Solar powered printer launched in Africa

Solar powered printer launched in Africa

A solar powered printer, the RISOLAR, has been launched in Africa. Created mainly for the education sector, this printer is the epitome of resourceful.

Specially made to capitalise on the sunny weather in African countries, this printer is equipped with a solar panel that is placed in direct sunlight for six hours.

The printer was launched in Liberia by the RISO Corporation and will be marketed to 30 Liberian educational institutions before it is sold to individuals for private use.

Jason Rose, export manager for RISO, told the Liberian Observer: "Even when printing and the power goes down, one can still be able to print. This solution is perfect for areas with sporadic power issues and provides you with up to two days worth of printing without electricity."

The RISO KZ30 can print up to 1,000 copies a day and has sufficient energy storage capability to run for two additional days with no sunlight.

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How to make the most of the 'Print' window

How to make the most of the 'Print' window

You may well see this fellow every day - especially if you're a regular printer user.

He's a rectangular bundle of fun who's very much around to come to the rescue of those that need to print documents - but have specific requirements for doing so.

We're talking, of course, about that wonderful box of printer tricks, the Print window.

Despite the fact that we're giving the impression there's only one of these helpful critters, it would be more accurate to describe Print windows as a family, with varied brothers and sisters living in different programs.

Today we tackle a Microsoft Word incarnation. We've already dealt with some of the basics of printing in Word in a previous blog. But however you prefer to print your documents in Word, you'll be seeing the friendly Print window before too long.

Taking in his features from the top, the first thing you'll spot is the drop-down menu that lets you choose which printer you want to send your document to.

We've probably lost count of the times that something failed to print because we'd made the obvious mistake of sending it to the wrong printer. So whenever you print in a new environment, it's always advisable to check this little line out before you begin.

If your preferred printer isn't showing up, you can also always try and search it out with the help of the nearby 'Find Printer' button, too.

Most people will be familiar with the 'Copies' section of the Print window, where you can quickly type in how many prints you're after, rather than re-printing several times. 

One of the most useful areas for when things go wrong (among other occasions), meanwhile, is the 'Page range' box. Selecting 'Pages' here is useful for the (hopefully rare) occasions when a page emerges from your printer with an error on it.

Just type in the page you want to print, and you avoid wasting paper by re-printing your entire document.

The 'Properties' button, meanwhile, leads to a whole selection of useful features, that could probably fill a blog on their own!   

On this occasion we'll just highlight one very useful feature. Sometimes, a document you're printing will have colour elements, but, for whatever reason, you want to save the ink in your coloured cartridges. Perhaps you're simply printing a draft copy at this stage.

In this scenario, simply go into 'Properties', open the 'Color' tab and tick 'Print in Grayscale'. 'OK' your choice and you'll have saved your precious coloured ink for another day.

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Is Adobe LeanPrint any good?

Is Adobe LeanPrint any good?

You've probably heard of Adobe LeanPrint. If you haven't, not to worry.

It's a piece of software you install on your computer that links up to your printer.

It's specifically designed to help printer users manage how much ink they use.

It re-dos the layout of documents when printing from popular applications and browsers so that users can put content onto fewer pages, using less toner and reducing the environmental impact of their printing.

Adobe says LeanPrint reduces paper and toner consumption by an average of around 40 per cent. But is it any good?

According to a recent PC World review of the product, yes and no.

LeanPrint is clearly designed to capitalise on the fact that, let's face it, ink and toner from original equipment manufacturers don't come cheap.

The review explains that LeanPrint has two modes – TonerSaver and SuperSaver.

TonerSaver works by reducing the amount of ink or toner used to form text and by replacing solid colours with pattern fills where appropriate, such as pie charts and diagrams.

"The savings in ink and toner are modest but noticeable, and readability isn't seriously compromised," the review states.

SuperSaver works differently – by automatically reformatting print jobs so as to reduce page count, changing font and modifying column counts.

"This radical approach produces impressive results under optimized conditions, lowering page counts by 70 per cent or more."

But as the review points out, LeanPrint is a little limited. That's because it doesn't support a number of applications, such as Chrome or the latest version of Firefox – just Microsoft Word and Excel.

UPDATE: Adobe LeanPrint Now supports both Chrome and the latest version of Firefox.

"That leaves a rather narrow range of applications that the software can work with," according to the review.

"The browser restrictions alone will discourage most home users and small businesses from adopting LeanPrint."

It's also quite expensive – nearly £100.

So is such a product really necessary? The PC World review suggests that many of the savings achievable through LeanPrint can be achieved by changing a few options on the printer – such as draft mode and duplex printing.


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Everyone should do their bit for Green Office Week

Everyone should do their bit for Green Office Week

This week marks Green Office Week – a time when everyone should be doing their bit to ensure that their workplace is as eco friendly as possible.

According to Gregg Corbett, marketing director at Avery, the founder of Green Office Week, there is something that every member of staff can do to contribute, whether it is just thinking before they print or switching off their PC at the end of the day. "Empowering staff is the key when it comes to reducing energy usage.

Green Office Week has always been about championing a bottom-up approach, encouraging change amongst employees and office culture, using the week as a springboard to developing more sustainable working practices," he stated.

Mr Corbett went on to say that many office workers are keen to spearhead green office initiatives however don't because they do not want to be seen as nagging. 

"Small business owners must recognise that long-term sustainable change is a two way process, attained through creating a working culture that reflects this and openly values employees' contributions," Mr Corbett concluded, stating that business owners should speak to staff about the best ways to go green and seek their advice in making changes.

Green Office Week runs all week from today through to 18th May.  

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What are you doing for green office week?

What are you doing for green office week?

It's Green Office Week this month – what are you planning on doing for the event?

The gang here at INKredible are gearing up for the initiative, which kicks off on May 14th, already, you'll no doubt be excited to hear! 

The week, organised and founded by Avery, is all about encouraging offices to come up with some fun and interesting ideas to make their work spaces that little bit greener. 

The week is structured so that each day focuses on a specific environmental aspect: energy (Monday), transport (Tuesday), waste (Wednesday), purchasing (Thursday) and innovation (Friday).


The emphasis is on fun and simplicity – so there's no big complicated ideas involved. 

Avery thinks it's perfectly possible to make a big difference to the environment simply by making a few small, practical changes.


Here's what the INKredible team are planning on doing for Green Office Week: 

Monday (energy) – turn off those lights that don't get used 

Tuesday (transport) – cycle to work! 

Wednesday (waste) – well we already recycle all our office paper, so we're going to enable the standby mode on office equipment printers and photocopiers 

Thursday (purchasing) – send out some digital invoices 

Friday (innovation) – celebrate our Green Office Week with a trip to the pub (OK that's a joke, we will be doing something innovative, promise...)


What are your plans?

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How to be a 'green' printer

Regular printer user and want to do your bit for the environment? Here's some top tips for how you can reduce your carbon footprint.

We're quite into our green printing here at INKredible – it makes sense, right? Thing is, there's a bit of a perception that printing is an energy-sapping process – don't printers guzzle a lot of ink and use a fair bit of electricity?

Well, not really. Not if you use your loaf anyway. In fact, going green when it comes to printing is perfectly possible. Here's a few ideas to get you started.

How to be a 'green' printer

Duplex printing

Why not think about using both sides of the page? Sounds obvious, but it's amazing how many people simply don't bother. OK – it won't work for everything but in some cases, like for work and university assignments, it will actually make your prints look a lot better.

The vast majority of modern printers now come with built-in duplex printing options, so you've simply no reason not to. You'll cut the amount of paper you use in half.


We all know how easy it is to recycle printer paper, whether at home or in the office, but did you know you can also recycle your printers, ink and toner cartridges, too? Yes, it's perfectly possible. There are lots of companies out there that will do it for you, some will collect and some ask you to post them off.

Recycling your bits in this way also helps around the home – because you won't have any old printers and ink cartridges clogging up the garage!

Does everything have to be top quality?

For some things, it will be necessary to really put your printer to work and use colour ink and lengthy print runs.

But when your prints don't have to be top-drawer, why waste quality ink you simply don't need to? If it's just something you'll be using as a draft, do you really need to go the whole hog and have all the ink levels set right to the top? Probably not.

And while we're on the theme, exploring what your printer can really do is also a good idea. Look a little deeper into the options and you'll find there are a whole host of things your machine can do.

While these practices are undoubtedly good for the environment, think also how much money they'll help you save too.

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