Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Solve Mac Printing Problems

Folks, rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll simply tell you the first thing to do is clear the Printer’s “queue” —

1) Open Apple menu and go to “System Preferences” and choose Printers. (You can also use Finder.)
2) Select the active printer and choose “Open Print Queue” button.
3) Select and cancel the print job(s) as desired, canceling them and removing them from the printing queue.

And point you to this article for the more advanced steps:

* How to resolve Mac printing issues

Printing on a Mac is typically reliable. Occasionally trouble arises, however. Here are a few recommended resolutions for returning printing to proper operation.Read more..

* * *

Today’s quote:Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~ Dalai Lama

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

April 28, 2016 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, hardware, how to, printers, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Questions Answered (Rewind)

This past few days, the questions people asked me, well, they seem to keep coming up. (And one I have not heard before would be rather refreshing.) So, some of this is review.

Several people expressed interest in why it seems so difficult printing the information found on webpages — ONLY the information (or map) they want, and not in a minuscule font size, please.
(Seems an awful lot of people think webpages are sheets of paper… they are not. They are strings of code, expressed as 1’s and 0’s. And the items on the page often come ‘glued together’ from several different places (aka “sources”, aka “servers”).

Frequently, you need the aid of a special “web printing” utility to get what you want and only what you want. Such as the one mentioned here:

Have you ever noticed that when you go to print out a web page, what you see is not what you always get? “

Hopefully you are already familiar with that website; but if you are not, do yourself a favor and click the link and take a look. The blogger is one of my few remaining “daily reads”.

* And, I was further reminded, what is old to us is new to someone else. Elephant Is Bigger Than The Moon (video) Did you hear about Kathy Evans on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Supposedly the dumbest human ever, right?

Hate to tell you, but that email is a hoax (see this Snopes article) as are most “forwarded” emails. But, apparently enough people believe this one.. I am kind of glad it isn’t true… ‘cuz if it was? What would that say about the American public education system?
Oh. Yeah. The same thing everyone’s been saying for decades…

* And once again, the top (aka “number one”) My Most Asked Question proved to be one loyal readers will remember..

Q: Every time I sit at my computer, it says there’s an update available!

I understand. Really I do. Please see my, Why Are There So Many Updates?
(And learn about Secunia)

Today’s quotable quote:The secret to true happiness is a combination of low expectations and insensitivity.” ~ Olivia Goldsmith

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, Internet, Internet scam, printers, tech | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quick Tip for Printing Out Web Pages

Free Software Avoids Paper/Ink Waste

A reader comment prompted me to do some quick research, which led me to a good tip on Gizmodo’s (a site I recommend). Which educated me to an option for saving ink and paper (and being “eco-friendly”) I had been unaware of…

It’s a problem that’s all too familiar.  You find a useful web page and you want to print it.  So you hit the “Print” button in your web browser.  But rather than getting a single printed page that contains just the text you want, you also get 15 other pages that you don’t need, containing menus, comments, and other assorted junk. Which costs you real money in wasted paper and ink.

The free tool is called iPrint (and no, it is not an Apple product..) Here is their demo video..

Vodpod videos no longer available.

iPrint Version 6 is free, simple to use and saves your wallet as well as the planet.

Do you want to decrease your printing expenses by up to 60%? Do you want to help protect the environment while also protecting your wallet? iPrint is the solution! Think about how much your organization spends each year on paper and ink costs – iPrint will reduce that number by 30-60% and it costs you nothing!

The iPrint website is here. Thank you Gizmodo!

Previously, I had been recommending a free browser “plug in” from HP, and still do for those who use Internet Explorer. It’s called Smart Web Printing.

“The whole internet just became print friendly.

With a simple plug-in for your browser, quickly Select & Clip or Select & Print web pages just the way you want them, and eliminate all that wasted ink and paper. Download HP Smart Web Printing and get print friendly today!

For Windows XP, Windows Vista® and Windows 7
For Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8

You can download the HP Smart Web Printing add-on here

Today’s quote:One does evil enough when one does nothing good.” ~ German Proverb

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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August 4, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, printers, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top 10 Printers (review)

I am often asked by clients for my shopping recommendations. In the last couple of months, both for personal reasons, as well as professional, printers have been a subject of these requests. (For one thing, color lasers have come down enough in price to be a reasonable option for us consumers.) As I have mentioned here before, I start my research by looking to the lab results of product testing done at PC World magazine.

Latest PC World magazine reviews:

* Top 10 Inkjet Multifunction Printers

We test and review the latest multifunction inkjets. Models start at around $100 and combine a printer, scanner, copier and (sometimes) a fax machine.

(My current pick, the Canon MX870, ranks number 5 here.. To me, it’s the best ‘bang for my buck’. And it has fax and auto-duplexing.)

* Top 10 Color Laser Multifunction Printers

These efficient workhorses combine color laser printing, scanning, copying, and, frequently, faxing. Ratings and rankings can change due to pricing and technology changes, so check back frequently for the latest info.

Brands Technicians Love & Hate: Folks, Bryce over at Technibble conducted an informal survey of repair technicians of which brand names they prefer (and which they shun) – broken down by category. I was not terribly surprised to see the results turn out to be nearly identical with my own ‘drothers’. To see the winners and losers, click here. (Printers are down the page a bit.)

Related (sorta): Highlights of upcoming 2011 tablets (photos).

Unrelated: For those of you who would like help with relief efforts after the earthquake and waves in Japan, and want to donate to either the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army (which are two of the larger BBB accredited charities assisting in the relief efforts):

You can text “Japan” to 80888 from your cell phone to donate $10 to Salvation Army efforts.  (Visit for terms and conditions) Respond “Yes” to a “Thank you” message you receive.

And/or you can text “Redcross” from your cell phones to 90999 to donate the same amount to that organization.

Larger donations can always be made online via the Red Cross website or Salvation Army website. (Source: Japan quake and tsunami puts Apple iPad in perspective.)

Attention: I need to ask my readers a favor.. I seem to have misplaced an hour. Does any one know where it went? I would like to get it back, please.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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March 14, 2011 Posted by | advice, printers, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ink. Nozzles. Cartridges.

Razors and razor blades..

Today I want to talk about printers. I have some recent experiences to share, and.. a question to ask.

ink I have said for a long time the tech industry’s business model for printers is the old “razors and razor blades” game. They practically give away the printer, and make their money selling ink (cartridges) refills.

Because ink refills are um.. well, not cheap, a whole industry has developed, and workaround techniques used, to try to undercut the manufacturer’s ink price, and earn your business.

There are ‘kits’ you can buy which contain a syringe and a bottle of ink. There are “generic” cartridges. There are “ink recycling/refill” services offered by retail Doodad & Gizmo stores. There are online “discount ink” websites and “wholesalers”. Etc., etc. (Enter “ink refills” into your favorite search engine, and take a quick look at the millions of results.) I think you know what I am talking about.

My reco for ink refill: (Mind you, I am not talking about laser printers here.)
Unless your printer is old, basic, and you are thinking about replacing it anyway, buy the manufacturer’s recommended replacement cartridge. If money is a real factor, keep an eye out for sales and specials (the manufacturer’s themselves often offer sale prices for online orders) and stock up when you find them. I further suggest, that if your printer accepts both normal and “extended” (larger) cartridges, and you print pretty much everyday, get the larger. If you print only occasionally, don’t. Ink can dry up.

Pretty simple, right? And, also, probably not what you wanted to hear.

But the truth is – and have have witnessed scores of examples of this (3 already this January) – sooner or later, a syringed/generic/recycled ink cartridge will either:
* not print worth a *darn*
* clog your “print head” ‘nozzles’ (aka “jets”)

When it’s the latter, you can try to clean the ‘nozzles’/print head. Which sometimes works (let the print head soak overnight in a bowl of Windex, rinse and let dry thoroughly (overnight is good), and then run the printer’s “deep clean” utility a few times). But more often then not, in my experience, a clog means a new printer.
(Or a new print head.. which often costs as much as a new printer.)

If you spent good money to get a good printer, and you like it and want to keep it around for a while, play it safe — don’t gum it up by trying to save $10 — buy a manufacturer’s replacement cartridge. There are solid, sound, technical [physical] reasons for this, which I won’t bother you with. But think about it.. don’t you think using exactly what the printer’s designer designed it to use would produce the best results?

There is my 2¢.

My question for you, Dear Reader, is: have you ever had to replace a printer because you used cheap ink?

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 14, 2011 Posted by | advice, hardware, printers, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Patch Tuesday, Stuck Printers, etc.

Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month, aka “Patch Tuesday” – the day Microsoft releases the majority of its new Updates and “hotfixes”. This time around there was three “critical” patches released, and a known attack was “plugged” (“patched”.. “fixed”). Folks, I repeat: you want updates, and having to reboot to apply them is a trivial inconvenience. Please read, What’s With All These Updates?!

For a review of yesterday’s Updates (and to see what they are and what they fix) click here.

I came across a small, free utility which can help clear ‘stuck’ print jobs from your printer que. This for when you have tried the proper method (see, The print job won’t stop printing) and you cannot “delete” the file from the list. (Or, cannot “Cancel all documents”.)

The tool is called Stalled Printer Repair. It is “portable”, meaning it does not need to be installed, only “run”. You can get it here.

There is a new website in town: Bookmark4Techs
Bookmarks4Techs is the largest repository of listed tech sites currently available on the internet. If you have the desire to learn about computers and information technology, then Bookmarks4Techs is your place to start!“

** My Latest Software License Giveaway Drawing **

Sandboxie’s creator, Ronen Tzur, has graciously and generously donated five licenses to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank him for that. So I am going to do a random drawing contest from folks who “enter” my drawing. The contest will end midnight Thursday, July 15th, and the winners announced Friday the 16th.
A “registration” license is “lifetime” and can be used on as many computers as you own.

Put plain and simply, Sandboxie gives me a secure feeling when traveling around the Web, and I feel ‘naked’ without it. For the details (such as how to enter), click here.

Act now! Deadline nears…

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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July 14, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, free software, Internet, Microsoft, printers, security, tech, troubleshooting, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How Do I Fix Messy Printing?

Reader’s Laser Printer Leaves Extra Toner On Pages

Q: Paul, my HP laser printer has started to leave ink along the border of the page and on other unwanted places. I ran the “cleaning tool” which helped but not much and I don’t want to use it each time I print. Any suggestions?

printer_clip A: Dear Reader,
You do not tell me the model number so I cannot guess how old your printer is, or how you use it, but there are usually two areas to look to for repairing the issue (I believe) you are describing.

* First, Run the cartridge cleaning feature (which you have done). This can be found in your printer’s software, or the Properties window for your printer.
* Then, look to the toner cartridge: it may be very low, or it may be defective. Try inserting a new one and see if you problem goes away. If not..
* It may be the printer’s “fuser unit” has worn out or become dirty. This is a more serious (and expensive) issue that usually calls for part replacement. Look to the HP website to find the part number and cost of a replacement for your specific printer. (You may need to use the part# to look for parts elsewhere on the Web, if your printer is really old.)

With the drop in pricing on laser printers, you may find that simply replacing the whole printer is a reasonable option… particularly if your current one has seen a lot of use already.

Related: The print job won’t stop printing

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 18, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, gadgets, hardware, how to, PC, printers, tech, troubleshooting | 8 Comments