Prison Pete

Thursday, August 19, 2004
  I am busy costing-out the use of the printer.
I have been weighing the amount of ink I use on each job, and I figured out that the stencil costs $.29 per use. Obviously, the initial setup charge is the cost of the stencil and the amount of ink that goes with it when it comes off the drum, but for example, remembering that I use 11 x 17 inch paper, I have come up with some interesting costs for the printer vs. the copier.

If the copier uses 11 x 17 paper, it counts each side as two copies. In other words, a 4-sheet, 16-page booklet on the copier would actually be sixteen copies. But on the printer I would use two stencils, one for each side of the paper, two pages on each stencil.


For example, to make one hundred copies of an 8 ½ x 11 form takes fifty sheets of 11 x 17 paper.

Cost of consumables: stencil $.29, ink $1.67, average per copy cost is $.0196 per page. If I had another single sided form I could run it on the same stencil and end up using one hundred sheets of paper, but it would have been a cheaper per copy cost.

Next, I ran eighty copies of a forty page booklet on the subject of parenting teens called "Teenagers guide to the real world". It was actually printed off the web by one of the teachers. It is interesting reading about what kids may be in for down the road.

Well, since I can handle ten sheets of paper directly from collator to stapler/folder, I will end up with three books of ten sheets each when I am done. Anyhow, I not only used black ink but I also did the title pages and charts in brown and orange ink respectively.

So, by the time I was done, I used $12.47 in stencils and $22.02 in ink to produce eighty booklets. Dividing the total cost of $34.49 by the eighty books, I end up with a cost per book of $.43.

Remembering that on the copier, it would be forty copies per book. Even at the low end of $.0207 per copy, it comes to $.83 and that would not have any color highlights.

The per hundred rate for the book is $1.08. Total cost $34.49, divided by total copies, i.e. forty pages multiplied by eighty books times one hundred equals $1.08. Copier beat, and plus, if you do not use your supplies, you still have them to use another day.

Sounds simple, but obviously the copier people do not want you to know that.

The numbers get better the higher your number of copies goes.

I ran 150 copies of another ten sheet, forty page book, and it worked out to a per booklet cost of $.27 and a per hundred cost of $.66

So, here is the business plan in one hundred words or less: you set up the systems on a value-added basis. The printer can be interfaced directly to computer.

Certainly takes care of the smudged original. Plus, then you could easily change font colors on the fly to get a title only master by changing all 12-point text to white and then change the 36-point text to white and run your black ink.

Following me so far?

The goal would be a foundation that would work with under-funded schools to allow them to print their text on an as-needed basis with constantly current text available without those nasty copyright hassles. So here is the perfect system to enable schools to print only the number of books they need, and in small, specific subject related bites. No more fifty pound backpacks for the kids or big bucks losses for stolen or misplaced hardcover texts.

I am not sure how good the software is to interface to the printers, but that is certainly an area that could be tinkered with also. Not to mention all kinds of small business niche marketing, such as small circulation specific magazines.

Maybe the Pinewood Derby monthly?

True, this will not do color photos, but it does a pretty decent job on black and white photos.

Maybe since Bush is so interested in education, we could interest him in developing a way for the prison system to design and print workbooks for the poorer schools.
I sure hope you get out soon. You could be making this crazy place a better world with what you have to offer.
Hi Pete,
I came across your blog on Blogger's "Blog's of Note" page and suffice it say, it's quite commendable that you've chosen the positive route to on this bump in your journey. (And equal cheers to your good friend, Editor, who thoughtfully keeps this blog up.) As an amateur sociologist/political theorist, it's a privilage to read about your life in a place that few people would be interested in (see: politicians). Come November, make sure you get out there and rock your vote.
The numbers are makine me dizzy. X_X~~

He's a convicted felon and therefor has no vote to rock.
The last Anonymous must live in Florida, the only state that felons have to reapply for the right to vote after their release.
Which is how Bush won the state last time. Of course, the voting rolls that were purged included hundreds of people who didn't belong on them, people who were allowed to vote but prevented from it a "mistake" that almost definately cost Gore the state. Coincidence that the governor of that state is the president's brother?
Hi "Anonymous:10:56 AM,"

In America, voting is a right that cannot be lawfully retracted from any American citizen, regardless if that citizen was born in US territories or naturalized after 5 years of US residency.

Hi Cary,
That was a very interesting fact about FL.

Hi Pete,
It's a good thing you're in in WV.
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