Monthly Archives: May 2009

Theft by technology.

For years now my printer of choice has always been a laser printer.  I like the faster speed, more quiet printing and the quality of the output.   The drawback of any printer is that it needs to use ink or toner.  Companies know that you need it, and they also know that they can make a cartrage that works perfect stop working by design.  Designing a way to make something stop working is one of my most hated things in the world.

HP is by far the worst offender at this.  They design their printers to count the pages, and then stop working when they reach a specific number and force you to buy more ink, even if your cartage works perfect they make it stop working by putting a chip on it that tells the printer that is has printed enough pages, even if it is still half full.  This makes is almost impossible to refill or even recycle the cartridges, they simply need a new chip that can only be had from HP.  Lexmark recently sued a company that made chips that worked with their printers.    In Europe these chips are ILLEGAL, because it blocks recycling.

For this reason I have avoided all HP printers for many years.  So I have this trusty brother printer.  It was a really good deal and prints fast and with high quality, but today it stopped working.  It flashed the toner light, and said toner low.  I was just finished with a print job and it worked perfect, nice and perfect then all of a sudden it stopped.  I had to print something really important so I kept turning off and on the printer, I even took out the toner a few times and it would power up and do a test then say flash the toner light.  After I while I decided to search the web and after a ton of research I found that other people were able to fix this.

How brother steals your money

It is so simple.  Look at the photo, in the center there is a hole, the printer shines a light into this hole, it bounces off of a mirror on the other side and then a detector will tell you the toner is bad if it sees light.  But as you can tell the whole is rather high up.  So you could have toner for 100’s more pages left in there.  So I simply took a black sticker, folded it up and blocked the whole, and guess what, my printer prints perfect now!

I know that they are out there to make a buck, they don’t make money on the printer, but they sell the toner cartridges for WAY too much money to compensate.  They design them to fail and this makes them last much less.   This makes the cartridge cost more, due to the added complexity of the mirror and lens.  It makes the printer cost more to make.  It even makes them put more in the landfills.  But it lets them sell many more cartridges.  At least brother is easier to fool than HP.

If you are reading this because you have the same problem I know this will help.  I would ask that you let me know that this helped you by posting a reply, it is easy and free.

Share this Post