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Sunday, September 22 2002

Printers

After reading Jon's column this week in which he revealed the frustrations of a contributor to the forum, I thought of sharing some tips about printers that I have discovered by trial and error. Pat and I have three printers and the oldest is a 9-pin dot matrix that is 12 years old. Nonetheless, it works very well and we use it on a regular basis. Our other two printers are ink jets; one is five years old and the other is two. We have all three printers connected to two computers and we use them nearly every day. Now, I will admit that on occasion I have banged a printer that refused to work. However, I have learned that banging helps me release frustration but doesn't do much for the printer.

When you get one of those irritating messages about your printer, it is best to go to the source of the problem, your printer. Has the electrical plug been dislodged? This has happened to me several times. Are the cable connections secured? When examining this connection, don't rely on a visual check. Grip the connection and push firmly to be certain of a good contact. I spent several hours one day trying to get a printer to work only to discover that a cable wasn't seated properly.

If a printer quits in the middle of a job, I find the easiest and quickest way of pausing or purging the printer is to have a printer icon on the desktop. So, let's do that first. Open the Windows menu, click on settings, then click on Control Panel. Next click on the Printers icon and when the window opens you will see your printer listed. Now, locate the printer you are currently using and click on the icon with the right mouse button. A context menu will open. You can use the options listed here, but for this time click with the left mouse button on the Create Shortcut option. A message will appear giving you the option of placing a shortcut on the desktop. Click with the left mouse button on Yes and close the Control Panel.

You should now see an icon for a shortcut to your printer on the desktop. Click with the right mouse button on this icon and the context menu for your printer will appear. Depending on the problem you have encountered or the setting you wish to change, choose an option. For instance, if you are in the middle of a large printing job and know that there isn't enough paper in the printer, you can choose Pause Printing while you add paper. Another very useful option in this context menu is Purge print documents. I use this option when the printer has missed a page or otherwise has messed up the job. It is often easier and quicker to clear the printer and start all over.

The Open option allows you to see the list of jobs yet to be printed. The Rename option allows you to choose any name you like for the icon. For example, if you have more than one printer connected to your computer, you could name them Printer 1 and Printer 2. Probably the most important option on the printer context menu is the Properties option. Unfortunately, to access all the choices available for your printer, you have to use the context menu you first encountered in the control panel. I can't go into all the options available under Properties at this time, as that would be more than an article in itself. Suffice it to say that these settings are very basic to the interfacing of your computer and printer and should be examined to get a better understanding of your printer's or printers' potential.

Men are not so complicated (second in series)

"WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?"
Means: "What did you catch me at?"

"I HEARD YOU."
Means: "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend the next three days yelling at me."

"YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE."
Means: "I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse."

"YOU LOOK TERRIFIC."
Means: "Please don't try on one more outfit, I'm starving already."

"I'M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE."
Means: "No one will ever see us alive again."

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

Disappointments are like road bumps; they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterward. Don't stay on the bumps too long. Move on. When you feel down because you didn't get what you wanted, just sit tight and be happy, because God has thought of something better to give you.

—Sent by Mike Harrison

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