Ask CyberGuru: What type of printer do you suggest I buy?

Ask CyberGuru: What type of printer do you suggest I buy?

In the latest in our Ask CyberGuru series of articles, we are asked “I am looking for a printer for my home office to print documents. What printer would suit my needs? Are the cheap ones available at (insert retail store name) going to last? What type of printer should I buy?”.

When comparing printers, it is worthwhile checking what you need is going to be sufficient for your needs. Questions such as, “What features do you need?”, “Will you be faxing?” “Do you need to print in colour?” and “What is the number of pages you can print per purchase?” can help aid in determining the correct printer that will suit your needs.

Before answering this question, let’s review the printer types available for home offices. Inkjet printers come in two main forms: basic and multifunction. Basic printers are simply printers that just will print documents to a page. Multifunction printers provide the ability not just to print, but can also scan, copy and sometimes fax. An increasing number of printers also enable internet-enabled printing. Using an internet connection, a printer can be used over the internet by sending the document to be printed via email to the dedicated email address of the printer. These cartridges are often separate ink tanks for each colour (often four or five) and are required for the continued use of the printer. These often don’t last as long because the inks have limited capacity, and often dry up if not regularly used.

Laserjets are being becoming increasingly common amongst home offices and businesses due to the relatively affordable purchase price and longevity of the toner cartridges. Laserjets often have several independent trays on which you can print from, so you could have your business’ pre-printed letter head in one, blank pages in another and a separate one for envelopes. The toner cartridges often provide a longer life than traditional ink cartridges in printers as they are designed for regular use. If you are after colour, this will be more expensive. Toner cartridges often last longer because they are designed for regular use.

When looking for a printer, the cheapest model is not always the cheapest in the long term. Often these printers seem to be affordable initially, but over the longer term they are not reliable and enduring. Whilst these printers seem to be quite affordable to purchase initially, they can often cost more once you consider the accessories, replacement inks and useable lifetime. The real cost of printing comes down some of the printer specifics and what is provided.

Often cheaper do not provide the necessary cables to connect to your computer, requiring you to purchase them separately. Further, the cartridges are provided as only “starter” or “sample cartridges”, which require you to immediately purchase cartridges. These can be quite expensive and oftentimes more than the printer itself. If they do come with it they do not often last very long as they are not manufactured to last.

We hope this answers your question!

If you have a question you would like to ask CyberGuru, or we can be any assistance in any way, please contact us.

Enhance the look of your documents

Enhance the look of your documents

Looking for ways to make your documents look great? There are some new impressive ways in which you can improve their look if you are running Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2013. One of the long-standing ways available within Microsoft Office is the use of Clipart, this has been improved with Online Pictures. Microsoft has also increased the fonts available within Microsoft Office and introduced stylistic sets into your documents to allow you to add various effects. You can also use new document templates without the need to start from scratch.

Text Effects and Typography to change font group and typography to enhance appearance

One of the features missing in newer versions of Microsoft Office is the WordArt feature. It has been removed and replaced with Text Effects. This enables you to use similar effects as WordArt without turning it into a graphic. Some fonts have been added in Microsoft Word and Publisher such as Calibri, Corbel, Candara and Cambria, which also allow for the use of stylistic sets to use calligraphy like appearances on some fonts. Simply highlight the text you wish to change, look for the Text Effects and Typography button in the Font group on the Home tab.

Enhance the look of your documents - Text Effects and Typography
Text Effects and Typography

Online Pictures to increase visuals of your documents and presentations

Whilst it not at popular as it once was, Microsoft still has a large collection of media on Office.com that can be used both for professional and personal use. Unlike many commercial photography libraries, Microsoft provides its customers with the ability to download royalty-free images and clipart. You can find some 135,000 in this collection which you can under the Insert tab, Illustrations group followed by Online Pictures.

Enhance the look of your documents - Online Pictures
Online Pictures

New document templates without the need to start from scratch

Microsoft has also revamped many of the templates in all of its products. When you create a new document from any Microsoft Office product, you are provided with a large selection of templates of which to choose from. Depending on the product you are using, you can also search from various collections.

Enhance the look of your documents - New document templates
New document templates

If you would like a hand to learning some of these new and improved features available within Microsoft Office, please contact us for our Training solution today.

Microsoft silently ends mainstream support for Windows 7

Microsoft silently ends mainstream support for Windows 7

Mainstream support silently ended for Windows 7 on 13 January 2015. Whilst this hasn’t made the headlines as did the end of Windows XP’s support in April last year, where businesses were required to perform considerable upgrades to their computer’s hardware and software, it is a significant milestone to understand in terms of Microsoft’s support for their operating systems and the important of updates.

Whilst most users are notified during their computer’s system maintenance of required updates, it is important to note that the only major service pack issued for Windows 7, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is required, along with subsequent updates to continue to keep your Windows 7 computer securely protected.

According to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ (link opens in new window), end of mainstream support means that Microsoft will only provide paid support, security update support and non-security hotfix support (with an extended hotfix support purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending) along with product-specification information using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base. They will also still provide regular security updates to Windows, however new features and enhancements will not be available. Extended Support is available for a further five years, until 13 January 2020. Those not on Extended Support contracts are not able to seek Microsoft’s assistance without this arrangement.

It is also important to note that in a year’s time (12 January 2016), the Internet Explorer Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ (link opens in new window) advises that only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.

It is worthwhile noting that through their Support Lifecycle Policies, Microsoft has certainly set a path to move its clients onto more recent operating systems, however that they will continue to provide updates for Windows 7 at least the next five years. At this stage, there is no need to move to Windows 8 if you are happy with Windows 7. However, the time will come between now and 2020 for an upgrade to newer computers and at this time may be an opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

If CyberGuru can be of any assistance through our Consulting solution to assist you with this, please contact us.

Top 5 CyberGuru blog articles for 2014

Top 5 CyberGuru blog articles for 2014

Happy new year! CyberGuru has recently received the “Your 2014 year in Blogging” report provided by JetPack. JetPack is a plugin for WordPress, our website content management system that provides statistics and other valuable information about the running of our website.

We thought for the first blog article for 2015, that we would share the top five blog articles we published last year:

  1. Are you having trouble displaying web pages in Internet Explorer?
  2. Less than one week to go until parts of Aspley are disconnected from existing copper wire connection
  3. Proprietor/Chief Guru of CyberGuru achieves Microsoft Windows 8 MCSA Charter certification
  4. What is the difference between a .com.au and .net.au domain name?
  5. Think before you click – the increase of ransomware

We would like to thank all of our clients, newsletter readers, social media followers for your support of our newsletter, blog and social media in 2014. If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in 2015, please contact us and let us know!