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Old 02-27-2005, 05:54 AM   #1
sreigle
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wireless printer - question for you gurus

I know this is going to sound a little silly and lazy so try not to laugh too hard. I'm really serious about this.

I've found I LIKE sitting in my lazyboy with laptop on my lap rather than sitting at the computer desk with my back to the rest of the world. Since we're on wi-fi right now, this works quite well.

However, there is not enough room on my lap or the lazyboy for the printer. The printer remains on the computer desk. So, when I want to print something I have (don't snicker) to take the laptop to the computer desk and attach the printer (it's usb) or set the laptop on the floor while I go get the printer's usb cable and bring it back to the laptop (it will reach).

I'm wondering what it would take (or if it is possible) to set up some kind of wireless access point to which I'd attach the printer's usb cable. Then somehow connect to the printer through the laptop's 802.11g capability. Vicki could then do the same thing from her laptop.

Is this a reasonable objective? Any suggestions on how to do this? What kind of setup would I need on the laptop? I don't want to screw up the wi-fi connection ability.

Thoughts and advice appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:41 AM   #2
BigBlue
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Steve
You can get a wireless router with a print server capability. That should solve your problem. See the article at PC World: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,112846,00.asp. If you check at Best Buy or Circuit City, you can probably find one.
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:42 AM   #3
sreigle
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Thanks. I've saved that page. It will probably be a few days before I can get to a Best Buy but will check it out. I also have to figure out setting it all up but they probably have instructions with it. In our stick home we had our desktop machines networked (ethernet) but I haven't done this with our laptops. I'm a little shaky on networking, anyhow. Technology is passing me by.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:59 AM   #4
HamRad
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Hi Steve,
And I thought I was on the lazy side! BigBlue is on track with the wireless router. That is what I'd do. And if you're using XP then networking is almost painless! Much easier than in the old days. Just about everything is done automatically by the system. Good luck.

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Old 02-27-2005, 09:30 AM   #5
sreigle
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Yes, I am using XP so it should be pretty easy. I assume I'll have to turn file and printer sharing back on though but maybe not.

It dawned on me I'd still have to get up to turn the printer on and to retrieve what I've printed so the only advantage is not having the cable strung out from desk to chair. But...
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:37 AM   #6
BigBlue
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Be careful with file sharing. You're networking with a wireless system if you go with my suggestion. That means somebody driving by could hack your network. I'd probably just do whats absolutely necessary to send to the printer and keep everything else turned off since you're not networking computers
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:57 AM   #7
Jeff Heiser
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I use a wireless router with built in print server which works great. I have also turned on WEP in the router which encrypts all transmissions between the laptop and router and also makes it necessary for anyone trying to hack you to know your WEP key. WEP has been and is fairly easy to hack with the right tools. So if you go the route of a router with print server use the 128 bit WEP key which is much more difficult to hack. Most times those that try to hack wireless access points, which is also referred to as wardriving or war chaulking, will make an attempt to gain access if they are not successful with their first try they move on. Unless, they believe you have something of value on your network and then all bets are off. Wardriving - driving around in search of wireless networks with the intent to gain access with or without being detected. War chaulking - driving around in search of wireless networks with the intent to gain access but rather than gaining access a chaulk mark is made on the building, structure or pavement indicating there is an unsecure wireless network at said location.

Another option to consider is that there are wireless printers now and a wireless router with print server is not needed. Just like a few years back where the wireless keyboard and mouse became available, well now they have the same thing working for printers. You plug in a small transmitter/receiver into one of your USB ports which talks to the printer that is also equiped with a small transmitter/receiver.

Jeff Heiser
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:07 AM   #8
sreigle
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Thanks for all the great info, everyone! I just bought this printer less than a year ago and am so pleased with its photo printing capability I hate to replace it with another printer. I will have to give this some more thought. Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:25 AM   #9
BillyRay
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we already have the wireless, but still havn't been able to print...missing something...somewhere.
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Old 02-28-2005, 02:55 PM   #10
fulltimedreamer
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Steve,

One thing to watch for... I have an HP Photosmart 1218 and a Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W. Both of these printers are connected to a computer via USB connections. I purchased a wireless printserver with 2 USB ports and a parallel port. Neither of the above would work on a printserver, they both have to be connected directly to a PC through USB. The drivers will not work on a printserver. When you try to set the drivers up they tell you that a printserver is not supported. So, I had to return the printserver and share the printers via a PC. You may want to check andsee if your printer will work via a printserver before purchasing one.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:33 PM   #11
FredG
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You could also try Bluetooth or infrared. Some printers come with either built-in, but you can also buy a bluetooth adapter. A quick search found this: http://www.compusa.com/products/prod...912&pfp=BROWSE

Check the compatibility chart for any of these devices first.

Fred
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:05 PM   #12
sreigle
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Good point, fulltimedreamer. FredG, another good point. I'll have to dig out the manual. The printer is new enough it might have Bluetooth capability. My laptop has Bluetooth but Vicki's doesn't so I'd have to add that capability. This is really beginning to sound like something I should just forget. The printer is aobut five feet away and I'd have to set the laptop on the floor and get up to turn the printer on anyhow. Then again to retrieve whatever I printed. Hardly sounds worth going wireless for the printing part, does it?

I appreciate all the suggestions. I've not used Bluetooth before so might have to look into that a bit more. I used to stay up with new technology a whole lot better but somewhere along the line I began to lose interest. I think it just moved to fast to really stay up with it. And with retirement went the passion. I degenerated into an 'end user.'
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:03 AM   #13
ronstan
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Steve What you could do is get a dog like we did and train him or her to turn on the printer and then fetch the paper when it prints. But might chew up the paper too.
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:02 PM   #14
sreigle
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You brought a smile to my face, Ron. I was thinking of maybe an au pair girl or something like that but don't think I want to ask Vicki for permission.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:35 AM   #15
Parrothead
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Steve,
You've received some great direction and I agree if you are using XP Networking is much easier than it use to be. I also agree your printer may not work, I have the same HP and it has to be plugged into PC, won't work on a hub either. I can't believe you are really considering this just to keep from getting up out of your chair! Is this what retirement does for you??? You could put some gum on the end of a fishing pole to retrieve what you have printed.
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:26 PM   #16
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Parrothead -

He could probably use said fishing pole to retrieve his USB cable, saving the cost also. Steve, I remember Terrie once asking why I bought a new .22 pistol. I told her it was my "mouse" gun. She said "WHAT?" In a little louder voice, I replied again. She stated that was the height of frivolity. I think you may have me beat.
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:46 PM   #17
sreigle
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Well, gee, what can I say? I've been reading the posts on all this newer technology and realize I'm getting left behind. It's making me feel old. There was a time when I was the guy others came to with new technology questions. Now I'm the one doing the asking! Sigh.

Sue, our printer is an HP Photo R300. Probably about the same as the one you have.

I have tentatively solved this problem with a low technology solution. The printer is maybe 5 feet from my chair. Between my chair and the computer desk is a square end table of decent size. My wife likes me to keep things organized so there's a small basket on the table for odds and ends (the rest of the table looks more like it belongs to me). Anyhow, I figured out I can put the end of the printer cable in that basket and it's within reach without exiting the chair. And, it's not even in anyone's way to trip over.

Now if I could just figure out how to turn the printer on and off remotely and retrieve the paper, etc... Darn it, I thought I had a good reason to buy something newer technology. Now I have to start all over.

You'd be proud of me, though. I think it was you, Ron, who posted about creating additional storage space under the oven, etc.? We got the new doors for those areas and I got them installed today. Really looks nice! I opened the area under the bottom desk drawer, too, as well as under the oven. So now that I've accomplished that I deserve a new toy...
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:05 AM   #18
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Steve,
Happy Belated Birthday by the way. I was off the MOC for a while, had a big report for work to finish and I'm recovering from my second bout with pneumonia in 6 weeks. You didn't like my chewing gum idea? I saw a surge protector that had a remote. Now since I work for a school district, I get a lot of catalogs for classroom use and it may have been in one of those. The wireless classroom we set up last spring has printers also but it was an equipment grant and all equipment was supplied so I have no idea where to buy. 30 laptops, 6 printers and all routers, etc. fit in a large cabinet. Could you put a surge protector on the floor by your chair and leave the printer on and toggle the protector? Another idea, they make these long "picker uppers" for handicap people, if the printer isn't too far away. I have one cause I'm short and our cupboards were made by a 7' guy.
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:55 PM   #19
sreigle
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Hmmm, good ideas. There's already two surge protectors / power strips on the floor between this chair and the couch (where they're not very visible). But the printer requires the on button be pushed and held for a couple of seconds to turn it on. A long stick might work but I'd have to reorient the printer so I could see the switch. I guess I'll just keep on setting the laptop on the floor and walk over to turn the printer on and off. I can use the exercise anyhow.
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Old 03-05-2005, 03:41 AM   #20
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I got another idea Steve. Since you don't have a dog and Vicki wont let you get the whatever it was that you thought about why don't you train her to go over and turn on the computer and get the printed material. About like me training Thelma to do that Ha. I guess you have to do it the hard way unless you can move your printer closer to where you sit.
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