Printers Compare

The two most popular types of printer technology are inkjet and laser. Whether you buy online or walk into a store, immediately you’ll notice a difference in price. Laser printers are usually more than inkjet printers, sometimes several times as much. In an office environment, you can easily pay $1,000 for a laser printer. In a home office, you can easily pay $100 for an inkjet, even less. However, not all laser printers are that expensive, and not all inkjet printers are that cheap. I’m going to tell you the things to look for that will help you decide what you need.

Speed

If speed is your chief concern, the laser printer will win hands down, every time. There are laser printers that can handle in excess of 34ppm (Pages Per Minute) and 22-24 is pretty much the minimum in today’s world. That’s not to say that inkjet’s aren’t plenty fast, some can approach 30ppm in draft mode. I’ve found most people don’t actually use draft mode though, so you’re going to get more like 5-10ppm in normal operation.

Connectivity

Something often over looked is, how will you plug in? I have seen people that don’t even know what a USB port is, go out and buy a printer that only has USB support. They return home and end up making a call to find out that their computer doesn’t have a USB port. There’s nothing wrong with printers that only support USB, but make sure your computer supports what the printer supports. Also, don’t get a super short cable, pay attention to where you’ll be locating your new printer, and get a cable plenty long enough.

Quality Recovery and Rework

Your people are the experts on your products and on your customers, so there is no way around these experts being intimately involved in root cause analysis and in figuring out what has to be done at the factory. You can hire consultants and/or facilitators to streamline the process to getting to root cause and solution, but the experts and management must take ultimate responsibility for parts 1, 2 and 3.

There is far more flexibility in the 4th part. This is the tedious, messy and time-consuming part of the job, and is generally not a core competency of the organization in trouble. Ultimate customer satisfaction depends on competent and rapid execution of failure verification, sorting, reworking, testing, labeling, packaging, pipeline management and crisis logistics.

Options and Alternatives:
Most Project Managers and Quality Managers do not realize that there are companies that can take over the most tedious and frustrating parts of the recovery process. With that in mind, let’s examine your options and their consequences:

  1. Keep it all in-house (subtle, but potentially far-reaching negative ramifications) – The Good News: The people who are most likely to be familiar with the problem, the product and its quirks are right there, concerned and capable. The Bad News: The engineers, technicians, logistics personnel, production personnel, management and facilities all generally have full-time jobs that keep them busy 10 to 16 hours a day, just to meet set schedules and deadlines to keep the company moving on its projected path. It is these same people who are going to be tasked to take on this additional, unexpected and often significant workload at the expense of their current assignments. This tends to mortgage the company’s future, but the urgency and necessity of getting though the crisis overshadows this concern for the moment. Everyone pitches in, does what it takes, and in the excitement, fails to look up long enough to consider, much less do, the sensible thing. The results of this approach are mistakes in the recovery and a hurried or unfinished release of the next project, each leading to additional crisis and continuing the spiral of missed product cycles, poor quality, low yields, and substandard product.
  2. Write a check – Outsource parts of the crisis – This is almost universally unrecognized as an alternative, but from a business perspective, it is the only way to go. If you are in Quality Management or Project Management, your company expects you to make decisions that are best for the company and its bottom line. Often, you are so focused on getting the problem solved with resources you know and trust that you don’t stop to consider the alternatives – especially the alternatives you are unaware of.

Early in my career, I was unaware that there were organizations that specialized in rework, or “Quality Recovery”. I suffered terribly through many miserable reworks, often supervising a bunch of random unskilled temps in hastily set up warehouses with processes that evolved as the rework progressed. I remember that a task as simple as keeping track of labeled boxes, matching serial numbers on the box labels to serial numbers on the unit labels was unmanageable. I remember starting one rework three separate times because the assembly instructions were being interpreted in unpredictable ways by the operators, and we couldn’t keep track of which units were done by which operator. I’m sure anyone with any time in the business can relate to these expensive frustrations.

Happily, there are companies who are really good at this tedious and high-risk stuff, and make it a high point of your relationship with your customer, in spite of the crisis situation. The customer memory of the pain is short, and the memory of the way it was handled scores big points because the rework was managed with the same level of competence and closure exhibited by your manufacturing process.

I was fortunate to stumble onto a couple of great Quality Recovery providers as I was confronted with a particularly bloody rework situation involving recurring firmware upgrades with confirming test, and with mandatory label tracking of the upgrades on pipeline inventory. I took a deep breath and decided I was going to take a half hour and look for help. I was lucky that day. While a crisis is never much fun, these people made it a lot less brutal, and as I analyzed the comparative burdened rates of my engineering and technical staffs, it was actually a less expensive route. Of course, I still had to pay the burdened rates at the same time I paid the recovery people, but then I was paying my burdened engineering rates for true engineering work that was making me a much higher return on the dollars (at least in theory) than working on unplanned rework lines.

Choose a Computer Power Supply

The first question to ask yourself is, “Is my power supply an ATX form factor?”. If you have this information available then the selection process is much easier. The information is sometimes stamped somewhere on the power supply or may be contained in the manual for your existing computer. If you’re looking for an ATX power supply make sure the power supply is an ATX form factor, not micro ATX or any other.

Perhaps the most method to use in selecting a power supply is comparing the physical dimensions. Make sure your computer case can accommodate the the Height, Width, and Depth of the power supply. If you are replacing an existing power supply then take measurements of it before you discard it. Take a look at the graphic above to gain a better understanding of Height, Width, and Depth. If your power supply is considerable smaller than the typical dimensions of our atx power supplies then it could be possible that you have a micro atx power supplies. If you feel you might have a micro atx power supply then you could compare its dimensions with our 200W micro atx power supply.

After you have chosen your power supply based on physical dimensions you need to take a look at what connectors you need on your power supply. Different power supplies have different connectors so it’s best to choose one with connectors that meet your every need. It’s okay if you buy a power supply and not use some of the connectors. You can just leave them hanging unconnected. Below is pictures of some common connectors found on atx power supplies:
atx connector

20 pin ATX Connector – The 20 pin ATX connector that inserts into an atx motherboard. If your motherboard has a slot for the 20 pin connector shown in the graphic they you can be almost 100% certain that an ATX power supply is required for your motherboard.

Be sure to pay close attention to the number of pins. On some computers we’ve found that this connector contains 24 pins instead of 20.

24 pin ATX Connector – Some computer motherboards require a 24 pin ATX Connector. Given our past experience we advise purchasing a power supply with a 24 pin connector built in rather than a converter that converts the 20 pin to a 24 pin. The converters tend to have poor power distribution while a power supply with the 24 pin connector built in will be powered directly from the power supplies.

P4 Connector – Most motherboards that have Intel Pentium 4 processors will have a slot on the board for this P4 connector. If your motherboard has this slot then make sure you get a power supply with a P4 connector on it. If your motherboard doesn’t have a slot for this connector it is still okay to purchase a power supply with this connector, and leave the P4 connector unconnected.

4 pin IDE Connector – This is the IDE connector that supplies power to your hard drives and cdroms. Most atx power supplies have 4 connectors of this type included. If you need more than 4 connectors it’s best to purchase y-splitters to increase the number of connectors. Purchasing power supplies with more than 4 connectors can often be much more costly than purchasing a y-splitter.

4 pin floppy connector Floppy Connector – The 4 pin floppy connector supplies power to any floppy drives that may be on your computer. Some of the card reader drives use this connection also. Most atx power supplies have two of these connectors included.

6 AUX connector – Look on your motherboard and see if there is a slot that accepts the 6 pin AUX connector. If there is a slot for it then chances are you’re going to need it.

Sata connector – Hard drives and other devices with sata connectors as shown here are becoming more and more popular. We aren’t sure exactly what the advantages are to this technology, but if you have any devices in your computer that use the sata connector you’re going to need a power supply with sata connectors.

You need to know how much power you’re going to need. It’s okay to buy a power supply that is larger than necessary because the power supply will step down to your power requirements. On the other hand, buying a power supply that is too small for your requirements will be annoying. Many times people will complain of their computer rebooting for no reason at all. Nine times out of ten the reason for this is an undersized power supply. Many companies that sell computers will install an undersized power supply to save money and increase profit margins. Buyer beware!

Basic UPS Guide

Offline (Standby) UPS

The standby UPS is the simplest and least expensive UPS design. Getting it’s primary power from the AC line (i.e. your outlet), this type of UPS switches over to the backup battery automatically when any drop in voltage is detected. When the power is restored, the UPS then switches back. This “no frill” UPS usually has nothing to regulate the electricity although a few manufacturers may include some sort of line filter.

A “ferroresonant standby” UPS is an improvement on the design of the standby UPS. The ferroresonant UPS uses a ferroresonant transformer to switch from line power to battery power. By using this technology there is a source of stored energy that is used during that fraction of a second while the unit switches between line power and battery power. This was once one of the most common UPS designs, and are still made by some manufacturers. Today, most manufacturers have abandoned this design, claiming that it is inefficient, and favor the “online” UPS for models in the range of 1,000 VA or higher.

Line-Interactive UPS

Hailed by some to be the most efficient UPS, the line-interactive UPS is one of the most popular designs used today for computer protection. Although some manufactures sell line-interactive UPSs which are no more than an offline UPS with a regulator added, the basic line-interactive UPS has a bi-directional inverter/charger which is always connected to the output of the UPS, and uses a portion of AC power to keep the battery charged. When the input power fails, the transfer switch disconnects AC input and the battery/inverter provides output power. This gives a faster response to a power failure than an offline UPS.

Online UPS

This design is considered to be a “true” UPS. Unlike the other types of UPS, this one uses the battery as its main source of power and the line power is the secondary source of power. When line power goes out the UPS does not have to convert from one power source to another, it just stops charging the battery. This is similar to the way laptops react when they are unplugged from line power. When there isn’t any line power the battery will keep powering the system until its stored power is depleted. Since this type of UPS design runs off the battery, the equipment plugged into it will always maintain a constant flow of power. Any surges or brownouts will be taken in at the battery charger and not passed on to the equipment.

These UPSs are often referred to as a “double-conversion” or “double-conversion online” UPS because they convert from AC to DC (battery charger) and then has an inverter to convert DC back to AC, for external devices. Although this method gives a very steady, “clean” flow of power, much of the power is dissipated as heat. This reduces efficiency. In addition, the battery is being used all the time, not just during a power failure like other types of UPSs. To combat this shortcoming, a new design called a “delta-conversion” online UPS was created. In this design, the battery charger is replaced with a delta converter. Instead of providing all of the output from the battery under normal circumstances, some of it is provided directly by the delta converter from the input line power. When there is a power failure, the delta converter stops operating and the unit acts like a regular double-conversion online UPS since the inverter is also running off the battery all the time.
Being more complex, online UPS units generally costs more than offline units. They are generally used only in larger and mission-critical installations.

Installing Wireless Access Points

  1. Finding your Wireless Range – Wireless access points will have a range of about 75-100ft inside, and outside (depending on your wireless antenna) miles. If you live in an older brick home your wireless signal range can be greatly reduced.. To find your wireless signal range and signal strength you will need to install one wireless access point in the middle of your work area and measure the signal. You can use a program called netstumbler to help you with this task. Once you have achived the necessary wireless signal overlap then you will be able to roam through out your work or business. Your wireless adapter software will choose the access point with the strongest signal but this will be transparent to the user
  2. Unique IP -Next you will want to assign all your AP’s with a unique IP address not a dynamic IP address. Do not use the same IP adderess for each AP.
  3. Configure AP’s – Configuring two or three wireleess access point is not very hard but when you have to configure more than that it can become time consuming. Thus some wireless routers will come with software that will allow you to configure one access point which will then configure all of your other access point for you.
  4. Same SSID – Use the same SSID for each access point on your network. This will give you the ability to roam with out having to choose each network when you move.
  5. Encryption /AuthenticationWireless Antennas – Choose which type of antenna you will need. Try to purchase directional antennas instead of using the default omni-directional antennas. Directional antennas will funnel your wireless signal towards your operational areas.
  6. Placement – Try not to place your AP by outer walls. If you need to place your AP buy outside walls then try to use a reflector. This will help your signal stay inside your house as much as possible.

ESR Meter

Because measuring an electrolytic capacitor with an analog or digital capacitance meter can MISLEAD a technician into believing that a defective capacitor is good. This can waste your precious time and you are unable to repair the equipment. Which means you can’t charge your customer! If you don’t test for ESR on the capacitor, you will always miss the bad capacitor. Normally, these bad capacitors have high ESR reading which your normal multimeter or digital capacitance meter can’t measure. Only by using the ESR meter, you will be able to measure the ESR on the capacitor and you will not be fooled by capacitors with bad ESR. ESR meter can even work IN-CIRCUIT, which means you don’t have to solder out the capacitor in order to measure it using normal capacitor tester, which would not be accurate anyway.

Do you know that ESR meters can perform other wonders besides checking the ESR of a capacitor? Some digital ESR meter have the features of checking:

  • Low ohms resistor such as 0.22 ohm, 0.33 ohm and etc.
  • Horizontal yoke coil winding of a picture tube, inductor and primary winding of a transformer – If a shorted turn is present, the inductance drops dramatically and the meter will show the ohms reading.
  • Horizontal output transistor (HOT) in a monitor or TV – If an open-circuit reading is obtained, the short-circuit is elsewhere. If the short-circuit remains, the transistor is faulty.
  • Short-circuit in the track, usually trace to the components – You can use the ESR meter to locate short-circuits on printed circuit boards by measuring the actual track resistance. If the reading increases as you probe further along the track, you know you’re going in the wrong direction!
  • Speakers, amplifier etc – The pulses have a fast rise/fall time, so it would probably make a crude RF signal injector as well.
  • The condition of both the normal and rechargeable batteries – Flat and faulty battery will have high ESR.

Printer Ink Cartridges

In 1984 ink jet printers and printer cartridges were introduced. Printing documents was now easier and so was changing printer cartridges. After years of changing ribbons, adding toner ink to reservoirs within the computer.

The dot matrix method used a ribbon. The industry found new ways to make printing easier and more convenient. There is the drop on demand method where the ink squirts onto the paper through tiny nozzles. The amount of ink dropped the page is controlled by the software driver that controls which nozzle fires and when.

By 1990 ink jet print cartridges was widely accepted. Printer cartridges can now print in color as well as in black and white for document. Inkjet printer cartridges can print on just about any sized paper, on fabric and on film. Ink jet printers are used in a variety of settings worldwide and is a popular choice for printing.

Each brand of printer uses a specific type of cartridge. Ink jet cartridges are given an identification number and the models that can use this particular cartridge, is listed. There are a wide variety of cartridges available and you should check your printer’s manual to see exactly what cartridges are available to you.

If you are trying to save money, you can purchase refill kits that allow you to fill the cartridges yourself. Not everyone is a fan of these kits however, the quality of the printing isn’t as good, and in some cases the cartridges when re-installed can fail to operate.

You can get reconditioned and refilled cartridges from some retailers and sometimes from the manufacturer. Compatible cartridges are cartridges that are made according to the exact specs of the original manufacturer. The drawback here is that not every cartridge has a compatible one.

In choosing a printer check the type of cartridge it will use. You will need to determine if the cartridge is appropriate for the type of printing and the volume of printing you will be doing. You will have to do some research and you can find much of this information on the internet, through the manufacturer or through stores that deal in the particular printer you are looking at.

Discount ink cartridges are available online. All you have to do is type ink cartridges or printer cartridges into your search engine. Some sites offer amazing discounts. Again you are going to have to search for the deal that is best for you. Pay attention to the cartridge top when purchasing them. Check the sides of the box for a list of models the cartridge will work in.

There is a time line below that has some really interesting facts.
This would make a great list of answers for a trivia game. I cannot imagine the hard work that created the ink jet printer cartridge, as we know it. It is easy to understand why cartridges are expensive.

  • 1452 – Gutenberg used oil-based ink, moveable type, and an old winepress to make the first printing press.
    Martin Luther began the Protestant reformation making extensive use of the printing press.
  • 1714 – The typewriter was born. Schematics that were done by Mills were discovered however, there is no proof that any typewriters were actually made.
  • 1874 – Christopher Sholes, Samuel Soule, and Carlos Glidden made a keyboard that became known as the “qwerty” because of the first five keys on the top row of the keyboard.
  • 1894 – Franz Wagner developed a typewriter that is very similar to the ones made today. He created a design that let the typists watch as they were typing. Previously, paper would go through a roller as you typed and you could not see what you typed until you were done.
  • 1897 – Underwood (by John Underwood) was the prototypical typewriter of its day.
  • 1939 – Charles Carlson developed electrography, which is the first dry writing technique developed in the United States.
  • 1949 – Haloid Company began to commercially developed electrography for the first time.
  • 1959 – Xerox 914 hit the market and forced other businesses to update their communication systems.
  • 1969 – Xerox first introduced dry printing (laser printing) by Gary Starkweather.
  • 1078 – Xerox put out the world’s first business laser printer the Xerox 9700. It copied documents at the speed of 120 ppm (pages per minute)
  • 1979 – The IBM 3800 could print out 20,000 lines per minute.
    1980’s – The use of toner cartridges became obsolete.
  • 1984 – Hewlett-Packard released the first home-based desktop laser printer.

Buy Computer Memory

When Upgrading Your Operating System

Each time I upgrade my operating system, I find that I need to buy more memory. Your operating system is a huge memory hogger. Windows XP , for example, requires at least 512 MB RAM to run smoothly (at least on my PC). Windows 2000 needs at least 256 MB RAM. Always check the operating system manufacturer’s documentation carefully – they always tend to understate memory requirements.

When installing new applications: Business software like Microsoft Office, video editing applications like Adobe Premiere Pro and games like Half-Life 2 really need a LOT of memory. Some will refuse to run if they find your memory lacking. Other applications will run but will crawl like a snail. Newer software these days assume you have a huge amount of memory. Again, check the manufacturer’s documentation carefully for memory requirements.

When Installing Multimedia Cards

Two types of cards come into mind – video cards and sound cards. Video cards have a built-in memory but they also consume main system RAM. Don’t be fooled by that fancy video card that says it’ll deliver fantastic 3D graphics performance. Video cards depend a lot on your main system RAM. Without sufficient memory, the video cards will still perform poorly even if they are the latest and greatest versions (the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro comes to mind).

When Adding Computer Peripherals

If you add a printer or scanner to your system, you should also consider buying more memory. Printers consume system memory particularly when printing huge files. Scanners consume memory when handling large image files.

When Your Hard Disk Starts ‘Chugging’

In general, you can tell whether you should be buying more memory by listening to your hard drive. Yes, by listening to your hard drive. If it makes a long drawn ‘chugging’ noise whenever you copy or edit large files, you can be sure you need a memory upgrade.

You see, when your system is low on memory, it borrows space from your hard disk to make ‘virtual memory’. This process is called ‘paging’ and it’s very, very slow and irritating . Get that memory upgrade and avoid this problem at all costs!

How Much Memory Do You Need?

Depending on the type of software applications you are using, the amount of memory you need will differ. As a bare minimum, computers these days need at least 256 MB of RAM.

Refer to the list below to see how much memory you will need based on the type of software you use.

  • Administrative: Word processing, email, spreadsheets, surfing the web, general gaming, not many applications open at once. Get 256 MB to 512 MB of memory.
  • Executive/Professional: Word processing, email, spreadsheets, presentations, videos, photos, surfing the web, general gaming, several applications open at once. Get 512 MB to 1 GB of memory.
  • Graphics Design/Software Development: 3D CAD software, enterprise programming suites, simulation or modeling software. Get 1 GB or more of memory.

History of Canon

Canon’s Roots

Canon’s roots were laid in 1933 with very few employees as a precision optical instruments lab. The Laboratory was founded in 1933 in a third-floor apartment of the Takekawaya Building in Roppongi, Azabu Ward, Tokyo. Its objective was to produce high-grade cameras.

A young man named Goro Yoshida, a passionate camera-lover; and his brother-in-law, Saburo Uchida, set up the Laboratory jointly. Their aim was to make cameras that could compete with the German models that were considered the most advanced of the day.

They started by analyzing existing cameras, which were difficult to obtain. Systematically, they studied each camera’s internal workings, examined mechanisms, drew up design diagrams and procured parts. Takeshi Mitarai, a close friend of Uchida provided the funds required for the research. Mitarai later became president of the company and built its foundation.

It then went on to become a renowned camera making company. When it grew and decided to diversify its business plans it had to shed its image of a company that manufactured only cameras, therefore the top brass of the company decided to take on the name Canon Inc in 1969. The year1969 was also the year that canon forayed into business machines and eventually into the printing business.

Product Chronology

To go through a brief chronology of Canon’s printing and copying history – Canon successfully developed the laser beam printer in 1975. In 1982, the PC-10 and PC-20, the world’s first personal copying machines with replaceable cartridges, were introduced. Canon, in collaboration with IBM Japan, Ltd., developed the world’s first notebook PC with an installed printer in 1993.

Bubble Jet Discovery

One of canon’s most interesting discoveries in the field of printing technology was the bubble jet printing technology. Researchers while working on the inkjet printing technology hit upon the discovery when a hot solder gun accidentally touched the tip of an ink-filled needle due to which ink sprayed out! Therefore, the researchers concluded that heat instead of pressure could be used to eject the ink on the media.
The development of this technology gave the world it’s first bubblejet printer in 1981.

Laser Beam Printing

Another important technology in the field of printing by Canon was the development of laser beam printers (LBP). It started research on laser as a means of writing as early as 1962. However it was unable to develop a practical laser source and hence could not acquire the patents it had applied for due to which the research and development was suspended.

In the 1970s when lasers came into practical application fields Canon resumed its research on laser beam printers and developed the LBP’s of today combining their electro photographic technologies with laser technology.

The development of lasers imprinting also gave birth to a number of high-speed copy machines by Canon such as The NP-8500, the world’s first retention-type copying machine in 1978.

The NP-8500 SUPER, an ultrahigh speed-copying machine capable of producing 135 copies per minute 1981; and the PC-10 and PC-20, the world’s first personal copying machines with replaceable cartridges were introduced by Canon in 1982.

In 1984 Canon gave the world its LBP-8/CX, the smallest and lightest laser beam printer.

Today Canon develops technology that couples direct printing options from Cell phones equipped with a digital camera, hence integrating printing technology with photography! One such latest technology is the direct wireless printing from a camera! The printing is achieved using infrared and Bluetooth communication technology embedded in the cell phones or PCs. Being wireless no cables are required, and the image quality parallels that of printouts from PCs using memory cards.

One important feature Canon uses to achieve real true to life image quality on paper is:

Color reproduction: The color range of digital cameras (YCC) is much wider, making it possible to capture a vast amount of color information when shooting. To achieve similar quality Canon added red ink and green ink, which offers high brightness and chromaticity, to the six existing inks in their inkjet printers, raising the saturation of the red and green output range by 1.6 times and 1.2 times respectively. The result is photo image output with improved depth and translucence, and color reproduction comparable to that of prints from photo film.

Basics Of A Data Logger

A data logger is defined as an electronic computerized device that records data over a predetermined amount of time. Depending on the job, some data loggers are small while larger machines are used for more extensive research. These units acquire data according to the programming and store it into memory or a storage unit. This memory can be set to accommodate days, weeks or even months without ever having human intervention. Modern data loggers use a battery to promote storage in the units memory Older models use paper or disks, but technology has all but rendered these earlier models extinct.

Data loggers are so accurate that, in addition to recording detailed information, they often provide a time and date indicator to ensure that all of the recorded data can be broken down and associated with a specific date and time for informational research purposes. This is possible because of their built in clocks, which easily provide an accurate reading.

From the simplest of device to a complex unit, data loggers offer a wide range of flexibility for nearly any data retrieval job. The more simple devices are, as expected, easier to program. The more complex the unit, the more work that is involved. Some of the most modern data loggers offer website capabilities, which allow individuals to surf onto a website and monitor the tracking system. This works well for users who enjoy real time information, including weather data, web cams, etc.

During harsh weather conditions, troublesome water levels or other concerns, a data logger can be linked to devices, including modems, cell phones or satellites. This capability can keep individuals updated on the status of weather conditions, but also alert them if immediate attention is required. If you ever notice a weather warning interrupt a radio station or television broadcast, that information is coming from a data logger that is responsible for monitoring weather conditions. The information is then relayed to the meteorologist, who gets the information out to the public.

As individuals, it is difficult to realize the complex nature of data loggers and their responsibilities. But, without them, we would certainly become aware of their absence. Without a way to measure such important data factors, without an efficient way to report them and research certain data, we would be forever uninformed.