Category: Technology

Refilling Ink Cartridges

The new cartridge is much smaller now this changes things a lot with regard to refilling. The problem is that the entire sponge must be filled with ink in order to hold the recommended amount of ink. This is hard to achieve for the amateur because of air in the sponge.

The professional filler fills the cartridge under a high vacuum this removes the air and then the ink is injected. Only after the sponge is filled completely is air let back into the cartridge. This works very well and if the empty is a good one it almost always results in a working cartridge. Now we are talking about the small cartridges produced in the last 2 or 3 years. That is like the small the HP 56 and 57and The Lexmark 16 and 26.

So what can you do to increase your chances of success? First thing is don’t try to fill the cartridge to it’s full capacity. For instance the HP 56 originally had 19 ML so only put in 8 to 10 ML of ink. Trying to fill it full will only result in leaking and other problems.

Because of the air problem I recommend that you insert the needle as far as possible and angle it toward the print head. Another thing that can help is to use a gravity feed. Remove the plunger from the syringe and put in the correct amount of ink. Let the ink slowly enter the cartridge by gravity.

Don’t try and fill a cartridge that been sitting around for weeks or months. Even the professional have problems with these. Fill the cartridge at the first sign that it’s going dry.

After filling your cartridge you may find that it won’t work at all. When you touch it against a paper towel nothing at all comes out. There’s a channel between the print head and the compartment that has the sponge. If this channel gets empty it can take some effort to get it filled with ink. You can buy a cartridge primer to solve this problem. These clip onto the cartridge and the syringe hooks to it. You pull out on the plunger of the syringe and this sucks ink into the empty void I was talking about. You can find these by doing a search on Google or another search engine.

The other way of forcing ink into the cartridges uses centrifugal force. Don’t do this where ink can get on anything! How the cartridge at about shoulder height and bring the cartridge rapidly down to about your knee. Stop abruptly and the ink tries to keep going forcing it up into the print head. You may have to do this several times before your successful. Keep checking by touching the print head against a paper towel. Ink should come out freely. Buying a primer is by far the best method.

The other reason the cartridge won’t print at all is that it is dripping ink. A dripping cartridge won’t print right and in most cases it won’t print at all. If you have over filled then you can suck some of the ink out. Or you may let it set for 2 or 3 hours a will usually do the trick.

Remember we are talking about cartridges that aren’t dried out. If your cartridge are dried out I would recommend buying new or refilled cartridges, as you will probably have a lot of problems. Also we are talking about Hp And Lexmark cartridges. For the others I recommend buying new compatibles, as it’s cheaper in the long run than refilling.

Flash Drives

So where should you buy a Flash Drive? What should you use it for? What size Flash Drive should you buy? What precautions should you take in using a Flash Drive? These topics and more are covered in this article.

Flash Drives can be used to back up files created on nearly any computer that has a USB port. This is especially useful if you are using a program such as Microsoft Word at a public library or a university. Flash Drives are also useful for ordinary tasks such as copying files between two computers in your home, or your computer and a friend’s computer. While you can also accomplish these tasks using CD or CD rewrite media, flash is often more convenient and easier to use.

Flash Drives can also hold large amounts of mp3 or picture files. For example, a 1 GB Flash Drive can hold 16 hours of MP3 music or more than 1000 digital photographs (depending on the resolution of the photographs).

You can get a great deal on a flash drive by watching the sale flyers of national computer discount stores such as Staples, Best Buy, CompUSA, Office Max, and others. Most Sunday newspapers contain advertisements for these stores, or you can go to store Websites, and click on the “Weekly Flyer” link. You will see devices with capacities ranging from 256 MB to 2 GB.

256 MB means 256 megabytes and it is about the smallest capacity flash drive sold. 2 GB means 2 gigabytes and this is one of the largest capacity flash drives sold — although larger sizes will be available soon.

Which size flash drive you buy depends on your budget and how you plan to use it. If you want to store lots of picture files, mp3 files, and other media files, then you may want to think about getting the largest drive available.

If your budget is limited, and all you want to do is exchange a few files between computers or back up a few word processing files, 256 or 512 MB should be more than sufficient.

Flash Drives are part of a category of computer peripherals called “USB Devices”. USB stands for “Universal Serial Device”. Nearly all PCs sold in the last 5 years have USB ports. Most computers have four or more USB ports. If you don’t know where the USB ports are on your computer, look in the manual, or any computer-savvy person can point them out to you. They are often found on the back of a computer or in front, sometimes behind a little sliding or popup cover – the ports are little rectangles, approximately ¼ x ½ inch. Public Computers often have a cable with a USB Jack, laying next to the computer.

Flash Drives, like all USB devices, may be plugged in “hot”. This means, than can be plugged into and unplugged from the computer while it is running. But be cautious. It is possible to lose data or damage your file system, if you plug or unplug your Flash Drive when the computer is engaged in certain activities. Luckily, there is a way to be totally safe.

To safely disconnect a Flash Drive, follow these steps:

  • In the System Tray (lower right corner area of your screen), right click on the Safely Remove Hardware icon and select “Safely Remove Hardware”.
  • A Safely Remove Hardware window will pop up. If you have only one storage device connected you can simply select it and click the “Stop” button. If you have more than one storage device, you may need to double click on the individual devices to figure out which one you want to remove, and then hit the “OK” button.
  • If the system tells you that it is OK to remove the Flash Drive, do so, and you are done.
  • If the system says the device cannot be stopped, close out any programs that are using the USB Drive, then try again.
  • If you can’t get rid of the device busy message, then save your work and shut down the computer. It is then safe to remove the drive.

You should also be aware that Flash Drives are as vulnerable to virus attack as any other storage device. In fact, a Flash Drive can be particularly vulnerable to virus attacks because it may be plugged into multiple computers. Exercise caution in regard to which computers you plug in your drive. On a positive note, many commercial virus protection packages (Mcafee and Norton for example) can protect and disinfect Flash Drives.

Cheap Laptop Batteries

There are many types of batteries that include nickel-cadmium batteries, Lithium ion batteries and nickel hydride. The price of these batteries depends on the material that is used for manufacturing them. A nickel cadmium battery is the cheapest among all the three types of batteries mentioned above.

The price of a nickel cadmium battery can range from $50 to$100 whereas a nickel hydride battery is slightly costlier compared to cadmium batteries. The price of a nickel hydride battery can range from $80 to $150. A lithium polymer battery is more expensive compared to the other two types of batteries that are mentioned above.

Another invention that is revolutionizing laptop batteries are the new external batteries that offer a run-time of about seven hours (also depends on the programs being used on the laptop) at about half the price. Many vendors on the Internet offer batteries at low cost if bought in bulk. Some companies offer discount on batteries if the same company manufactures the laptop.

Alkaline batteries are the cheapest among batteries, but incur the highest cost per cycle. Other cheap batteries include lithium ion polymer and lithium ion batteries. Cheap batteries are also available in the Chinese market and can be shipped to the US by booking them on the Internet.

The life of a battery can be increased by about fifty percent thus decreasing the price of the same. Many precautionary steps can be taken in order to increase the life of a battery such as – fully discharging the battery and recharging them again at least once a month, keeping the batteries cool and dry, and making sure that the batteries are not overcharged.

Surplus Computer Parts

Pick up any local classified, and you will find that there are literally hundreds of ads claiming to give you the best deals on surplus computer parts. When buying surplus computer parts, always be careful and buy it from a reputed dealer. This way, the chances of a part going bad or not working at all is minimized.

When buying any used part, look out for minor damages that are not visible at first. For instance, if you are in the market for a used laptop screen, look in the corners for any chipped plastic around the LCD screen. Such attention to detail is necessary to avoid future hassles. What this means is that virtually any component that you want to buy should be checked thoroughly. Wires are a good example. An overheated wire, for example, could be potentially dangerous to use. Same is the case with a melted cord or power box.

Any accessory that you need to purchase should be cross checked before you make your ultimate purchase decision. For instance, batteries may have been working for a long period of time, and it is always better to check the batteries for leaks or other kinds of damage. Hard disk drives available in the surplus markets are important accessories that are prone to disaster if not checked properly, as are the ports and other connecting devices involved in a computer. One can get extensive information on both buying and choosing surplus computer parts through a simple search on the Internet.

Computer Overheating

If you have an unused fan port of any size, from 40mm to 120mm, you can install a fan. This is easy to do. They’re mounted with just 4 screws, and can be attached by a standard Molex plug by means of a 3 to 4 pin adapter. The adapter will almost always be included with the fan. Perhaps the best thing of all about these fans is their price. They cost about $5 for an 80mm, and around $10 for a 120mm.

If you don’t have a fan port, and don’t want to go to the trouble of case modification to make one, there is still a fan you can use. It’s a turbine fan, that mounts in a PCI slot. They’re thin, only the width of a slot, and somewhat disk shaped. Despite their small size, they can pull more air out of a PC than a regular 80mm fan. They can be attached to a Molex plug, and cost about $10.

Another way to attack the problem of airflow is to remove obstructions in the case. One place to start is with the IDE cables. Often called “ribbon cables” these connect your hard drive and CD/DVD to the motherboard. They can also block air to these components, allowing heat to pool. Ribbon cables can now be replaced with rounded ATA cables, which take up less space, allow air to circulate, and are much less susceptible to damage. They cost $5 each.

Decide On A Printer

Usually the big deciding factor on what kind of printer you are going to end up with is the price. Good inkjet printers can be had for one hundred dollars especially if you are not interested in printing in color. If you are intending to print photographs however then you have to start looking for a high quality bubble inkjet printer in the two hundred to three hundred dollar ranges. If you want to find an all in one printer that can do it all or a high quality laser printer then you can expect to pay three hundred dollars or more for the unit.

The absolute cheapest option for what you get are the inkjet printers and you can get one for fewer than fifty bucks by shopping on the Internet. These cheaper printers are slower and only print about ten pages a minute and have a reasonably high resolution of 1200 dpi resolution (dpi means drops per inch.)

The best inkjet printers that have the best value when it comes replacing the cartridges will be the ones that come with two cartridges – one unit for color and another for black and white. If there is only one cartridge you almost always end up using up all of the black ink and throwing out a lot of perfectly usable color ink. Color ink is considerably more expensive than black, so using a combination of colors rather than black ink to print out documents will also add to the cost of the use of your printer. Keep in mind too that the cheaper; the printer is the more ink it will probably eat up as it processes tasks.

If you are willing to spend more than a hundred dollars on a printer your options open up considerably. Printers are available at higher printing speeds and are able to print on different types of appear such as envelopes or business card stationery.

Sometimes if you are a savvy shopper, especially on the Internet you can find black and white laser printers for about a hundred dollars. These are best for people who print in bulk and don’t need to print out in color.

If you are willing to spend between $200 and $400 on a printer then you can get a very high quality inkjet printer that will print excellent quality graphics and photographs at a very fast speed. This price will also buy you a low-end color laser printer. A good quality one will print out between ten and twenty-five pages a minute. Any less pages printed out per minute and the laser printer is not a bargain for the price!

Video Conversion

DVD players are taking the place of VHS players. The old video machine we are familiar with is becoming redundant in the face of the DVD player. This means that DVD’s are generally replacing videos. Certainly, there are a number of beneficial factors for DVD’s over VHS tapes. To name a few, these include longevity, hardiness, storability and picture quality. This means that Video tapes do not last as long as the DVD disk, they are more durable when compared with video tapes, they are smaller and easier to store, and finally, the quality of your DVD picture can be better than that of the VHS tape.

Thanks to modern technology, your old video tape can be digitally re-mastered, and edited to improve the end result and viewing appreciation. This means that the overall effect, and the degree to which you enjoy your movie, can be improved when converting your old VHS video to DVD. So, if you think video conversion would be beneficial to you, consider the following as your options.

You can choose to make the conversion yourself, by using bought software or hardware, all available from your computer shop. In these cases you should conduct research to ensure that you get the correct converting equipment to give you a good result. This can be the more complicated, and sometimes, if you cant get good advice, the more costly route to take. The other option for your video conversion is to use a reputable video conversion company.

A few companies specialize in video conversion to DVD. These companies offer the expert, professional video conversion services to provide you with an impressive and often improved end result. These professionals also offer a number of different services, all related to video conversion. These include video archiving, all format conversions, corporate DVD authoring, video to flash, video for web and High Definition Digital Video.

Therefore, these professionals offer services and provide the necessary skills that digitally re-master any video recording that you may want to preserve. They will convert your movies to any format you may require. Why not take the easy route for video conversion to DVD, by using a company that can improve your videos and offer you convenient services to keep your memories for longer.

Choose Suitable Wireless Router

Check What Wireless Standard you Need

There are many wireless routers supporting different wireless standard, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n (draft n), so which standard should you use?

The most popular and mature standard is 802.11g but the latest is 802.11n (draft n), however I would advise to choose the one with 802.11g standard if possible.

802.11g can support bandwidth up to 55Mbps in the 2.4GHz band. It’s compatible with 802.11b products because they both use the same radio frequency. That means 802.11g wireless router will be able to talk to 80.11b wireless adapter. The only problem of 802.11b/g is its interference with other electronic devices that utilize same 2.4GHz radio frequency and this will affect the wireless signal strength.

Then how about 802.11b? Since 802.11g is backward compatible with 802.11g, so I don’t recommend you to use 802.11b product. 802.11a wireless router is not so popular and normally used by business users, so you can forget about it.

As for the router with 802.11n (draft n) standard, it’s still new and the standard is yet to be finalized by IEEE. The expected speed is 10 times faster than 802.11g and the coverage is much wider. If you plan to buy it, be prepare to pay more as the price is expensive.

Compatibility with Other Wireless Devices

Think about the compatibility with wireless adapter, access point or other wireless devices when you choose the router. That’s no point you bought an 802.11g wireless router when other wireless devices are 802.11b aware only.

Always take into accounts of how do you plan to deploy the wireless network, what wireless devices you have and what others you plan to buy when choosing the wireless router.

Wireless Encryption Support

You must always enable encryption on your wireless router, so choose the router with at least WAP encryption. The best you can choose is the one with WPA2 encryption support. Having encryption in your wireless network would allow authorized users with correct encryption key to join the network. It would also avoid your network bandwidth from stealing by neighbor or strangers.

Don’t use WEP encryption on your router if you have better choices, this type of encryption is easily to be hacked by using hacking tool that freely available on Internet.

Other Security Features on Wireless Router

Look for the router that provides firewall feature! This will add an additional layer of protection to your network. If you manage to get the one with stateful inspection support, that would be the best. Stateful inspection firewall will inspect every state of the connections providing better capabilities to drop the malicious traffic.

Check also about the URL, IP and MAC address filtering features. These mentioned security features should be common nowadays, but just check about it to make sure the features are there.

Buy a Flat Panel Monitor

Arguably the best thing about the flat panel monitors is that they save over a square foot of room on your desk. Old school monitors are big, bulky and outdated. Most people are looking forward and changing over their offices to flat panel monitors. If you are looking for a new alternative for the large, bulky monitor you have in your home, a flat screen is the perfect solution. Many models are able to covert to a televison screen simply by pressing a button! This way you can have a high def experience while sending emails or watching your favorite show!
Another great feature about the flat screens are the USB ports. Say goodbye to the old days of having to move your big bulky computer around to plug in your digital cable. Today’s flat screen monitors have USB ports right on them so it’s easy to plug and play.

Flat panels are quickly becoming more known for their clear picture. The flat panels are brighter which makes graphics and text easier to see. Although the flat panels are generally crisper, some come with the option of digital or analog. Most have capabilities for both, but digital is sharper and has the better image. The digital flat panels usually run a little bit higher in cost, but any digital user will tell you, they’re worth every penny.

Although the flat panels may be a little more pricy up front, they are actually quite practical in the long run. Since the flat panels are smaller are more efficient, to run, they will save you money in energy costs.

They’re not cheap (though they save in energy costs).

While they’ve come down in price, there’s still no getting around it: You’ll pay a bit more for flat panels (although the gap in prices from CRT monitors has narrowed). That’s because they’re more difficult to manufacture.

Bar Code Label Printers

Bar code label printers are generally the most common dot matrix, laser, and ink jet and thermal printers. Dot matrix printers are one of the oldest printers used for printing bar codes. In these printers, the lines are built dot-by-dot as a solenoid-driven needle strikes an ink ribbon, transferring the ink to the paper. These printers are inexpensive, can print any form and are easily accessible. However, the quality dot matrix printer is unacceptable today. Ink jet printers are one of the most commonly used printers, especially for high-speed applications. They can also be used to print directly onto a carton where a label has already been affixed.

However, they are suitable for only high-speed printing and may not be very cost-effective for small-scale bar code printing operations. Ink jet clogging, limited barcode resolution, “bleeding” ink, and poor contrasts are some of the disadvantages. Laser printers are quite good as far as the quality of the print is concerned. They have very good resolutions and can scan quite well. However, they cannot effectively print smaller labels. The adhesive on the labels has to be good enough to take the heat and pressure from the printer as most label adhesive tend to melt. Thermal printers for bar coding are of two types: direct printing and thermal transfer.

Bar code printers have to be analyzed on the basis of: quality of the print, readability, initial installation cost, speed, long-term maintenance cost, materials waste. Each of these printers has different results. Thermal label printers score well on all aspects except for material waste. They are most suitable for applications that have variable data fields, point-of application systems, varying label sizes, graphical and scalable text fonts, and high-definition bar codes. They are also compact, quiet, and have lower operating costs.

Today, there are special bar code label printers available with various options like different print modes, label cutter, liner take-up, peel, rewind, tear, real-time clock (for printing time and expiration dates); alerts for maintenance; portability, compatibility with parallel; serial, USB, wired or wireless Ethernet, twinax or coax cables; memory for storing frequently used data; font options like styles and colors; multi-lingual options; sensors and many more. These printers are also compatible with different sizes and materials of labels, including water-resistant, fabric or acrylic.