InkMonitor/HPMonitor version 2.1

Description:

Program for ink and laser printers (Hewlett Packard, Canon, Epson, ...). Program allows you to find out the amount of ink/toner in your printer according to the number of already printed pages.

You can download a freeware version of the program on our Download page.

Controls:

When you start the program then a new icon will appear in your system tray - the area with the time in it. The programs icon is a printer picture. When you right click on the icon then you will see a programs menu.

InkMonitor menu:
"About InkMonitor..."
displays information about version of the program.

"Program Options..."
displays a dialog where you can set programs properties.

"Print Details..."
displays a detailed dialog with data about printed pages.

"Display Program Status..."
displays current status of the program.

When you install a new cartridge in your printer, clear the program data by choosing "Delete All" in "Print Details..." dialog. To allow the program to work correctly choose Options... dialog, select the printer you use and select the correct cartridge. If you want the program to work automatically then select "Automatic Print Quality detection" and "Automatic print detection for the printer". This will tell the program to watch the current printer and save all the information about printed pages in its data file so that it can figure out the amount of the ink in your printer.
If you want to see detailed information about printed pages then choose "Print Details...". Because of this detailed dialog you can use the program as a tracking tool for your printer.
If you want to be sure that users will not change program parameter or that they will not stop the program, then you can protect the program by a password (set in Options dialog).

Advanced:
You can modify the InkMonitor.xml file of the program. The structure of the file should be clear to you if you are familiar with XML syntax. If you don't understand XML then you should not edit the file. If you double click the file, then it will be opened in Internet Explorer in a table form (according to the stylesheet called Xml2Html.xsl).

If you update the cartridges in the xml file, then please send me a copy of it so that more users can use the program on a wider variety of printers. The program can be also used on laser printers if you know the approximate amount of pages printed by your toner cartridge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How does it work?
The program is based on the fact that majority of manufacturers give you the approximate amount of papers that can be printed by using one cartridge. This information together with known number of already printed pages and its quality information give the program enough information to find out the approximate status of the cartridge. This means that the program doesn't check this on hardware level!

I have started the program and I don't know what to do next!
First you have to select your printer and the appropriate printer cartridge in "Program Options" dialog. If the cartridge is new, then all you have to do next is to set "Automatic print detection for the printer" and "Automatic Print Quality detection". From this moment anytime you print on this printer, the InkMonitor will detect this and store all the information about this print (number of pages and the quality).
If the cartridge is not new, then you have to estimate the amount of ink/toner in the cartridge. Let us assume that you estimate that there is still about a half of ink/toner and that the cartridge should last for 1000 pages. Display "Print Details" dialog and using "Add" button enter new print information. Enter 1000/2, ie. 500 pages in Normal column and click "Save" button to save this into the program data file.

Where can I find information about my cartridge when it is not listed in the program?
Try to contact a computer shop with printer accessories and they would tell you the information you need (if not then contact another one). If you find the information, then please let us know so that we can include your cartridge in the program for other users.

Why color cartridges are not supported?
Assume that there is black and color cartridge in the printer. The black one should last 1000 pages and the color one 500 pages. Suppose the user has already printed 500 pages of black text (even though the color print is set in printer properties) - the program can't figure out whether the color text was printed and so it would assume it was color text and would claim that the color cartridge should be replaced. In fact this is not true, because the color cartridge is still full but the black cartridge is half used. I haven't found a way how to solve this and thus the color cartridges are not supported.

Why the automatic quality detection doesn't work?
Well some programs and some printer drivers doesn't set this property and though it is impossible to figure out the print quality. You have to manually preset the quality in Options dialog or you can change the print quality in Details dialog for each print job.

Why the number of printed pages is so big?
Some programs doesn't set the number of printed pages. All the print manager knows about such prints is the size of the print job. Unfortunately you can not figure out the number of pages from this size. When the program tries to get the number of pages, it get some big numbers. If the number is greater than 1000 then it shows a message that it is probably the case with no page numbers.
We have figured that when you change data format (in printer properties) from RAW to EMF (in Windows 9x) then this can solve the problem.

When I print something, the program InkMonitor does nothing?
First be sure that in Program Options you have set Automatic Print Detection. If the problem remains then the problem is probably caused by wrong settings in printer properties. If you set in the properties that you want to print directly to the printer then the print manager gets no information about the print. Program InkMonitor uses some information from the print manager and though it wouldn't work correctly. Try to change the settings to print through print manager in the printer properties.

What operating systems are supported?
The program is developed on Windows 2000 Professional and is tested on Windows 98 and Windows 95 OSR 2.

I have downloaded the program from Internet, but after installing the program I can't start it! It shows an error message. What's wrong?
The program is created so that it is as small as possible. The program uses MFC library but this is not included with the program (because most of the computers already contain this library). If your computer doesn't contain the current version of this library, then the system shows an error message after starting the program. Download the file vcredist.exe from download page and install it.

Problems:

If you can't run the program, then you probably don't have installed the recent version of Microsoft MFC library. You can download the library from our download page.

Support Information:

New version 2.1 can be protected by a password and information about automatic startup is set in registry (the old version has used a shortcut in Startup folder).

Information about previous version 2.0: This is a brand new version of the program. Program is now able of automatic detection of printed pages including the quality of it (best, normal, economic).

Information about previous version 1.2: Program has updated algorithm for calculating the amount of the ink in the cartridge for even better results.

Information about previous version 1.1: This version has better algorithm for calculating the amount of the ink in the cartridge (economic uses less and best uses more ink than the normal printing mode).