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How I saved money on printer ink with $1 cartridges

Posted in Computers & Technology by Micronion on the August 1st, 2012

We already know that printer companies are evil. (Mostly)

I wanted to find a way to print as many full page, full color photos as I pleased but without paying $40 per ink cartridge. I had heard about ink refill kits, and so I tried those.

Ink refill kits worked, but required effort…

I used to have a cheap Canon ip2600 printer which used CL-30 and CL-31 ink cartridges.  Each cartridge was priced at over $30! What an outrage! I ordered a refill kit from eBay for $10. The kit included ink bottles and syringes, along with instructions to punch a hole in my ink cartridges. It took a while, but I was able to refill the ink cartridges. Horray! Cheap printing at last! The single refill kit lasted me about a year and I filled each cartridge at least 10 times. But it required effort. Too much effort. Refilling cartridges was messy, so I needed an alternative to refill kits.

Ink cartridges for wonderful, dirt cheap prices…

I wanted to find a printer that had super cheap ink. And I found one: The Brother MFC J425W.  It turns out that Brother brand printers are designed in such a way that it’s easier for 3rd parties to create ink cartridges for their printers. In fact, you can buy a pack of 12 for $7.29 on Amazon. That’s less than $1 per cartridge, even after shipping!!

And in fact, the best part is that the Brother MFC J524W printer I bought also has more features than any other inkjet printer I’ve seen (Borderless printing, automatic duplex, and scanning/faxing just to name a few).

Refilling an inkjet print cartridge for $12

Posted in Computers & Technology by Micronion on the June 18th, 2010

The Canon PG-30 ink cartridge....

I have a Canon printer that uses the PG-30 black ink cartridges; I’ve always wanted to try ink refill kits to save a bit of money, so this was my first attempt. I ordered the kit from eBay for about $12 — all I had to do was find a refill kit with my print cartridge model listed.  The kit said it would come with all of the tools needed (a syringe, screw, ink refill, and instructions).  Sure enough, the kit arrived a couple of days later and the fun began.

The kit included a bottle of ink, a syringe and needle, and a small screw with a twist-handle. The instructions said to peel back the label on top of the cartridge and locate the filling hole, then use the screw to open it up. The label was super sticky and a lot harder to peel of than you would think. I finally gave up and scratched a hole in the middle where the filling hole was supposed to be. Using the tiny screw to drill a wider hole in the top of the hard plastic was difficult and took me about 20 minutes. If you had access to power tools the process would probably be a whole lot easier and faster.

The instructions said to use the syringe and slowly fill the cartridge with 10ml of ink. I made sure to take my time and injected the 10ml over a course of 2-4 minutes or so. After that, everything seemed to be fine so I re-inserted the cartridge.

After running a few cleaning cycles, the printer seemed to be working like magic again! And I still have a bottle with enough ink to refill the cartridge another 5-6 times or so, all for $12. Isn’t eBay great?

Children of Men (2006) – Editing Technique Analysis

Posted in Computers & Technology,Written Work by Micronion on the December 2nd, 2008

Children of Men: A complex story told through simple editing

Alfonso Cuaron’s film Children of Men utilizes an unusual editing style to immerse the viewer in the world of the film and create a sense of reality that would ordinarily not exist in a traditional Hollywood movie. Long takes, and more specifically the absence of cuts, are used to achieve a documentary-like feel; action scenes which traditionally would have many fast paced shots and close ups are shown entirely through a single master shot. The use of a single shot advances the world of the film by maintaining an open frame throughout the movie. Where cuts are used they are carefully placed to create meaning between images that might not exist if the same scene were shown only through a master shot. All of the cinematic and editing choices in Children of Men come together to create a film about a world not too far off from our own in such a way that the viewer can connect with the world in a believable way. (more…)

Memento (2000) – plot structure analysis

Posted in Written Work by Micronion on the October 25th, 2008

Memento: A story dependant on plot

Through careful organization of story elements, the film Memento successfully helps the viewer to connect and sympathize with the main character, Leonard, who is suffering from an unusual memory condition that the viewer would not ordinarily be able to relate with. By seeing the story backwards, the viewer is unaware of events that have already taken place earlier in the story, much the way that Leonard is unable to remember them. Careful placement and movement of the camera throughout the film further connects the viewer with Leonard by showing the world from his point of view. Repetition of images and scenes also immerses the viewer in Leonard’s world by creating a sense of déjà-vu which causes the viewer to question what it might be like for Leonard to see the same thing repeatedly and not remember it. The entire plot structure of Memento is crucial to the success of the film because without it the viewer would be unable to understand the story on a personal level. (more…)

Play Starcraft or Warcraft 3 without a CD

Posted in Computers & Technology,Games by Micronion on the June 23rd, 2008

Thanks to an official patch from Blizzard, it is now possible to play Starcraft and Warcraft III without a CD!

 To play Warcraft III without a CD all you need to do is connect to battle.net and download the latest patch file. After that’s finished you will no longer need the CD to play!

Running Starcraft without the CD, unfortunately, is a bit more challenging. If you read the patch notes for patch 1152 then it explains how to do it, but since you didn’t I’ll explain it here…

If you have the Brood War expansion pack….

  1. Insert your Brood War CD into your computer.
  2. Navigate to the files on the CD and copy the file called “install.exe” to the starcraft program folder (this should be “C:\Program Files\Starcraft”)
  3. Rename the file you just copied to be called “BroodWar.mpq” — note that you need to change the file extension from .exe to .mpq.
  4. Remove the CD and play Starcraft without it!

If you do not have Brood War installed, simply follow the instructions above but when you copy “install.exe” from the CD you should rename it to “Starcraft.mpq”

Stamps.com free trial – Is it worth it?

Posted in Finance,The Internet by Micronion on the May 6th, 2008

If you’ve heard of stamps.com then chances are that you’ve also heard of their great risk free trial that includes a bit of free postage, shipping supplies, and a $50 scale. So is it actually free? Yes, but there’s a sneaky catch…

Two months ago I signed up for a stamps.com account and figured I had nothing to lose and at the very least I’d get some free stuff. Sure enough, my account started off with $5 of free postage. Great! I was able to ship an item I had sold on eBay just fine. A few days later my free “stamps.com supply kit” arrived in the mail. This package included one sheet of 2 half page shipping labels, a sheet of odd sized labels, and a sheet of standard 0.41 cent sized labels (all of which could be printed on to from the stamps.com program). After using the software for a while I even bought some additional postage and shipped a few more items using their software.

So what about the scale? Well the scale isn’t actually free.  You need to pay shipping (roughly $6)  and even then it isn’t a great scale because the max weight is 5 lbs AND you need to connect it to your computer to read the weight from within the stamps.com program (forcing you to use their software if you want to use the scale).  I opted out of the “free” scale option. (more…)

Martin Luthers 95 Theses

Posted in Misc,Written Work by Micronion on the December 9th, 2007

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Martin Luther and his 95 theses generated enormous controversy during the time of the Reformation. His idea of salvation through faith was vastly different from the view of the Catholic Church which started a great deal of dispute which would eventually become the cause of many great turning points in history, including the creation of different denominations of Christianity and the decline of the Roman Catholic Church.

As a young adult, Martin Luther searched for spiritual identity and worried about what would happen after he died.He attended Erfurtwhere he studied philosophy and classical literature.During his studies he narrowly escaped death during a thunder storm as he was traveling from Erfurtto Eisleben as lightning struck a tree near where he was standing. Fearing for his life, he vowed on the spot to become a monk saying, “Help me, dear St. Anna! I will become a monk.[1]“On July 17, 1505 Martin Luther and his closest friends went with him to the Augustinian cloister where he left the world as he knew it to become a monk as he had promised[2]. (more…)

Disable typing over text in front of the cursor

Posted in Computers & Technology by Micronion on the November 15th, 2007

overtype.JPG

So you’re typing in a word document and everything you type seems to run right over the text in front of it — that is, instead of inserting more letters like you’re used to the computer erases an existing letter for every new letter you type. This is called “Overtype” and it’s an evil, evil feature that plagues windows computers. To disable the overtype mode, simply press the “Insert” button on your keyboard. To enable it, just press it again.

Note: Unlike the Caps Lock key, there is no light on your keyboard that will tell you if overtype is enabled or not. There is usually an indicator in your word document on the status bar that will say “OVR” if it is enabled.

More on overtype mode and the insert key can be found on Wikipedia here.

Practice stock market investing with play money

Posted in Finance,The Internet by Micronion on the September 18th, 2007

So you’re thinking about investing large sums of money in the stock market but you’re not sure where to start? Before you go any further you should spend at least a month or two investing in a virtual stock market simulator. What’s that you ask (and even if you don’t ask, I’m going to tell you anyways)?

There are websites on the internet that let you invest play money in a simulator that mirrors the real world stock market. It’s exactly like the real stock market except you don’t put any money at risk. So where do you find one of these sites? I recommend you head on over to Investopedia.