Tonight I performed some surgery on my color laser printer’s empty toner cartridges and installed knock-off ones in their place. I feel a little dirty, but I saved about $400.

I resent that toner cartridges now have microchips in them that are required for the printer to print. The chips help the printer report its toner levels, but otherwise are there to make a rather generic toner cartridge into into something proprietary and overpriced. The knock-off toner cartridges I bought came with tools and instructions for transferring the chips from the original printer cartridges to them. It was pretty easy to do, and the printer prints in color again with the new cartridges installed.

The printer will always report low toner now, no matter what the toner level actually is. I expect to field questions about it from my family for the rest of my life.