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How to Transition your Office into a Paperless One

Every year offices spend more money in archiving, disposing, and storing paper products. Paper is a culprit of sacrificing the Earth’s resources and a junky and cluttered office! Several offices have started to convert into a paperless office that uses electronic and ‘virtual’ forms of storage to reduce paper usage and to become more organized. Here are tips to start the transition, and bring your office out from the piles of paper it currently is lost under.

  • Use electronic archiving: Depending on your current office and their archiving process of important papers and documents, different methods will work better. Instead of storing papers in filing cabinets and storage rooms, start having paperwork scanned, categorized and placed on CD’s, DVD’s or other electronic means that works well for your office. There are several online based companies that will take your receipts, and paperwork and archive them and put them into a Microsoft Office – Excel, Word, Money, format, and then you can shred the paper versions.
  • Use electronic communication instead of paper: Do away with paper calendars in the office, and memorandums that are sent to coworkers in-boxes. When setting up meetings, and checking in or out on the sign out sheet, convert to electronic messaging, meetings, and calendars to keep coworkers in the loop. Electronic versions can be synced with coworkers electronic schedules and will save the excuse – ‘I must have not got that message’.
  • Convert your clients to paperless systems: Whether you’re a doctor’s office or you sell paper products, if you have clients and or customers you can help convert them to a paperless system. Many stores like the Apple store have already implemented a receipt system that can be emailed to you. In your office consider getting an electronic sign in computer like many pharmacies use, and ask clients/customers if they’d like to sign up for newsletters or coupons by email.  This will help your office convert to a paperless system easier, and your customers will appreciate your conscientious shift to a greener environment.
  • Wean off of notepads and scrap paper: Who doesn’t get in the habit of reaching for a notepad anytime they need to jot down a note? Notepads can waste a lot of paper, plus you have to keep up with the paper once you’ve jotted it down. Try to use electronic smart phones, PDA’s or electronic tablets/computers to jot down your information. You can keep all your ideas in one place and save paper at the same time.

Your office doesn’t have to go through withdrawal to convert over to a paperless one. Once this lifestyle shift occurs at your office, the tendency to carry on similar practices at home will soon be natural. Saving paper, space, money and the Earth’s resources are all great reasons to transition your office to a paperless environment.

What a Bargain

It’s not very often that I snare a bargain but I can very enthusiastically say that this time, I did.

My HP printer, copier, scanner had been playing up for months. It was a sad saga of frustration, rage and near violence. Yes, I admit it, I very nearly threw it out the window: before the window was opened. Every time I tried to print something out, I had problems. I’d go through the procedure, File, Print, get the box up, tell it how many pages to print, what size to print and GO! Nothing! I’d wait. And wait, watching the flashing light on the printer telling me it was out of paper. It wasn’t, there was half a ream in it. Wait. Go and make a cup of tea. Take the paper out and put it back in. Try again, File, Print, etc, etc. GO! Wait.

Blinking light telling me it was out of paper. GRRRR!

Go to Control Panel, Printers, double click on my printer. AH! Jobs in the queue. The very ones I’d tried to print. Highlight ‘Resume Printing’ and enter. Wait. Wait. Nothing. Highlight ‘cancel all printing’ to try again. Wouldn’t cancel! Still the same list. Unplug the printer. Wait ten minutes. Another cup of tea. Plug the printer back in. Wait for it to settle. Go back to the document. Go through the routine. File, Print, etc, etc. GO! Nothing. Wait. Nothing but a blinking light, No paper. Wait. Go to Control Panel, Printers. Click on my printer. Double click, Jobs in the queue. Same jobs plus the one I tried to do a moment ago. Resume Printing. Nothing. Stop, Shut down the computer and the printer, mouthing obscenities. Unplug them both. Wife shouts, ‘You’re blood pressure must be through the roof.’ Snarl as I go out the garden. Wait half an hour. Go and cut the lawn, seething in anger.

Rage

Cutting the lawn helps, calms me down. Wife looks at me as I come back inside. ‘That computer was the worst thing you ever brought in this house.’

Tell me about it! Plug it all back in again and boot up. Back to the document. The ‘no paper’ light is at it again. Grit my teeth, go back to control panel, printers, jobs in line. Same jobs. ‘Resume Printing,’ Clicks, bangs whirring noise! It’s working! Yes! I kneel on the floor and kow tow to it, ‘Oh, great one, thank you for blessing me with your presence.’ It proceeds to print the whole list of jobs. But I don’t want three copies of the damned thing, I only want one. It takes no notice of my rantings and will not allow me to print what I want. I end up knee deep in paper as it churns out the whole queue. I’m dancing in rage when my wife comes in the room. ‘Is that a war dance or are you just practising for Strictly Come Dancing?’ I collapse in a gibbering heap, throwing pages in the air and frothing at the mouth.

Buy a new one.

Nothing for it! Get on ebay and find a new printer, copier, scanner. Hundreds on there. Work down the list. What! A brand new one, boxed, guaranteed, going for £5. It’s a Canon Pixma MP 140. This can’t be right! A new printer, copier, scanner for £5.($7) Yes It is! I buy it and it’s an all singing, all dancing one. What a bargain. OK, the shipping was £12 ($17), but hey, it came within two days. The cartridges were refurbished ones, guaranteed and only £10 ($14)  for the two.

3D Printers: What is the hype about?

The world of technology and science is expanding and changing exponentially. Futuristic inventions that were talked about for generations have arrived. Telephones you could carry around with you, computers in every home, and the ability to see your family when you talked to them on the phone.

That future has arrived, and the things of science fiction are a reality. Printers have evolved from the mimeograph machine, with a roller and purple ink, to electric copiers, with black ink that didn’t smell funny. Now they collate, staple, print photographs and send faxes. Enter the world of 3D printers and pens. No paper or ink required.

What is 3D printing?

In a normal printing process, information is fed to a printer, via computer generated instructions. Ink is laid onto paper, and your 2D document is generated. With a 3D printer, an object is scanned or created in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) program. The object is then divided into .15mm thick slices, hundreds of one dimensional layers. Each layer is a set of instructions that are fed into the 3D printer.

A layer of powdered polymer is distributed evenly across a platform. Infrared lasers scan across the layer creating the pattern from the first layer of instructions. The laser melts the polymer. A second layer of powder is applied, crystallizing the materials. The process is repeated until the object has been completed. The excess powder is removed, and the completed object emerges.

What can be made with a 3D printer?

With a 3D printer, a company can design and create their own prototypes. Something that looks good on paper may not actually look as nice, or work as well, in reality. By creating a prototype, a manufacturer can look at a physical representation of their final product, and make changes to their products. The cost associated with prototypes and new product development can be greatly reduced with the purchase of an affordable 3d printer.

In the world of kitchen appliance, the manufacturers can develop new kitchen appliance, print the sample products before the real products released to the market, they can make a new design on various products including electric kettles, teapots, cookware sets, microwave ovens, gas stove and more from their computer with ease..

In the world of science, archaeologists can use the 3D printer to recreate artifacts, dinosaur bones and fossils. Forensic science can recreate objects destroyed at a crime scene, enabling them to reconstruct what may have happened. Crime television and their fictional experiments meet forensic pathologists using 3D modeling.

In modern medicine, they are using layers of living tissue to recreate organs and body parts. Organ printing, or Computer Aided Tissue Layering is in development. One day, in the very near future, a limb will be regenerated with help from 3D printers. The applications are endless limited only by the imagination.

The Different Types of Printers

What I’m going to introduce is the different types of computer printers for home use. If we have computers, then most likely, we also have printers connected to our computers. Sometimes, it is packaged with the PCs we buy but sometimes, we just buy one because we know we are going to need it.

Printers either use laser or inks. Laser printers are much more expensive than inkjet printers but they are much faster and ideal for business use. In most homes and offices, inkjet printers are what are typically used.

Laser printers have two kinds of printing method, the monochrome (black and white) and the colored. Some laser printers have built-in duplexer for two-sided simultaneous printing capability. Monochrome is ideal for large volume printing and since you are basically going to print texts only with a monochrome printer, it is most ideal for office use. Colored laser printers are also fast but slightly slower than a monochrome laser printer. It is ideal for both business and home use but are basically very expensive. Most of us probably can’t afford it, but there is a cheaper option; the inkjet printer.

Inkjet printers are categorized by home printers and office printers. Office printers will generate you fast printing results while home printers are slower in the printing process. Some brands give you 4 ink printers and some give you 6 ink printers. 4 ink printers are generally ideal for everyone to use. 6 ink printers are probably a better choice if you need to print graphic illustrations and high resolution photographs. 6 ink printers, though, are more expensive than 4 ink printers.

Before buying printers, it is advisable to weigh your options. An inkjet printer may be less expensive but you might experience frequent paper jams, and cartridges can also be very expensive. So if you are printing in large volumes of texts and photos, you might want to consider a laser printer. A laser printer might be more expensive but they are more efficient especially if you are printing in large volumes.

Features of Printers

The cheapest kind of printer is a printer that can be interfaced with the computer but doesn’t have other features.  Without the computer, it won’t function at all.  It can’t function independently and at the same time, it doesn’t have other functions except printing only.

For multi-function printers, they can be interfaced with the computer but they can also perform different function independent from the computer.  There are different kinds of multi-function printers.  One kind of multi-function printer has the scan, photocopy, and printing functions only.  It can be used independently without the computer.  Second kind of multi-function printer has print, scan, photocopy, pictbridge and card reader slots.  And then there is the all-in-one home and business printer.  It has print, scan, photocopy, pictbridge, card reader slots, and fax functions.  Duplexers (for double sided printing) may be built-in or added depending on your printer brand and model.

For laser printers, they don’t have pictbridge and memory card slots.  But you can choose a laser printer that can scan, photocopy, fax, print, and has built-in duplexers.

Wireless Printer Routers – How to Setup

In this guide I’ll show you how to setup most typical wireless printer routers. Wireless networks and wireless printer routers provide users with many options including being able to print to a wireless printer in another room without all the long  network cables. Wireless printer routers may be set up in a central location making it easy for all users to access the wireless printer on its own or through a wireless printer router.

Once the setup is complete you can then access and print to the wireless printer. Running a WLAN or a Wireless Local Area Network requires a strong encryption like Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA2. Wireless printer routers have become a popular way to eliminate all the cables and share one central printer over the entire network.

Components Needed:

– Wireless computer or computer connected to wireless router
– Wireless printer router
– Printer software
– USB cables
– Wireless printer

Step 1

Once the user has already setup a wireless network with his or her existing wireless access point or wireless router, setting up the wireless printer router can be done easily. Once the wireless printer has been unpacked and assembled, proceed to the installation of the printer software on any computer on the wireless network. Most wireless printers will include proprietary software including the drivers.  Insert the disc that came with your wireless printer and run the setup.exe program.

Step 2

To set up wireless printing most wireless printer routers will usually require connecting the wireless printer temporarily to the wireless printer router with the Ethernet cable that came with it. After Setup has finished the installation of the software, click on ‘Finish’.  Lastly, click on ‘Print Test Page’. When the wireless printer prints the test page, click on ‘OK’.

Step 3

To connect a wireless printer to typical wireless printer routers in most cases you will use the included software or your internet browser too access the wireless printers settings. You will need to configure your wireless printer to connect to your wireless printer routers SSID through the wireless printer routers settings. Most wireless printer routers allow access to the the SSID settings via your web browser.  This is required in order to tell the wireless printer which network it is supposed to join.

Step 4

Disconnect the cable of the Ethernet from the printer and then launch the Wireless Setup Wizard.  Once the printer detects the wireless network, its SSID or Service Set Identifier or network name is displayed. The SSID or network name may be found in the settings of the wireless printer router. If the wireless printer is unable to detect the WLAN then you will most likely need to enable on the broadcast feature of the SSID which is controlled by most wireless printer routers as well.

Step 5

According to www.bestnetworkinghardware.com, since your Internet Service Provider assigns a global IP address to the wireless printer router that you are using, you will need to enter the password and the username in order to access the settings of the router. This URL is usually 198.162.1.1.  Typically wireless printer routers will use encryption by default but be sure to check this feature and make sure it is enabled for security.  The type of encryption used by your wireless network is located in the router’s settings together with the shared key or the passphrase.

Step 6

If the wireless printer is unable to locate the wireless network even after having manually typed in the SSID, it may need to be moved nearer to the wireless printer router or the wireless printer’s IP address may need to be added to the Media Access Control or MAC address filtering list of the wireless printer router.

Step 7

Once the wireless printer has been successfully and wirelessly connected to the wireless neteork, try to print a test page again and then upon re-enabling the anti-virus software in the computer system, try printing another test page.
Not all wireless printer routers are the same.  Make sure the wireless router you choose has all the features you will require and the latest wireless technology.  There is a wide selection of wireless printer routers available on the market covering every feature in a wide range of prices.