CCS-Digital May 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the CCS-Digital newsletter. Inside you will learn a number of things to improve your online experience, from scams to avoid, useful free software, discounts and deals available online and more.

The discount code of spring18 (upper or lower case) will give you 5% off orders of $20 and up.

We are no longer sending out email reminders of the newsletter.
As you are probably aware, if someone makes a purchase from a site, that site has the right to add them to their mailing list. This is not considered spam as long as there is an easy way to opt out. We do NOT add people to our mailing list unless they specifically request it. The email for our newsletter contains no ads, just a link to the newsletter online. It also begins by saying one can be removed from the list just by replying with remove.

Despite this, a few morons signed up for the discount and then reported us for spam. A few sites (AOL, Yahoo) will block a site or even an entire server on the basis of 2 or 3 spam complaints. Customers emailed us with questions and our replies were blocked because of the complaints of a few morons. On top of that, we could not even remove them from our list because in some cases their emails were forwarded to other IDs and the complaining ID was not even on our list.

Then there are the actual spammers who spoof IDs. Someone called to complain that she received 200 emails from We never send mail from that domain. Some spammer spoofed that ID (which is very easy to do and there is no way for us to prevent it). It did NOT go through our server. A knowledgeable person can look at the email headers and figure out where it really came from. But AOL, Yahoo and other lazy companies don't bother. If it says Bestinkandtoner, then Bestinkandtoner must be blocked. I wonder how much spam is sent from AOL and Yahoo IDs and how they would feel if other ISPs blocked all their email over it.

So we will not be sending out any emails about the newsletter to cut down on complaints. You can visit this link at the beginning of each month to see the latest newsletter. It still won't solve the issue of spoofing.

Get money back on almost every purchase you make!

Join Rakuten for free and get $10 off your first qualifying purchase and a percentage back on subsequent qualifying purchases. No fees, no minimums, totally free! I have been a member for almost a year now and it's nice to get those paypal payments for doing nothing except buying things I would have otherwise bought anyway. Join Rakuten

Ink Talk

Reduced Shipping Costs and Time on Canadian Orders

We located a supplier in Canada who will ship directly to Canadian customers. This will reduce both the shipping cost and the amount of time it will take to arrive. For credit card orders, you should see a lower total than what the website showed, once your order has been processed. For paypal orders, you should get a refund of the difference. If you want to know what your order will cost before placing it, choose Other Payment Methods. We will get notification of the order and reply with a total. You can then decide to proceed using paypal, credit card or other payment method.

The Epson Embargo Has Hit

We have been warning people for months that it will become very difficult to get Epson compatible cartridges. Customs has been stopping shipments from entering the country. Epson has been going after suppliers. Our biggest suppliers stopped providing Epson cartridges. We have removed some models from our site and prices on other models are moving up. Don't wait for the last minute. You might also want to consider refillable and reusable cartridges because you will always be able to find ink.


Now is the time to get a printer

Just about all the printer companies are jumping on the rip-off bandwagon where every printer needs a different cartridge. It used to be that a company would release 5 or 10 new printers a year and all would use the same cartridges. By making each printer use a different one, they know that the market for any one cartridge model will be limited so compatible manufacturers won't bother to make it. On top of that, they issue firmware upgrades via the Internet so even if you find a compatible cartridge, if you allow the upgrade to run, it will stop working.

For these reasons, we urge people to get one of the "older" printers now - the ones which still work with compatible cartridges or a new printer from Canon or Brother who have not yet jumped on the rip-off bandwagon. Otherwise you will be paying a fortune for ink. There are printers where the ink cost as much or more than the printer itself. HP and Epson have some inkjets where the cartridges are over $100 a set. HP has at least one where cartridges are $400!.

Right now the best inkjet is the Canon Maxify MB2720, currently $100 which uses cartridges in the $5 range. These cartridges are about 3x the size of standard cartridges (hence the name maxify) with about 1,000 page yield. Details on Best Printers. So far it seems the Canon models are not subject to the Epson firmware upgrade scam which follows but it's always a good idea to reject any upgrades a printer company tries to foist on you.

Texas AG May Sue Epson Over Dirty Tricks

I was a staunch advocate for Epson products for over 20 years but no longer. If you want all the details, you can read Epson dirty tricks.

Beware the firmware upgrade
Epson releases firmware upgrades which are sent to you via the net. All these do is prevent compatible cartridges from working. With single-use cartridges, most people use them within a few months of purchase so by the time the upgrade arrives, they are used. (Though we do get customers who hold them for months and then complain later - after running an upgrade - why they don't work. This is why our "official" warranty is 60 days. It's impossible to protect people from their own actions.) With refillable cartridges, people expect to use them for a long time. Then they run the upgrade which renders the cartridges useless.

Need a speaker for a user's group?

I have given online presentations to users' groups. If you have a group which meets regularly who would be interested in hearing about computer-related topics, drop me a line.

Inspirational, amazing and fun

elderly priest gives up ventilator and sacrifices his life to save younger patient  
16-year-old girl volunteers to care for 6 children when both parents come down with Corona  
man donates his $1200 stimulus check to a stranger  
amazing letter from a charity collector:
A man who collects charity before Passover to distribute to families in need, wrote this to a magazine. This year was particularly bad. Not only were more families in need because they lost their livelihood during the corona crisis, but donations were dwindling for the same reason. It was with great trepidation that he called each name on his list only to be told they couldn't donate this time. Then he called one benefactor who told him he would be donating $20,000 more than the previous year! In shock, the collector asked, "You are actually making money during this period?"  
The donor responded, "No, like everyone else, I lost money. But every year I take my extended family to a hotel for Passover. This year, we're not going. I calculated that we saved about $20,000. That should go to families who can barely afford to celebrate at home."  
Far Rockaway's beautiful response:
My own community of Far Rockaway came up with their own way to help. To avoid a crowd of people rushing to stores to stock up after Passover, they posted on a bulletin board that food packages would be available for pickup at a local synagogue. Packages contained bread, milk, cereal and other staples. Stores packed these boxes and also sponsored some of the costs. Volunteers wearing gloves and masks put them into cars as people arrived to get them so no one had to get out. Each recipient handed over an envelope containing cash or check. They could pay the regular price, a reduced price if they felt they were in need or an increased price and thus sponsor the project.  
Are we living in a police state?
The police department in a small town posted on a computerized community bulletin board: You know who you are. When you go out to collect the mail, make sure you wear pants. We're not telling you again. If you fail to do so, you will be fined."
The comments posted:
Are we living in a police state? First we need masks. Now we need pants. Where will it end?
Let me get this straight. I need pants to collect the mail but not to shop at the store?
I've been isolated at home for a month with nothing to do but eat. I don't fit into my pants.  
crossing guard sacrifices his life to save two children 
an incredible story of forgiveness and overcoming grief  
During a time when stores of racial and religious hatred abound, this is heart warming.
Religious Jewish Lakewood man changes tire for stranded black woman 
encounter at a supermarket changes this boy's life 
Jewish group delivers food to aging Poles who rescued Jews during the holocaust  
man leaves $2500 tip for servers just before place closes due to Corona virus  
cab driver saves 92-year-old from being scammed out of $25,000  
16-year-old wrestler foils kidnaping  
muggers attack elderly man - who used to be a boxer  
82-year-old woman beats intruder  
man who robbed bank to pay for wedding identified by fiance  
4 year old knows every bone in the body  
what people did for these soldiers and what they did in return is beautiful  
what a seventh grader does for another is amazing  
man receives 55,000 copies of the same letter about his daughter's student loan  
family builds separate tiny houses for each child  
newspaper headlines which make you say WHAT?!  
man with "Crime Pays" tattooed on his forehead arrested again  
orangutan helps ranger in snake-infested water  
arcade fills claw machine with hand sanitizer and toilet paper  
last t-rex in hiding comes out when streets are empty  
sneaky infant pranks family  
people who spotted their doubles  
what to do with a 3 year old when you're in isolation - adorable  
fiddler on the roof during corona 
I found this old Stephen Wright bit hysterical 

What do you want to see in the next issue?

If there's something specific you want to know about, feel free to drop me a note.

Until next time, have a great month!