Archive for the ‘Printer Tips & Ideas’ Category

5 Great Edible Ink Printing Ideas

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Thinking of using edible ink for food designs? There are many fascinating ways on using them. What is Edible Ink? Here are some great edible ink printing ideas.

What is Edible Ink?

Edible ink is a type of ink specifically designed and used for decorating food most especially baked products such as cakes, cookies, muffins, etc.  Edible ink as the name suggests is edible—you can eat it. Mostly, it contains food coloring from natural and synthetic materials that don’t contain any toxic chemicals.  Production of this ink is monitored and regulated by the Food and Drugs so it is safe to ingest.

The use of Edible ink cartridges is introduced and developed in the year 2000s. The first users are the baking and pastries maker. Epson and canon printers were among the first producers of printers that can print using this ink.

The printer prints the image on a very thin icing sheet—mostly made up of cornstarch, sugar and corn syrup.  Like most printouts, the ink is multi colored and can have different hues.

Using Edible Ink

Have you seen a birthday cake with an image of the celebrant on top of it? Or perhaps, you have seen photos of superheroes like Batman or Superman. You may be fascinated with the details and quality of the image. These are designed and printed using an edible printer ink on an icing sheet.

You can also try printing miniature images and place it on top of muffins and other bread of your choice.

Write it and Eat it

During birthdays or holidays like Christmas, you can also try using a stylus pen that uses edible ink to write messages on a gift card that is also edible.

You can also use stylus pen to write on food to make desserts more attractive to look at. Experiment on using different colors.

Edible Tattoo

For the kids, you can try printing a desired design for a tattoo. Print that design on a thin wafer paper or icing sheet and use it as a body art or tattoo. Good thing is it’s easy to do away with it because it can easily disappear in somebody’s mouth.

Food Art

You can also use of stylus pen with this type of ink to design plates, cups and drinking glasses. This way, foods will always look delectable.

There are endless possibilities of using edible ink—sky is the limit.

This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry News Articles.

4 Tips to Decrease the Power Consumption of Inkjet and Laser Printers

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

We should all do our part in conserving electricity and practicing energy efficiency in our everyday lives. We can do this through simple things that won’t disrupt our lives, such as turning off appliances when no one is using them, installing compact fluorescent light bulbs in your home and office and choosing appliances and equipment that have good energy efficiency ratings.

You can also practice energy efficiency by aiming to decrease the power consumption of your inkjet printers or laser printers. This is one small step that you can easily take to lower your electricity bills, save energy and help Mother Earth. Let’s take a deeper look at the energy consumption of these printers and several tips on how to decrease their electricity usage.

The Power Consumption of Laser and Inkjet Printers

The advent of the computer age has caused us to increase our energy consumption (and our carbon footprint) exponentially through the years. While monitors and CPUs are still at the top of the energy charts when it comes to consumption, inkjet and laser printers also contribute to operating and energy costs.

Laser printers can consume as much as 100 watts (or more) when in use, while inkjet printers use much less energy, at about 12 watts when printing. This fact has sparked some debate over which printer is more eco-friendly. Since the laser printer can give your more pages per printer ink cartridge, it sounds like the greener option over an inkjet, which can only give you a few hundred pages.

But laser printers consume much more energy than inkjet printers, even when idle. Tests done by the website report that a Lexmark E230 laser printer ate up about 5.9 watts when idle, but this number quickly rose to 700 watts per printed page. The test revealed that a Canon S800 inkjet printer, on the other hand, only consumed between 13 to 19 watts when printing. When idle, inkjet printers used only 5 watts of power. But just because they use up less energy when idle doesn’t mean that it’s okay to leave your printers on standby mode all the time. Imagine how much this seemingly insignificant amount of power would add up to if you leave your printers on idle most of the day, 7 days a week for a whole year.

How to Conserve Energy with Your Printers

You can still, however, minimize your use of power and practice energy efficiency while using your laser or inkjet printers by following these simple tips.

1. Choose a printer with an Energy Star stamp. Energy Star is a program created by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. They give approval or special seals for appliances and equipment that have been proven to be energy efficient. Inkjet and laser printers with this seal either consume a low energy level per week or automatically go into sleep or low power mode during idle mode, among other criteria.

2. Use the power saving mode of your printers. According to Energy Star, you should set your printer’s low power mode depending on the print speeds of your inkjet or laser printer. Those with speeds of 0 to 10 ipm, should be set to turn off automatically after 30 minutes, while this time should be set to 60 minutes for printers with 11 to 20ipm. Laser and inkjet printers with speeds of 55ipm and above should be set to turn off after 90 minutes.

3. Make sure to turn off your printer when no one is using it. It’s advisable to appoint someone in your office to turn off your printer at the end of the day. At home, make sure that you switch off your printer after using it.

4. Use the Duplex feature of your printer. This is one easy way to practice energy efficiency in the office or at home. Duplex copying uses up less energy than single-sided copying; so it’s strongly suggested that you set your printer to duplex mode, so that you save on energy and paper as well.

Reduce waste and energy consumption by making sure that all your appliances and equipment at the home and in your office have an Energy Star seal. You can also practice energy efficiency by following the four tips above.

This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry News Articles.

What is Dell Proximity Printing Solution

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Although we live in a high-tech world, where we can access Internet and WiFi in coffee shops as well as share network printers, there are still many things that can mar productivity and send us into fits of annoyance. Simple things, like forgetting our car charger at home or not finding network printers close by to print out an overdue college paper, can ruin an otherwise beautiful day.

Well, Dell has just introduced a clever little solution to make your day a little brighter. Released as a free download last June 8, the Dell Proximity Printing Solution is just one of four different printing solutions from Dell that are designed to make life easier for all of us. Read on to find out how Dell’s Proximity Printing Solution is perfect for students, professionals and large offices.

Why Create a Proximity Printing Solution?

Large offices have a larger number of employees. This equates to a larger number of hardware and software needs, as well as a proportionally larger amount of printing needs, as well. While network printing is the obvious solution to be able to accommodate everyone’s print chores, IT and network administrators will find it increasingly difficult to manage all these printers.

For one, adding printers or updating printer drivers can cause problems in the configurations of employees’ laptops and computers. Also, a large number of print queues can be very hard to handle. Imagine trying to manage 50 different network printers connected to over 500 various computers, the users of which need to print at the same time.

Now, translate that problem into a mobile environment. You’re rushing a term paper, which is due in an hour, in your university’s coffee shop. You’re ready to print your 20-page paper, but there’s no printer in sight! Even if you are connected to your campus’ Wi-Fi, you still have to get up from your chair and look for the nearest network printers available and queue your paper right next to 10 other people rushing to get their projects done. Imagine how much time is wasted because of this.

How Dell Proximity Printing Solution Can Help

This innovative solution from Dell streamlines printing processes for large offices and mobile users by removing the need for several printing queues. You only need the Dell Proximity Printing (DPP) queue in your computer or laptop. Clicking on this will open up a map that shows the layout of your office, school or floor as well as the available printers near your area.

To print, you just need to click on any of the colored icons of network printers in the area and your document or project is automatically sent to the selected device for network printing. To make things easier, the printer icons appear in different colors, so you know which ones are available and how far they are from your exact location. Red, for instance, means that the printer is offline, while blue indicates printers that are farther away.

The DPP solution also eliminates the need for multiple printer drivers, since its software already functions as a universal driver. It also allows you to access all the information and features of each printer in your network. This spells heaven for IT and network administrators, since they only have to maintain a single printing queue and update only one printer driver. The DPP solution also needs just one physical or virtual server, with client packages installed in user laptops or computers. Security is managed by adding network rights to specified users.

They say that the best things in life are free, and Dell has proven that this adage is true with its Proximity Printing Solution. Never has network printing been this productive!

This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry News Articles.

How to Use Both Sides of Your Print Paper When Printing

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Using both sides of a print paper (or duplex printing) is one way to help save Mother Earth without having to join Green Peace or start holding protest marches in your neighborhood. Printing on both sides of a paper, even when you’re color printing saves paper, trees and helps reduce waste, besides.

Although it may seem difficult at first, printing on both sides of a print paper is quite simple and easy to do. All you need is common sense, the drive to do so and these practical tips listed below.

Automatic Duplex Printing

Look for a printer with a duplex printing function. This is probably the easiest way to print on both sides of a paper. Many printers have this feature, since it has practically become standard in all the new printers available. All you have to do is set it up for duplex printing by changing the settings in your computer. Simply go to Printers & Faxes, click on Properties, go to Printer Defaults and then tick off the box next to the words “print on both sides.” When you print multiple pages, your printer will automatically print all the even-numbered pages at the back of the odd-numbered ones. How’s that for simplicity?

Manual Duplex Printing

If you do not have a printer with a duplex printing feature, then do this manually. It doesn’t take much effort, really–especially after you get used to it. Imagine the paper and the energy you save once you know how to use both sides of print paper when printing.

When printing large amounts of text or pages from Microsoft Word, you first have to print all the odd-numbered pages and then flip the print paper you used. You can then print all the even-numbered pages at the back of them. To start, click on File then go to the Print option. You can then select Odd Pages from the Print menu and proceed with printing. After your printer is done printing on all the pages, you can then flip these pages around and select Even Pages to complete the task.

But how do you know which end to insert in your printer, you ask? Usually, your printer’s manual will tell you how to orient your print paper so that it prints on the correct side when you try to print on both sides. Otherwise, you can run a simple test on your own. First, get a blank piece of print paper and draw an arrow pointing up or away from you. Insert this paper into your printer (remember that the arrow should be pointing toward the printer). Then, print out a document–your text should fill up the whole page. Insert the paper again so you can print on the blank side. It should take you a bit of trial and error before you get the orientation right. You can then check, based on the arrow you drew, how to insert your paper for duplex printing.

Help save paper, trees and the environment as well, by using duplex printing. Choose a printer that has this function, or do this yourself. We hope that the simple guide above can help you do your part to help Mother Earth.

This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry News Articles.

How to Make Your Old Printer Wireless

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Old printers tend to eat a lot of space and most of the time very hard to use because it can only be placed in one location with complicated wiring systems. Most of the time, this also causes cost inefficiencies and less productivity especially in the office setting.

One way to avoid all the inconveniences provided by old, bulky and wired-up printers is to overhaul the whole system and make your printers wireless. Wireless printer installations would mean less complicated wiring systems and more mobility for the machine, making it easier to move around for everybody to use.

Steps in Converting Regular Printers into Wireless Printers

Making your old printers wireless is actually easier than one might think. It does not involve any hard-to-understand software systems because the simplest things can turn an old and bulky printer into a wireless printer wonder.

1. Build a network of computers

Technically, making a printer wireless will still need some form of wiring system to function but this is not as complicated as connecting all computers into one server with millions of intertwining wires. All you need to build a network is a server which will be hosting your printer where all the other computers will be connecting.

Computers nowadays are more catered to networking unlike older computer versions. You can just purchase an Ethernet port or Wi-Fi router and you are on your way to making your old printer wireless.

Some of the most popular brands of wireless print servers include:

– Netgear WGPS606 which can be either a wireless server or a wireless router.  With USB ports catered for wireless networking, the WGPS606 can also connect to other computers in the network even if they are not connected into the wireless adapter.

–  Cisco’s Linksys Print Server makes it easier for computers to connect to the network because of the easy access that the Linksys system provides. Using Ethernet or Wireless-G, it can connect several printers into one system.

–  HP’s Wireless Kit provides HP printer users the chance to connect their printers into HP’s network and enjoy the convenience of wireless printing. The Wireless Kit integrates all functions like printing, scanning and faxing all into one.

2. Set up the Printer System

This means connecting the main printer into the wireless server and installing the necessary software to make the printer available for the computers in the network to connect to. Making sure that every step is taken is crucial in making the printer function and connects properly to the computers in the network.

Usually software installations would include a walkthrough into the basics of networking which will include setting up the network’s IP address, the access passwords and its configurations into the wireless network. Setting all of these up will allow a smooth process of connection among computers in the network. This will also ensure that the computers connecting into the printer are part of the network because of the specific password shared among network computers.

3. Make sure that the main computer connected to the printer is turned on when using the printing network.

In business or just personal use, making old printers wireless is the best way to go especially in today’s fast-pace environment. Investing in wireless printing systems will be a wise choice to ensure competitiveness and cost-efficiency whether at home or in the office environment.

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