Tag Archives: printer

Goodbye Canon IP4500, Hello Canon MG3240 Hardware | My Life 30 JUL 2013

Canon PIXMA MG3250 printerSo the other day I got a rather amusing e-mail in my inbox from my beloved Chantelle, which pretty much went along the lines of “f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*cking printer not printing, die, die, die, f*cking f*ck f*ck f*ck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.

Needless to say, I chuckled out aloud, shared the e-mail’s contents with my colleagues who had inquired as to why I was chuckling out aloud, and then shot back a reply saying that it was probably the Ubuntu desktop machine playing up again and I’ll have a look when I get home after work.

So Chantelle went off on her delivery without a printed invoice and I got home after work and looked at the printer.

Sure enough, just as she had described it in her e-mail, my trusty old Canon PIXMA IP4500 printer that I had received as a going away present from the UCTRF (University of Cape Town Retirement Fund) back when I left the employ of Commerce I.T. in 2008 was as dead as a doornail. No power, indicating that the power supply unit had most likely gone.

But hey, the printer IS five years old, which is pretty ancient in terms of personal computing then.

Taking this fact into account, I immediately decided that I would rather buy a new printer than sink money into getting the old one repaired, and so took to the Internet to source something new – and it didn’t take very long before I found what I was looking for: the gorgeous beast that is the Canon PIXMA MG3240!

Going for the ridiculously cheap price of R650 at Chaos Computers (I had to get it from the Willowbridge branch, seeing as the Somerset Mall branch has recently closed down), the Canon MG3240 is a multi-function desktop printer, which basically means that it is a lovechild born from the holy union between a printer and a scanner, in other words, it prints, it scans and it copies.

Even better, it is a wireless printer, meaning that once you’ve connected it to your home’s wireless network using the software supplied, pretty much any device with printing capabilities can send a print job over to it, meaning that my Windows laptop, Ubuntu desktop and even Android tablet (it comes with built in AirPrint support) can happily all print on the same printer – borderless if you want and without any annoying cables to get in the way!

Another pretty cool feature is its Auto Duplex Print capability, which basically means it prints the first page, sucks the page back in, and then automatically prints on the other side, without any intervention from you whatsoever! (Seriously cool, it had me giggling out aloud when I realized that you could set it up to do this and then did it for the very first time).

The only real negative that I can mark against the nifty little home inkjet printer is the fact that it only uses two cartridges, namely a black and a multi-colour, which obviously means wastage as you can’t replace individual colours as they run out.

Nevertheless, given the fact that the only printing we ever do is for Chantelle’s invoices, they ought to last long enough as it is, and like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really have anything against switching to generics or just a refill service if the proper stuff proves to be too expensive (it’s the old razors and razorblades story after all).

Anyway, all in all this is a great little printer for home usage, and the extra functionality of the scanner and wireless printing makes it an excellent addition if you don’t exactly have lots of space on your working desk in the first place.

Definitely a product which I can recommend, and I guess I can now finally pawn off my standalone Canon LiDE 100 scanner – which basically sits all by itself, packed away in an unused cupboard anyway…

Related link: http://www.canon.co.za/For_Home/Product_Finder/Multifunctionals/Inkjet/PIXMA_MG3240/

Weekend Butterflies My Life 27 JUL 2013

What, it’s seriously weekend already? This post was meant to go out on last Monday or Tuesday already!! Anyway, let’s move it out the drafts folder for this morning then, shall we? Better late than never, even if it is by a week I always say! :P

Jessica dresses up as a little Red Indian

Despite last Thursday threatening to spoil the imminent weekend vibe by capping off a day of work with a hastily convened Country Mews trustee meeting (in case I didn’t mention it, earlier this year at our annual AGM I was voted on to the trustee committee – of which I’m the youngest member by far just by the way) where we discussed the usual silly issues like dogs and people selling stuff out of their yards, the vibe was rescued by an awesome start to Friday morning in the office, thanks to a decadent spread of muffins, croissants and the like, organized by Ignatius and Amanda. Leaving work exactly on time (which in itself is always a bonus), it got even better with homemade pizza and movie night with wifey, the pleasant “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” being the movie choice for the evening.

tamashii daiko taiko drumming exhibition in somerset west

Although Saturday got off to a wet start, we were up and at it pretty early on, heading out to do an emergency cupcake delivery for Theo’s coffee shop in the Somerset Mall, combined with a few pickup errands in and around the area, before finally heading into Somerset West so that Chantelle could take in the Tamashii Daiko taiko drumming exhibition held outside of the Paul Bothner Music store at the Checker’s Centre – while Jessica and I amused ourselves by doing some wine shopping at Checkers as well as sneaking in a quick game purchase (Asura’s Wrath) at the conveniently close by Cash Crusaders second hand shop.

Shame, it did end in tears though. Jessica was so happy with the milk that I bought her that she didn’t even look where she was walking and marched right into a low table, knocking her right on the nose!

Back home the three of us chilled a little (I even managed to get in some gaming with Jessica sitting alongside me), before packing everything up and hitting the road to Bellville in the late afternoon, joining up with the Montgomery Clan for their big fillet braai dinner party in celebration of the return of Peter and Gail to Cape Town. It was great to catch up with Pete, Gail, Nick and Angie after what has really been a long break, and I have to admit – I polished off a lot more wine than perhaps I should have! :)

We opted to sleep over at the Montgomery Stronghold for the night, and after a good night’s rest, we awoke (and when I say we I mean Jessie and me – Chantelle was happily snoring away) nice and bright and early in order to catch the thrilling Free State Cheetah’s Super Rugby game against Jake White’s Australian Brumbies, which of course unfortunately ended in a skin of the teeth defeat for our men in orange.

Oh well, it happens.

Surprisingly enough though, during the course of the game I received an unexpected call from Dean (whom I’ve also not seen in ages), inviting us out to join them for an excursion to Butterfly World, which of course I immediately agreed to right on the spot! After a brief diversion that saw me pop out to Chaos Computers in Willowbridge in order to pick up our new home printer, we packed up and said goodbye to Bellville, hitting the road and heading straight for Butterfly World.

What followed was a lovely catch up visit with Dean, Zania, little Zandea and Cecilia, and I have to say, I was completely blown away at just how English little Zandea has become after only a month or two in her new English playschool! Jessica of course loved the visit, and after we bid farewell to the Stapelbergs and then drank our cup of coffee and tucked into a freshly baked scone at the on-site restaurant, we were grabbed by the hand and dragged straight back into the butterflies by an excitable little Jess! :)

jessica and chantelle lotter confront a tortoise at butterfly world

Eventually she kind of tuckered out and so we headed back to Gordon’s Bay via the scenic Stellenbosch route, where we kind of eased into Sunday evening by making homemade burgers and chips and catching the first half of the father enjoyable Amazing Spider-man film. (Chantelle started falling asleep, hence the interrupted viewing!)

The enjoyable X-Men: FF trade paperback then accompanied me to bed, rounding off what in the end turned out to be a really pleasant weekend of family and friends – and by the sounds of it, we’re doing it again this weekend coming! :)

(Which of course thanks to the delayed nature of this post, is already on the go!)

Solved: Print Error – PPD version is not Compatible with Gutenprint CodeUnit 12 JAN 2013

20081112_Canon_IP4500_PrinterFor some or other reason my Canon IP4500 printer simply stopped printing on my Ubuntu 12.10 box in the office. Accessing the Printers under the System Settings menu, I noticed quite a few broken print jobs in the print queue, and on closer inspection they all read ‘failed with error: PPD version is not Compatible with Gutenprint (xyz)’. It is possible that a recent update to the CUPS printing system must have broken something, but thankfully the Internet once again proved itself to be a hell of a helpful troubleshooting resource.

To fix, open a terminal (Ctrl+t) and run:

sudo /usr/sbin/cups-genppdupdate

This should generate a new PPD for your installed printer and if successful, you simply need to restart the CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) service, which you can do by running:

sudo service cups restart

And as luck would have it, problem solved!

Cartridge King My Life 11 JAN 2013

I received a pretty cool Canon IP4500 printer as a gift when I left UCT from the UCTRF a couple of years ago, and it has happily sat in my home office ever since. Of course, now that Chantelle is running her own little business here from home, it has been roped back into action for all her invoice printing, meaning of course that pretty soon it was hungrily asking for more ink cartridges.

Canon inkjet print cartridge

Sadly, Canon appears to still be charging a premium for the cartridges it uses (which is silly bearing in mind that this printer is now pretty old), meaning that to replace the cartridges with originals would cost a small fortune and as per usual, it far is cheaper just to buy a new printer which at least comes with some ink.

So instead I opted for the refill route, and after a bit of Internet searching came across Cartridge King, formerly part of the Cartridge Warehouse franchise, situated in the easily found Twin Oaks Centre down main road Somerset West. They specialize in printer cartridge refilling, re-conditioning and the import of generic compatible cartridges, and appear to have been around for a good number of years already.


A quick phone call to their landline at 021 852 8606 confirmed that it would cost me just over R220 to replace three of my cartridges with Chinese manufactured AcuInk compatibles (turns out that these have dropped so much in price that it is cheaper just to use them than to bother with refilling!), and one no hassles pick-up later my printer was back in action, happily spewing out all Chantelle’s printed invoices.

In other words, a business card worth keeping then.

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How to Share a Printer to a Windows PC from an Ubuntu PC CodeUnit 07 OCT 2011

Sharing a printer to your Windows laptop or desktop PC from your main Ubuntu desktop machine is made pretty simple thanks to the magic of Samba. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to efficiently share your printer under Ubuntu then:

First, install Samba via the Ubuntu Software Center. (Search for ‘Samba’. That tends to work!)

Next access the properties sheet of the printer which is connected to your system that you wish to share. (System -> Administration -> Printing. Right click on the printer icon and select ‘Properties’).

Select ‘Policies’ on the left menu and check the boxes shown below. (Tick ‘Enabled’, ‘Accepting Jobs’ and ‘Shared’)

Next, click on the ‘Server’ menu option on the Printing dialog and select the ‘Settings’ submenu.

Again, check the boxes shown below: (Tick ‘Show printers shared…’, ‘Publish shared printers…’ and ‘Allow printing from…’)

To make it easy to access the now shared printer from your other systems, you need to make it discoverable. A quick way of doing that is to press Alt+F2 on the keyboard and run:

gksu gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

Scroll down the file to the Printers section and change the ‘browseable’ value to yes. Save the file and if you are not feeling so confident in restarting services on your machine, restart the whole computer.

Now that the printer is shared on your Ubuntu machine, let’s access it on your Windows laptop.

Access the Printers dialog found in the Control Panel and select the menu option to add a new printer. When prompted, select ‘Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer’.

If both your systems happen to be in the same workgroup, then Windows will automatically locate the printer for you and you simply click on it to add. If they aren’t in the same workgroup, then you need to specify the path to the printer yourself.

And that’s it. Nifty, eh?

Dull Colors when Printing on my Canon IP4500 in Ubuntu CodeUnit 29 JUN 2010

Plug and play is a lifesaver in the world of Personal Computing, really it is, but in the same breath it can be quite frustrating when the default settings set aren’t necessarily the optimal settings for your machine! Take my Canon IP4500 printer for example. Ubuntu recognised it effortlessly on plugging it in, and with a few clicks I was already pushing out test page after test page.

However, something was not quite right. The colors were coming out extremely dull, almost shaded grey to the naked eye, not to mention the oranges which were all coming out as a dull brown – in other words, not particularly attractive printing at all!

Anyway, as you can well expect, the root of the color problem lay with the colour model being used to print with. Now most inkjet printers are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ink printers and thus it makes sense to use the CYMK color model to print to that printer. However, on closer inspection of the default printer settings (found under System -> Administration -> Printing) I noticed that the color model selected was RGB!

So a quick change on the dropdown to the CMYK, a hit on the print test page button, and I was back in business, with a vibrant, bright orange printed Ubuntu Logo sitting in front of me! :)

(Though honestly, you should probably try printing test pages out on all the available color models to see what works best for your printer!)

Thank You Gifts are Always Welcome My Life 13 NOV 2008

Canon IP4500 PrinterGot quite a nice surprise on Monday during the day at the office. John Macey gave me a tinkle to ask if I was in and if he could come up and see me. No problem of course, and I quickly minimised all my non-work related windows just in case.

A little while later, John arrived and much to my surprise, he immediately started off the bat by telling me that he’d heard that I’m leaving, that my final day is the last day of this month and that the UCTRF (which he represents) wanted to thank me for all the work I’ve done for them over the last couple of years.

Taken aback, I assured him that it was only a pleasure, but he pressed on and said something quite unexpected: “We would like to give you a gift as a token of our appreciation”.

And that’s that. I get to pick any physical gift to the value of R1500, give them the details and they will then hand it over to me at a suitable occasion