Archive for June, 2011

Windows Connection Issues

Are you experiencing some sort of trouble when trying to print while connected to a Windows PC? If so, there are a number of things to check to check. The most common problem is that the printer doesn’t show up in Windows. These types of problems can be caused by anything from a bad cable to a bad printer driver, but most issues are fairly easy to resolve.

Check Your Cables

The first thing to check when there is a connection problem is the cable. For most printers, it will be a USB cable, but older models might use a parallel or even a serial cable. Disconnect the cable from both the printer and the computer, and look for signs of wear or damage. Reconnect the cables firmly into each device. If possible, try a different port on the computer to eliminate the possibility of a bad port. If you have an extra cable, try swapping it out and test to see if the issue is resolved. If so, your cable was probably bad. Continue reading “Windows Connection Issues” »

Printing with PictBridge

Did you know that you can print pictures without loading them onto a computer?

If you have a printer that offers a PictBridge connection, your printer will be able to read and print pictures straight from your digital camera.  PictBridge has become an industry standard since it was first introduced in 2003 by the CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association).PictBridge logo

The PictBridge connection is not based on the brand of the camera, only on the connection options of both the printer and the camera.  To determine if your printer and camera support a PictBridge connection, look for the logo on the box or the device. —–> Continue reading “Printing with PictBridge” »

Which Paper Path is Best For Me?

When searching for a printer, there are obvious considerations such as speed, color capabilities, and wireless support, but there are also less-obvious aspects that can affect the quality of your final output. One of these aspects is the type of paper path used by the printer. The three main types of paper paths are U-shaped, L-shaped, and straight-through paths. When deciding between the different path types, there are a few factors to consider, as each has its advantages and disadvantages, and some printers even offer multiple paths within a single device, making the choice easier.

U-Shaped Path

Front-loading U-Path PrinterThe most common type of path for home users tends to be the U-shaped paper path, though many laser printers also utilize this design. It is commonly seen in a printer that has both the input and output tray located in the front of the device. The advantage is a model that is more compact, but the sharp bend that the paper makes during feeding and printing can often result in more frequent paper jams. Heavier stock such as photo paper is also more susceptible to bends and creases. A common printer that has the U-shapped path is the Brother HL-2270dw. Continue reading “Which Paper Path is Best For Me?” »

Canon PIXMA MP620 Wireless Problem

If you are using a Mac and are trying to connect to your wireless Canon PIXMA MP620, you may be having trouble getting the devices to communicate. You may have even tried the steps outlined in Setting Up Wireless Printers without any luck. This is a somewhat rare issue, but it has to do with the default Mac firewall running on your computer. By following a few troubleshooting steps, you should be able to resolve the problem and still use the firewall.

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen, then choose System Preferences. You can also click the System Preferences icon in the dock, if you prefer.
  2. Click the button that reads Show All. This helps you see all of the options listed. Now click Security or Security & Privacy. Click the Firewall tab. If the buttons are grayed out, you need to click the Lock icon in the lower left of the window, then enter your user password to make changes.
  3. Choose Allow All Incoming Connections. This will temporarily allow your computer and printer to see each other, but turning off the firewallMac firewall settings completely makes the computer somewhat vulnerable, so don’t leave this setting on long-term.
  4. Click the left arrow button at the top left to go back to the System Preferences page. Click Hardware, then click the Print and Fax or Print and Scan option.
  5. There should be a list of printers  on the left side of the screen. If your printer series “MP620” is listed, delete it from the options. Now put your Canon installation CD that came with the printer to reinstall the printer onto your computer. If you can no longer locate the installation CD, go to Canon’s website to download the driver there.
  6. Once the driver is reinstalled, you should be able to re-enable your firewall settings. Follow the first two steps again, but choose Allow Only Essential Services. Continue reading “Canon PIXMA MP620 Wireless Problem” »

Beware Printer Firmware Updates!

Printer manufacturers occasionally issue firmware updates that are typically publicly available via the company website.  These updates typically provide the ability to load new and improved features to your dated machine.  Firmware updates can also fix problems with existing functions and expand compatibility for software and OS upgrades.

BEWAREBuyer Beware

Not All Firmware Upgrades Are Created Equal.

In January, our office received this notice from a trusted vendor: Continue reading “Beware Printer Firmware Updates!” »

Lexmark 3300 Series 1203 Error

If you have a Lexmark 3300 series printer, you receive errors as numbered Lexmark error codes, due to the smaller screen. Error code 1203 is common enough that is worth spending a little extra time on, and it is often fairly easy to resolve.

Generally you will see this error because miscommunication has occurred between a cartridge and the machine itself. You may also see this error if there is an electrical failure in a printhead.

Unplug Power Cord

Reset the Printer

In order to fix this error, shut down the machine and unplug the power cable from the back of the device. After about 30 seconds, plug the power cable back into the machine and turn the multifunction device back on. Try printing a test page, and if that is normal, the error has been resolved. If it doesn’t work or the error message returns, you can try a few more things. Continue reading “Lexmark 3300 Series 1203 Error” »

Scanbox Scanning

The Scanbox is an innovative, portable solution for scanning documents of all kinds using the camera on your smartphone.  Made of laminated cards and magnetic buttons, this box can be constructed in seconds and will fold down flat so it can fit in a bag.  For occasional photo or document scanning needs, the days of having an expensive, bulky scanner, such as the Epson WorkForce 845, on your desk are over.

The Scanbox can be used for scanning photos as well as 3D objects, but it also can serve as a projection screen and an organizational tool by allowing you to digitize receipts.  The section designated for the document or object being scanned is big enough to fit a letter-size piece of paper.  The two sides of the box not only prevent shadows and outside lights from negatively affecting the scanned image, but those sides also optimize facial recognition when scanning pictures.

ScanBoxWhen the document or object is ready to be scanned, set your camera phone on the top of the box with the camera pointing through the designated hole.  Once you take the picture, you have a few options.  Using a mobile printing application such as AirPrint, you can send the image to a printer, thus making your phone a photocopier of sorts.  You can also download a scanning application (Camscanner+ is recommended by the creators of Scanbox), which will give you the opportunity to save the image to a PDF or email it. Continue reading “Scanbox Scanning” »

Canon ScanGear Setup

If you have a Canon copier, downloading the Canon ScanGear Tool will turn your single-purpose copy machine into a dual-purpose copier/scanner.  This software allows you to maximize the functionality of your equipment in a free and intuitive way.

This process does not require years of training, it is as simple as following this list of steps:

  1. Download the ScanGear tool from the Canon website.
    1. Version 2.21 for monochrome copiers.
    2. Version 2.71 (or higher) for color copiers.
  2. Run the downloaded EXE, which can be accessed in the TEMP folder.
  3. Launch the file and follow the prompts to install ScanGear.
  4. The IP address of your copier will be needed for the launch the ScanGear tool.
  5. Make sure the connection is established by selecting ‘Test Connection’.
  6. At the copier, press the Scan button and select ‘Online’ to turn the Scan mode on.  It will automatically
    search for the ScanGear software.
  7. Place document in feeder trayand from your computer, select an option from the Scan New Document
    box (typically, black and white or color).

ScanGear Continue reading “Canon ScanGear Setup” »