Printers - Planned Obsolescence

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Printers - Planned Obsolescence

Postby dagon on Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:54 am

On printers mysteriously failing...

I just saw the documentary The Light Bulb Conspiracy which dives into the concept of Planned Obsolescence, where companies try and control the market by making products fail in one way or the other, forcing you to by new products intead of, for instance, a new battery (ipod, famous example).

The documentary especially brings up printers that have built in page counters that keeps track of printouts and after a predefined number of pages turns the machine off (with or without some technical explanation).
As I've worked with circuit boards in electronic production plants I unfortunately have to admit that I'm not in the least surprised, even though I didn't knew the extent of it.

:?: There was mention of a russian made program for resetting the page counter of some printer models but does anyone know of a Linux specific project for managing printers that take effects like this into account?
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Re: Printers - Planned Obsolescence

Postby Pilosopong Tasyo on Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:03 pm

dagon wrote:The documentary especially brings up printers that have built in page counters that keeps track of printouts and after a predefined number of pages turns the machine off (with or without some technical explanation).
...
There was mention of a russian made program for resetting the page counter of some printer models but does anyone know of a Linux specific project for managing printers that take effects like this into account?

Epson is quite notorious when it came to these kinds of control (not 100% sure with other printer companies though, since Epsons are CISS-friendly). When their printers supposedly reach "EOL" I'd get a message in Windows saying "Service required: parts inside the printer reached the end of their service life." It turns out that the only "service" required is to have the waste ink pad counter reset to zero through software (Adjustment program by OrTHoTaMiNe) and the printer functions again as if it's brand new! The waste ink pad itself has to be replaced under normal circumstances of course, but, I had the tube leading to the foam taken outside the case so the waste ink goes into a small bottle instead. So even when the waste ink pad doesn't ever gets used, I'd still get the service required message after printing several reams of paper.

The other form of control they employ are those "sensor chips" they put on replacement cartridges. The chips supposedly monitor ink usage and alert the user when it's time to replace the cartridges. Well, it's a racket. The chips are nothing more than counters that forces a user to replace the spent cartridges even if those same cartridges still have ink in them! Not only that, but those chips only add to the total cost of a replacement cartridge that gets passed on to the end user.

As far as I know, these adjustment programs are available only for the Windows platform.
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