Why do printer cartridges have chips?

Why Do Ink Cartridges Have Chips?Many of you reading this blog will have a printer next to you as you read this and you will also have probably bought an ink cartridge at some point. But have you ever wondered why a lot of modern printer cartridges have chips?

Well first of all let’s have a look into what types of cartridges have smart chips. There are two types of cartridges: Ink Tanks and Ink Cartridges.

Ink tanks are those that just there to hold the ink, they don’t usually have any circuitry, they just plug into your printer and the ink gets fed to a print-head. Ink cartridges usually have a print-head built in and are sort of the ‘all-in-one’ of the printer world.

It is the printer cartridges that have print-heads built in that usually have chips or circuitry on them. They do so for a number of reasons…

Printer Cartridge Smart ChipPrimarily in this type of cartridge they are used so that the printer can communicate with the built in print-head and are necessary for the printer to work. As well as this they communicate other things to the printer such as ink levels.

This is were a lot of people run into trouble, it can be very frustrating when your printer starts telling you that the ink levels are low but in fact you know that there’s still some juice left in there! This is due to the fact that the cartridge doesn’t actually know how much ink is in the cartridge, it just counts down how many pages you have printed.

Another way the chip is used is to, in some cases, stop the cartridge being re-filled by third party companies. Some manufacturers just simply don’t like people re-using their cartridges as this usually means a loss for them, so once one of their cartridges runs out of ink, the cartridge will remember that it has no ink in even if it has been re-filled.

So that little chip on the bottom of your cartridge does a lot really… both good and bad. If you wish to learn more about printers and ink have a look at the blog of the firm I work for, which can be found on our printer cartridge site.

All about cloud computing

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the management and provision of data and applications via the internet. In non technical jargon that basically means is that it is the storing your programs and documents on the internet, rather than on your computer.


What is an example of cloud computing?

If you watch the tv, you will probably have seen those adverts that promote laptops and phones which allow you to work anywhere because of the ability to store your data in the cloud.

This basically means that your device merely holds the operating system and sometimes the software. The date you access is stored on a server somewhere. This means that you can access your data from almost anywhere with multiple devices.

The good and the bad…

As with most things in life, cloud computing has positives and (you guessed it) negatives. Here is a list of the pros and the cons of cloud computing:

The Pros

  • Less hard disk space needed
  • Your computer runs much faster – like the Chromebooks are meant to (this is dependant on your internet connection)
  • You can access your data from anywhere at anytime
  • Most providers of cloud services, regularly backup your data, meaning if you loose some data or if they loose some, it shouldn’t be too hard to recover
  • Avoid costly hardware (and to some extent software) upgrades

The Cons

  • If your internet dies, you can’t access your data, and in the case of a Chromebook, you can’t even access your programs
  • Some security risks are removed (like if your PC is stolen, someone may steel your data too) but loads of new threats from corrupt employees, hackers etc. are born
  • The services (initially) probably won’t be as reliable as you would like them to be
  • Big brother is watching you! – every move you make online or in a cloud based application can be monitored by your provider
  • You need a really fast internet connection, both download and upload, to really feel the benefit of it – the problem is, most peoples download speed is really fast, but their upload speed is rubbish!

Where is cloud computing data stored?

Good question – presumably not in the clouds! Applications, data etc. would be stored in server farms. Server farms are massive, usually very cool (air conditioned to increase machine performance and to prevent overheating) areas, full of loads of server towers.

Server Room

A Server Room in a Server Farm

Google, Facebook and similar massive sites generally have their own server farms, which they often store underground, and they make sure that they are very well connected!

What’s your opinion on cloud computing? Is it the way of the future, or will it do more harm than good?

Get your hands on a Chrome laptop!

If you are a Googlite you probably got a bit excited about a year ago (I think) when Google announced that they were going to release an operating system.

Well in the last few days, Google has announced that it plans to bring out it’s own Chrome powered laptop in June this year!

What is the Google laptop going to be called?

I thought you might ask that 😉 Well, Google have decided that as the devices are going to be powered by Chrome, and because they are suppose to boot up in less than 10 seconds, they would be called Chromebooks.


Chrome is after the browser interface that they are based on and books as they boot up almost instantly, as you would expect a book to. You open it, and… it’s… there!

Who will make Chromebooks?

So far, Google have secured deals with Acer and Samsung to produce the laptops.

Where and for how much will Chromebooks be sold?

Initially you will be able to buy them for around $300-500 in the USA, and a similar equivalent price in 5 European countries.

A new kind of laptop

The laptops will be different from current laptops, as not only will they be much faster, but they will also be highly cloud dependant. This means that they are not ‘bogged down’ with loads of programs, and services, as they all run from the cloud. To make full use of the laptops, I imagine you will need a pretty good internet connection!

Chromebook Supported Apps

Apps that Google say you will be able to run on a Chromebook

The devices aren’t really as functional as your standard laptop, they will have much fewer features, but that does mean that they are faster.

How does Google describe them?

Like this!

Chromebooks are built and optimised for the web, where you already spend most of your computing time. So, you get a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers.

Oh… and like this

Interested?

15th of June 2011…

Peoples of the UK click here to find out more about Chromebook, my pals over in the US of A take a look at google.com/chromebook/ instead, pour nos amis Français visite google.fr/chromebook/ et cetera.

Is your smartphone too clever?

Smart phones are amazing. 50 years ago who would have predicted that you could hold a device smaller than your hand that could:

  • Take pictures
  • Connect with your car
  • Listen to music
  • Send text messages (SMS)
  • Make a video call with someone on the other side of the world
  • Track your location
  • Surf the internet
  • Understand your voice commands
  • …and loads loads more

Notice anything that could be a security risk from the list above? Well if you listen to the news, you will probably have heard the bad PR iPhone have got themselves by discovering a glitch which showed everywhere their owners had been!

Is the iPhone Safe?Apple have denied that they have been tracking users, but if someone got hold of an iPhone they would be able to download a list of every place that that phones (and probably it’s user) had been to, via the use of GPS.

Do you think that all these flashy features come at a price? Is the security of our private information being exposed more and more in this modern-day ‘technology powered’ world?

The thing is, it isn’t just the iPhone – the iPad has also been tracking users locations!

If you want to find out more, check out this online Q and A page on Apples website.

Another privacy issue…

A few days later Sony announced that it was taking down its PlayStation Network service, due to hacking which affected 77 million gamers!

Sony say that that the data might have fallen into the hands of an “unauthorised person” following a hacking attack on its online service. This data it thought to include things like names, passwords, addresses, date of births and email addresses. Another reason why it’s very important not to use one password for everything.

If you think you might have been affected by this other breach in security, check out Sony’s blog post on the issue.

Your views

Are we too dependant on technology? Do we give away too much information (often sensitive) about ourselves? Do firms really need all this data from us, and do they need to take a greater responsibility in implementing more measures to keep our info safe?