Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Liquid Gold!

I'm not one for ranting usually ... but something bugs the crap out of me. We all complain about the cost of gas these days. I don't like it any more than the next super cool blogger guy. However, its not the only expensive liquid that pisses me off. What's the deal with printer ink for cripes sake?? Seriously ... why is it that an effing ink cartridge costs as much or more than the printer that I'm sticking it in ... the ink cartridge that is?

So I go into my local Office Depository store to buy a replacement cartridge and ... true story ... I go to the register to make my purchase and there is this lady there bitching about how all the ink cartridges that are on the shelf were expired. EXPIRED!!?? The poor guy that was dealing with her was taking it like a champ. I felt sorry for him. For some reason this lady was looking at the manufacture/warranty date on the box and kept telling the guy that it was an expiration date. I'm no genius, but I DO know that today's date is going to be greater than the date the package was manufactured. She went as far as to tell him that she just bought a cartridge from the store the day before and when she put it into her printer, her computer scrolled a message at the bottom of the screen telling her that the cartridge was expired. REALLY!!?? A scrolling message?? WOW! Grandma missed her meds that day. Try as the guy may, he could not convince her that there is no expiration for ink unless the package is opened and the cartridge used ... since technically the ink is sealed until the moment that you put it into the printer ... so it could perhaps dry out over time. The guy was nice enough to switch the ink cartridge for her and told her to come back if that scrolling message told her to.


aaron d said...

Actually, inkjet carts DO have expiration dates. These are used, generally, to ensure consistent output with calibrated workflows. A sealed cartridge wont likely dry out (completely), but ink (especially dye-based) colors can shift and give undesirable output, among other things.
This may not be a big deal to some, as it will most likely print fine, but there is an expiry nonetheless.
What's better, SOME carts and HP drivers DO notify of expiry, and some don't allow bypassing to use the expired cart.

And despite wording on that website that seems to indicate otherwise, SOME HP ink carts DO have the expiration printed on the side of their packaging (not the cart itself).

I have had this experience with my 9x/10x carts for my 9800.

Next time, educate before assuming.

Head Honcho said...

What I wrote wasn't meant to be "educational" nor was I making assumptions. I was merely writing about something funny that was taking place. You shouldn't smear the line between education and humor.

I understand what you are talking about. I do know a great deal about printers actually. Consumer grade printers (the type that most people have at their house) do not base expiry on a date of manufacture. Some printer manufactures make printers that are designed for proofing or high quality printing (for print shops and other graphic artistry work), which are concerned about the age of the ink since it could affect the quality of the printed image. I totally agree with you there. Mostly, the smart chips in consumer grade cartridges control expiry based on the amount of ink that has been sprayed by the print heads. When that predefined amount is up, the printer stops printing and says it is out of ink (whether there is ink in the cartridge or not). That is why there have been a lot of complaints regarding the fact that printers say they are out of ink, but there is still a decent amount of ink still left in the cartridge. Others base the expiry based on when the cartridge is actually inserted into the printer and what duration the cartridge has been in the printer. That issue can easily be fixed by finding the battery that controls the onboard clock of the printer and removing it. It will not hinder the printer function, but it will allow you to print and not waste that full cartridge that you may still have. Most manufactures believe that printing with an empty cartridge damages the print heads ... that is why they claim that the cartridge is out of ink before it actually is ... to prevent print head damage. I'm a firm believer in buying a product and using it for what it is intended to do. If you buy a high end graphics printer, then you really should be concerned about the quality of the ink and the age. If you have some crappy $20 printer that came with your gateway 6 years ago ... who cares. Let those people print their recipes from ladies home journal in peace and not worry about expiring the cartridge.

Needless to say ... the lady claimed to have counted 66 cartridges that were "expired" on the shelf. That was basically every cartridge for that particular brand ... no matter what model printer. Since these stores follow a FIFO model, it would have been a huge snafu for the store to completely stock nothing but expired printer cartridges. Rather improbable I would say. I did see the box and look at the date as it was on the checkout as I was making my purchase. Definitely was not an expiry date. Her heart attack inducing rant was pretty funny though!

aaron d said...
Next time, educate before assuming.

Naomi Hinshaw-Hersh said...

Oh! This is GREAT!! I LOVE it!! Very clever!