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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Revising printing habits saves money and trees




    BEST PRACTICES

    Revising printing habits saves money and trees


    By Katherine Murray

    Personal or small-office printers have been fundamental components of our computing environment since the earliest PCs. But they can also be expensive and temperamental beasts.

    With the growing prevalence of cloud computing, PDFs, and other means of handling digital documents, it's time to re-evaluate your printing practices.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/best-practices/revising-printing-habits-saves-money-and-trees/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    2 Star Lounger
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    On business and environmental grounds I certainly sympathize with saving money and trees, but the idea of emailing a 35-page document gives me pause. Would anyone read it before the meeting? My tolerance of reading on-screen is 2-3 pages. Also, while sitting in a meeting, it's much easier to flip from page to page, get an overview of the entire document, see how it's structured, go back to a passage on page 4, then compare it with the chart on page 20, and so on, when the document is on paper. Viewing it in these ways during the meeting on a laptop (never mind a tablet) would be much more awkward. In theory I want the paperless office, but in practice paper still has advantages.

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    Lounger Will Fastie's Avatar
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    Another caution about inkjet cartridge refill is in order. Some inks have a special formulation; an example is the 88 series cartridges used in printers like the HP K8600 family. My experience is that the cartridge refillers are oblivious to these special cases. The K8600 was not a low-cost printer; refill ink killed a K8600 at one of my clients. I think the client had saved about $100 with refill ink and lost a $350 printer as a result.

    It's not just a question of the warranty.

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    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: "Digital signatures can replace a John Hancock" - Short of a DocuSign-like system, which is really designed and marketed for business, I'd like to see an easy way (an app?) to create my own signature to drop into Word docs and PDFs for emailing, and have it such that when the doc is printed doesn't leave the signature print quality looking second or third generation compared to the rest of the doc; i.e., a signature feature designed for personal use.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    We did this for our church printer for a while using Costco's refill service for our HP OfficeJet 6500 920XL cartridges. It saves money. The pring quality was fine. But after a couple of months, we opted to go back to new HP cartridges. Why? First, the printer constantly complains about refilled cartridges. Something like, "Damage caused by using non-HP ink is not covered by your warranty." If it's not enough that it stops and complains several times during a long print job, you also can't monitor how much ink is left. A FULL refilled cartridge still shows completely empty on the printer. So you have no idea when you'll need ink. It just stops putting that color on the page when it runs out. So, your mileage my vary. Other printers may handle refills better than our HP.

  6. #6
    Lounger
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    Another option is to minimize the number of wasted pages printed by using a utility like Greenprint (http://www.printgreener.com) to preview the pages to be printed and remove those you don't want/need with a simple right-click. Greenprint has saved me lots of paper when printing from web sites or email invoices, where you have no clue about pagination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highstream View Post
    Re: "Digital signatures can replace a John Hancock" - Short of a DocuSign-like system, which is really designed and marketed for business, I'd like to see an easy way (an app?) to create my own signature to drop into Word docs and PDFs for emailing, and have it such that when the doc is printed doesn't leave the signature print quality looking second or third generation compared to the rest of the doc; i.e., a signature feature designed for personal use.
    In the US (and many other countries), an actual squiggly signature is legally unnecessary on almost all documents; apart from a few specific exceptions (will, adoption, divorce, court order, utility termination, repossession, foreclosure, benefits cancellation, product recall, hazardous material):

    Electronic signatures

    Uniform Electronic Transactions Act 1999

    Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act 2000

    A typed name at the bottom of an email is legally sufficient for practically all purposes including contracts.

    It's just a shame that so many companies don't recognize this; as evidenced by the 900% growth rate in three years at DocuSign where the myth of the legal necessity for a squiggly signature is perpetuated. And at their prices that's virtually a scam.

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2011-09-08 at 23:04.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    It's just a shame that so many companies don't recognize this; as evidenced by the 900% growth rate in three years at DocuSign where the myth of the legal necessity for a squiggly signature is perpetuated. And at their prices that's virtually a scam.
    You could look at it another way: by storing all of the paperwork together and getting everyone's assent to it (represented by an image of cursive text, for familiarity), DocuSign could end up saving the company a lot of money if it ever had to prove the contents of the agreement between the parties. Seems more trustworthy than an email archive or a file folder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    You could look at it another way: by storing all of the paperwork together and getting everyone's assent to it (represented by an image of cursive text, for familiarity), DocuSign could end up saving the company a lot of money if it ever had to prove the contents of the agreement between the parties. Seems more trustworthy than an email archive or a file folder.
    I see your point, and DocuSign is undoubtedly an attractive system to large companies which can afford it as a form of insurance against expensive litigation, perhaps just because squiggly signatures are still less likely to be refuted.

    Bruce

  10. #10
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    In the US (and many other countries), an actual squiggly signature is legally unnecessary on almost all documents; apart from a few specific exceptions (will, adoption, divorce, court order, utility termination, repossession, foreclosure, benefits cancellation, product recall, hazardous material):
    I don't know about you, but I write letters that aren't legal documents. Specifically, I am referring to the type of letters that want a signature by their very nature. With a cover letter to a resume, for example, I can get by temporarily with "/s/", although a signature would be better (and is often demanded later). But for other sorts of non-legal letters, a signature says it came from me. Otherwise, I have to use the post. That's why an app that made signature creation easy would be welcome.

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highstream View Post
    I don't know about you, but I write letters that aren't legal documents. Specifically, I am referring to the type of letters that want a signature by their very nature. With a cover letter to a resume, for example, I can get by temporarily with "/s/", although a signature would be better (and is often demanded later). But for other sorts of non-legal letters, a signature says it came from me. Otherwise, I have to use the post. That's why an app that made signature creation easy would be welcome.
    Nitro PDF Free Edition has a feature called Quick Sign:

    "Signing is elegantly handled too: once you've scanned and imported your signature, it's given a transparent background and anti-aliased, and can easily be called up via the QuickSign ribbon button, sized and placed on the form. You can password-protect your signature if necessary." ( Source: ZDNet-UK Review . ) There are some screenshots in the review showing the feature.

    Is this what you're looking for?
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-09-11 at 05:10.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Sorry, but this may be the last straw.
    I do not give money to "tree huggers".
    Teaching and promoting proper file storage and usage is one thing, claiming to "save a tree" something else.
    First it is a lie, that insults my intelligence.
    Last, it irritates me to no end when technology is misused like this.
    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
    LEARN something today so you can TEACH something tomorrow.
    DETAIL in your question promotes DETAIL in my answer.
    Dominus Vobiscum <))>(

  13. #13
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    One must use extreme caution when using toner refilling services. Some laser printers manufacturers use a highly engineered toner for their equipment that is not available to those companies that refill toner cartridges. Using non-OEM toner will void a warranty on a printer, cause severe image quality problems, and repairs can be very expensive to your company. Check the contract and warranty on your printer lease before using non-OEM toner. The money you save on toner will not cover the cost of repairs or replacing a laser printer.

  14. #14
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by highstream View Post
    Re: "Digital signatures can replace a John Hancock" - Short of a DocuSign-like system, which is really designed and marketed for business, I'd like to see an easy way (an app?) to create my own signature to drop into Word docs and PDFs for emailing, and have it such that when the doc is printed doesn't leave the signature print quality looking second or third generation compared to the rest of the doc; i.e., a signature feature designed for personal use.
    Write your signature on a white piece of paper.
    Take a photograph of it using flash
    Open the picture in a photo editor, crop and set the background colour to transparent.
    Save as a GIF file.

    Another useful saving is to use a service such as pdfescape.com if you are ever asked to 'print, sign, scan and return' a pdf document. This allows you to upload a pdf, which you can then edit by adding blocks of text, or graphics images (like your signature). The edited pdf can then be saved and downloaded back to your machine.

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    5 Star Lounger
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    [QUOTE=bobprimak;819467]Nitro PDF Free Edition has a feature called Quick Sign: /QUOTE]

    Unfortunately I have been unable to make it work on non PDF docs.

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