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5 Things You Should Know – Part 118

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. The universal edibility test.

In case you need to survive the wilderness.

(Main article).

2. Your laser printer may be forcing you to buy unnecessary and expensive toner by displaying low toner messages before it is empty and refusing to print.

You can save hundreds (thousands?) a year by manually overwriting this.

Many people know that printer companies sell their printers at low prices, and even below cost because they know that you will come back and buy their expensive ink and toners once you own the machine.  To help ‘encourage’ us to buy more expensive ink and toner some printer companies not only mislead you by telling you that the toner or ink is empty or running low, but will physically stop the machine from printing further until you buy some more.

In laser printers, they can do this by having the printer count the number of pages printed, and shutting down further printing after the page counter is hit, regardless of how much toner is actually left. Others will do similar things by shining a laser through the drum of powder and shutting down the printer when the laser shows the drum an undisclosed percentage empty. On a color laser printer, there are 4 drums of powder, each retailing at over $100 AUD each for the genuine name-brand product. This is obviously very expensive and it is frustrating to think companies mislead us and attempt to force us to buy the extra product.

So how to take back control of your printer? This will vary model to model, and brand to brand, but what you need to do is to Google your make and model of printer and find out if it is counting pages or estimating the level of toner by shining a laser through the toner cartridge.

If it is counting pages you need to Google how to access the printers hidden menus usually used by tech support and other types and reset the counter back to zero, from where it will start counting pages again.

For example, on Brother DCP-9015CDW here is a how-to reset the page counter:

  1. Open the printer as if you were to change the toner. The printer will display ‘Close the top cover’.
  2. Hold down the star key on the keyboard for around 10-20 seconds until reset menu appears. (Star key is not illuminated at this stage, you can see the dark outline, or guess where it lies on the keypad, or use printer functions while it is closed to see where the star key lies.
  3. Reset everything.
  4. Profit (or rather, save).

If it is shining a laser through the drum, you can get a piece of black electrical tape, or blue tank or similar, and cover the laser entry and exit points, so that the laser always reports back full. Google this for further explanation.

3. You can set a shortcut on your phone for your home address, including a URL to the location on a map.

This will help you to send your mailing address to friends, family, colleagues or anyone quickly while in a messaging or email app. This is not for you to have a reference how to get home or an icon on your home screen or sending your current location.


Set a keyboard shortcut on your phone for the number portion of your address – e.g. “123”

Set the “phrase” as the address + a URL to the location: e.g. “123 Sample Dr, Chicago, IL 60613, https://goo.gl/maps/eP2j2EP2amr

This is especially useful if your address is new and not listed or if there are common misspellings.  You can use google maps to look up your location, click ‘share’, click ‘copy’ and then paste the whole thing into the shortcut field.

4. Solar eclipse glasses are not the same as sunglasses. Solar eclipse glasses need to be certified and are pitch black unless looking directly at the sun.

Sunglasses are not a suitable replacement, and if you use them you can get eye damage. Please buy safe and certified glasses and check your sources!

5. If you owned BitCoin on August 1st of this year or earlier you have extra money now called BitCoin Cash.

Here is the low-down.

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