How to Print to an HP 4000 Series Printer Without a Parallel Port

by Soroush Madjzoob

You have just unpacked your brand spanking new laptop only to find that it doesn’t support a connection to your older HP 4000 series printer – now what?

Related: The Five Reasons Dell Beats HP in the Technology Market 

It used to be that parallel ports and COM ports were standard issue on every computer; no matter the manufacturer.  Today however, with ever shrinking footprints of PCs and a shift towards mobile computing, there is a race to miniaturize as much as possible!

And with the advent of the USB port, you can’t blame the computer industry for doing away with the large (space consuming) Parallel and COMs ports!  This does produce a dilemma for most users trying to hang on to their investment in HP printers that don’t have a USB port.

No worries, there is still a way to connect to your HP 4000 series printers that don’t have a USB port; actually two ways!  These older, work horse printers, all have an EIO port or Expansion Input/Output port; which allows you to plug-in different types of add-on modules.

If you’re using your printer in an office environment, you can network-enable your printer; giving access to users that you want to share the printer.  You can start with the basic HP JETDIRECT 620N (J7934G), which runs at 10/100 transfer speeds, or kick it up a notch to a HP JETDIRECT 630N (J7997G) print server, which runs at gigabit speeds; or just go all out and get a wireless version like the HP JETDIRECT 380X WIRELESS PRINT SERVER (J6061A); each for under $100!

Related: Why PCs, Intel, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, QNX, Dell, Panasonic, and Jaguar Won CES

If you’re using the printer in a more personal setting, say at home, you can try using a J4135a JetDirect card that gives you USB and Apple LocalTalk expansion options. You could also try buying a USB to parallel cable but those solutions are not always 100% effective.

Any of the above solutions give you a very inexpensive solution to continue to get a return on your HP 4000 printer investment.

original article

Remote Printing to Your Mac

If you have a printer on your home network or attached to your Mac at work, you can likely set it up so you can print from anywhere.

Normally if you want to print over the Internet, you need to set up a protocol like IPP and have a static IP address for your network, where you can forward communications ports for the printing services; however, if you have a Mac you can use Apple’s Back To My Mac service to set up and print to a printer from any location.

To do this, you need to follow these four steps:

  1. Configure your printer for use
    Use the Print & Scan system preferences to set up the printer on your Mac. It can be a locally attached printer, or a networked printer, but you need to have it configured as a device your Mac can use.
  2. Share the printer
    Now use the Sharing system preferences to enable printer sharing on the network, and then enable the newly configured printer. By default everyone can print to a shared printer, but you can add access restrictions in this preference pane that only allow your account to print.
  3. Enable iCloud
    If you do not have an Apple iCloud account, then create one and configure your system to use it. You do not need to use all of Apple’s services, but you will need this to be able to locate your computer from anywhere you have Internet access.
  4. Enable Back To My Mac
    Now enable the Back To My Mac service in iCloud, which will allow your system to be located from any other Mac you have configured with iCloud.

With this setup, the printer should be accessible remotely. You will now need to sign into iCloud on your remote Mac, and from there can similarly add a new printer. When you do this, in the printer selector you should see your Mac’s shared printer listed as a “Bonjour Shared” printer and have a name that includes the printer name and the computer name (e.g., “Printer_Name @ Computer_Name”), which you can add to your system.

Once the printer is added, you should be able to print away to your heart’s content. However, do keep in mind the printer will only be available when you are logged into iCloud, and only available if the computer hosting the printer is on. If you decide to turn off iCloud on either system, or turn off Back To My Mac on the system with the shared printer, printing will no longer work.

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Stopping a Print Job in Windows 8

By Mircea Gabriel Suciu, eHow Contributor

By removing a large document you do not want to print anymore from the printing queue of your computer you will save paper and valuable printer resources. You do not need to disconnect your printer from your computer or from the power source to cancel its current operation. Windows provides a feature that you can use to control the documents in the printing queue. This feature allows you to pause or cancel a printing operation.


  1. Move your mouse cursor to the top right corner of your desktop and press “Search” from the Charms bar.
  2. Type “Devices and Printers” (without quotes), press “Settings” and select “Devices and Printers” from the list of search results.
  3. Right-click the icon corresponding to the printer that is currently printing the large document and select “See what’s printing” from the context menu.
  4. Right-click the document you want to remove from the printing queue and press “Cancel” to cancel the printing operation. Click “Yes” to confirm.
original article

The Actual Cost of Your Printer

Dennie Kawahara24 min ago
TechnologyTech Deals
Printer costs have come down dramatically in the last decade, to the extent that it is now possible to pick up a small home office laser printer or a multifunction printer for under $100. You can grab a printer while standing in queue at your local post office.

Even the prices of heavy-duty workgroup and departmental business printers have declined significantly.

But what many people fail to realise is that the price tag on your printer is only a small portion of the total costs that will be incurred by the device of over its useful lifetime.

To understand a printer’s total cost of ownership (TCO), it is essential to consider numerous factors including the cost of toner or ink, paper and service costs and even the amount of office floor space required to house the printer.

Keeping tabs on expense

Some of the first questions to ask yourself are: how long do you expect to use the printer and what will it be used for? Will it primarily be used for printing in monochrome or colour? Will you need to print in full quality every time, or can you use draft mode for some print requirements?

Try to estimate how much you will print each month. If you are replacing an older printer and your print needs aren’t about to change, volume information such as this should be available in your current printer service records.

Then find out from the vendor how much toner or cartridges cost, and how many pages they can reasonably be expected to print.

This is important because the capacity of consumables will vary greatly between vendors.

Don’t forget to ask about any components that you can expect to replace over the lifetime of the printer, such as the image drum. You’ll need to know likely replacement cost and frequency.

With all this information, it should be possible to work out broad monthly ink, paper and printer costs. You’ll also get an idea how often you can expect to pay for the machine to be serviced – another expense that needs to be added to your TCO.

One other (often forgotten) print-related expense is that of power usage. When evaluating a selection of printers, a slight difference in power consumption may not seem to add up to much over a 24 hour period, but over the printer lifetime, it can equate to a significant financial and environmental cost.

That’s why it’s a good idea to look for the internationally recognised Energy Star certification, and to select a machine that offers energy-saving options such as a deep sleep mode or duplex printing.

Compare and contrast

All of the above steps will help you to establish a level playing field upon which to compare different vendors offerings. It will also give you a solid understanding of the costs you are committing to with your new printer purchase. There are, however, a few additional tips to consider, if you want to minimise the TCO of your new printer.

Establishing a print policy which stipulates when colour printing is appropriate and when mono printing is preferable, or that lays down guidelines on the use of printers for personal content can help to reap large savings dividends.

Businesses can also consider the value of outsourcing their requirements by working with a vendor that offers Managed Print Services. In these circumstances, the vendor takes control of managing your printer fleet for a predictable monthly cost.

The vendor assumes responsibility for updating equipment, fine-tuning your print environment, improving service levels and minimising device downtimes.

They help you to better understand print-related expenses and work with you to uncover areas of waste and inefficiencies. By outsourcing responsibility, the business frees up internal resources and upfront capital costs are avoided.

The practice of automatically printing every email or document has helped office printing expenses to rise steadily over the years. According to industry analysts, Gartner, between one and three per cent of corporate revenues now go on printing costs.

Fortunately, there are ways of reducing the expense. Simply choosing the cheapest printer is rarely the most economical lifetime solution but by calculating a printer’s TCO and by implementing appropriate policies, or by partnering with a managed services provider, companies can take charge of their printing costs and reduce their impact on the environment.

Dennie Kawahara is the Managing Director of OKI Data Australia

original article

Kill Your Energy Phantoms with Printer Analyzer

By John Breeden II

The federal government has been concerned with the costs of phantom power in IT devices for years. Back in 2001, President George Bush ordered agencies to slay what he called energy vampires, eliminating devices that used up too much standby power.

But like any good villain from a monster movie, government’s energy vampires were not so easily dispatched. In fact, it’s possible that they have grown over the years.

Verdiem is attempting to become the garlic necklace or holy water against these pests with its newest software product, Verdiem Print & Power Analyzer, which builds on Verdiem’s IT energy management and efficiency platform to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs. It lets organizations measure end-user print activity, identify both local and networked printers, characterize costs and analyze the data to uncover opportunities to optimize the print environment. According to the company,  this often results in reduced enterprise print costs of up to 30 percent, or $20 to $60 per user per year.

“IT organizations are experiencing increased pressure to improve service delivery and reduce costs, but they typically have little to no visibility into the costs and utilization of their print environment,” said John Scumniotales, the company’s CEO. “Industry benchmarks show that most organizations easily spend $300 dollars or more per employee per year on printing.”

Verdiem cites an August 2012 Gartner report that said that organizations with managed print services saw savings ranging from 10 to 40 percent.

The Verdiem Print & Power Analyzer works to identify areas where too many printers are being deployed by tracking individual print usage for both local and networked printers. Printers often standby mode or with functions that are mirrored elsewhere can then be eliminated from an office.

Verdiem measures key print metrics by monitoring end-user print activity. Dashboards and reports give IT staffs actionable data on print volumes and costs by department, printer, location and user. IT will finally be able to answer who prints, where they print, what they print and when they print. By understanding these behaviors, IT professionals can drive change and demonstrable cost reductions into the print environment.

Verdiem power monitoring also establishes a baseline of electricity usage and costs for PC and printer fleets. To control PC energy consumption and save $20 to $50 per PC per year, IT can upgrade to Verdiem’s industry-leading PC power management solution.

original article

How Printers Are Vulnerable To Hacking

It used to be that antivirus and malware protection for a computer was enough. Now even printers have become subject to malware attacks, creating another possible vulnerability on a user’s system. How can a device like a printer be a security threat, and how can you protect yourself against a “hacked” printer?

How Do Printers Get Hacked?

The more sophisticated a system, the more vulnerable it is to security breaches. Modern office printers are much more complex than their low-tech ancestors. Older desktop printers often connected only via a USB cable, while newer, business-end model printers often have their own hard drive, Internet connection, Web interface, and email capabilities. Once a device is connected to the Internet, it becomes much more vulnerable to possible attacks from without.

The threat of hacked printers first surfaced when researchers at Columbia University discovered security flaws in several HP model printers. The firmware in the printers contained vulnerabilities that could allow an outside party to infiltrate the device and give it instructions remotely.

What Are the Risks?

A hacker could change the settings on the printer, or transmit phony fax and print jobs. While that might not seem too serious, it’s only the beginning. The biggest threat to the user’s security is that a hacker could gain access to any documents that are sent to it from the printer, possibly exposing sensitive or private information. The printer could also be used to eavesdrop on the network traffic of the computer. Malware could even be installed on the computer, granting ongoing access to the device without the owner knowing anything’s wrong.

An enterprising hacker could even use a Denial of Service (DoS) attack to make the printer inaccessible or non-functional, possibly even damaging the hardware.

How Do I Protect Myself?

The easiest way to secure your printer from such attacks, of course, is to make sure it isn’t connected to the Internet or network at all. That might be fine for the average home user, but it’s not a feasible option for businesses that rely on network printing.

First, it pays to inform yourself about the device and what vulnerabilities your printer might have. The Columbia University researchers themselves admitted that while they only tested HP machines, machines of any brand could be infected in a similar fashion. Check reviews and the manufacturer’s website for your printer and see if there are any vulnerabilities or firmware updates listed.

Second, protect the printer itself as much as possible. If there is an administrative password on the machine, set it and change it every once in a while. Lock down access privileges to the printer, both physically and on the computer network, to minimize its exposure to possible attacks. Make sure your printer is protected by the network firewall.

Some printers also feature network encryption and other security measures. If your printer has such features, enable them. Keep your printer’s firmware as up-to-date as possible. A common way of protecting a printer is setting up an Access Control List, or ACL, to ensure only certain parties can access the printer at any time. The shorter that list, the fewer vulnerabilities.

No system connected to the Internet is ever 100% safe from attack, and even a machine left unplugged from the network could be infected via USB key or other physical access. The key is to be aware of this new threat, and protect yourself as much as possible.

Ron Dagus is a writer, blogger and IT expert at Whether it’s Epson, Brother, Dell, HP, or any other leading printer brand, you can find a wide range of ink cartridges from PrinterInks. (

The Mystery Of The Blank HP Printer Display Screen

We get frequent calls about the mysterious blank display on either an HP LaserJet or Color LaserJet printer. There are a couple of different ways that this event can occur:

• A blank backlit display with the ready, data, and attention lights are on
• A blank backlit display with the ready, data, and attention lights are off
• A blank unlit display with the ready, data, and attention lights are on
• A completely blacked out display with no lights on

In all cases you would want to first send a test print job to the printer. If the job prints, chances are you have a defective display. If the job doesn’t print, then it could be a defective formatter board or bad firmware – if it is a model of printer that has removable/replaceable firmware.

However, another thing to keep in mind is; even though it doesn’t print, you may still have a defective display AND an error code happening at the same time (13 paper jam, 50 service, etc.). This doesn’t happen very often, but is a possibility.

To investigate further, try to print an engine test. The engine test will bypass the formatter board and print a page with either black or color lines going down or across the page (depending on machine). If the printer is able to print an engine test, it is mechanically functional, and it’s again possible that you may have a formatter or firmware issue.

You will also want to listen to the printer when you cycle the power to see if the motors and drive assemblies are turning. If you can’t hear those, it is possible you have a “dead” printer and your problem could be with the low voltage /ac power supply. To better determine this, try printing an engine test as mentioned above, which should give a better indication of what is going on with the printer. If after checking and testing the possibilities and you are still having issues, give us a call we’re happy to help!

origanal article

Toner Talk with Trudy, Part 3 – Printers and Their Ink

The neatest thing about owning a specialty store is that your customers like to talk about their needs and give feedback regarding the printers they own or want.  Of course, my specialty is supplying every possible product that will fit into an inkjet or laser printer. I primarily want to see my customers purchase printers that are right for them.  I want to tell you what I have learned about inkjet printers; mainly because nearly everyone owns one, and I garner a ton of information (good and bad) quizzing my customers when they stop in to purchase cartridges.

The first thing is to beware of is when you are offered a “printer bundle package,” (a free printer with your new computer), you can count on the cartridges being extremely expensive. Instead of a printer, take an upgrade in software or memory that does not get thirsty for ink a few weeks later. If the printer is a “bargain”… the ink most likely will be a rip-off of epic proportions.

I won’t mention their name, but their initials are HP and here is a good story about the “bargain”….

A customer of ours purchased three HP inkjet printers at about $20 each just for the cartridges that came with the printers. He knew darn well that the ink would run twice the price of the printer.  This is a little extreme, but creative nonetheless.

If you are printing recipes, emails, kids’ homework and a few photos, a $100 printer will suit your needs just fine.  But watch out, there are two very different $100 printers out there.

One style printer popular since the invention of inkjet printers is the printer requiring two cartridges.  You buy a black cartridge and a tri-color cartridge.  We routinely refill these, so I know exactly how much ink gets squished into that tiny sponge filled box with three colors.  Folks, it’s not much.  Newer versions are even built to look like older models, but are effectively hollowed out to reduce the amount of ink that can be replaced.  I think this could not be more dumb! I know what ink cost and few more drops would not break the bank for Canon or Lexmark or HP.  I also think it is an absolute crime that printer manufacturers present you with a new

printer and their lame excuse of what they call “starter cartridges”.  All these cartridges do is get you started, and then you start your car to buy the full size version that are still woefully low when it comes to page production!

I have also encountered products made now that cannot stand up to the rigors of refilling nor will they read in your printer a second time due to firmware that kills the electronics on these little inkjets.
In case I have not made myself perfectly clear, I am not a fan of the two- cartridge inkjet system.  I also know the attention span of a reader. So let us revisit soon and I shall let you in on the printers I do think make economical and practical sense.

If you cannot wait to hear the ending, feel free to call me at 972 548 9393. I can speak more frank with you and not get sued.

original article

Ask LH: What’s A Good Cheap Laser Printer For A Student?

Dear Lifehacker,
Dear Lifehacker, I am a first year university student in need of a new printer that better suits my needs as a student. Ideally the printer would be around the $100 budget, have a high page per minute output and relatively cheap toner. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks, Printing Profusely

Dear PP,

You know that old axiom about having things good, fast or cheap, but you’ve got to pick only two? It totally applies here, and arguably within this category you can’t really have fast anyway. Even within the laser world (although some of them are more accurately LED printers now), cheap printers are built on the razor blades model; the replacement inks/toners are more expensive than the comparatively more costly ones, if only because it’s expected at the cheap end of town that you’ll be using them for lower-impact printing that a small to medium sized office might.

But if budget is your primary consideration, Brother’s standalone monochromes are a good bet in this regard; for whatever it’s worth I’ve got a cheap Brother HL-2150N in my office right now, and while it’s been complaining for a while that the toner is low, it continues to chug along. That’s an obsolete model right now, but the slightly more current HL-2130 can be had for around sixty bucks. You won’t find too many really budget-priced single function mono lasers with really cheap toner, but careful use of draft mode (which shouldn’t be a concern for most University students unless you’re producing a lot of very fine drawings or such) should also keep your toner costs low.

As always, I’d be interested to hear what other Lifehacker readers think. Are cheap laser printers a good buy, or do you prefer a more expensive model with better toner performance?