Computing getting complicated

It’s been a very busy week for computing in our household. The first thing that happened was that our old Hewlett-Packard 4P laser printer started having continuous paper jams. I discovered that the rubber foot that feeds the paper into the machine was worn. The surface no longer grabbed the paper properly.

I remembered that there is an authorized HP service center next to the Shell gas station on the corner of Tustin Avenue and Fairhaven. I put the 4P in the car and went down to Perfect Pages and spoke with Renee Hammond, the Sales Manager. She could repair the old printer for $80 but the machine is very old and might not be worth repairing. She indicated that they had a number of rebuilt printers at reasonable prices and I ended up purchasing a newer Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 2100 with completely rebuilt rubber feed parts and a remanufactured cartridge. We use the LaserJet as our default printer and have two other color printers for photos and routine color printing.

While there she showed me a number of rebuilt machines, both black and white and color, and a complete line of HP compatible toner inkjet cartridges. They also refill a variety of HP and Cannon inkjet printer cartridges.

For some time I have wondered if there was a convenient place that serviced printers and was glad that I remembered Perfect Pages.

Speaking of refilled printer cartridges, there was an interesting article in the February 4 issue of the New York Times about refilled cartridges. They came to some interesting conclusions based upon some recent studies. The first was that just saving money on the cartridge is not as important as consideration of the price per page printed. “While new Hewlett-Packard cartridges had a 2 percent failure rate, 70 percent of remanufactured units did not last as long as promised.” And while some remanufacturers and refillers claim their ink is as good as Hewlett-Packard’s, HP has filed lawsuits for patent infringement if the inks are too close to the original.

While I haven’t started to use refilled or remanufactured ink cartridges, I might follow the article’s final conclusion and use refilled black and white and color cartridges for routine printing but stick with the more expensive factory cartridges for photo printing on photo papers where superior color and longevity are important.

There is a cartridge refiller at the corner of First Street and El Camino in Tustin and my friend Bob Swaim recommends Cartridge World at the corner of Culver and Walnut in Irvine.

I now have a used LaserJet 4P sitting in our front hall and will happily give it away if someone wants to fix it or I will dispose of it otherwise. However, disposing of it no longer is easy. According to, starting February 6, 2006, new state hazardous waste rules will ban residents of disposing in the trash of, among other things, any electronic devices. So my printer will have to be taken to one of the four hazardous waste sites in Orange County or Federal Disposal will pick it up for a $30 fee. However, according to the article, compliance will be voluntary and the policy won’t be enforced. Don’t forget however that computer monitors really are hazardous and should be taken to disposal sites.

As you can see, computing life is getting more complicated every day.

If you would like to hear more about this week’s adventures, or other computer topics, visit “Coffee and Computers” at the Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S. ‘C’ Street, any Friday morning starting at 9 a.m. Bring your questions or just come in and visit.

In the mean time, keep the neurons happy, synapses snapping and enjoy computing.


Additional Information:

Perfect Pages, 877 S. Tustin Ave at Fairhaven, Orange, 714.538.6986, email:; Feb 4, 2006, Your Money; “New Printer Cartridges or a Refill? Either Way, Ink is Getting Cheaper” by Damon Darlin.

Cartridge World, 14450 Culver Drive, Irvine, 949.857.2600 for locations of Orange County hazardous waste disposal sites.


Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at:

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