/* ----------------------------------------------- Blogger Template Style Name: Minima Black Designer: Douglas Bowman URL: www.stopdesign.com Date: 26 Feb 2004 ----------------------------------------------- */ CompuDave: August 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Preinstalled Software

Consumer grade computer often come so loaded with unneeded and use trial software it has developed it's own moniker - crapware. One of the reasons I steer people towards business class machine is they have far less preinstalls; with the exception of trial versions of MS office. But why would you buy that when you can get Open Office for free?

All aside this article explains that some manufacturers are rethinking the whole concept. They should.

PC BOX BUILDERS are thinking of getting rid of the tradition of stuffing your new PC or laptop with trial software that you don’t really want anyway.

The reason is that some retailers, such as Best Buy, are making a small fortune removing the software and charging punters for the privilege.

According to the New York Times software companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars to PC makers like Hewlett-Packard to install their photo tools, financial programs, virus killers and other products, usually with some tie-in to a paid service or upgrade.

PC makers have come to lean on this cash as profit margins become thinner than a French catwalk model who has skipped eating for a month, fainted and fallen under a steam roller.

Circuit City and other US chains also report that users are miffed at the amount digital infomercials which are being packed onto the PC.

Always the end user advocate, my advice still stands. Look for business models to buy. You'll probably have to go on-line to do so.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Ink & Toner Ripoff

Well really, does this come as a surprise?


I bought a cheap laser printer a couple years ago, and for a while, it worked perfectly. The printer, a Brother HL-2040, was fast, quiet, and produced sheet after sheet of top-quality prints—until one day last year, when it suddenly stopped working. I consulted the user manual and discovered that the printer thought its toner cartridge was empty. It refused to print a thing until I replaced the cartridge. But I'm a toner miser: For as long as I've been using laser printers, it's been my policy to switch to a new cartridge at the last possible moment, when my printouts get as faint as archival copies of the Declaration of Independence. But my printer's pages hadn't been fading at all. Did it really need new toner—or was my printer lying to me?
OppressedPrinterUser found that covering the sensor with a small piece of dark electrical tape tricked the printer into thinking he'd installed a new cartridge. I followed his instructions, and my printer began to work. At least eight months have passed. I've printed hundreds of pages since, and the text still hasn't begun to fade. On FixYourOwnPrinter.com, many Brother owners have written in to thank OppressedPrinterUser for his hack. One guy says that after covering the sensor, he printed 1,800 more pages before his toner finally ran out.


Labels: , , ,