Friday, December 13, 2013

Rihac - Continuous Ink System - A review after a year and a bit.

So you are probably aware of how your printer stores and uses ink and how to refill it. And you probably wonder why it costs so much for an ink cartridge... It is generally the most expensive liquid you will buy in terms of dollar per litre - including designer perfume.

Our epson printer is an older wireless epson T40W - it was costing approx $60-$70 for a full set of Epson cartridges or about $40 for a full set of 3rd cartridges. Considering that I like to print photos and my partner is a relief teacher and tends to print out school worksheets by the 30's as she has no access to a photocopier at the school. We tend to go through ink a bit....

I think the worst part is running out right in the middle of printing something at 1am or having to brave the weekend shops only to find they don't have that cartridge... aside from the exorbitant price...

So I did some research and this Australian company RIHAC makes a continuous ink system. Continuous ink systems are a 3rd party add on system that pipes ink from ink tanks outside of the printer to replacement cartridge heads.

My printer was out of warranty anyway so I decided to give it a go and bought the System on special for @$100. including the ink

The T40W is one of the harder ones to set up - and took me about 2 hours to get set up perfectly - mostly running the piping so that it didn't catch on anything as the printer head moved back an forth - the instructions were pretty clear but it was still a bit of a challenge.

Brother printers seem to be the easiest to set up - literally plug in and go so if you are buying a new printer have a look at the Rihac website to see which ones are the easiest to install.

So it has been well over a year and a half since I put in the system - and I have just bought my first refill pack for $50. And although there have been times where the printer needed cleaning or the system needed a prime or head cleaning, it has been fantastic. There has been no difference in print quality for the work we do with it.

I think I have saved at least $400 in ink cartridges for my printer - and running out of ink mid print is a thing of the past as I can see how much ink I have left (not some software thing that can't be checked).

If you do a lot of printing - or if you print your own photos, have a look at a continuous in system for your printer. If you are at a school and you do art prints either on a A3 or large format printer this could save you a bundle as not only do they have the dye based in but also pigment ink for high quality photo work.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Google Apps - free apps for education

Google Apps looks like it might be one of the winners from the google lab.

With an easy to use interface and a great range of "apps" this could be the new way I get things done. It's like the app store or google play.

What is it? - Google apps uses the chrome web browser as a base and apps are downloaded into it the browser. These apps are sometimes online websites but can also be stand alone of line applications using Chrome as their base.

What is on it? For educators and students... Quite a lot, from on and off line note taking, to classroom management tools to on line IWB software that allows you to collaborate in the cloud. A couple on my starting list include - Biodigital, realtime board, gynzy and Google Drive. There are few that have been ported over from android but most are specifically for full computers. To honest there is more than enough for education, looks like I have a lot of material to review - and most will work with IWB's and Touchscreens.

How do you get it? First download and install google chrome, then once you are up and running go to the far right hand side near the top and click on the 3 bar icon, head down to settings, then click on extensions and scroll down to "get more extensions" - to make it easy to get to your apps you can also install the Chrome App Launcher which makes it easy to get to your apps on your has a shortcut to all the downloadable apps.

Or just go to:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Free eBeam software upgrade

Well it has been a long while since my last post....

Several things have happened in the interim including big projects both professionally and personally, and I've been on extended leave as I've travelled through eastern Europe - so the blog got left for a while.

One of the great things about a blog is that you can just pick it up again and start writing - there is no need to start a new one or feel embarrassed about taking an extended break.

OK so here is some good news if you use ebeam scrapbook as your daily teaching whiteboard software on your PC. New updates have been released over the last two months that add more content to the library (especially things people have been asking for like a scientific calculator). Plus an annoying text box problem has been fixed.

Go to the eBeam portal to download and update