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Saving money on Canon Pixma Printer Ink

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I discovered this by accident.....

 

I have a Canon Pixma 5200R which I used wired to my PC and wirelessly through my iBook.

 

For whatever reasons I can't access the ink level info from the Mac -- even (I think, I forget) when I plug directly into the printer, but that's not my point here.

 

But when a cartridge "shows" as empty, I am prompted by the Mac to replace the "empty."

 

One day by accident, though, I discovered the following: I decided to see what other inks I might need to go buy, so I fired up the printer on my Win Machine and queried the ink levels. None showed as empty, though the one the Mac reported as out did show as very low.

 

So I printed a small amount of text from the Win, and went back to the iBook and was able to print at least 50-100 more pages without further messages. Another cartridge "ran out" today according to the Mac and the same procedure has me printing again.

 

If anyone has an explanation, it'd be interesting.... ...but if you have the same configuration, it's a way to save money.....

 

******

 

A few more reflections on at least Canon printer drivers for the two computing universes:

 

I print web selections from the PC, because the Mac only allows me to print complete pages. Whassup with that?

 

On the other hand, the Mac version of the driver remembers my settings from job to job, whereas on the PC, when printing webstuff, but not in WordPerfect, I have to configure the driver to draft mode and duplex on every job. So again, why the disparity??

 

In general, though, I find the Mac driver from Canon at least to be a second class citizen as printing program -- more cumbersome, missing options, incomplete communication. Or is this something about OS X v Windows rather than any fault of Canon's programmers??

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I've never placed much faith in ink level indicators. When I get an "out of ink" I just use that as a prompt to buy a new cartridge in the next few days, but then I always keep the old cartridge running until the print quality starts to diminish. Then and only then do I replace the cartridge .. and I have never run out of ink without having a refill handy using this method. Also, since upgrading to Leopard, I don't install any of the printer software from the manufacturer ... just plug it in and use OS X's existing "drivers"

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I've never placed much faith in ink level indicators. When I get an "out of ink" I just use that as a prompt to buy a new cartridge in the next few days, but then I always keep the old cartridge running until the print quality starts to diminish. Then and only then do I replace the cartridge .. and I have never run out of ink without having a refill handy using this method. Also, since upgrading to Leopard, I don't install any of the printer software from the manufacturer ... just plug it in and use OS X's existing "drivers"
Ahhh, but the rub here is that unlike my old Epsons where I could regard it as a "warning" (and Epson started "warning" way, way before the cartridges were empty), you CAN'T ignore a Pixma message.

 

That is, on the three I've owned, you can't print at all until you resolve the message.

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Perhaps just moving the cartridge did the trick. I know that you can get another 100+ pages out of a toner cartridge by shaking it. Maybe ink has a similar trick.

 

It does seem that the drivers for OSX are 2nd class citizens though. In our office, I have never been able to print correctly to our large format HP Plotters, but the windows boxes work fine.

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