Setting up a printer

Before you buy a printer, you need to make a number of decisions:

  1. Do just want to print text or do you also want to print pictures?
  2. Do you want more than one computer to be able to use the printer?
  3. Do you want the machine to have a scanner as well?
  4. Do you want to use the machine as a fax?
  5. Do you print a large amount?

If you want to print a large amount it is generally cheaper to run a laser printer although, each cartridge of toner usually is quite expensive when you have to replace them. Inkjet printers are generally better for printing photos.

If you buy a printer that needs to be connected to the computer by a wire, in most cases it will be a USB cable. On some older printers you may have what is known as a parallel connection … that’s the big wide plug that is “D” shaped with lots of connection pins. Even if the printer is wired to one computer it is possible for all computers to share the same machine via a network connection.

A better way to share a printer is one that is connected to the router either by a network cable or wirelessly. All computers can then print via the network either wirelessly or via their network cable connection.

The main problems you have with printers is either misfeeding and jamming paper, losing communication with the computer or just simply running out of ink.

To prevent misfeeds, make sure that the paper is not damp, that it’s loaded properly and that there are no bits of debris in the printer … bits of torn paper, paper clips etc.

If the computer and printer lose communication with each other, try restarting both machines.

If you need any assistance, call me.