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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Basic wireless printer question: Need advice

    OK, I need some advice. I currently have an old Dell Dimension 2400 desktop in the basement. It is connected to a Linksys Cable Modem and Linksys router. I have had a parallel printer (Epson Color Stylus 600) connected to the desktop and it has been a horse. I have 4 laptops upstairs. The two main ones are W7 machines. But now, after about 15 years, it is giving me problems. The printhead keeps clogging. I then have to go through the clean nozzle process about 5 times and currently Iíve gone through it 12 times and it still wonít work. So, enough. Itís not worth the effort.

    I am now looking to buy a low cost wireless printer that wonít soak me too badly when I need new cartridges. So, first, can you recommend one? Second, I am not sure how they work. I ASSUME they work as follows: turn it on. The printer will search for networks. I choose my network and enter the passphrase and it joins my network. I then boot up each laptop and tell it to add a printer. It finds my new network printer and adds it. I might have to insert a CD to add the printer (driver). CAN I ALSO DO THIS WITH MY BASEMENT DESKTOP, OR DOES THAT NEED A WIRELESS ADAPTER?

    Any other advice?

    Mel

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Mel,

    Anything connected to the router wired or wireless can use the printer. You have the basic setup down perfectly. Depending on the OS and Printer you may not need drivers as they are already there. As for which printer to save money? Personally I'd suggest 2 printers a good cheap Laser printer ( I'd go for a brother since most now include duplex printing) as the default printer for when you really don't need color and a color printer with resolution and features that match your color printing needs. Do some googling on cost per page and you'll see why I make this recommendation. As for color printers don't buy bottom of the line as they usually have cartridges that cost more than it costs to replace the printer in my experience. I'd buy a little above the mid point which usually gets you good features and reasonable, for ink jets, ink costs (larger cartridges w/more ink for less than the expected incremental cost.) Good Luck! HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  3. #3
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    Geek:

    Thanks for the quick response. I already have a wired (USB) Canon Pixma IP4000 for my photo needs. So this will be mostly for black and white although some documents might have some color in them.
    Reading up on this, it seems there is an Epson Home XP-400 that is $79.99 and has some real excellent reviews
    Mel

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    It may be difficult to find many basic wireless printers. Most of those available now seem to be multifunction printers (print/scan/copy) rather than simple basic printers. As RG mentions your network setup should allow any PC connected to the network to print to a network enabled printer. In my Canon Pixma, I have to set the printer up initially using a USB cable to one PC, then after being set up, I can remove the USB cable and it works wirelessly through my router.

    The Epson's you mention are indeed All-in-one multifunction. The price seems right as well. Good luck.
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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If low operating cost is a primary objective and you don't need color, you might want to look at a Laser printer. One example can be found here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-ML-216...+laser+printer

    Jerry

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    I have to agree with the laser printer suggestions.

    One 'cartridge' for a laser printer equals something like 250,000 pages... TBH, I don't recall the correct number... but I am still using a 1994/5 era HP Laser printer with the original toner... never bought anything but paper for it.

    got a client I upgraded to a laser printer 4 years ago... still using the original toner, thousands of pages later.


    it takes my laser longer to 'warm up', as my toner is soooo old. But it still works great.

    And a laser printer prints pretty darn quick, too. and it won't run in liquids.

    it'll bring your price per page down to less than $0.02 a page.

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    Thanks for all the responses. I did end up getting that Epson xp-400today. There was no problem installing it and all is well!
    Mel

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    I realize you have already bought a new printer, but did you try changing the cartridge on the old one? Usually, the printhead and cartridge are a single unit, so you get a new printhead with each new cartridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcperodeau View Post
    I realize you have already bought a new printer, but did you try changing the cartridge on the old one? Usually, the printhead and cartridge are a single unit, so you get a new printhead with each new cartridge.
    yep. That didn't do it

    mel

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by compiler View Post
    OK, I need some advice. I currently have an old Dell Dimension 2400 desktop in the basement. It is connected to a Linksys Cable Modem and Linksys router. I have had a parallel printer (Epson Color Stylus 600) connected to the desktop and it has been a horse. I have 4 laptops upstairs. The two main ones are W7 machines. But now, after about 15 years, it is giving me problems. The printhead keeps clogging. I then have to go through the clean nozzle process about 5 times and currently I’ve gone through it 12 times and it still won’t work. So, enough. It’s not worth the effort.

    I am now looking to buy a low cost wireless printer that won’t soak me too badly when I need new cartridges. So, first, can you recommend one? Second, I am not sure how they work. I ASSUME they work as follows: turn it on. The printer will search for networks. I choose my network and enter the passphrase and it joins my network. I then boot up each laptop and tell it to add a printer. It finds my new network printer and adds it. I might have to insert a CD to add the printer (driver). CAN I ALSO DO THIS WITH MY BASEMENT DESKTOP, OR DOES THAT NEED A WIRELESS ADAPTER?

    Any other advice?

    Mel
    A Brother wireless printer is about as easy as you have described in terms of attaching it to the network. HP wireless printers are more complicated than that.

    Brother printers also are mechanically very well built.

    I'm not sure about their ink consumption.

    No matter which wireless printer you get, there is one thing which will be very helpful in terms of making it easy to connect the printer to the network, and in terms of making sure that the various printers will have no problem finding the printer when they try to print, is to manually assign the printer an IP address (as opposed to simply letting the router automatically assign an IP address). In this way, your printer will always have the same IP address, making it easy and certain for your computers to send print jobs to that printer.

    First, you must decide which IP address to assign to the printer. Open a command prompt in Windows, and enter the following command: ipconfig /all <enter>. You will then see the IP address of your computer, along with a lot of other information. It will be something like this: 192.168.0.75 or 192.168.1.53. The IP address for your printer will need to match on the first three numbers, and be different on the last number. In other words, your printer's IP address will be 192.168.0.x or 192.168.1.x. Substitute a number for x which is not used on your network. You should be ok if you pick a number between 100 and 200.

    On all networked printers I have worked on, there has been a control panel on the printer. You can set the IP address at the printer's control panel.

    Now, when you run through the printer setup, you can use the IP address to find the printer.

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Here's another thing:

    The printer will be wireless, which means that you can put it anywhere you want in your house, as long as it is within range of your router.

    It makes no difference whether the computers are wireless or wired, as long as they are connected.

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    Mr. JMP:

    Thanks for your advice. Actually, I just followed the steps that came with the printer. After opening up the package, removing the packing material, installing the cartridges, I was able to use the set-up disk.I first did it with my main laptop-- it involved connecting the printer directly to my laptop. The software helped connect the printer to the network and install the drivers and other utilities.

    I then did the same with my second laptop but did not have to connect the printer to the laptop (I chose "my printer has already been installed on the network").

    The first laptop took awhile (the software took its time) but the second one was quicker.

    I then tried both laptops. They recognized the printer and printed stuff.

    I then shut everything down and turned off the printer. Later today I'll boot up, turn on the printer, and hope it is still on the network!

    All looks good so far!

    Mel

  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by compiler View Post
    Mr. JMP:

    Thanks for your advice. Actually, I just followed the steps that came with the printer. After opening up the package, removing the packing material, installing the cartridges, I was able to use the set-up disk.I first did it with my main laptop-- it involved connecting the printer directly to my laptop. The software helped connect the printer to the network and install the drivers and other utilities.

    I then did the same with my second laptop but did not have to connect the printer to the laptop (I chose "my printer has already been installed on the network").

    The first laptop took awhile (the software took its time) but the second one was quicker.

    I then tried both laptops. They recognized the printer and printed stuff.

    I then shut everything down and turned off the printer. Later today I'll boot up, turn on the printer, and hope it is still on the network!

    All looks good so far!

    Mel
    I'm glad it worked for you.

    Sometimes we techs make life more complicated than we need to. I know that I do.

    The thing about the IP address, if you assign a permanent IP address to the printer, it will guarantee that Windows will always find that printer when you install it on a new computer, or when you send a print job to it. That's the way I have always done it and, I suppose, will always do it.

    Kind of like PS/2 keyboards and mice. When I was purchasing and setting up new computers for my last job, I always got PS/2 keyboards and mice, and I ordered computers which had those ports built in, because if you follow the rules, PS/2 ALWAYS works. USB, on the other hand, is not a mature technology; occasionally there are issues with it.

    My philosophy was (and is) that I want my customers to have as trouble-free of an experience as possible, even if that means sticking with older technology (such as PS/2). Then one day we got a new IT manager and hired additional staff. I was considered a dinosaur and got overruled, and we went with USB mice and keyboards. The feeling was "we have to keep up with the times!"

    That feeling ("we have to keep up with the times!") has put lots of unnecessary money in the pockets of certain companies.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    That feeling ("we have to keep up with the times!") has put lots of unnecessary money in the pockets of certain companies.
    Can you say F.U.D.?
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  15. #15
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Can you say F.U.D.?
    RG, I know I'm really clueless here, but what does F.U.D. mean?

    (I'm guessing you spelled it out because the words wouldn't be suitable in a public forum such as this one.)

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