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

When it comes to inkjets and toners Choice Stationery Supplies has lots to say - don't get ripped off!

  • Colour Profiles and Printing Explained

    color-print-profiles

    A lot of people often wonder how colour profiles are created and how a printer with only three cartridges can make all of those colours so accurately. Well, this infographic does a great job of explaining it in full - so let's take a look.

  • Hacked Printer Plays Doom Computer Game

    A wireless Canon Pixma printer was hacked and used to play the retro computer game – Doom at the latest hackathoN conference in the USA.

    The device was hacked by Michael Jordan – a computer security expert - shows the security issues with connected devices. It took Mr Jordan 4 months to get the printer to run the device.

    The idea behind the effort was to show the vulnerabilities in security on such devices – something that’s been cited a number of times before. Canon has taken note and has said it will try make devices harder to subvert.

    Canon’s printers can be accessed by the web like many modern day devices and Mr Jordan found it was quite weak in security terms. He decided he was going to hack it, saying "The web interface has no user name or password on it.”

    Because of this, anyone could look at the status of the device and there were thousands of vulnerabilities. Mr Jordan managed to update the printers controlling software too – though it was encrypted. He did this by reverse engineering the encryption, before loading the 1993 game onto the printer. The biggest issue he had to face was a coding problem to get the device working. This is what he claims took the largest part of the whole process. He also points out the colour palette is not quite right to run the game well.

    However, he doesn’t have any future plans to further tune the presentation, saying ‘I’m sick of it, I’m done’.

    The lesson is easily learned and it’s easy to see how vulnerable devices such as printers are in the home and in the office. If someone can take the time to load a game wirelessly onto one, it’s easily imaginable things that are easier to do that could be potentially more destructive.

  • Cut Office Costs with these Tips

    The office is a costly place. In terms of rent, hardware and all the rest, an office can cost a lot of money to run. However, there are plenty of ways to cut costs and reduce the expense on variables that’s spent. Here are some great places to make some cuts.

    Ink

    Needless to say ink is an expensive commodity, especially if you only use manufacturer based products .We offer a range of alternatives and solutions that cost a lot less and you can be sure that your office will be a lot cheaper to run. Whether you want remanufactured cartridges or low cost OEMs we can help. It makes sense – you know it does.

    Computers

    Yes, they cost a lot to buy, but they may cost even more to run. Computers are expensive and so you need to ensure that you turn them off after using them, or at the end of the day. Leaving electrical items on when they don’t need to be costs businesses a lot of money in electricity – so log off.

    Remote Office

    Why not save money on the office altogether by allowing people to work from home a few days a week. Remote working is equally as successful as working in the office for most businesses and so it’s worth considering.

    Windows and Heating

    Let the staff know that if it’s warm they should open a window and if it’s cold to put on a jumper. Using air conditioning when opening a window would suffice, or turning up the heat when wearing a layer will do – is a far cheaper and also greener alternative.

    These are just a few tips to cut the cost of office and help your business become more efficient.

  • 5 Things you Need to Know about the New iPhone

    The new Apple iPhones – yes two – and the iWatch were showcased yesterday by Apple and we thought we’d take a look at some of the most intriguing and notable aspects of the phones.  So, here’s the short on the biggest tech release of the year.

    Two Devices

    There are two iPhones – the iPhone 6 which measures 5.44inches and the iPhone 6 Plus which measures 6.22inches. This is notably larger than the 4.87inches high iPhone 5. It’s a big step for Apple who has used an only slightly changed form factor since iPhone 3G.

    Available

    Both devices will come available next week – September 19th in fact. Pre-orders are taken front the 12th of the month. The iWatch will be a little longer out of the limelight and it’s expected to arrive in early 2015.

    Shape

    The devices are a different shape to the previous incarnations with a softer and rounder shape and aluminium back rather than a glass one.

    iWatch

    The iWatch will require an iPhone for use and will only work with iPhone 5 and up. The device will cost around the £250 mark and offers physical dimensions to alert and notify people of incoming messages. Apple claim it will make communication more convenient and it’s expected to be a big device for 2015.

    Watch Sizing

    The watch will also come in two sizes – a 38mm and a 42mm size and there will also be a number of different casing materials too. The device will come in stainless steel, rose gold and yellow gold. There will also be a number of bands and these will be customisable.

    The Apple iWatch and the two iPhones are going to be the next big thing – what do you think? Will you buy one, do you want one? Let us hear your thoughts.

  • Berg Little Printer Goes into Hibernation

    The company behind the Little Printer – a device that we’ve mentioned a couple of times on this blog has had to close after failing to establish itself in the market.

    According to the company’s blog today, the company are closing, saying "We're wrapping up for this incarnation. Our partnerships and our services, they’re done. A few things left, then hibernation."

    The company will keep the item alive with a skeleton crew. Based around a design consultancy that began in 2005 working with names such as Google and Intel, Berg was considered one of the most innovative companies of the early 2010s

    The company which is based near Old Street in Lodnon became a darling of the UK tech scene thanks to the little mini printer, with its cute styling and also its useful printer concept. It could be used to print a personalised mini newspaper for the reader each morning based on the likes and dislikes of the reader online. The device was considered a very important part of the Internet of things and received a number of awards.

    However, even though the company started strong, the idea failed to take off and today the announcement came it had to close. According to their blog, "We've not reached a sustainable business in connected products," Matt Webb, a co founder of the company explained.

    Anyhow, it’s a shame as the Berg Little Printer is a very nice little product.

  • Epson Expression Premium XP-520

    The Epson Expression Premium XP-520 is one of the new line of low priced small printers that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg and still manages to deliver great prints, as well as scan and copy.

    It produces relatively low cost prints, has the excellent five ink Claria system and is a tiny device considering the number of functions it offers. It’s also fast, offers two sided printing and is a great device for those looking for a printer for low volume home use.

    With Wi-Fi and USB connectivity it’s well endowed in the connection sphere and has a printer capacity of 100 pages – which is around what would be expected in this sort of device. The printer also supports Wi-Di printing and there’s also a SD card slot for photo printing directly if that’s your thing.

    The quality of the productions is very good too and the device is capable of creating some high quality photos with plenty of great detail. Text is also very sharp from the printer. Prints also are quite fast and you can expect 7pages and over a minute in black and white.

    Ink isn’t the cheapest in the world; however it’s not the worst either. Black and white prints will set you back around 2.5p a page, while colour prints are a good bit more. However, it’s still less costly than some of its rivals.

    The display is a quibble as its only 1.44inches square, which means that squinting is a necessity. However, it’s still a nice addition to have and has some use.

    The Epson is a nice device and one that certainly has its place and we can see being quite popular.

  • Samsung Release Printer with 10inch Tablet at IFA

    We’re all for making the most of new technology and it seems that Samsung has done just that with the creation of its latest printer.

    The newest model announced at IFA last week provides all the tech lover needs to go on Twitter, Facebook and also surf the web – it’s a printer with a 10.1inch Android tablet attached.

    The new Samsung Smart MultiXpress lines come with full size tablet displays that you’ll really enjoy using. The tablets allow the user to create prints just the way they want – doubling as a control pad and also are full on tablets too. The device combines colour and monochrome printing hardware with a full internet connection that allows you to see onscreen a full model of the item you’re printing. It’s a quite cool idea and one that a lot of people probably find hard didn’t exist until now.

    For example, the tablet can be used in conjunction with apps from the Android Play store such as Adobe Photoshop etc. This means that users can edit imagery on the printer via 3rd party apps before printing from it too.

    It’s a quite cool device and one that we’re excited to try, alongside a lot of the other IFA goodies that were showcased last week.

  • NASA Prepare to Send 3D Printer to Space

    IIt’s been something that we’ve mentioned before on our blog, however it seems now is the time for a printer to go where no printer has gone before.

    NASA is set to send a 3D printer into space with its next cargo load on the 19th of September to go aboard the International Space Station. The 3D printer is set to be an experiment model and is focused on helping NASA adapt 3D print manufacturing for space uses.

    The device will undergo a number of experiments and will be used to see if 3D prints in space are as strong as those on earth. Accuracy will also be a factor to be considered in the zero gravity conditions. The long term goal is to create devices that can be used to allow for next generation printing to be engaged in on a complex scale – meaning they don’t have to rely as much on cargo deliveries.

    The printer is expected to be used for replacing broken items, printing tools and could even be used for manned missions to Mars. It’s a far cry from the sorts of stuff we like to print with them on earth. However, if it is found they are suitable, it could make for a significant change in the way we print for manned space missions.

    NASA said, "This means that we could go from having a part designed on the ground to printed in orbit within an hour [or] two from start to finish. The on-demand capability can revolutionize the constrained supply chain model we are limited to today and will be critical for exploration missions."

    Very exciting stuff and something we look forward to seeing progress.

  • Epson to Release SureColor SC-P600

    Epson has released a new A3 photo printer with the UltraChrome HD ink to its range.

    The new Epson SureColor SC-P600 is an easy to use device which produces great photos in A3 size as well as higher. The device utilises the companies SC-P600 features which includes UltraChrome HD and Vivid Magenta Ink. This allows it to produce a broad array of colours and also ultra-smooth grading  of colours.

    The printer comes with Wi-Fi Direct as well as a range of other connectivity, some of which is connected to the cloud to print from mobile devices, as well as desktops. It even supports Google’s Cloud Print service.

    The printer is a medium volume production device and can output 11x14 inch prints in 153 seconds and has twin paper paths to allow A3 printing on a range of higher quality papers  as well as canvas and thick media – which will come as a delight to some. It also has its own 2.7inch colour touch panel interface, which is unique in the SCP600 range.

    It is expected that the deice will get its first showing at the Photokina event, which is due to take place later this month in Cologne in Denmark – we can’t wait to get a closer look.

  • Creating a Better Office Environment

    The office is somewhere that many of us spend an increasing amount of our lives and so workers ideally should be as comfortable as possible.

    There are all sorts of simple ways that businesses can make workers feel more appreciated, more comfortable and also ensure their time at work is more enjoyable. So, we’ve compiled a list of a few things that help in this regard.

    Ergonomic Furniture

    We all want to feel as comfortable as possible when at work and investing in ergonomic furniture that keeps our employees sitting correctly helps with comfort levels and also days off. With the majority of sick days taken because of back related issues – this is an investment that can save in the long term.

    Cleanliness

    Keyboards and other similar devices are often awash with germs and so can cause all sorts of illnesses. Hiring a good quality office cleaning company will ensure that these germ hotspots are eradicated and means fewer flues and colds and so a healthier workforce.

    Technology

    Computers date quickly and it’s more than worthwhile taking a look to see if the devices you are using are still fit for task. This could include software too. Anyone who has used an age old version of Adobe Photoshop will know the pain.

    Food

    An army marches on its stomach and the same is true for a business. If you provide a canteen or food; try and ensure that it’s of the highest quality and offers nutrition above all else. Get rid of the fish and chips and bring in the quinoa and veggies. Quality facilities create quality work.

    Bonding

    People need to bond and you should facilitate this in the workplace. Providing people with time together out of the office and in a fun environment helps create togetherness and a team that works better together.

    These are just some tips that can help encourage a happier and more productive office.

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