A decent new printer/copier/scanner will cost about £65 currently so should you ditch the old printer at the first sign of a missed line ?
No. Although it is not worth spending too much time trying to resurrect a typical domestic printer there are a few things worth attempting before sending it to landfill.
Particularly with printers that are not used frequently, ink that is jetted through tiny holes will coalesce to form a barrier. The best way of keeping the channels open is to run a printer cleaning cycle (off the menu of the printer itself) every month when you do your normal computer housekeeping.
If you notice problems and have been through the deep clean function of the printer the next step would be to take the offending cartridge(s) out and, after carefully protecting your local environment, blow air through the hole at the top; if no ink drops out it is time to replace the cartridge.
The next step on all bar the cheapest of printers is to remove all cartridges and get access to the print head. This is often removable and is now ready to be dropped in an empty margarine tub with a little rubbing alcohol or white spirit. Woosh it around and give it a gentle polish up with cotton buds. Now take it out and dry it off with paper towels. If you have a can of compressed air squirt some of that through the orifices.
Reassemble the head and cartridges then run another cleaning cycle. If it doesn't work now, it really is time to reach for your wallet.
Windows 10 (the last such release of Windows - the '10' to be gradually dropped) is due for release at the end of this month and will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. I have a pre-release beta test version running on a PC here in my workshop and am quite happy with it. It is the start of a programme of delivery that sees 'patch Tuesdays' [one day a month when all updates are downloaded and installed] replaced with a 'software as a service' model whereby updates arrive whenever they are rolled out.
There are quite a few changes but we are becoming increasingly accepting of change I think (or is that my Peter Pan persona talking). It has been reviewed well and tested widely but as it is to remain free for a year I am suggesting that people hold off from installing it until others have had a chance to find the inevitable teething bugs.
When the time to upgrade does arrive it is important to have an image of your system disk before any changes are made, as should any problems ensue it make reverting a whole lot easier. This is in addition to the regular backups that all right thinking people will be taking and testing frequently.
There could be many explanations for a message not being where expected.
1. It was never actually sent. Many people do not notice that a message is sitting in their outbox, unable to be sent perhaps because of
2. The mail client successfully sent it to the SMTP server, but the SMTP server has not been able to forward it on to the next hop.
3. The message was accepted by the receiving server, but…
4. The message was delivered somewhere in your account, but…
Set up your laptop as a Wi-Fi hotspot by joining it to the Ethernet socket with a Cat5 cable you have handily placed in the bag while packing. Now you just need to create an Ad-Hoc network (NOT infrastructure).
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=”MyNetwork" key="Pa$$w0rd" netsh wlan start hostednetwork netsh wlan show hostednetwork
When I am given a laptop to repair I always ask for the power adapter. This is not because I don't have a perfectly good universal adapter of my own, but so that I can measure the voltage and check the current. It's a bit like air dusting and vacuuming the internals and alcohol wiping the screen - little extra services that usually go unnoticed but differentiate between the mass market behemoths and the little guy who cares. Ok, enough self promotion already, why does the power matter ?
When you need to replace your power supply any one will do. All you need to check for are the following
The polarity must match. Typically the outer ring is negative and the centre pin positive. If you get this the wrong way around you will probably trash the computer and adapter. If you hear a pop and the computer only works on battery power, you got this wrong.
Ignore the wattage (volts multiplied by amps) this is only of import to the electricity bill payer, and only then if they are the king of parsimony. The moral is therefore if in doubt about the quality of a power adapter measure it before use or find a man who can.
All mains connected electrical equipment worth more than about £10 (the cost of a cheap surge protector) would benefit from having unusual power events (spikes, brownouts, & surges) diverted from them to extend their lifetime or even protect them from total failure.
Surge protectors work by flattening out our irregular power supply usually by use of a metal oxide varistor (MOV) which degrades with each hit it takes. Each 'suge' above a threshold amount of energy (the clamping voltage) is absorbed by the MOV which acts like an overflow tank to protect equipment from the flood of excess energy.
Surge protectors are sold with an amount of protection - typically perhaps 1000 Joules where one Joule is the energy needed to pass an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second. That means they can function for just one hit of 1000 Joules, or 10 hits of 100 Joules, or zero hits in excess of 1000 Joules.
So the quality and price of a surge protector is partly determined by the number of Joules it can absorb. Once that number has been received the protection is useless - IT DOES NOT FAIL SAFE. That is why it is essential to periodically confirm how much protection is currently being offered.
Many protectors have amber lights to indicate that power is flowing, and also green ones the brightness of which indicates the amount of protection. No bright green light = impared protection.
The other main factor determining quality and cost of a protector is the amount of time it takes to recognise a power event - the fewer milliseconds the better.
So the lifespan of a surge protector is not measured in time but in the number of hits it has taken multiplied by the cumulative size of those hits.
Also, most surge protectors are power strips with maybe 4 - 8 sockets. But not all power strips are surch protectors. The time to check is now.
It is easy to get poor service through lack of experience when selecting a provider for your broadband service. On behalf of clients I deal with most of the main providers and have developed a good feel for what's below par. The 'best' ISP can vary from one street to the next depending on the location of the infrastructure equipment and so my recommedations are based on the specific address as well as the following things.
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