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Printer Ink

Hi Carolyn,

Have you seen the price of printer ink lately? Of course you have. Pretty expensive.

The printer/ink relationship is like razors and razor blades or Polaroid cameras (remember them?) and film: the device itself is not expensive but the replaceable inserts are.

I can’t offer a way around this scenario, but I can explain what ink you get (or don’t get) when you purchase a new printer.

New printers often come with cartridges that are not completely full; Hewlett Packard (HP) calls them “Setup” cartridges. I imagine this is what HP is thinking:

If we include a full cartridge, we’ll have to increase the price of the printer and the consumer might not buy the printer. However, if we don’t include any ink, the consumer will have to buy ink at the time of purchase, realize how expensive it is, and maybe not buy the printer at all. Hmmm. So, we’ll include some ink with the printer…

Consumers not aware of this are often surprised (even annoyed) that the “setup” ink doesn’t last very long. Fortunately, the full-priced cartridges are fully filled.

Buy the printer you want, but be aware of the volume of ink that comes with it and the price of the cartridges in your future.

Happy printing!

Weather or Not

Most of us have a weather app on our smart phones or tablets — and rely on it for weather information at home and elsewhere — but do you know the difference between “local” and “home” settings?

If you allow Location Services on your weather app, the first weather report you see will be your “local” weather: where you are at that moment, which is most often your home city. When you travel, however, the first weather information you see will also be for your “local” location — where you are, not your home city. This is most helpful, until you are away and want to know what the weather is like at home.

To be sure you can easily check your home weather, include your home location in your list of weather favorites. It might take an extra swipe or tap to get to your home weather information, but at least you’ll know right away if your sprinklers are on when it’s raining!

Is This For Real?

I am often asked how I know if an email is “for real.” Is it really coming from the bank, email provider, or company it appears to represent? Your concern is understandable; such an email might threaten to terminate service, limit accessibility, or otherwise compromise your credentials unless you act immediately.

What to do?

The first thing I do is compare the sender’s name with the sender’s email address. This is often a big clue.

The “sender’s name” is the name the sender wants you to see when you get the mail. It might say something like “Chase Online Services.” Sounds official; I got such an email last week asking for my login in information.

By clicking on the sender’s name, however, I learned that the email address associated with that email was something like joeandmikey@yahoo.com. This is definitely not an official Chase Online email address. (A legitimate email from Chase Online might be from info@chaseonline.com; at least it would include the company’s real domain name.) I deleted the email, certain it was fraudulent.

While every email address is unique, the sender’s name can be anything the sender wants it to be. The real email address might give him/her away.

The next time you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, click (or tap) on the sender’s name. You should see the real email address. If you are still not sure — perhaps even the email address looks official — close the email and go to the real company’s website (don’t click a link in the email itself), or call the company to discuss the issue.

Don’t be fooled!