US woman writes blog attacking printer

January 20, 2017

Heidi Potter's "crusty old man" printer

Heidi Potter’s “crusty old man” printer

Heidi Potter called her printer a “crusty old man” that’s “obstinate and never works when he should”.

WLKY Louisville hosted the blog from Potter, who noted that having “survived another science fair” and “after doing two in two years, I know one thing for sure: my printer is a problem. Note that I did not say that my printer HAD a problem. My printer IS a problem”. Calling her HP Inc device a “crusty, obstinate old man”, Potter points out that it “works just a little bit, sometimes, but only a couple sheets at a time, three max”.

In turn, “he only likes certain computers telling him what to do”, joking that “the main desktop has obviously p*ssed him off and he has incredibly long wait times to print documents. He’ll print a page … then think about printing the next page. If there are two documents in the queue, you definitely have a 10 minute wait between documents”.

She added: “He rarely responds to my daughters’ laptops, choosing to ignore them completely. He loves my Mac laptop however, resulting in an almost immediate, excited printing performance. He’s possibly unionised. He definitely takes breaks in the midst of heated production requests. He also somehow has my neighbour’s printer under his spell, and that printer never works when it is supposed to either.

“In my life, he’s never printed anything from Adobe Acrobat without a fight. He’s going to file for overtime before printing something that complex. He’s never printed out an Excel spreadsheet in landscape and in a readable font. Even after changing the page settings, he still does it his way first and then might print it your way for the next go. He smells fear from a mile away. He knows that he’s really going to have to hustle right before the holidays and the month of January.”

She continued: “If I fooled him and printed a huge document in June, he’d be completely blindsided and print without a problem. But no, he knows our schedule. He senses when the clock strikes midnight before a deadline before going into full shutdown mode. He doesn’t mind all the jostling and removing of cables that we perform on him in a feeble attempt to restart him or reprogramme the Wi-Fi. He acts like he’s getting a free massage, on our dime I might add.

“It’s like he’s been the printer manager of the world for years and he’s not going to listen to our new-fangled ideas. He’s so smart too and I think he uses the Force. He tells our desktop printer that something has already been printed when in fact, nothing has. And our desktop believes him every single time. To further subvert our printing efforts, he sucks all the ink out of the new toner cartridges after printing just one or two documents.

“If I print something that is two colours, magically all of the ink will completely disappear after the document prints. I mean EVERY colour is gone, not just the two colours that were used. I spend a small fortune on printer cartridges every month (why did I not invent that product?? I’d be a millionaire if I had). So he must be giving something to the printer cartridges on the side — he definitely has deal working there.

She concluded: “Supposedly there is a scanner in my printer. It’s never worked. And supposedly I can print a picture. As if! He laughs when we have put the photo paper in and immediately chokes on it like it is spoiled food. But what do I do: nothing. I’m too scared to buy another printer because I fear the same thing will happen. How can little appliance be such a heavy in our lives?

“Just to get him back, I printed this article out to proofread it. At noon on a Tuesday, he never saw it coming and it printed right out! Revenge is sweet, Mr. Printer”.

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Printers labelled “dinosaurs of the tech world”

January 19, 2017

CANON PIXMAOne person’s view on the problems with printers.

The Sydney Morning Herald published an article that looked at printer technology and the set-up process, which the author, Cynthia Karena, said was a “painful process even for the cute little Canon Pixma TS9060”. With applications being easier to install these days, Karena asked why the setting-up process can’t be streamlined.

Continuing her quest, Karena admitted the Canon Pixma was “great looking”, compact and comes in two colours, white or red with a retractable back tray that makes for more room. Using the Wi-Fi enabled printer, Karena said that she had “no problems at all” with double-sided printing and direct photo printing from the phone using the Canon Selphy app. and that there is also a near-field communication (NFC) option.

Having put the printer through its paces, Karena said that she was happy with the print quality, and that so far there were no printer jams. She was also impressed with the six single inks that included grey and black. However, on the downside, Karena said that the printer repeatedly asks her to register the paper size each time she changes siz,e and even when the paper trays are moved from front to back.

She noted that this is “time consuming and not as smooth as it could be” and asked why there couldn’t be “an automatic paper size or paper tray detection”. This, she concluded, applied to every printer, and maintained that “they truly are the dinosaurs of the tech world”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Four 2017 print and document trends shared

January 19, 2017

The four trends reflect “digital transformation”, which “should be” on every business’s “New Year’s resolution list”.office_printer

The article from Martin deMartini, Senior Vice President of Standardisation at Y Soft and hosted by BSM Info, notes first that digital transformation “includes changing operations to take advantages of technologies” including the cloud and software as a service (SaaS), alongside “ensuring the security of these services. DeMartini notes that some businesses “are sluggish to realise the benefits of extending this approach to print and digital workflows”, and some “have overlooked it altogether”.

This year, he states, there is a “phenomenal opportunity for organisations to reap the benefits of the latest advances” in odder to “drastically improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase document security”, and he cites Gartner research that found “print services typically consume one to three percent of IT’s overall budget”. Companies that “adopt digital transformation tools” however can reduce spending “by up to 50 percent” and use the money on “other IT projects”.

The first of the four trends is “cloud-based enterprise services on the rise”, as IT departments are “rapidly integrating” with these to “reduce costs and meet the needs of remote and mobile workers”. As a consequence, enterprises are “using hybrid or full public cloud services” to “integrate with their existing on-premise systems”, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) or MPS, and this year, companies should “expect all enterprise software solution providers” to offer a cloud option.

Second is “subscription-based models for print management”, with SaaS “not a new concept”, though mature industries including print and document imaging “have been slower than others to adopt it”, but this year “savvy customers looking for ways to efficiently manage infrastructure and operating costs will request SaaS for their print management”.

Third was MPS for “digital transformation”, with recent research finding that 80 percent of MPS users “were looking to grow strategically through efficiency in digital transformation”, and that as a result “customers are expecting more from their MPS providers in order to utilise” smart MFPs and “interconnected software to support digitisation initiatives”. Such models “often use direct integration” with enterprise content management (ECM) and “include automated document workflows”.

These in turn “support the transition to paperless operations and to support an increasingly mobile staff”, while MPS “also helps you improve document security”, because the MFP puts businesses “at risk of document security [issues] they may not have even thought of” due to sensitive information, and “may be the place where all previous security efforts are rendered useless”.

This year, deMartini notes that “the same attention to security that is afforded to other IT areas will be needed for document handling” to “ensure a more comprehensive risk mitigation strategy”, and “businesses should demand MPS providers help deliver their digital transformation”. Finally, “increased 3D printing solutions” will come from “the rise of 3D printing” continuing, and machines, “with the right strategy”, can “do more than just introduce modern technology” into education.

This is a market where 3D printing is particularly expected to grow, and deMartini notes that the machines are “particularly valuable when it comes to strengthening students’ motivation to learn”. As printer adoption continues, this year “will see a demand for tools that help educators manage access and costs”, and as “multiple” devices are installed, “efficient workflows and the ability to recover costs through student pay-to-print options will be required”.

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Canon USA launches new MFP series

January 18, 2017

Canon's imageRUNNER ADVANCE 4500

Canon’s imageRUNNER ADVANCE 4500

The OEM’s subsidiary has released the imageRUNNER ADVANCE 4500 series to offer “increased flexibility and customisation” for businesses.

The OEM reported the launch of the machines by noting that it is “fulfilling our promise to customer and channel partners to deliver office solutions for today’s evolving businesses”, with the “third generation” of imageRUNNER ADVANCE MFPs offering “an information management platform for integrated and holistic business process solutions”.

The devices include “powerful scanning capabilities with advanced personalisation and additional security features”, and include the 4551i, 4545i, 4535i and 4525i. The MFPs are also said to offer “excellent document workflow systems” for SMBs and departments “that require efficient, cost-effective, monochrome printing”. Each offers single-pass duplexing scanning, support for third-party cloud services through the ADVANCE Cloud Portal, and a Universal Login Manager for security.

This feature is a “serverless authentication solution” allowing users to “provide customisation without compromising control”, allowing each separate user to have their own “preferred functions and settings”. Finishing options offered include hole-punching, staple-free stapling, staple “on demand” and booklet-making, while each machine can also be connected to Canon’s uniFLOW and uniFLOW online solutions for “cloud-based print management”.

In terms of security, the MFPs include a hard disk drive encryption function, while again in terms of MPS and MDS they can each be supported by Canon’s imageWARE enterprise management console and Managed Document Services. Finally, on sustainability, the machines each feature ENERGY STAR certification, and are rated EPEAT Gold. All are available at suggested prices of $15,000 (€14,020) for the 4551i; $13,500 (€12,618) for the 4545i; $10,000 (€9,347) for the 4535; and $8,000 (€7,477) for the 4525i.

George Mikolay, Senior Product Editor for A3 Copiers/MFPs at Keypoint Intelligence, commented: “Canon has a strong reputation in the A3 market for offering reliable, easily adaptable systems that enhance existing workflows. With this latest product line upgrade, Canon has demonstrated its commitment to this market segment by bringing its latest innovations in this area to these A3 MFPs, most notably seen in their fast scanning capability, customisation ability and easy connection to their uniFLOW Online solution.”

Toyotsugu Kuwamura, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Business Imaging Solutions Group at Canon USA, added “The workforce of the future is now the workforce of today, with millennial habits and preferences altering the way companies do business. In order to succeed, businesses are integrating office technology that meets expectations for increased flexibility and customisation.

“With this series of imageRUNNER ADVANCE models, we are delivering an efficient, adaptable and cost-effective print capability designed to enable businesses to expand their productivity.”

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Konica Minolta launches bizhub MarketPlace

January 17, 2017

The OEM’s software platform will allow bizhub MFPs to “be enhanced” by additional functionality.bizhubmarketplace

The OEM announced that both its US and European subsidiaries are launching the “new and enhanced version” of the platform, to “accommodate the global market” and the US Europe with a “variety of applications and helpful features”. The new platform aims to accelerate “customers’ business by expanding MFP functionality”, and allows the MFPs to “be enhanced by easily adding functions that are required to meet challenges of everyday businesses”.

The platform, available now throughout the US and Europe, “assists customers in maximising their productivity” through “more flexibility in adapting devices to everyday routines”, and “allows the functionality of Konica Minolta’s multifunctional products to be easily enhanced by adding apps to the devices without the need to buy expensive software”. It is also said to feature “quick access and easy set-up”, and the ability to connect to OneDrive, Google Drive, SharePoint and other platforms.

Konica Minolta noted that these connections provide “quick access to documents with the benefits of secure processes and state-of-the-art technology”, while “in order to keep maintenance costs low and productivity high, the initial set-up as well as updates and additional apps are deployed remotely”. With devices centrally managed, all apps are “kept up-to-date automatically with no extra charges”.

An additional feature allows users to “get a personalised MFP user interface with an individual design and features” that fit “within specific workflows and corporate design guidelines”. Such services include “consultancy, design and guidance” through features and workflows “that can be made available on the display”, and are “deployed remotely, which benefits major enterprises with many staff”.

The MarketPlace is also said by the OEM to be “perfectly suited for every customer’s needs”, and “offers benefits for businesses of all sizes”, with “one of the biggest advantages” that the MFP “adapts to the customer’s working behaviour, and not the other way around”. The “large variety” of available apps meanwhile makes it “simple to streamline the workflow, while saving time and costs, which essentially means more time for the core business”.

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Nubeprint launches updated MPS software

January 16, 2017

The MPS provider’s ZERO update includes a series of new features.LogoPrincipal

In a press release, the company stated that the 2017 version of ZERO features an “optimised dashboard” that is “specially designed” for touchscreen computers, as well as a “new consumables performance analytics” feature. Nubeprint noted that the update comes as it follows up its “making the complex easy” strategy, with the entry-level software including “more added-value features that make life easier and more productive for small and medium dealers”.

The company stated that it is “known for its information reliability, automation of supply fulfilment (ATF) and environmental impact measurement capabilit[ies]|, with ZERO.2017 keeping “original features and quality” such as a “reliable, only one time alert” for consumables or technical issues; the ability to “identify toner wasted due to early cartridge replacement”; and “counters for billing”.

Another original feature is the “unique” PrinterCloud view “where with just one click, you can access” the “most recent status of the printer and its delivered services”, with the new version including “advanced, state-of-the-art” consumables performance and real coverage data “on any fleet”, with dealers able to use a “trusted tool to know which consumables are performing well, in which printers, and which ones are not”.

Using the two extra app additions, dealers will have “the opportunity to appoint the right consumables for each customer, including aftermarket products, to ensure more profitability for both new and current business”.

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OKI launches new wide-format printer

January 11, 2017

The OEM’s European subsidiary has launched the “cost-effective” ColorPainter E-64s.

OKI's ColorPainter E-64s

OKI’s ColorPainter E-64s

Manufacturing Global reported on the launch, with the ColorPainter E-64s said to be a “precision, easy-to-use professional printer which ticks all the boxes for affordability and eco-friendliness”. The 64-inch printer is said to be “ideal for creating high-quality signs and graphics”, and uses technology “which has proven effective in the M-64s and H3-104s” machines.

The printer uses the OEM’s special high-pigment eco-solvent SX ink, which is said to allow “the best possible level of colour quality and durability”, and which can “print on a wide range of formats” including textiles, wallpaper, canvas, hard PVC, vinyl and others, which the OEM says makes it “ideally versatile for commercial use”. The machine also takes “construction and functionality” into account, and will retail for €12,990 ($13,715).

Frank Jänschke, General Manager for Marketing of Wide Format Printers for OKI Europe, commented: “The ColorPainter E-64s is a remarkable printer offering print businesses affordable entry to very profitable, high-precision, wide-format printing on a large spectrum of media which may have previously been unattainable. As an advanced and extremely versatile printer, packed with functionality, it successfully meets all the requirements in a field where commercial opportunities are expanding but must be seized quickly and effectively in order to maximise revenue.”

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OEMs named in top management software list

January 11, 2017

technologyHP Inc, Kyocera, Lexmark and Ricoh were all named in as top output management software providers.

In a press release, market analysts Technavio listed the top seven vendors of output management software from 2017 to 2021, stating that its full report “also lists nine other prominent vendors that are expected to impact the market during the forecast period”. It noted that “the need to reduce the operational costs in IT departments is driving the market for output management software, globally”, with the market expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 2.56 percent.

This market growth, to a value of $56.89 billion (€53.88 billion) from a 2016 value of $50.12 billion (€47.46 billion), will be an “incremental growth” of $6.74 billion (€6.38 billion), and is expected to be driven by “increased demand for printer management and documentation in the BFSI and healthcare sectors”, while the “competitive vendor landscape” means that the global market is “highly fragmented” and “highly competitive”.

The vendors are all “competing to gain more market share” amid “intense competition, rapid advances in technology, and frequent changes in consumer preferences”, all of which Technavio states “constitute significant risk”. Alongside HP Inc, Kyocera, Lexmark and Ricoh in first, second, third and sixth positions were LRS in fourth, Pitney Bowes in fifth and Rochester Software Associates in seventh.

Ishmeet Kaur, Lead Enterprise Application Research Analyst at Technavio, commented: “To survive and succeed in this intensely competitive environment, it is imperative for vendors in the market to distinguish their product and service offerings through a clear and unique value proposition. The development of innovative products by the vendors is expected to help the market grow during the forecast period.”

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Samsung releases new portable printer

January 9, 2017

The pocket-sized Image Stamp “makes memories easier”.

samsung-waterproof

Android Authority reported that Samsung’s Image Stamp is a portable printer that can be used with NFC (near-field communication) or Wi-Fi, and users can print photos taken from their smartphone. The difference between Image Stamp and other mobile printers is said to be that the latter require 3:2 ratio, while Image Stamp uses 16:9 ratio, which means that photos are “printed exactly as they are presented on a users screen”. There is also an optional feature to add a QR code to a photo to attach information.

 

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Print management software updated

January 9, 2017

steadyPRINT version 6.5.2 is a printer management software for virtual desktops.steadyprint_logo_250x78

DABCC reported that the new version offers “an optimised and accelerated provision of BranchOffice printers via WAN connection”, and “thus considerably reduces the network load”, with steadyPRINT having made improvements to existing programmes. The software has been created for the management of “printer connections, the monitoring of printing environments as well as the reliability of print servers”.

The software will work “no matter which virtual network” is used, including workstations, Thin Clients or Citrix, Remote Desktop, VMware, and VDI terminal server environments, and neither additional hardware, nor licenses are required. The administrator is able to use the steadyPRINT Agent to “suppress the driver installation, enabling existing drivers to be used”.

The drivers do not necessarily “have to be loaded from the print server, which reduces the load of WAN connections of large printer drivers”, and in addition the “installation of BranchOffice printers was accelerated in order to guarantee a faster provision at the end user”. SteadyPRINT is also said to have fixed timeout problems and demo-watermark problems.

 

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