What a printer statistic page is used for

27. November 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Modern printers store print jobs in their memories to facilitate speedier printing. Queued print jobs aren't all that you'll find in a printer's memory; a statistics file should be stored there too. Although you're not likely to require it very often, a statistics page can be extremely useful in certain situations. It quickly and easily conveys a wide array of information about a printer, which makes it easier to troubleshoot problems. Most people don't print statistics pages unless they're asked to, but it never hurts to have a basic understanding of what printer statistics pages are and how they are used.

What's Included on a Typical Printer Statistics Page?

When it comes to the statistics that are included on printer statistics pages, every machine is different. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to what's included and what isn't. At the very least, though, you can expect to find the following kinds of information:

  • Information About the Printer - When you print a statistics pages, you'll find that it includes the model number and serial number of your printer. This is mostly done to ensure that the right information about the right machine is being provided, but it could also be used to prevent someone from mislabeling a printer when selling it.
  • Information About the Printer's Main Components - In most cases, the printer statistics page will include information about components like ink cartridges and drums. In fact, the main reason to print a statistics page is to obtain this kind of information. The maximum yields that can be expected from each component will be included, and additional information about each component may be included as well.
  • Available Toner - This is probably one of the most important pieces of information that you'll find on a printer statistics page. It shows you the percentage of toner that is left in a cartridge.
  • Number of Pages Left - This doesn't refer to the number of sheets of paper that's in the printer. It refers to the estimated number of pages that it can print with the amount of toner that's available. If you're about to print a huge job and want to make sure that you have enough toner to finish it, just print out a statistics page to see how many pages it can handle. This is a good way to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Defective Ink and Toner Cartridges

There is always a chance a cartridge may be defective. When you buy a new ink or toner cartridge, you should have a good idea about how many pages you'll be able to print with it. This information is usually included on the packaging. What happens if the cartridge stops working way before it reaches that number or if it stops working entirely?

If you end up with a defective cartridge, you may want a refund or a replacement. To prevent fraud, we require proof that the cartridge was installed. We also need to see that the cartridge failed before printing the promised number of pages. The easiest way to show us this kind of proof is with a printer statistics page. If the cartridge is malfunctioning and you can't print a statistics page, don't worry. There are ways to print it to a file, which you can then email to the supplier or manufacturer.

Printing a Statistics Page

You can usually have a statistics page printed through the printer's main display. You may also be able to print one through the interface on your computer. Check your printer's owner's manual for more information.   

How to change an expired toner cartridge

22. November 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

On the face of things, changing an expired toner cartridge seems easy enough. If you've never done it before, though, you may be confused about how to proceed. It's a lot better to get specific instructions for changing an expired or empty toner cartridge than it is to make guesses or assumptions. Without following the right procedure, you could damage the cartridge or the printer. You could also install the cartridge incorrectly, which could have a negative impact on the quality of your printed copies. Learn the basics of changing an expired toner cartridge below.

Remove the Expired Cartridge

You can't install a new toner cartridge without removing the old one first. Before you even do that, you should make sure to stock up on toner cartridges to ensure that you have what you need when the time comes. Nothing is worse than having to wait around for a new toner cartridge to arrive.

Removing an empty or expired toner cartridge is generally quite easy. Most cartridges have handles for easy removal. Simply grab the small handles on the cartridge and pull it gently away from the printer. If this doesn't seem to work, or if you're unable to access the cartridges easily, consult the owner's manual for your printer. Additional steps may be required.

Have a sheet of paper, a newspaper or a paper towel ready before you remove the old cartridge. Just because its level of ink or toner is low enough to require changing doesn't mean it's completely empty. Small amounts of ink or toner could still be present. Without having something to place the cartridge on, you could make a mess that won't be very easy to clean.

Prepare the New Cartridge

Preparing the new cartridge is fairly intuitive. The first step is to open the box. The cartridge will be sealed in a bag. Some bags have notches for easy opening. If yours doesn't, use a pair of scissors to get it open quickly. Be careful. If the cartridge is defective, there may be loose ink or toner in the bag. Contact the supplier or manufacturer for a refund or replacement.

Once the toner cartridge has been removed from the bag, there are a few more things to do. You need to remove the shipping tape from the cartridge. The tape is usually a prominent color so that it's easy to distinguish. Without the tape in place, toner or ink would spill out of the cartridge while it's in transit. Gently shake the cartridge to ensure that the toner is distributed evenly.

Install the New Cartridge

The new cartridge should be ready for installation. The position of the old cartridge should still be fresh in your memory, so simply slide the new one into the printer in the same way. Make sure that it snaps securely into place. A loose cartridge can wreak all kinds of havoc inside a printer.

Close the printer and print a test page. If the printer doesn't seem to recognize the new cartridge, you should do a cold start to reset its memory. Remove the new cartridge from the printer. Turn off the printer, unplug it and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Plug it back in and turn it back on. By doing this, you should have successfully reset the printer's memory. When you go to install the cartridge again, it should work.

If you continue to have problems with installing the toner cartridge, contact the supplier or manufacturer. Additional help may be needed, and a technician may need to work on your printer. In most cases, though, the process should go off without a hitch.   

Common features on new fax machines

18. November 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags:   //   Comments

HP 1010 Fax Machine The process of choosing a suitable fax machine can be fairly complicated. The features and capabilities of different models vary considerably. Before you shop for a new fax machine on the Internet or in stores, it's best to determine what features your business or home office truly needs.

Faxing Features

Most models have a speed dial function. However, they don't all store the same quantity of fax numbers. Some machines only hold a few numbers; others store hundreds of them. A large speed dial capacity will only become important if you send faxes to many different people.

Some machines have junk fax blocking features. They try to detect unwanted faxes and cancel them. This prevents the machine from wasting ink, electricity and paper. It also stops advertisements from delaying legitimate faxes. Some junk fax blockers work better than others; read product reviews for more information.

Modern fax machines typically have a memory that stores fax data. This enables you to print multiple copies or delay printing if the machine runs out of ink. You can also scan documents and send them later. Depending upon the model, the amount of memory usually ranges from 25 to 500 pages. More memory is desirable if you receive large faxes.

Printing Features

Models with color printing capabilities can send and receive high-quality color faxes. This proves useful for printing artwork, photographs and brochures. However, it's more expensive to buy and operate a color fax machine than a black-and-white model. If you primarily plan to send text-based documents, consider using postal mail or email to distribute color images.

Some of the more expensive fax machines offer laser printing. They provide high-resolution output and greater reliability. Compared to inkjet units, these machines also print faster and perform better in very dry conditions. Nonetheless, an inkjet fax machine may be preferable for a home office or small business that receives faxes occasionally.

Extra Features

Many recent fax machines perform several functions. Some models feature built-in scanners, copiers and printers. Many also offer corded telephones. Keep in mind that these capabilities are only beneficial if you have a genuine need for them and don't already own equipment that serves the same purpose.

A number of minor features also vary from one model to the next. Some machines hold more paper than others or have trays for two different sheet sizes. Others provide caller ID capabilities or permanent memory that can store faxes during power outages. All of these features add versatility and convenience, but they also increase the cost.   

Common print quality issues and how to manage them

15. November 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

You shouldn't give up on your printer at the first sign of trouble. Although printers are cheaper than ever, most models are built to last. By knowing about common quality issues and how to handle them, you can make the most of your printer and rely on it for many years to come. It's natural to be frustrated when print quality is less than perfect. Even if you invested in one of the best printers on the market, wear and tear will take their toll over time. Even the best printers start experiencing problems at some point. The trick is knowing how to address those issues. In most cases, low print quality can be resolved quickly, easily and affordably. Regardless of the specific print quality issues that you're experiencing, you should run down this list of solutions before attempting anything else. In many cases, one of these measures will resolve the problem:

  • Make sure that you're using high-quality paper. This is especially important when you absolutely need exceptional results. Extremely cheap paper often produces low-quality prints. Resolving this issue is as simple as upgrading to better paper.
  • Clean out the interior of the printer. You can use a damp cloth to get the job done right. Just make sure to squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. The cloth should be just damp enough to remove dust and debris.
  • Remove the ink or toner cartridge and shake it around. In some cases, the toner may just need to be loosened up again inside the cartridge. That's especially true if you haven't used the printer in some time. After shaking it up, replace it and try printing again.
  • Replace the ink or toner cartridge. If shaking it around doesn't help, you might just have a defective toner or ink cartridge. Make sure to buy your compatible toner and ink cartridges from a reputable and reliable supplier. Check the expiration dates on your cartridges and make sure to use them in a timely manner.

Common Print Quality Issues Refer to the following techniques to tackle specific print quality issues.

  • Vertical Lines - If fine, black lines are running vertically on your printed copies, the drum in your cartridge assembly is probably damaged. The easiest way to resolve this is by swapping it out with a new one. If the lines are smudged, the rollers may need to be replaced. This can also be caused by a damaged fuser, which is the mechanism that makes the toner stick to the paper.
  • Faded, Streaked Lines - Are there faded vertical lines or streaks on your printed copies? If so, the toner might just be low. Shaking up the cartridge could do the trick. If you try that and the problem persists, replace the cartridge entirely. If it still happens, check your print settings to make sure that you're using an appropriate print density.
  • Excessive Toner - Is there excess toner on your printed copies? This often happens when the fuser is defective. If the toner is collected along the sides of the paper, the rollers or guides may just be dirty.
  • Faded Spots - This is a somewhat unusual problem. Make sure that the paper you're using isn't damp at all. If there are wet spots on the paper, they could be to blame. Make sure that you're using decent paper to prevent this problem.

As you can see, the majority of print quality issues can be handled in a minute or two. If a part needs to be replaced, however, it's generally best to have a technician do the work.

What is a Personal Area Network (PAN)

10. November 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags:   //   Comments

If you're looking for a convenient way to connect several computer users through one device, you should consider using a personal area network, or PAN. A personal area network is a small network that allows a group of computer users to connect through one person's setup. PAN technology is used in many situations, and there are many variations available. It's not limited to computers. You can connect a variety of devices to a personal area network. For example, this kind of network can be used to wirelessly send documents to a printer.

Printing Over a Personal Area Network

It's not unusual for people to have smartphones, laptops and other devices. Portable printers aren't quite as common, but more people are using them than ever. If you're going to use a portable printer, you'll definitely want to consider using a personal area network. With PAN technology, you can wirelessly connect all of your devices, which will allow you to send documents from your smartphone or other device to your portable printer. This is a lot easier and more convenient than trying to do this over a regular Wi-Fi connection, especially when you're traveling and changing locations frequently.

Bluetooth PAN

One of the limitations of a regular PAN setup is that it only stretches across a limited area. When it was initially developed, PAN technology could only extend about a meter or so. Things have improved, but standard PAN technology usually only stretches a few meters more. In many cases, this may not be sufficient. One alternative is Bluetooth PAN.

Bluetooth PAN is also known as piconet. This type of network uses more advanced technology, so it works more efficiently with devices like Smartphone's. As with traditional PAN technology, there is a base device that's known as the master. The other devices are known as slaves. With the right antenna, a Bluetooth PAN can extend more than 100 meters. You can use this setup to share a Bluetooth-based network with other users.

WPAN

WPAN stands for wireless personal area network. Unlike traditional PANs, there's no need to use FireWire or a USB connection. Everything is handled wirelessly. Instead of using wires, WPAN technology uses IrDA, which relies on Bluetooth, wireless USB or infrared signals. This type of PAN is the most effective option for people who want to connect several wireless devices. It's also suitable for people who aren't going to stay in one place for very long. Without the need to connect any wires, setup is a breeze.

Skinplex

Another type of PAN is known as Skinplex. It gets that name because it is activated by human touch. This technology is sometimes used on convertible car tops and automatic door locks. As far as printing goes, it doesn't have any really useful applications. It's still worth mentioning because the technology is still relatively new. In the future, it may be used more extensively.

On-the-Go Printing

The main benefit of any type of personal area network is the ability to connect a variety of devices through one master device. Thanks to this kind of technology, the days of having to physically load a document on a computer that's connected to a printer are rapidly fading. If you regularly need to print documents while you're out and about, a portable printer is an excellent first step. To make the most of your printer, though, you should also try using a PAN.

Although portable printers don't use regular ink, you'll need to stock up on compatible ink cartridges to ensure that your regular printer is always ready to go. It's especially important if you're going to have several devices connect to your printer through a personal area network.   

Fixes for common scanning issues

5. November 2012 05:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

The right scanner can make life a lot easier. Instead of filing hard copies of invoices, purchase orders and other documents, you can scan them and store them on a computer. Instead of physically looking for paper copies later, you'll just have to perform a quick search on your computer. Of course, this is all contingent on producing clear, legible copies of the documents in question. It also depends on immediately scanning copies and storing them onto the hard drive. If your scanner experiences issues, there are things you can do before seeking professional help. Pick up a few great tips for fixing your scanner below.

Nothing Happens when You Press the Scan Button

This usually happens after some other issue has occurred. In most instances, the scanner is unable to respond because a previous job is still in its memory. To perform a new scan, you need to clear out the old file. You should be able to do this through your computer's scanning interface. Just click on the icon for your scanner and look for a command about removing old jobs from the queue.

Jams Occur without Paper in the Scanner

Nothing is as frustrating as scanning a multiple-page document and getting an error about a paper jam. If you're scanning something, there shouldn't be any paper in the tray in the first place. Open up the scanner and use a flashlight to carefully examine its interior. A small scrap of paper or some other debris has probably become jammed in the machine. You can also try using computer duster to blow away small particles that are causing the error.

The Light Blinks But Nothing Happens

Several things can cause this error, and it needs to be resolved before you can successfully scan anything else. The easiest way to put a stop to this is by opening and closing your scanner. If it's also a printer, pull out the paper tray and replace it. If all else fails, turn it off, let it sit for a few minutes and turn it on again. If this error occurs along with a code, find out what the code means in your owner's manual.

Illegible Copies

There's no point in scanning and storing a document if it's illegible. There are a few reasons for a scanner to produce difficult-to-read copies. To understand why this problem occurs, you need to know how scanners work. These machines use lenses to scan images on a document. If the lenses are dirty, the resulting copies will be illegible. With that in mind, you need to find the lens on your scanner and make sure that it's clean. Follow instructions in your owner's manual to clean the lens properly. If the lens is damaged due to overzealous cleaning, more expensive repairs will be needed.

In some cases, illegible copies happen because the scanner bed is smudged or otherwise dirty. It's made out of glass, and it needs to be completely clean. Make sure that's the case before attempting a scan. From time to time, gently wipe down the glass to keep it as clean as possible.

Scanners are relatively simple machines. When issues occur, they can usually be handled in a minute or two. If the repair tips above don't work, though, you will probably have to bring in the professionals. In the meantime, store documents that need to be scanned in a safe place. With any luck, your scanner will be returned promptly, and you will be able to catch up on your scanning quickly. To avoid this issue in the future, consider buying a used scanner to use as a backup.   

Is mobile printing the wave of the future?

2. November 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Mobile printing You don't have to be a techie to know how popular mobile devices have become. These days, it seems like practically everyone has a smartphone or a tablet. The popularity of handheld mobile devices shouldn't slow down anytime soon. In fact, experts predict that the total number of mobile devices that are in use will at least double over the next three to five years. It seems only natural that the demand for mobile printing will grow right along with it. Although some people say that digital documents are making printing obsolete, the truth is that there will always be a need for hard copies. Find out why mobile printing is sure to increase in popularity below.

More Mobile Devices will Produce Greater Demand for Mobile Printing

When mobile devices first started growing in popularity, those who used them didn't have a pressing need to be able to print from them. After all, most people continued to use laptops and PCs along with their smartphones and tablets. As mobile technology improves, however, more and more people are turning away from PCs and laptops in favor of mobile devices. That's not to say that desktop PCs and laptops will become obsolete, but it does mean that there is a more pressing need for mobile printing.

New Software Simplifies the Process of Printing from Mobile Devices

There are plenty of workarounds for printing documents from a mobile device. For example, you can take a document from a smartphone or tablet and send it to your email address. From there, log onto that email address from a laptop or a desktop and print your document. This technique works, but it's hardly convenient. It comes as no surprise that many companies are developing software that addresses this issue.

HP ePrint Software Paves the Way

One of the first programs that was specifically designed to address mobile printing was HP's ePrint software. This software is included with many HP printers. It assigns a specific email address to the HP printer. Users can then send documents from their smartphones and tablets directly to the printer. It eliminates several steps from the process that is highlighted above. However, its main limitation is that it only allows users to print documents to one printer. The good news is that it's compatible with popular email programs like Gmail and supports file formats like PDFs and Excel spreadsheets.

Will There be Less Demand for Mobile Printing?

Some folks believe that the ease of sharing and sending digital documents and photos is going to eliminate the need for printing. However, several things suggest otherwise. For one thing, people who have mobile devices and are able to print form them easily, typically do twice as much printing as people who have standard PCs and laptops. In other words, if the process of mobile printing is simplified and readily available, people will happily put it to use. Software companies are aware of this fact, which is precisely why so many new programs are being developed.

Mobile Printing is Sure to Grow

For all intents and purposes, mobile devices and technology are only just hitting their stride. Now that they have become commonplace, the next logical step is to enhance and improve mobile printing technology. That process is well underway, so you can expect to see many more devices that are compatible with popular printers. Before too long, printing a document or photo from your smartphone or tablet should be quick, easy and efficient. When that happens, there's sure to be a major uptick in the number of people who engage in mobile printing.   

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