28th of June, 2006
I have recently been wondering what to spend this pending £4104.55 Income Tax refund on, where my first purchase just has to be to open my desired Euro bank account in Germany. After all my local Citibank branch once mentioned that they could negotiate with Citibank in Germany to open me a bank account with them provided that I pay the €2500 opening sum.
I have lacked the desire to do this so far, when this €2500 (about £1725) would need to be kept in this account to avoid additional charges, which means money that I cannot use. However, since the lesser German banks are not much interested in remote customers, where Citibank Germany comes highly recommended anyway, then this sizable pending tax refund makes taking up this Citibank UK offer look much more attractive.
So as soon as they complete this tax refund then I can shift the required sum into my Citibank UK account and then to tell them to open me an account with Citibank in Germany.
This new German based Euro account will be very useful when it is the last step to get on-line Euro currency payments fully operational. You may recall that I once owned a Euro bank account here in the UK, but I eventually closed this account when it could not be linked to any on-line payment service, which is the most popular payment method with my customers. Not to forget that banks quickly phased out Euro cheques due to EU regulations, where Euro cash I can just spend on my visits to France.
So with this Euro bank account in Germany I can at last link it to my PayPal account. Even if this is more correctly to my fake PayPal account using my real name on a borrowed address in Germany. Well my normal PayPal account has no option to add a Euro account to it, where opening a PayPal account for a German customer gives me this option to link to my pending Euro bank account in Germany.
And interestingly enough my fake PayPal account gets verified once I have linked it to my German Euro bank account, which means that my fake PayPal account becomes unlimited. So I can then shift all my Euro funding in my normal PayPal account to my fake PayPal account and then to debit it to my real Euro bank account in Germany.
The key point of this is that this movement of Euro funding within PayPal is charge free, which saves me PayPal's 2.5% currency conversion fee should I debit these funds to my Sterling bank account instead.
Also once I have this Euro bank account then I can have my Euro funded customers to pay payments directly into it, which is already a popular payment method with my Sterling funded customers. And thanks to another EU regulation then banks are required to complete such Euro transfers within the few allowed days.
So with my IBAN number for this account then customers can make quick and easy payments to this Euro bank account.
I will certainly get Citibank's gold debit card for this account, when this would be the main method to pay my own Euro based suppliers. And this would be a good payment option during my travels. I do currency have 230 EUR in cash on me, where I may just post this off to Germany, but we will have to see about that.
Anyway, since I have been trying to get a real Euro bank account, within a Euro country, for a while now, then spending this €2500 will allow me to at last get all my on-line payments services to be able to handle the Euro as I would have hoped. Another EU regulation says that Euro support should be provided to European countries that do not use the Euro yet, but on-line payment services simply refuse to debit Euros to the UK.
I will eventually have to sort out my US Dollar bank account as well, when Citibank internal routing through three bank accounts made normal wire transfers difficult and on-line use impossible. I expect that Citibank UK can negotiate with Citibank in New York on my behalf as well, but I have yet to see what this one involves.
In any case it will nice to own a real currency Euro bank account, which is something that does not exist in the UK. I found that out the hard way, even if my former Euro account did have some use.
HM R&C received my request to refund me this sum yesterday, where I compacted three of those required letters into the one letter with mention that this person needs to be reminded to do this or that. So I could have this refund with me by the end of this week, but seeing that this is the tax service then I would be lucky to even see this refund during July.
The other thing I should mention is that my growth record is now up to 2317% due to more received orders. So this is 2371% gross income growth compared to October 2005 and 937% growth compared to January this year. As I mentioned before this is new record growth, which highlights how well my recovery is now going.
There is still room for more sales this month, but these customers would have to be quick seeing that there are just two days of June remaining now.
The only other thing that I can currently think of is that last week I had another power cut here. This one must have been a planned cut when the power went off at midnight and resumed at exactly 2am. I was at least pleased to see that my UPS powered my server fine during these two hours, which is hardly surprising seeing that I put a new battery in it not many months ago.
I was fortunate that this power cut was not any longer than two hours when the power in my UPS was running low at 2am. I was thinking about shutting down the server at this point, but lucky enough the power was restored.
These UPS batteries don't like such deep power drains, when this damages the battery, but it was fortunate that this was still a new battery that had yet to achieve full charge. So this power cut was in fact useful to bring this battery up to its fully charged state, when this UPS should be able to power my server for about 3 to 3.5 hours on full charge.
The annoying thing about power cuts is that long ago when I first set up this UPS I decided to power the cable modem so that my Net connection would still work during a power cut. This would have been a good idea had not my ISP powered down their entire cable network system during a blackout. I would have a desire to switch to ADSL, when the phone system at least works during a power cut, but then cable is the better option.
In any case I either have to tell my ISP to get their own independent power generation or to remove my cable modem from the UPS, when it is pointless powering it when all it did during these two hours was to try and make a connection. At least my wireless NIC is still powered and the wired network switch.
I should really get an UPS for this workstation as well, but I should switch to an LCD monitor first to reduce the power drain. The main desire for an UPS here is that power faults keep breaking my computer hardware. One expensive graphics card has already been killed due to power fluctuations, where a more recent power fluctuation knocked out my AGP port for a while. Fortunately my computer has now fully recovered from that fault, but it goes to highlight that the next power cut could kill more expensive hardware.
I will get one of these anti-surge power adapters first, where I already use one of these to protect my satellite reception hardware, but an UPS is the ideal solution to avoid unexpected power cuts, even if I just get a small one to just allow me enough time to manually power down and to save any work in progress.
A big one is also nice to be able to work during a power cut, but then my ISP powering down stops my on-line work, like with finding out information or uploading or downloading files.
Anyway, since there is not much else to say, then I will now go and pay my national insurance contributions. Then I will take a look around to see if I can find the ideal US to UK step-down voltage converter.
24th of June, 2006
Today I have restored one of my business functions that I last used back in November 2001, which of course was when FACT borrowed my stuff and they caused a great deal of mess in the process. This business function happens to be my address label printing, which was a feature added back in 2001 to speed up the order dispatch process. One of my many steps taken at this time to move business from being small supplier to a much larger supplier.
This address label printing feature was not restored during this seven months without my stuff, when during this time I had far more important matters to deal with. Then it was not restored later on when there were not enough daily orders to make it worthwhile. Also for some reason this exact document was one that was lost when I came to merge my returned items back into my business during June and July 2002.
Since this address label printing needed to be restored at some point then today I did just that. This was mostly due to my discovery of one of my old printed address label pages that I had made back in 2001. As I got thinking that it would be a nice idea to get this back into action, where I soon dug out the box of 2100 such address labels.
I can say that building the correct template takes some time to do, when if you measure all the dimensions of your address label page and make use of these figures, then your address labels just won't print right. So what I do is to adjust these default values by printing out on a standard sheet of A4 paper and then holding both pages up to the light to see how the printed addresses align to the address labels, with following adjustments and retesting.
I spent some time getting the values precise when this allows for more text to be printed on each label, where some of my customer's long addresses will certainly require it. I have managed to squeeze in eight address lines per label, with only a small border on the left of each address label.
Now this is still not a feature useful for my current business levels, but it will certainly be useful once my business get restored back up to 2001 levels, which should be only one to two years away now. So today I just printed out some address labels for family and one page for my main wholesaler.
One thing I am also pleased to say is that this month is now my best business month since September 2004, which can also be used to highlight how I am now quickly recovering now that my business is once again fully functional. I am also hoping that further sales this month can push it back to July 2004 or even February or March 2004, but that we will have to see.
The best news is that I have now achieved what I said I would do back near the start of this year, when as of today I have achieved a record breaking 2216% sales growth since October last year. So my best ever business growth and I achieved this four months before my usual 12 month count.
This is of course just the start of my major business recovery to back where I used to be back in 2001 before FACT destroyed 88.64% of my business over those seven months. The best is yet to come in other words when it won't be many months now before I have my commercial advertising back in action. That is sure to provide at least a 300% further sales increase.
I am in fact rather happy at this time. This is not just because of my business recovery, but that everything currently seems to be working out well from me. Like I got a better colour LED lazer printer than the one I had paid for, I have achieved the first of many following victories against the tax people, then my current finances are doing great.
Also it feels like I am now mopping up the last of the chaos caused by this false raid in 2001, when I have spent the last few weeks working through many piles of paperwork. The thing about being far too occupied with other aspects of my business recovery is that paperwork can build up instead of being correctly filed away.
To give you an idea of the paperwork I have recently sorted through, then the (smaller) wastage alone was put through the cross cut shredder and I filled up an entire black bin bag with it. There is still more of that to come, but some rabbits at a local pet store will now benefit from some new shredded bedding.
So my paper wastage will get pooped on by rabbits. It is a good job that I mixed in some junk mail then, even if all the magazines I receive get recycled on their own by the local council.
This paper sorting is how I found that page of address labels today, which explained my short break. In any case all the horde of official documents are now being correctly filed away, even if I really need more boxfiles. I will have this job complete once my building of my Citibank GBP account details are also complete, where currently my missing bank statements currently number five.
I still have two more piles of paperwork to sort through at least, like the 26cm tall pile behind me, where I should find all the missing documentation soon enough. It is also interesting to find items that I forget that I had, when a lot of this stuff built up during 2002 and 2003 during my accounts repair. I may even get lucky and find the missing scissors and red stapler, but as I am not fingers crossed on that one, then that explains why I will soon buy two more pairs of scissors and another stapler.
In any case more orders received this month would be welcome to set an even higher expansion record. This after all can count as evidence when I soon come to sue FACT.
23rd of June, 2006
I can now say that my colour LED laser printer has now arrived, even if this took longer than expected. Apparently this delivery company only wanted to bring it here when they could confirm that someone would be here to receive it.
Also I had quite a surprise when installing this new printer when they sent me the wrong model. What I mean is that I ordered the OKI C3200 model and they sent me the OKI C3200n model. Since the C3200n is a better model, even if I doubted that it was worth the extra cost, then I cannot complain when my own supplier charged me for the lesser C3200 model.
There are a few differences between the C3200 and C3200n models. The biggest change is that this model is a network printer in that it comes with a network card built in. I did not see the need for a network printer, when the 1GB of RAM in my server is plenty enough to buffer print outs, which would save me the extra cost of upgrading this printer's 32MB of RAM to the ideal size of 288MB.
Still, since they have sent me the C3200n model, then buying an extra 256MB DIMM is not that expensive. Then this printer can handle printouts without having to bother the server.
This printer model mistake took me some time to realise when I was thinking that it was the C3200 model for a long time, but then more and more aspects appeared not quite right.
The first thing that I overlooked was that the box it came in clearly says OKI C3200n on the side. This I only noticed when I went back to check later on. The second aspect was that the delivery note also said C3200n, but I presume that I was more interested in the address that it was shipped from, when this was not the same as my printer supplier.
That I also presume is where this mistake happened. I paid for the C3200 model and between this printer supplier and this wholesaler someone mixed up the C3200 and C3200n models. Still, I cannot complain when I have saved the extra 83.04 GBP (or 97.57 GBP including VAT) cost for this model upgrade.
The first aspect that struck me as odd is when I noticed the front LCD display. From my information only the C3200n model had this LCD menu display, but since in the front left top corner was a label saying "C3200", then I just presumed that the information I had read about the C3200 was wrong.
So I then went on to install this printer from the combined C3200/C3200n installation manual. It is now sitting on my server desk, next to the server's monitor, where my flatbed scanner has for now been moved out of the way. I decided that the desk was the best location for this new printer, when the top of this printer is fairly flat, which means that I can build a stand for my scanner to sit above the top of this printer.
The biggest clue I got was when the printer was all ready for action and I was plugging in the USB cable, when right above the USB port was another port with a plastic cover over it. And following my removal of this plastic cover then sure enough a network port could be seen.
I was thinking to begin with that this must be a dummy port, but this was very unusual when the C3200 model should not have any network port at all. And after considering both the LCD display and network port then I begin to question if they had indeed sent me the wrong model.
Checking out this printer's menu also provided further evidence, when this printer had a detailed network menu. Since one of my previous jobs was in writing embedded software for hardware devices like this one, then I well know that you just do not give users menu options that only apply to the other model. They would have the one main C3200/C3200n boolean switch and only display the options for the right model.
The last aspect that made this conclusive was when I unpacked the installation CD when right there on the front was the first noticed mention of C3200n alone. So I then went back and checked the box and delivery note and noticed what I had overlooked in my rush to unpack this new printer beforehand.
In any case I just installed the printer driver and began to give it a test. I also noticed that one of these software applications reported "Unknown Operating System" and refused to run. So another program that does not know that Windows 2003 Server software does really exist. Three years later and no direct support yet? Never mind I just had it run in Windows XP compatibility mode.
Well I can say that the printouts are excellent. It is in fact somewhat difficult to locate pictures that have a high enough resolution to do this printer justice, when this printer works at 1200x600 dpi, where real picture size translates to about four times that size at around 4800x2400 resolution.
The only small problem is that this is a photo printer and everything comes out glossy. This is fine when dealing with photos, but the test of my sales flyer has an odd look. My normal 80gsm low cost laser paper I do not think is suitable though, when this paper is too floppy for photo printing, even if the printouts still look excellent on it.
I have also gave my 100gsm paper a try, but I think that about 160gsm would be ideal for photo printing. I would get some bright white 160gsm paper to about 160 CIE in brightness I guess, but I would also desire something better suited for advertising purposes, where I think that 100gsm or 120gsm paper is ideal.
This also reminds me that this printer can do banner printing using paper or card up to 120cm in length, even if obtaining such long paper can prove difficult. That is sure to use up a lot of to toner though, but this printer sure has a lot of toner seeing that a lot of the size is taken up by the four toner and drum units.
Anyway, I am now pleased to be able to do some photo quality colour printing. My old colour inkjet will certainly go in the bin very soon, when this older colour printing just cannot compare.
I won't tell my printer supplier that their wholesaler sent me the wrong model. I doubt that OKI would care much either, when I already mentioned how they are already giving away lots of expensive components at a discount price, where they may even think that this C3200n model can make them more from the extra add-ons.
I am not sure what I would do if they want it back. The one thing I do know is that they can come and shift it themselves if required, when it took quite some effort for one person to shift a printer up a flight of stairs that the manual recommends should be carried by two people.
I do also seem to recall a law that states that a person can keep an item that is posted to them even if they never ordered that item, but I am unsure if that was a US or English law. I follow this idea with my own customers though should my company ever by accident send someone something by mistake, like in the case of one person asking me why he received goods that he had never ordered.
Beyond getting a printer worth £251.04 for £168, even if my supplier this week increased the lesser model to £179, then I have also received my two other packages. This happens to be my five Canon BC-20 ink cartridges for my fax machine, even if I am soon to sell on three of them, and my Cerebro card restocking order.
I also received yesterday a restocking order for Matrix Reborn CAMs and some more FUN4 cards. The FUN4 cards were just to increase my stock level, but these Matrix Reborn CAMs have been out for a few days. These CAMs are currently selling very well, where you can take my word when I say that these are the best CAMs that I have ever used.
Not to forget that unlike other suppliers I supply these CAMs all ready to use. It took me a long time to strip out all those keys in order to make this firmware legal to supply, but it was worth the time to be able to supply this CAM to my customers in a usable state. I have also seen some lesser suppliers supply these CAMs with the full key included firmware, where they obviously do not realise that this is not legal and that there are organizations out there who would take legal action against them.
Anyway, my supply is certainly as legal as you can get and where you can easily upgrade to the latest fully functional firmware should you desire to do so. A great multi-system CAM anyway and where I am selling a lot of them at this time because this is both a great CAM and that I have a good low price.
The only other thing to mention is that I have had my first victory against these damned HM Revenue & Customs tax people relating to the older Inland Revenue part. Following FACT's false raid they have done nothing but to constantly and falsely attack my company, which is a matter that I am soon to sue them for. Anyway, I recently received a letter saying that the many thousands of pounds in daily penalties have now been reduced to zero, when they seriously over estimated my tax payments anyway, which also means that in this first climb down they now owe me a tax refund of £4104.55.
So that is the first of many payments that they will now pay me back one by one. They will soon also pay me another £3380 (or £4513) once they have deducted my 2002-2003 losses (recovery following FACT's false raid) from my 2000-2001 tax return. Then there is just the additional costs involved.
And so as long ago calculated the tax people will now pay me back somewhere around £10,000. Then of course I will soon sue them for an even larger sum, where I feel confident for a quick victory.
To give you an idea of my current tax debate then by Monday I will have to send the tax people all of three independent letters. I may even stretch this to four letters when they are being quite slow in the deduction of this 2000-2001 tax return. So all of four letters to different people in the same tax department.
Well soon I will have to build a stand for my scanner to go back on top of this printer. This should be easy enough, but I will have ensure that this scanner is kept flat to prevent scanned objects sliding about. There is no rush to do that when I can still scan fine if required.
16th of June, 2006
I am now expecting a few packages to turn up over the next few days.
The first of these is that I have been restocking on Cerebro cards over the last few days. These new cards are currently selling well, which is no doubt due to what the firmware available on the Net can do. In any case the next batch of these cards will be here tomorrow should you desire one.
This also reminds me that certain card types are starting to get discontinued in the card market. I will have to have a good look around to find out what is going on, but for now this seems to be the FUN2, Titanium2 and M2 cards. The most likely reason is that the price competition is now too extreme that both suppliers and wholesalers are stopping their support due to no profit being found here. The real problem crops up when manufacturers also drop support, like what happened with the ATMEGA card a couple of years ago.
I at least have enough stock to last a while, but the longer term view may not be good. In any case this is the natural path of price competition, when items only have a certain lifespan. Competition removes profit resulting in the manufacturer making a new model to restart competition from new.
The second package soon to arrive is for five Canon BC-20 ink cartridges for my fax machine. I had a look into refilling the cartridge for my fax machine once again, but it has now all dried up and is no longer usable. This five pack of BC-20 cartridges actually comes from an eBay auction. I don't really need five cartridges, but I like to buy in bulk, when neither do other people need five cartridges.
This explains why one other auction I was watching for just one BC-20 cartridge sold for £8.75 plus £1.75 for postage, where this auction had seven bids from four buyers. On my auction win I was the only person to actually place a bid, where I won this auction at the minimum set price of £10 plus £6 for postage.
So the single cartridge auction paid £10.50 per cartridge while I paid £3.20 per cartridge. This however is not the best bit, when I can now keep two of these cartridges and auction off the remaining three. So if each of these three cartridges sells for £8 each plus £2 postage, then that is a gross input of £30 for these three cartridges.
Deduct about £6 to cover actual postage and PayPal charges, then that is £24 net income. In other words I could well end up with £8 profit and two free cartridges. Had I desired to sell all five then that is about £40 gross profit, and £24 final profit, which goes to highlight that simply trading like this on eBay can exceed most peoples normal daily income.
You can start to imagine the profit to be made should someone do this full time. I do not care much about that myself, but I do like to buy items this way to both save cost and to prove that it can be done. I have been working on getting some free DVDs in past months, by buying them on eBay and then selling on Amazon. It is easy to spot price differences between these two markets, where you can also watch some DVDs before you sell them on. Use IMDB to only buy good movies though, when poor movies won't sell.
In any case that is one thing I like to do in my spare time by seeing how much "free stuff" I can get through simple eBay trading.
The third and final package that will soon arrive will be a rather large box for my OKI C3200 colour LED lazer printer. Since these requested print-outs did not arrive within a couple of days, then I decided to buy this model anyway.
I have also discovered a rather interesting fact, where this relates to this model having four toner cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black), four drum units (one for each toner cartridge), one transfer belt, and then one fuser unit. What this fact actually involves is that these same items cost £541.18 (or £634.89 including VAT) on their own when purchased from this same supplier.
Since this printer by default will come with all these items contained, then this really a £168 printer containing between £600 to £1000 worth of hardware. So this manufacturer is selling printers extra cheap to be able to make profit off of the consumerables.
This also provides another interesting idea, when it is in fact cheaper to buy a second whole printer than to replace just three or four of the components. Strip out all the above items and throw the second printer in the bin. Well you could also keep the printer to use as a spare itself, or to simply sell it on.
So this is an option I should keep in mind should anything beyond the toner need to be replaced. No doubt OKI will keep releasing new models to prevent people doing this, but even later models can use the same hardware.
In any case I am now looking forwards to seeing how well this colour LED lazer printer can actually print. Photo quality is the ideal, but I got this printer more for the operational costs, and that 12ppm colour will allow me to do some heavy business work. The colour printing results should be good though.
This is also a rather noisy printer putting out 52dB during operation. I think this one could scare my cat, but that remains to be seen.
13th of June, 2006
I have just spent the day looking into colour lazer printers. My first finding is that it is good to see how much the price has fallen since I last looked into colour lazer printers. As only a few years ago you could not find a model under £1000, where my last memory of the last time I looked into this subject was of a low cost model selling for £795.
It is therefore with some surprise that you can now buy a colour lazer printer for under £200, even though the best model cost slightly more. In any case I have been looking at the lowest cost models to see how they compare, where these are the Konica Minolta magicolor 2400W, Oki C3200, Samsung CLP-510 and Brother HL-2700CN.
The first one I got interested in was the Konica Minolta 2400W. This model can do 20ppm mono and 5ppm color, it can take 200 sheets of paper, and has 32mb of ram. The print quality is reported to be excellent, but there is a problem with refills not being easy or cheap. The 2400W uses a patented ink formula for one making for a higher cost cartridge replacement. The second problem is that these cartridges have a chip to make unofficial refills even more difficult, where even replacing the ink would cause the chip to say that the cartridge is still empty. So having to replace both ink and chip makes for an expensive replacement.
My other main choice was the Oki C3200. This model can do a better 20ppm mono and 12ppm colour, it can take 300 sheets of paper, and it also has 32mb of ram. My biggest dislike here is that this model is technically not a lazer printer, when it actually prints using LED technology. This also explains why colour printing is a lot faster when in a lazer printer the beam sweeps across one line at a time, while in a LED printer a whole line can be done at once. The other printing difference is that the C3200 does colour printing in just one pass while the previous 2400W needs four passes per sheet of paper.
The largest down side is that "I've got a colour lazer printer" sounds much better than "I've got a colour led printer". After thinking about this for some time then the easy option would be to just lie. Since it looks like a lazer printer on the outside, and the printer quality would be better than many more expensive colour lazer models, then no one would really know would they?
The other factor that concerned me was that one review said that LED printer quality falls slightly behind lazer print quality, but one user review I read said that he did a test print out on every lazer model in the store and picked the C3200 as being the best. And well Oki also use this same technology on their more expensive models. The conclusive aspect though is that refills are both easy and cheap, when the operating cost of a lazer printer can quickly eclipse the actual printer price.
The biggest factor of all is if it would fit in my server area, when these printers having to hold four cartridges won't be on the small size. So I can say that the 2400W has 430mm width, 395mm depth and 341mm height, while the C3200 has 400mm width, 528mm depth and 342mm height.
I was hoping to move the two boxes of paper out of the lower space on the server desk and to move either my existing mono lazer, or my new colour lazer, into this lower space. The width and depth of the 2400W fitted nicely, but the 341mm height was far too tall to fit in the 270mm available space. It is possible to remove the keyboard tray to get this extra space, but then that poses the problem of where the keyboard and mouse was to go?
In any case since I liked C3200 model more than this 528mm depth already told me that it just would not fit, when this model is even wider than the top of my server desk, where the lower shelves are even smaller than that. It is just about possible to fit it on the top of the server desk, with a 30mm overhang, but that would mean moving the scanner. This is one option to consider though, when although putting up a suitable shelf is not ideal, but maybe somewhere out there is a small stand with legs. Then the printer could just about fit on the server desk with the scanner just above that.
Moving either lazer printer up to the first lower wall shelf cannot be done when they are both much wider than this narrow shelf.
I do have one other placement option though. As I could move the few items out of the way that are currently on my boxes of used toner cartridges and to put the new lazer printer there. However, this 528mm depth of the C3200 is just too large for this available space, which did make me believe that I would have to go with the 2400W after all, but I soon solved this problem by simply having this printer stand sideways. After all this 528mm can fit across easily, while the new side depth of 400mm fits perfectly.
So the C3200 can fit by one of two methods, with the latter method being less disruptive to the scanner. There is also a third option, when an upgrade to the C3200n version has the added addition of being a network printer. This would allow me to install this new printer in the back room if desired, when my ex-No2 worker left his network cable going into there.
The C3200 model connects by a USB 2.0 connection. My server still has one of the three USB 2.0 ports on the front free, where there should also be two spare on the back. Since such printers come without a USB lead, then I can just make use of one of my USB leads from my stock. This also reminds me that I have not placed this USB2 item on my computer cables page yet, but I think that it is on the order forms already.
I have been looking into the other mentioned models as well, but they all seem to have their own issues. So the Oki C3200 is my current top choice, where I can get it for £168 including free next day delivery. Sure I will have to pay an extra £29.40 in VAT, but being a business purchase I can obtain this sum back. And as luck would have it July is the month when I next submit my VAT return meaning that I would get it back in about a month from now.
I have currently asked my supplier to provide me actual print outs from the mentioned two printers and an extra third model. It is always worth seeing what you are going to get of course. So as soon as those print outs arrive, and the transfer from PayPal to my business bank account soon completes, then I will be very tempted to get my new colour (almost) lazer printer.
It will be good being able to print in colour again. These mentioned two printers are actually photo quality printers and where they should provide a nice gloss. Much better than my old colour inkjet printer in other words, where I guess this fully functional older model will have to soon go in the bin. I could sell it on of course, but old inkjet printers are really not worth much.
This change could well have to make me turn my sales flyer back into colour. When I first made this flyer it was in colour, but of course FACT removed it from my ownership for 7 months. During this time I had to rebuild my sales flyer from scratch, but I neither had publisher nor the graphics available. My only option was to scan one of my mono print outs, when I did not have a colour version available, where some cut and paste soon had these graphical sections in the right places.
When I did get the original copy back 7 month later than like all my business data it was now obsolete and could not be used without going through a serious upgrade. I skipped that for this sales flyer and stuck to the improved mono version.
Time to soon move back to colour I guess when this seems like an ideal printer to do some graphical work. Each colour cartridge can do 3000 sheets at 5% coverage, but I should really get in some better paper quality. A mono print these days should cost about 1p for this sales flyer, where colour should be under 15p.
I will have to see how cost effective colour printing can be, when even 15p is a lot of money when you are talking about sales flyers and more by the thousands. So I will have to find out the best value cartridge refill options and then to find out the lowest cost paper that is suitable for this thick gloss coating. I already sense that my mono lazer paper would deform under this weight.
Once I upgrade my sales flyer to colour, which is easier said than done, then I will see what else I could make. I already have many forms that can benefit from colour printing, but I am sure that I can make even better.
The other thing I did today was to renew the hosting for my cardman.co.uk domain. Strangely enough I have heard nothing from this service provider about a pending renewal. That makes it fortunate that following past events like this one that I now keep a close eye on my renewal dates, even if this hosting renewal came two days late.
I will have to give this hosting provider a slap, when they should be sending out renewal notifications. Maybe they have been trying to send them to the wrong address, even if I have made it fully clear to everyone what the new primary e-mail addresses are.
In any case I am in the mood to soon spend £168 to restore my colour printing ability. That will make for my first colour print ever since I came to the conclusion that the driver for my inkjet printer was faulty. I am unlikely to use this printer for mono printing much though, even if it can do 4ppm faster than my existing Brother mono lazer printer, when the toner for this mono lazer now costing 0.3p a page is considerably low.
One other thing I have been doing recently is to sort out all my paperwork. Bank statements, tax forms, general letters and the like, when these items tend to pile up before I get around to sorting them out. The only other main item is that my local government has recently sent me another tax form to fill in. I have not yet dispatched this completed form, when they forgot to include the mentioned reply envelope. So I will have to scan through this documentation in order to find the correct address, where I can only hope that it is actually mentioned.
In any case beyond one of my scissor tail fish recently dying and another eight white mollie fry being born and safely removed from the main aquarium then that is all my news for now.
11th of June, 2006
I have recently done my first ever toner cartridge refill for my lazer printer. I got in two bottles of toner refill some time ago, but since these toner cartridges do like 5000 pages each, then it took some time to get around to doing a refill.
The refill went easy enough when it is just a case of removing the refill cap and then pouring in the toner powder. This refill would have gone perfectly had not the cartridge overfilled causing some toner powder to spill out. So that needed a clean up job before this toner cartridge and drum unit could be reinserted into my lazer printer.
All seemed to go well until I tried some printing. What happened here was that one thin column of the paper had large toner spots appear. This made for unacceptable results, but was not too bad. I left it like this for over a week but today I tried resolving this issue.
So after taking the toner cartridge and drum unit back out then sure enough there was too much toner powder to be seen. I cleaned this up as best I could and I even dared to clean toner off the drum reel with some tissue paper. It is usually a bad idea to touch the drum reel directly when my last drum was ruined when I used a finger nail to try and scratch off a mark. Since damaging the thin foil caused a repeated mark on printing then so did the drum unit have to be replaced with the current drum unit.
After I cleaned it all up then I reinserted the toner cartridge and drum unit only to see that things had got much worse, when now instead of one thin band of toner blobs I had blobs all over the paper.
It was here that I came to the conclusion that I must have overfilled the toner cartridge when the pressure from the excess toner caused too much toner to seep out. My second theory was that I had lumpy toner powder.
Since today I also updated my sales flyer then so did I try printing out pages to see if it would clear. I started with 100 pages and soon enough the blobs began to get more rare. I stuck these same 100 pages back in up-side-down and printed another 100 copies on the reverse. The blobs now began to get quite rare, but now and again appeared a large blob making the text readable.
That double sided 100 pages went in the bin and I started on a 50 page print. I then printed the correct reverse side and kept about 20 of these 50 pages that had reasonable printing. At this point I am now up to 300 pages printed and interestingly enough the reverse side is now appearing blob free except for rare small marks.
So I decided to do 30 more doubled sided pages thus ending my daily printing at 360 pages. Interestingly enough these pages were blob free, but I now have a strange faint crawl like you would find on a copier machine. I guess that is saying that there is still too much toner powder, where now it is just coming out a little heavy.
In any case my latest sales flyer version is done where this time it includes some large changes. And these will be sent out in the latest orders along with the rare small blob or copier like crawl. This lazer printer I will have sorted out soon enough, but the current faint crawl is good enough. Just 4640 pages to go before I need to use the second refill, where this time I will spilt the toner powder into two halves to avoid another over-refill.
Each cartridge can be refilled twice before the debris tray needs to be cleaned out, where I currently have no idea how to do that, but maybe a good wash out would do.
One interesting addition is that I have been through more than a few toner cartridges in past years. I kept each of these cartridges when I knew that one day I would be able to refill them. The refill cap on the side is a big clue. So once I have worn out this toner cartridge, then I have enough spare cartridges available in order last me many years.
I did try finding out suitable refill power in past years, but there was none available for my model. I did even try to obtain some toner aimed at lesser models, but toner refill suppliers would not reveal the quantity. So only when I rechecked months ago, when I began to use my last toner cartridge, did I find some good value refill bottles.
This also reminds me that the ink cartridge in my fax machine needs yet another refill. That one must have been refilled about 30 times by now.
I should also get myself a new colour inkjet printer soon. I actually already have one of those, but my older model has serious issues working with the latest Windows operating systems. Since I have given up trying to get it to work correctly, then it is about time that I got myself a new model. One that prints well, is reasonably fast, and has large ink cartridges.
I would most like to get colour lazer instead of colour inkjet, but I doubt that I have the space. My server is home for all the extra equipment. Monitor and flatbed scanner on the server desk. Lazer printer below the keyboard shelf, with some boxes of paper below that. The colour inkjet and fax machine (and copier) are all on the first shelf above this desk. This shelf was to have been for all my order form boxfiles, but equipment connected to the server had greater priority.
This also reminds me that I need to get in yet more box files when I have run out. Also I will need to put up yet more shelving across the other side when currently I have box files stacked up on the floor.
The only other news is that I have a VAT inspection due soon. My last one was back in late 2002.
Anyway, more news whenever something interesting happens.