Selecting the most suitable printers

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There is now an extensive range of different printers on the sites of suppliers like Ryman, and this range of choice can sometimes make the selection of the best model seem a difficult task.

As with so many other tech purchases, the way to zero in on the right printers is to first start by establishing the detail of your regular needs.

With printers, this understandably amounts to the type and frequency of the intended usage. Both of these factors have a bearing on spec of suitable printers, which in turn influences both initial outlay and ongoing running costs. Here we look at relative benefits of the most common types of printers.

Laser printers were formerly an expensive option, for business rather than home use, but costs for this technology, as with so many things in the IT world, have dropped over the years.

Those looking to produce a large volume documents will be happy with the excellent print quality of text produced by laser printers. Ongoing running costs are also low, with the relatively expensive toner cartridges lasting a long time, and commonly averaging a running cost of about 1p per A4 sheet. In contrast, inkjet printers can cost as much as 5p per sheet.

However, laser printers designed for the home use market do not usually come with the auto-duplexing function, which allows the automatic printing of both sides of the paper, and so aspiring novelists on a budget should perhaps be aware of this fact. Colour laser printers are a bit more expensive and limited in the quality of colour image that can be produced – they are not really recommended for those looking for a home photograph printer.

A PrinterInkjet printers are still the most popular for home use. Many inkjet printers can produce excellent quality photo prints and other high definition images, in full colour. Standard or entry level inkjets will perform just this function, and can be picked up inexpensively, although as mentioned can become costly if a large volume of printing is required.

For home office use, many choose to spend a little more on an integrated unit. All-in-one inkjet printers can scan, copy and print, and often fax. These kinds of inkjet printers will understandably cost more initially, but will have similar running costs as more basic models. One point to note with the integrated, all-in-one inkjet is the size of the unit, which is usually considerably larger than the standard type, and can eat up limited desk space.

While cheaper than laser printer toner cartridges, fresh ink cartridges or refills for inkjets will be required more frequently. This can get expensive, especially if a lot of high definition colour images are printed. Producing draft quality prints when definition is not an issue can go some way to reducing ongoing usage costs, and this is particularly viable when printing text.

WorldCard Mobile business card scanner app review

So do you deal with a lot of business cards? Do you have a Rolodex sitting pretty at your desk? Do you spend a lot of time browsing your card stack to find say, contact details of a nearby car mechanic, only to discover it later in your wallet? If yes, then you have got to buy the WorldCard Mobile app for iPhone.

WorldCard Mobile iPhone AppWorldCard Mobile, developed by PenPower Inc. is a business card scanner and management tool. All one has to do is point the camera and take a picture. The app scans the card using optical character recognition (OCR) to label all the fields of the business card and uploads them to the phone book. Now this is a time saver and a pretty nifty job from the developers, only I wish, I knew of this earlier.

Now all is not gold with the app. I tested about 20 different cards each with different styling, graphics and color combinations and would say almost 80% of the cards were recognized spot-on, except for a few that came with dark color schemes, uncommon names etc. needed manual re-entering.

Also, I noticed that the lighting of the environment in which the cards were captured also affected the recognition and would recommend doing your scans in a brightly lit-up room, when you capture cards using the app.

One more point to be talked about is the user interface of the app. A simpler easy-to-use user interface with intuitive help features will certainly take the app to the next level. The app has already won a lot of deserving accolades and a better UI will certainly prove to be fruitful.

Final thoughts are, if you deal with a lot of business cards, then this app is a must have. The app works great and is available for £3.99 in the iTunes store. You can download the WorldCard Mobile app from iTunes here. Go try it out and let know of your thoughts in the comments section.

Google gives users malware warnings

Yes you read right, Google is now giving users alerts if it believes that their system is infected with malware.

Over the last week, millions of users will have logged on to Google, only to find a warning telling them that Google believes that their computer ‘appears to be infected’.

Here is an image of that very message:


A Google warning telling users that their computer appears to be infected

Okay my PC isn't infected so I couldn't show you an actual message, but a clever bit of Photoshopping can help me to show you 😉

Google says that it is trying to improve the web for users, and in doing so, it believes that it can enhance users experience, and keep them safer online.

Malware can send users to ‘virus’ pages when they search Google, one of the main reasons why Google wants to help users fight it. The other is that often malware can send tonnes of spammy traffic towards Google. This is not very good for their servers, and could potentially become very costly.

Sometimes Google needs to turn some of its servers off for maintenance, meaning they need to redirect the traffic. However certain malware can keep ‘spamming’ these servers with unwanted traffic, causing the guys at Google a bit of a problem!

Google says that the main cause of malware infection is users downloading face anti-viruses when instructed to by bogus warnings on false websites.

The search giant does currently offer warnings to users on some websites that it knows could potentially infect their computer. Here is an example of the text it may put below a potentially dangerous search result:

This site may harm your computer

An example of the "This site may harm your computer." text that features below some search results in Google

Keeping safe online is a challenge, so it’s good to know that along with our anti-virus software, Google is also watching our back.

To find out more you can read the official blog post on Google’s blog 🙂