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You dir'ty ole' man!!!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As we run our business from home and seeing as we are having new electrics and heating installed then the obvious decorating, I was thinking that we should perhaps make our office more streamline, regards the equipment we have.

So, the stuff we use so far is:-
2 x PC's networked together and each with a direct connection to our mono laser printer (brother hl1430).
We have a brother 1020 plain paper fax.
Then we each have a very neat slimline canon lide scanner.
Plus I have an epsonrx420 photo printer/scanner/copier.
Now I don't need telling that there's a lot of gear for a small office and of course they all use different consumables.

When it scomes to buying consumables I always use Ebay and only buy originals (however, I have been trying some compatibles for the Epson and the jury is out on this at the moment).

I guess the ultimate would be 1 or 2 machines only that will cater for our needs, both now and future and something where the consumables don't cost the earth to replace. I have these machines that are relatively cheap to buy, but the consumables can costa fortune.

Any recommendations/advice will be welcome.

Cheers......Graham
 

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www.finingaround.co.uk
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1,826 Posts
As we run our business from home and seeing as we are having new electrics and heating installed then the obvious decorating, I was thinking that we should perhaps make our office more streamline, regards the equipment we have.

So, the stuff we use so far is:-
2 x PC's networked together and each with a direct connection to our mono laser printer (brother hl1430).
We have a brother 1020 plain paper fax.
Then we each have a very neat slimline canon lide scanner.
Plus I have an epsonrx420 photo printer/scanner/copier.
Now I don't need telling that there's a lot of gear for a small office and of course they all use different consumables.

When it scomes to buying consumables I always use Ebay and only buy originals (however, I have been trying some compatibles for the Epson and the jury is out on this at the moment).

I guess the ultimate would be 1 or 2 machines only that will cater for our needs, both now and future and something where the consumables don't cost the earth to replace. I have these machines that are relatively cheap to buy, but the consumables can costa fortune.

Any recommendations/advice will be welcome.

Cheers......Graham

Get a part time job in the civil service and use their consumables?
 

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...Now I don't need telling that there's a lot of gear for a small office
tbh, it doesn't seem that much to me. It's only a lot if the items aren't working for you and earning their keep. I have a mono laser printer that does most of my work, I also have a colour printer too. Theoretically I don't need the mono laser, but it's faster and better quality than the inkjet.

The consumables are the expensive part yes. Generally a replacement cartridge for the laser will cost more that a new laser, but it usually lasts longer than the original that came with the laser. But I don't think this is an unusual situation, I think if you add it up, the petrol you put in your car costs a lot more than the car did in the first place.

Think about redundancy when you look at combined units. What's the effect if they break? I have a combined fax/scanner/laser, but that's because a scanner and fax is not really important to my business, so if it breaks down and I lose scanner and fax the impact is not that large, I only use it as a backup printer.
 

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I guess the ultimate would be 1 or 2 machines only that will cater for our needs, both now and future and something where the consumables don't cost the earth to replace. I have these machines that are relatively cheap to buy, but the consumables can costa fortune.

Any recommendations/advice will be welcome.

Cheers......Graham
A lot of the decision comes down to how often you use colour and what sort of colour quality you want. For general business graphic spot colour something like HP CM1017 Multifunction Colour Laserjet could be a decent choice.

If you are printing more than a couple pages a day the per page saving will outstrip the lower purchase cost of an inkjet within a year (appx laser 18p to 25p, inkjet 30p to 50p). You also save a lot of your time buying consumables as the toners last ages (small businesses have a nasty habit of neglecting to value their time). The model suggested has built-in Ethernet so you can just plug it into the hub and share it with both PCs. HPs are not the cheapest but their software drivers help to make them the best in class.

Despite the claims colour lasers photo printing is not up to much. You could of course buy a cheap portable photo-printer to go with it...or just pop down to Tescos and print them - it's cheaper than printing your own.

You might even consider dispensing with a fax machine altogether. Fax-to-email/email-to-fax services are generally less expensive than running your own fax machine.

HTH
 

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You dir'ty ole' man!!!!!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Epson rarely gets used as I don't do many colour prints and the scanner part has been taken over by the canon (much quicker).

We do a fair old amount of b&w printing though and we've always had brother printers.

The idea of what do we use if one breaks has always been in our miinds (you never know these days)!!

I'll have a good look at the kit and see if we can manage without.
 

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One obvious thing jumps out for reducing clutter, if you have XP on your machines, bin the fax machine and use the windows fax service, I used it for years, sadly this isn't on the basic Vista packages though :angry: .

The only downside as that you need the PC to be switched on to receive a fax, the way I got around it was to get a fax to email number for people sending faxes to me, then use the windows fax to send faxes out.

I'm now looking for a free Vista compatible replacement for windows fax, though I may have to prise the wallet apart and pay for it :frown:

You don't need any of the other functions of the fax as you already have 2 scanners and 2 printers so you can lose it, eBay it, or store it "just in case"

I know they're not that big as I use one myself, but why not put one of the scanners away, it's only a case of moving the USB cable from one machine to the other if you want to use it on another PC. I so rarely used colour that when my last Epson inkjet died from clogging up, I've not bothered replacing it, I just stick with the mono laser, thats another thing gone.

To reduce wiring, you could get a print server (single or double) and wire your laser and if you keep it the inkjet directly into your network so either machine can use either printer without extra wires to connect them both to the printers.

Arfie
 

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All hail the mighty ZOM
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We use a Force 9 fax to email number (comes with the account) and use MS Fax to send stuff out. Have the incoming fax line no redirected to the fax to email no so all incoming faxes get routed to email. Works a treat.

A mono laser handles the long tough print jobs and a couple of Epson colour inkjets handle the low volume photo and colour work. Consumables are ridiculously cheap (£10 for 5 sets of cartridges on the inkjets) and now they use the seperate colour tanks they seem to be reliable and don't need cleaning ever (the tanks that were combined were crap). Scanner is a couple of Canon LIDE ones like yours- they are really cheap so we have 2.

I don't like multi-function devices as they are crap at everything.
 

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You dir'ty ole' man!!!!!
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2,437 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We use a Force 9 fax to email number (comes with the account) and use MS Fax to send stuff out. Have the incoming fax line no redirected to the fax to email no so all incoming faxes get routed to email. Works a treat.

A mono laser handles the long tough print jobs and a couple of Epson colour inkjets handle the low volume photo and colour work. Consumables are ridiculously cheap (£10 for 5 sets of cartridges on the inkjets) and now they use the seperate colour tanks they seem to be reliable and don't need cleaning ever (the tanks that were combined were crap). Scanner is a couple of Canon LIDE ones like yours- they are really cheap so we have 2.

I don't like multi-function devices as they are crap at everything.
We used to be with Force9, or rather PlusNet as they became and just before our move to Northumberland last year they changed their philosophy on email. Ours went down and we were without for nearly 2 1/2 weeks. Their customer service was crap.
However, no doubt other people may think differently, but they never redeemed themselves with us and we'd been with them for over 4 years! :angry:

There's lots of good set ups for us to think about.

Cheers...Graham
 
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