Saturday, August 18, 2007

CGSSD Meeting - Don Baker on "Demystifying Inkjet Printing"

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meeting was this morning at UCSD. The program announcement is at

There were actually three meetings today, but I missed one and a half of them due to my church group breakfast at 8 AM. By the time I get to the CGSSD meeting it is 9:30.

I chose to attend the Special Topic Session on "FamilySearch" but I missed all of the discussion about FamilySearch itself. This session was led by John Kracha, the CGSSD President, and the discussion eventually led to "should CGSSD start and maintain a society blog, and should the society distribute the newsletter through web site access and email notification." John asked for my comments on both topics, since he knew that CVGS had started a society blog (Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe) recently, I had made a presentation about blogging to CGSSD in April, and CVGS has used their web site to distribute the monthly newsletter.

* I said that a society blog needs volunteers to start and maintain it, and content creators to "feed" it. Program announcements, research tips and techniques, "how-to" questions and answers, genealogy software reviews, etc. might be topics for a CGSSD blog. But someone has to write the articles and post them. This is a computer-oriented organization, so many (most?) of the members might use a blog as a communication medium with the society leadership. I mentioned that the CVGS blog takes only 15 to 30 minutes a day (on average) to "feed," but I'm the only one doing the task.

* Should CGSSD distribute the 24-page quarterly newsletter by putting it on the web site and not publish it? Several persons said that they like having a bound paper copy for reference purposes. I noted that you can cut publishing costs by sending an email notice to the list that want an electronic copy, and thereby reduce your publication costs (printing, binding, mailing) by some amount - for CVGS it is about 50% of our membership. Someone asked if a blog, or a monthly (or even weekly) mini-letter sent by email, might be an alternative. A friend of the editor noted that putting it together every three months is a major time commitment and a weekly or monthly email newsletter would add to the editor's job, assuming that the quarterly would still be published, although the writing of articles might ease the editor's quarterly workload a bit.

I missed the FamilyTreeMaker session led by Lance Dohe. He said they discussed FTM 2008 a bit, since one of the attendees had downloaded and tested the Beta version.

The second hour presentation was by Don Baker of Klassic Specialties in Cerritos (in Orange county), a firm that specializes in computer printer products - paper, ink, etc. The web site is at You can put in your printer model number and manufacturer and see a list of remanufactured or original ink supplies sold by Klassic Specialties. I have an HP PSC 2355, and the original cartridge prices for black and white (#94) is $19.99 and for the large color cartridge (#97) is $34.95. These are about what I pay at Office Depot now, and Costco is a bit cheaper. The remanufactured costs are $18.99 (#94) and $22.99 (#97), respectively.

Don went through details of different kinds of paper or media for printing - and why some are better than others. for instance, rather than use glossy photo paper for album photos, you could use photo bond paper which provides an equivalent image quality, especially when you put it behind glass in a picture frame. He passed around four images printed by one printer on different types of paper - from copy paper to canvas, for comparison purposes.

Most printers are set for copy paper, and the printer uses a higher ink volume than if it were set for inkjet paper. You can vary the ink volume setting on your printer depending on the type of paper in use.

Don noted that printers are almost disposable now - the replacement cost of the inkjet cartridges may be almost as high as the printer itself. He also said that there are no 3rd party carrtridges for some printers (like HP and Epson) because of patent infringement suits or legal agreements between parties.

The presentation briefly covered other types of printers also - laser, thermal autochrome, and dye sublimation. Photos obtained at photo kiosks may be generated by these other methods.

The most interesting fact he presented was that an inkjet cartridge with 5 milliliters of ink calculates out to about $15,000 per gallon of ink. Isn't that amazing? For my HP printer #97 (14 ml for $34.95) it comes to $9,450. Compare that to a gallon of gasoline. No wonder printers are disposable - there's a lot of money in the ink cartridges!

Another highlight of the meeting was a slide show by Dave with his family pictures shown along with the lyrics of one of Dr. Steven Baird's family history songs. I can't recall the song title, but the theme was along the lines of "when I get to heaven what will everybody look like?" Will grandma be the young 24-year old honey that grandpa married, or will grandpa be a young man or the old man I remember? What will I look like, and who will I recognize? It was funny and poignant, and the pictures were wonderful (imagine Pamela Anderson next to Grandpa Jones!).

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