Valentine’s CISS

Printers. Love them or hate them, you still have to feed them Ink (or Toner) cartridges.
These are expensive little beasts to keep running – it has been commented that printer ink is expensive, and to give to an idea just how expensive it is:

  • Printer Ink is 7 times more expensive than Dom Perignon.
  • Printer Ink is more expensive than the most expensive perfumes.
  • Printer Ink is more expensive than human blood.

Or if you want to see the scale, here is an often posted image (attribution unknown):  Update, found the original source at Gizmodo from Nov 2006.



Like many people I had found the relative comfort of 3rd-party or remanufactured Ink cartriges which brink the cost per cart down from around £3 (instead of £9) for my particular model.

However, as I was installing the last of my replacement carts, before having to order more, imagine my horror when the magenta cart simply failed to work.   Nothing – printer refused to accept it, thankfully my old cart had a dribble of ink left and was able to convince the printer to keep going while I got my order in for more.

Next step, the online store where I order my carts, SVP, typed in my printer model in the search box as they recommend and the first hit wasn’t my usual multipack of 3rd party R265 carts – no, it was a CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System).   Interesting.

Here is the page (no longer working):

Intrigued, I read the install manual they have on the page and thought it looked easy enough to try. And so I bought one – couldn’t hurt – it cost the same as a complete set of carts and would last 10 times longer on the first fill.

The device arrived a few days later, I sat on it a few days more, then got stuck in.  I took some photos of the completed install and I have to say I am very impressed with it.

I originally had the Inkwells on top of the printer, but I found it was putting out way too much ink – blobs of the stuff – and I figured gravity was playing a part.  Placing it down beside the printer saw the ink flow backwards, so I taped a few empty DVD cases together to get the right approximate height beside the printer and placed it there.

I have printed the equivalent of 20 full A4 colour pages at photo quality – quality is excellent and although the computer thinks the carts are now half full (or half empty), the evidence above shows just how much money I am going to save even in the short term.

If you are feeling the cost of Ink is too high (who doesn’t?) and if you can find a well reviewed CISS system for your printer, I would encourage you to give it a go.

PHP on

Since LinkedIn opened up its Groups system, there has been a huge growth in the number of groups related to PHP.  Some with charters, some without; some with a specific community background and others with a specific regional focus.  I am posting this to bring attention to some of them.

In order of popularity (member count) some general groups (non-regional) are:

Some of these are useful if you are looking for a job (the recruiters tend to play nice and stay on-topic), others ban job posts and stick to discussions.
There are literally hundreds of groups related to PHP in some shape or fashion – pure PHP, LAMP, PHP&Mysql, Frameworks, and many regional *PUG type groups.

Migrated to MovableType

Well after a few days of poking and prodding and working my way around Ubuntu Hardy Heron bug compiling Image::Magick (tip: it is a bug in the supplied gcc-4.2.3 – you can get gcc 4.3 in gcc-snapshot apt package), I finally have a working MT install.

Next up was writing a PunBB article and comment exporter to create a MTimport format file that I could load into MT to pre-populate the blog. Couple of trial runs later and here we are.

Let’s see if I can manage to post a little more frequently.

For those syndicating the old blog, rewrite rules should mean you have nothing to change but please let me know if anything is awry. 
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