Today I'll not talk about code optimization but instead about hardware optimization.
First, allow me to say I hate printers.
They are actually quite useful tools for everyday interactions with the "real world" (or at least, the part of the real world that still use paper instead of digital documents). But the printer vendors are one of the most hateful industry : proprietary drivers, bloated software that you HAVE to install with your printer, and - most of all - toner page counters.
Today I had to print many documents to send them back as snail mail. This is already an annoying thing to do. But when I was about to print the last page (of about 40) my printer stopped working and all was displayed was Please replace the Toner.
WTF ? It was just printing very nicely just seconds ago ! In my old printers memories I was thinking that a toner would die when there is no more ink, or more exactly when you can no longer read what it prints...
Looking at my Brother MFC-7440 printer settings, I found something called the "Page Counter". It tells you how many pages you have printed so far.
Guess what ? It was stopped at exactly 1500.
Conclusion - in case you don't know about it - toners have a page counter, and toners will stop working when the page counter hits the limit, whatever if you have ink left or not.
This just another form of planned obsolescence, and I hate it. Since when engineers should design products that are planned to break ? Since when science should be used not to improve the products, but to degrade their quality ? With all the waste of both energy and raw materials (and your money as well btw), this kind of behavior should become a crime, or at least I hope it will become in the upcoming years.
But let's back to my printer, which looks like this actually :
I searched a bit on the internet and people were talking about different ways to reset the counter. I didn't find any information for my specific Printer/Toner.
Some people were suggesting to remove and put back again the Toner. That didn't work for me.
In terms of planned-obsolescence-engineering, it was making sense to put the counter inside the toner itself. And to have the printer ask the toner how many pages were left.
So one of the way to reset the page counter was to stop all possible communications between the toner and the printer.
So I removed the toner and looked at it :
On both left and right sides, I found some round-looking holes ending with a small glass-like window. Some place where maybe a laser could "communicate" with the toner.
I tried then to simply close these holes. Putting tape was not very easy so I instead used tissue paper with a little water to make it stick.
And once the toner was put back and the printer turned ON... Tadaaaa ! It was working like a charm and I could print my page number 1501 !
I'm not sure how many pages the toner will actually be able to print, but I'll make sure once it really die to update this post with my optimized page counter.
I expect a x1.5 to x3 optimization here.
And what about you ? Do you know good ways to fight against planned obsolescence ?