VISUAL NEWSLETTER – AUG 2007                        




Approximately half of our clients have already converted most of their forms, cheques and reports to laser based printing. Laser printers have a number of advantages over older Dot Matrix printers. They are much faster, noticeably quieter and the print is much easier to read, even when the output is printed in a smaller font. Newer Colour Lasers have all but replaced the Inkjet Printer in most business environments.


 When looking at a laser printer there are a number of different factors to consider:


1)    Purchase Price – Compatible printers can be purchased for as little as $200 or as much as $1000 or more, but purchase price alone is only one factor in the overall cost of ownership of a laser printer. Note, some very inexpensive printers are not PCL compatible and will not work with programs such as Libra, which require it.


2)    Reliability – Obviously, a $200 printer that lasts a little over a year will turn out to be much more expensive than a $400 printer that lasts 5 to 10 years. When you factor in lost productivity, service and set up costs the economy model is seldom a good buy. Pick a printer based on it’s expected duty cycle. (e.g. 100,000 pages per month )


3)    Toner Costs – If you do a lot of printing then toner costs will ultimately become the largest portion of your total cost of ownership. Laser printing is generally less expensive than Inkjet printing on a per page basis. Within Laser printer models it is worthwhile to compare actual toner costs. Some models have toner cartridges that are only good for 2,000 pages. Other models may have toner cartridges that are more expensive but they can last for 4,000, 6,000, even 10,000 pages. Some heavy-duty HP laser printer models even have optional cartridges that last up to 20,000 pages. You need to divide the cartridge cost by the number of pages to compute actual long term operating costs.




There are a number of things that you can do monthly to keep your computer in good working order. Computer Viruses, Adware, Spyware and a disorganized hard drive can lead to a variety of problems that will affect the performance of your computer. Spending a few minutes a month can help avoid bigger problems in the future.


1)    Anti-Virus – Check the status of your Anti-virus routinely. You should be able to easily determine the date of the virus definitions. If this date falls within the last week your anti-virus is up to date. If the date has slipped by a month or more, then your anti-virus is no longer functioning. This can be caused by an expired subscription. It can also be the result of an infection that has crippled your anti-virus. In this case a variety of problems may arise affecting your computer.


2)    Spybot – We routinely install Spybot as a way to check for the presence of Adware and Spyware that you may have picked up from the Internet. This program needs to be routinely updated and your computer scanned to determine if you have become infected. After a scan you can pick the option: “Fix Selected Problems” to remove the unwanted software.


3)    Inactive Software – If you installed a program on your computer in the past and you no longer use it, it can help to remove that program. It can free up space and other resources that may be tied up even though you no longer use the program. Some programs have their own uninstall feature on the program menu while others are removed via the Control Panel.


4)    Defragmentation – This option is somewhat less important now than it was in the past due to improvements in hard drive technology. It does continue to organize files on the hard drive so the drive can retrieve them more easily with less wear and tear on the drive heads.