Tech – for Everyone

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

Tuesday Tidbits and Rude People

I found these recent items interesting and/or important.

* Not quite sure what this spells for the future of IT, but here’s an Android 4.0 7″ tablet for $80 (can you say “disposable tech”?)

SVP Android 4.0 ICS 7″ Tablet PC w/ Google Play Store, Capacitive Touch Screen, WiFi, A13 & 1.3GHz

Introducing SVP 7-inch Android 4.0 ICS Tablet PC with Google Play Store; Smart Pad with Capacitive Touch Screen, A13 1.3GHz CPU, WiFi Capability, Camera, 4GB Internal Memory. This is a recommended Tablet Computer in the market with superior design, easy application and top performance.

* CISPA pits privacy against security: A closer look at the issues

The United States Congress is once again considering a bill that could forever change how we as individuals use the internet. Michael P. Kassner looks at what those changes are.Read more..

* 8 basic options for mobile printing

Want to print something out using your tablet or smartphone? Although many mobile printing applications are still rather rudimentary, here are some applications you might want to research.” Read more..

* I find this funny. China’s foreign minister: Cyber space needs rules, not war

A Chinese government official, who called mounting claims about the country’s cyber spying on the United States “shaky,” charged governing bodies to devise global hacking rules – a feat much easier said than done, history has proven.Read more..

(That’s a bit like Hitler saying we need to give peace a chance..) (Oh. Wait. He did say that.. )

Spring flowers

* Have people gotten ruder? You bet. Here’s an interesting article: Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette

Some people are so rude. Really, who sends an e-mail or text message that just says “Thank you”? Who leaves a voice mail message when you don’t answer, rather than texting you? Who asks for a fact easily found on Google?

Don’t these people realize that they’re wasting your time?Read more..

* They said this tech would free us up from menial labor, and give us all a life of ease. I think it has resulted in job loss (replaced by a robot!) .. but ease? Four Steps to the Cloud: Start By Firing Your Sales Team

Looking to get into the cloud business? Then fire your sales people.Read more..

Well, that’s enough for today. Hope you found something interesting in that assortment. (The bold emphasis were mine.)

Today’s quote:Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” ~ John Adams

Copyright 2007-2013 © “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.

March 12, 2013 Posted by | advice, Android, cloud computing, computers, consumer electronics, Cyberwarfare, gadgets, hardware, how to, Internet, mobile, News, Portable Computing, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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.

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

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

The print job won’t stop printing

Sometimes we tell our machines to do something (let’s, for the sake of example choose, oh, say, print a 10-page document) and then, being human and somewhat fickle, we change our minds.

Perhaps we notice that we selected the wrong document; or, we have a sudden “inspiration” and there’s now a whole new thought we want to insert into it.. or we notice a major typo that we need to fix. Whatever it is, we want the printer to stop printing NOW.

Now what I am going to say next might comes as a surprise and a shock to some of you folks– but, sometimes in life you just have to grab that band-aid by the corner and rip that sucker off.
Here’s the thing, and I ain’t gonna sugarcoat it– computers are dumb machines. (Maybe, instead of “dumb”, I should say “obedient”..)

Computers follow rigid logic to obey the “commands” you “input”, and they really don’t “multitask” very well. They ‘think’ and act sequentially.. and don’t move on to the next input/command until they have completed the first one.
What this means is: they won’t even see the command to stop printing the 10-page document until they have “processed” the Print command you gave earlier.
(The paper and ink that gets wasted this way is truly your fault, and not the computer’s. You told it to Print, and it merely obeys!)

When you hit the power button on the printer (or yank the power cord out of the wall) you haven’t really stopped the Print job. Oh, no. You have only interrupted it. When you turn it back on, or reconnect the USB cord– your machine is going to everything in its power to complete its assigned task.. and it starts printing the 10-pager from right where it left off.

The correct way to stop the print job (you commanded) is to erase it from your PC’s memory. Remember I told you computers were dumb? Well, they can be forgetful too.

1) Go to Printers in your Control Panel (In XP: Start> Settings> Printers and Faxes. In Vista: Start> Control Panel> Hardware and Sounds> Printers.)
2) Double-click on the printer that is still trying to print the 10-page document.

The window that opens will show all the print jobs scheduled to be sent to the printer for completion, and the 10-page document should appear here.

3) Click on “Printer” from the menu bar, and click “Cancel All Documents”. (Answer “Yes” if you’re asked, “are you sure?”)

That’s it. Your computer has now “forgotten” your command to print, and when you turn your printer on again, it will not start printing something you no longer want.

Today’s free link: Taskbar Shuffle Drag and drop your taskbar buttons and system tray icons to instantly reorder them.

Copyright © 2007-8 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 21, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, printers, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , | 32 Comments

Printer maintenance–how to avoid printer problems

Tip of the day: Just as any relationship needs a little attention and nourishment if it is to grow and prosper, and not slowly sink into stagnant routine, (such as flowers for no occasion, taking dance lessons, etc.) your printer will benefit from some occasional special attention too.

I don’t know if it’s the alignment of the stars, or what, but I’ve been hearing people talk bad about their printers quite a bit lately. Yes.. ink cartridges can be expensive, and they don’t last as long as we’d like (I vote for forever). Yes.. printers seem to have personalities, and they can get temperamental. And yes.. they’re fickle and inconsistent– one day you might get a white line running down a print (which magically goes away the next print.. or.. not) and then a month later, one line of text will streTCH, or.. they’ll only “play nice” with a certain brand of photo paper. Yes.. I understand.

But let me make this point; printers are complex machines.. like your car is a complex machine. And complex machines require regular maintenance– an occasional “Tune up”, if you will. The following tips will keep your printer in tippy-top notch working order.

1: Clean house. Lint and dust, if allowed to accumulate inside the printer’s body, can (and will, eventually) “gum up the works”. There are several motors and gears and moving parts inside your printer, and a “head” that needs to smoothly move back and forth. Often there’s a grease, or lubricant, on some of theses parts, and it will collect paper lint like there’s no tomorrow– this can sometimes lead to gears ‘skipping’, or ‘jamming’.
You can avoid this by not letting too much dust and lint build up. Unplug your printer’s power cord and open up your printer’s access panels (and remove any trays). Then use the brush attachment on your vacuum to carefully and gently remove as much dust as you can. Use a can of compressed air to blow out the hard to reach corners.. or use an artist’s brush (or baster’s brush). Use your brush to knock any gunk balls off of gear sets.
You shouldn’t ever add lubricants to your printer. If you think you have broken gear teeth, or your head simply will not slide, it’s time for the repairman, parts replacements, or a new printer.

2: Get the most from your ink. Printers are designed to be used frequently, but in our homes we can go long periods between printing jobs– this can lead to “clogged nozzles”, or “dried out” cartridges. If it has been days or weeks since the last time you’ve printed, or your colors seem faded, you should run your printer’s cleaning utility (sometimes called “maintenance”). Go to your Start button >Control Panel >Printers (in Vista, it’s under “Hardware and Sound”). Then right-click on your printer’s icon and select “Properties” from the context menu.
On the Printer Properties window, click on the “Services” tab.

Your actual options here may look slightly different (depending on your printer’s make), but you are looking for the “clean” option.. in my case, it’s the only choice. Select it, and click “OK”.
Running this tool will clear up a surprising number of printer.. misprinting, and, perhaps counter-intuitively, get more mileage out of your ink cartridges.
[note: some printer manufacturers recommend running the cleaning tool if has been two days between print jobs. This sounds a little.. excessive to me; but, considering how small and delicate the nozzles can be… maybe they’re onto something.]

*If you know your ink is on its last legs and its as good as gone, but you simply must get one last document printed, you can remove your ink cartridges and give them a good shake (and then replace them in the printer). This old trick may get your several more sheets before dead is truly dead.

3: give your printer the latest software. Your printer is a “device”, and so to function smoothly with your PC, it needs software to communicate. This software is call “device drivers”. Every so often, your printer’s manufacturer will make improvements to this program and release it as an ‘update’. This update may simply fix bugz not discovered in the original release, or make minor improvements, or it may add features to your printer’s capabilities (or, all three). Installing the latest driver will keep your printer up to date and working its best with your operating system… keep in mind your operating system is changing (being updated) over time, and your device drivers need to keep up.
My two-part article on How To update your drivers is here,, and as you can see from the title, I understand the idea that if it is working, why go get new software? Well, in computers, that idea doesn’t exactly stand up.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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April 2, 2008 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, device drivers, hardware, how to, PC, printers, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments