decisions, and that printer software ought display this.

In short, he takes the consumer desire for more information as literal. By doing this Lim misses the point of the labeling furore completely.

The absence of accurate labeling is a problem because OEM brands are hiding the real cost of ink from consumers. That consumers wish to precede each purchase with a quantitative analysis of how the last cartridge fared (as Lam suggests) is unlikely.

Dean Gallea of Consumer Reports even argues that the most useful information for consumers is that already given by OEM brands: pageyield. To label the volume of ink contained in a cartridge will not tell consumers how many prints the cartridge contains; some printouts use more ink than others.

Instead, stating the volume of ink on the cartridge is important because it tells consumers how much they’re paying per liter. It lets consumers compare what they pay with the cost of production. It reveals OEM brands for the price gougers they (likely) are.

Charles le Compte of Lyra Research puts it best: volume information “sets in motion a dynamic that will drive down cartridge prices over time.” Once the consumer not only complains but proves he’s being overcharged, prices must tumble.

Before The Conference of Weights and Measures, chief Max Gray told American Public Media why he targeted ink cartridge labeling: “All of this lack of clarity… led me to feel that maybe this should be addressed.”

To what end addressed?

Gray may intend that OEM brands give all possible facts, as Lim outlines. He may be launching a covert attack to make OEM brands lower their prices. The conference last month solved nothing: ink cartridge labels remain unclear.

With any luck what Gray intends will become clear in the near future.