Contents of the INKJET.TXT file
This utility was put together for owners of Hewlett-
Packard Deskjet/Deskwriter series printers.
If you have owned your inkjet printer for more than
a few months then you have discovered that the ink
cartridge eventually runs out of ink. Unlike dot matrix
printer ribbons, which are produced by an array of
companies, the replacement ink cartridge for the
Deskjet/Deskwriter printer is manufactured solely by
Hewlett-Packard. In one respect this is good. Since the
circuitry built into each cartridge is quite complex, you
want to be sure that the new replacement cartridge will
work when installed - and Hewlett-Packard is known for
quality products. The disadvantage to a sole
manufacturer, however, is that there is no competition,
and thus the price of the cartridge is dictated by the
The price of a new replacement cartridge (part
number 51608A) for the Deskjet/Deskwriter printer is
$19.99 (as of Summer 1991). This is the cost if obtained
directly from Hewlett-Packard. If you own a Deskjet/
Deskwriter series printer and think nothing about
spending this amount every time you run out of ink, this
document will probably be of little interest to you. But
for those who would like to save $10-$20 when replacing
their empty inkjet cartridge, then read on.
$19.99 may not sound like much to a computer user,
but it starts to add up if you use your printer on a
daily basis. In fact, if you subtract the cost of the
printer itself, the price per printed page produced by a
inkjet printer is HIGHER than the cost of a similar page
produced on a laser printer. The cost of the replacement
ink cartridge is what makes this so.
But think for a minute next time you replace that
ink cartridge, "If the only thing wrong with the
cartridge is that it has run out of ink, then why can I
not refill it with more ink?"
The cartridge itself can last a long time after it
has run out of ink. In fact, if refilled, it is not
unusual for one cartridge to accept over a half dozen
refills before giving up the ghost. By that time you
will have saved over $100!
If saving money is not of interest to you, then
consider another aspect of this issue - the environment.
In the U.S.A. we are producing garbage at an enormous
rate. The 1990's have become the decade of recycling and
environmental awareness. To throw away an empty
cartridge when it can still be used seems wasteful. Is
not refilling an empty but reusable cartridge a good
idea? You save money, and decrease the amount of trash
created - what could be wrong with that? If laser
printer owners are now recycling their used toner
cartridges, then why can't inkjet owners reuse their
empty ink cartridges?
With these exciting thoughts in mind, it is rather
disappointing to discover that our favorite printer
manufacturer disapproves of the refilling concept, and
hence does not provide customers with the necessary
components to refill their empty cartridges.
Not to fret, however. Many companies have come to
our rescue. Inkjet refill kits are now available through
a variety of channels. The only drawback, however, is
that many of these kits are not cheap. Although you
still come out ahead by refilling your empty inkjet
cartridges by using the commercial kits, you would save
much more money if you could obtain the ink and syringe
For the do-it-yourselfer, the ink and syringe can be
obtained locally at a very small cost, normally under
$7.00. By the way, you are not limited to refilling your
empty cartridge with just black ink. You can refill your
empty cartridges with colored ink, if you so choose.
For those readers who think that The DeskJet Survival
Kit is some sort of gimmick, a joke, or a rip-off, here is
a letter from a DJSK registrant from Nigeria, AFRICA (of
all places!). The registrant followed the tips and used an
ink that we suggested in the database provided by The
DeskJet Survival Kit:
2 September 1992
P O Box 5423
Falmouth, Va. 22403
Dear Philip Kapusta
As human beings, some authors appreciate
hearing from users who are impressed with
their products. That is why I am writing to
thank you for developing the HP DESKJET
The name of your product is very appropriate.
The problem here [Nigeria, AFRICA] is the
availability of the print cartridge and not
the cost. At $40 per piece (you won't believe
this), one is happy to buy one when available.
But often, it is not in stock in computer
The beauty of the kit is that the refill ink
(------ -----, brand name withheld), is
available in most bookshops and disposable
syringes are available in most chemists. I
had to go back to my dot-matrix while waiting
for the order of the cartridge to arrive. I
was still waiting while the kit arrived and
within a couple of hours I was back using the
Thanks, once again.
P.S. This letter is printed with my newly
refilled cartridge. Although there aren't
many DeskJet users here yet, I would like to
spread the good news if I can get an
If you would like to learn how to refill your empty
Deskjet/Deskwriter ink cartridges then proceed on to the
"Refill tips/notes" file (selection 2 from the Main
This utility is being distributed as shareware
software. We ask that you register this utility with the
author. Upon receipt of your registration you will be
sent the current version of this utility which includes
a useful database listing what inks (regular and water-
resistant) to use in the refill process. This database
1) Recommended paper to use with inkjet printers
(not all paper is created equal).
2) Distributors of inkjet refill kits.
3) Refill services for those who do not wish to
refill their own cartridges, yet would still like to save
$$$ and recycle their empty cartridges.
4) Distributors for genuine HP printer accessories
at the lowest prices.
Note: The database that comes with the unregistered
version is incomplete.