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Choice Stationery Supplies Blog - for all the chat on printer inks and cartridges

  • Man Guilty of Printing over £2.5M in Cash

    If you’re not busy this weekend, why not do as one Irish man did and print 49 boxes full of E50 notes.

    John Stanley who was under severe financial pressure from failed property deals used his inkjet to create E3.3m of counterfeit notes.  Of this, only 9,250 were completed and in a position to be distributed the court heard. The court also heard that the man decided to abort the operation before distributing the notes and even destroyed some of the templates used in creation.

    Man Guilty of Printing over £2.5M in Cash

    According to the judge, “the only thing saving your client from prison is that he did not put these notes into the public”. Stanley supposedly had the brainwave for only a short period of time. According to his solicitor, “he came up with a daft idea to make money”. Counsel said there is no link to “subversive activity”.

    The defendant ended up with a four year term suspended for four years. Origianlly from Northern Ireland, John Stanley pleaded guilty to producing the notes. He faced a maximum 10 years in jail for his printing efforts.

    The notes had been printed over a two year period and only 180 were ready to be used. Many others were in earlier stages of production according to the Sergant who gave evidence.

    The defendant told of how he had hoped to introduce the money into the public in dribs and drabs at a rate of around E2000 we week.  However, he came to his senses and planned to destroy the notes before he decided to do this.

  • Printer that Plays Jurassic Park Theme Tune Revealed

    We know that you’ve always wanted to hear the theme of Jurassic Park being played out on the motor of a printer.

    Well, it seems some hacks have decided that adapting the sound of a 3D printer motor into a multi tonal effort to turn them into recognisable music. The results aren’t astounding, however they’re still understandable nonetheless. It’s quite an accomplishment and though it’s not a string laden rich sound, it’s an interesting one nonetheless.

    Andrew Sink is the creator of the piece and used a MIDI file of the theme which he converted to code to program the machine. After altering the sound to computer language he then isolated the melody and programmed the two axes in the printer to play the familiar song.

    I was"Inspired by the old printer that played the E1M1 music from my favorite video game Doom, I decided to see how difficult it would be to get my 3D printer to do the same thing with the theme from Jurassic Park., he said.”

    Why not take a look at the musical printer magnificence here and if you own a 3D printer you can even grab the 3D files for the T-Rex head featured in the blog post.

    A bizarre but cool use of time if you ask us.

  • Printer Creates Human Face on Pancakes

    Maybe we’re a little late with this as Pancake day was last week, however it’s still worth mentioning. The latest trend it seems is to have your face burned into a pancake.

    A team of researchers has created a 3D printer that uses facial recognition in conjunction with a hotplate to burn layers of batter into a replica of a person’s face. The device even has the technology to see the lighter and darker tones of a person’s face to ensure it’s captured and cooked with precision.

    The printer uses Computer Numerical Control to convert the designs into a graph, which is then printed on the pancake. This is also utilised alongside the face recognition software to print the layers of batter directly onto the hotplate. This facial recognition technology uses a digital camera and image processing to create the replica face.

    Tehe technology has been developed with the help of research and innovation experts at Bristol-based Kinneir Dufort.

    They developed custom software that can turn contours of a human face for the batter dispenser. To do this the darkest areas are laid down first and they get lighter progressively. When this is added to the hotplate the batter changes colour and different tones appear.

    It’s a quite useless novelty use of the technology, but a notable and very fun one at that.

  • 6 Tips for Getting more from your Virtual Office

    Thanks to changes in technology and also in attitude the idea of working remotely or from home is more popular now than it has ever been before.

    Working from a virtual office has been shown to make workers more productive according to a Stanford University survey, which found workers, got 19 per cent more work done from home. That’s a lot of productivity and it says a lot about our surroundings and the ways we work. So, if you’re thinking about trying the whole work from home/virtual office concept out with your employees – here are some tips to make it more likely to work.

    Sharing and the Cloud

    The cloud is at the centre of the working from home revolution and businesses that wish to get the most out of their employees need to embrace the technology. Thanks to cloud based software such as Google’s apps like Drive and Gmail as well as VoIP technology such as Skype the physical distance between a person and their office doesn’t really need to matter any longer.

    Tech to Help

    Businesses hoping to make the very most of the new way of working, need to have reasonably good quality tech to do so. Be aware that it’s a good idea to invest in solid, tried and tested technologies rather than the shiniest and newest untested ones. Investing in technology that is easy to use, doesn’t cause problems and allows for a smooth virtual office experience ensures you’re more likely to use it and also get the most from it.

    Physical

    If you are going down this route, you still need to remember that there will be times when you need a physical space too. Yes, you may be saving a lot of money on heating and electricity not having an office, however there will be times when you need a place that’s more formal to meet than a coffee shop.

    In addition, it’s also worth thinking about and signing up to a service like yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk which provides a London office address, mail forwarding and meeting rooms. These types of services provide that professional edge when you need it and are often available at great prices.

    Organise

    There are all sorts of great tools out there that can help you organise your efforts and ensure your remote working effort is a success. Software such as Trello and Asana are great for managing workflow and keep tabs on tasks, as well as allow users to keep in touch with each other in an organised manner. Our advice is to invest in a workflow tool like this.

    Don’t be a Control Freak

    One of the things a lot of business leaders find hard about relinquishing control of the office is that it means they have to trust their employees to do the work and to choose their own hours. This can be hard for some people depending on the sort of managerial style they have, however it’s a must-do if you want to make the virtual office a success. Flexibility is the reason  virtual workers choose to do so and business owners need to offer some.

    Give it Time

    Like any culture change in business, people need time to adapt, so give it time. Take the lead here and be as patient as you can be with people starting out and allow them to adjust to their virtual surroundings.

    A virtual office and virtual tools can be a great way to streamline your business, increase morale and make for a happier, more productive company. The above pieces of advice should help you make the most of this potentially fantastic change.

  • Infographic: Office Hoarding

    Office hoarding infographic

    We talked last week about ways that people can keep their offices tidy and this infographic by Careerbuilder goes a long way to helping you to do so. It's filled with valuable tips and tricks on keeping your office area spick and span - take a look.

  • 4 Ways to Lower Printing Costs

    The high cost of ink is one of the biggest issues that people tend to have with printing. Printer companies don’t tend to like to make printers economical or low cost, even though the hardware may seem quite inexpensive in the first place. However, there are a number of ways that you can keep costs of printing affordable and ensure good quality at the same time.

    Buy a Printer with a Duplexer

    Buying a printer with a duplexer can make a big difference to your printing efforts as these devices can print on both sides of the paper. This two sided printing saves on paper and is also a lot more eco conscious than many of the alternatives out there. Just learn how to use it by swotting up on the printer settings and you can save a lot of paper, time and money when printing.

    Think

    Looking at what you are going to print in the preview screen before you press the print button will help you ensure that you are printing what you need and aren’t wasting time or effort. Remember that most people read digital files nowadays and you should ask yourself if you really need to print or not.

    Software Settings

    A lot of printers come with user friendly software that allows you to change your printer settings easy. Delving into this and figuring out how it works allows you to change the settings, quality and other factors that can help you save on ink. You don’t always need to print in top quality for instance and altering this can help you save money.

    Third Party

    We stock a range of great remanufactured cartridges that can save you money and also ensure quality. These offer printing for a lot less than the OEM price and are well worth considering if you’re looking for lower priced printing.

    Follow these tips to cut the cost of ink and save on your printing costs.

  • How to Fit in when Starting a New Office Job

    New year, new job, new office – how do you make the transition and ensure that you get off on the right foot? Well, here are some tips for making the move to a new office job.

    Time

    Starting well places you in a positive position in the office and the first thing you need to do when you begin is to call your employer before you start to establish the best time to begin. Starting off on the wrong foot by arriving late for the first day isn’t good, but often happens as people tend to assume they know things in advance.

    Relationships

    Understanding how people work and how they interact with each other is important. There is always going to be gossip in an office, a teacher’s pet and a silent but effective type. Before you get friendly with people figure out who fits into each role.

    Build Relationships

    Building professional relationships in the office should start from the moment you enter. By entering an office and getting down to business with the other people day, you’ll learn about your goals and role in the office.

    Expectations

    Always ask the people around and over you what is expected of you in the office environment. Sometimes your managers expectations can diverge from traditional standards so talk to them to ensure that you nail all the details down.

    The same is true for etiquette. Figure out what is the accepted and expected form of behaviour. This can be done by talking and listening to office colleagues. Observe your colleagues and bosses behaviour and you’ll get an idea.

    These tips should help you make the transition to a new office in a comfortable and easy manner.

  • 5 Productivity Tips from Incredibly Busy People

    5-Productivity-Tips-From-Incredibly-Busy-People-20130605

    Business and time and how to manage them is one of the big questions a lot of us ask. Time management is a huge part of business and without it we struggle. So, we sourced an infographic that shows how busy people get more done - take a look and see for yourself.

  • Preparing Art for Commercial Printing in 8 Steps

    There's a big difference between inkjet and office printing and the commercial sort and nothing shows this as much as the prep needed to perform it.

    It’s not always a straight forward process and there can be all sorts of issues and problems at hand. When you receive that phone call from the printer, you wince and now know that it’s impossible for the deadline to be met.

    Of course, by following the following advice you shouldn’t have the problem and all the issues will be dealt with before you send your information off the those guys at the printers.

    Resolution

    As you may know DPI or dots per inch is the standard for resolution in printing and usually nothing less than 300dpi is suitable. Images from designers on screen are 72dpi and this can often mean mistakes with resolution. Make sure the version you send is 300dpi or above.

    RGB and CMYK

    Printers use CMYK and not RGB. Once more RGB is used usually for graphic designers on screen and is effective for graphic design. However, when it comes to printing, the design sent to the printers will need to be CMYK in format as this ensures colour consistency.

    Pantone

    Sometimes you may require a colour to be Pantone. However, as most printers use CMYK and Pantone is expensive to print, you will need to inform them of this before printing.

    Black and White

    If you are printing black colours, make sure to send them across as a greyscale copy and not in the CMYK format.

    Bleed

    Your artwork will be submitted with a bleed. This is the margin for error when the image is guillotined after printing. Make sure that it has one before you send it off. Around 3mm is the usual margin for error.

    Text

    Most finished artwork is submitted in a PDF format and this is because of the quality. You will need to check that the fonts are outlined in this before you send it off. If the files are sent in a InDesign or Quark file, this will need to be mentioned to the printer before you send it to them.

    Corrupt Files

    Check the file before sending to ensure that it is not corrupt.

    Flattening

    Ensure that the file is flattened before it is sent across as this may cause issues. It’s often overlooked and can cause problems – so double check it and flatten PDF files before you send them off.

    By following this device your print should look excellent and fit for display wherever you require.

  • 20% off ALL Think Inkjets and Toners at Choice

    Choice Stationery Supplies is offering an extra 20% off all its compatible Think inkjets and toners this half term.

    Think Inkjets and Toners are exclusive to Choice Stationery Supplies and offer photo vivid colours with crisp black text that's equal to if not better than the original printer manufacturers product. In most cases Think Ink and toner cartridges even contain more ink!

    To receive your extra 20% off this half term week simply visit www.choicestationery.com and as soon as you add any Think product to your basket you will receive an automatic 20% discount.

    Hurry though as this offer expires at midnight on Monday 23rd February.

    Also this month Choice Stationery Supplies are giving you the opportunity to win a brand new multifunction printer complete with 12 months supply of ink - for more details visit www.choicestationery.com/printer

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