Printer Problems

There’s nothing worse than your printer deciding it won’t work. The humble, home, multifunctional printer has become very cheap and is rarely worth spending money on it to get it fixed. However there are occasions where an easy fix is at hand and I will share here the fixed I have used over the years.

If your printer is working but not printing properly then do the following:

  • Clear any paper jam
  • Use the maintenance tools on the computer. Hp has the ‘solution Centre’ or an icon on the desktop or a little shortcut for the printer. All printers have a software package installed that gives you tools to use to solve problems.
  • Also there is usually additional help on line. Go to the manufacturers website and search for your printer in their support section, there will be suggestions there to help you get going again.
  • If all that fails and you are still none the wiser perhaps a more technically minded friend might help. Otherwise you can always replace the printer and advertise those unused ink cartridges on your local freecycle site unless your new printer takes the same ones.

General Connectivity

Some of the small office printers have an Ethernet port as well as a USB port and more than once I have found the USB cable plugged in to to Ethernet port. It will go in but of course it does nothing, plugged into its rightful place the printer often bursts into life and produces multiple copies of whatever the owner was repeatedly trying to print.


There are times when wireless technology just does is own thing. If you have had a good old fiddle and can’t figure why your wi-fi printer does not respond then try the following;

  1. Turn the printer off.
  2. Turn the computer off.
  3. Turn the broadband hub / router off and wait a good 30 secs.
  4. Turn the broadband hub / router back on and wait until all the lights have settled and it’s connected.
  5. Turn the printer back on.
  6. Turn the computer back on.

For some reason the Wi-Fi signal gets jammed or lost between the devices and this will usually restore it.

A Basic Guide to Android

This is only a basic guide for those who know nothing about how they work in principle. Although this one is a bit old as I wrote it a couple of years ago I find it is still very useful as there are still a lot of tablets sold with the same menu structure. Pass it on to anyone who has not the faintest idea.

It is in PDF format. Click here to grab a copy.

The Twisted Apple – Have your pictures and content your way.

The Twisted Apple AppleCipart

So you are thinking of having an iPhone or an iPad, maybe you already have one. This little snippet is about that thing called ‘Cloud Storage’. If you are a subscriber of Microsoft’s Office software then with that subscription you will usually get a huge 1Tb of cloud storage from Microsoft in which to store all your documents, photos and music – yes, Microsoft has put a music folder in OneDrive with the idea that you can stream your own stuff. Also if you are a committed user of Google docs etc paid or not then  you may wish to keep using Google cloud for all it offers you, 15Gb as a basic user I believe. Also there is Dropbox, I’ve not tested this but may well offer to back up your photos too but there is a required paid subscription to get any more than the basic 2Gb of space.

Well you can. Just because you have an iPhone or iPad, and this applies to Apple laptops and home computers too or should I use the correct terminology, Macbook and iMac etc. Either way you can make full use of your desired cloud platform, have it your way.

You still need to be signed it to your Apple / iCloud account because that is for the purpose of getting apps and device security. Now let’s say you want to use Microsoft’s cloud platform. To start with you can turn off the iCloud backup and photo backup via the settings app. If you then download the OneDrive app from the App Store it will ask you when you first run it if you wish it to automatically back up your photos. You can do the same for Google because there is an app called Google Photos, install that and you will be asked the same thing.

You can then install Google Docs, Sheets, Drive etc or and Microsoft Word etc and use all of them without the intervention of Apple’s iCloud. I have not tested all of this to the enth degree and even if I had software developers can change functions in software any time. My point here is that if you have a photo in OneDrive or Google Photos and want to email it from your phone or share it on social media then you may have to download it to your phone first and then share it from the photos app – easily done. Also there may be a share option straight from the app to your desired social network. Naturally if you take a picture with your iPhone, iPad then it will end up in your Apple camera roll & photos app anyway but that’s on your device and not necessarily the cloud, your Google Photos or OneDrive app will have grabbed a copy too just as you had told it to in the first place.

So there you have it. This is also an excellent thing to do if you have a few hundred photos and want to leave Apple, perhaps you have bought an Android or Microsoft phone. These cloud apps will back up all your pictures so when you sign in to your new device they are already there. If you have thousands of pictures or a very slow internet connection then you are better off using a dedicated service for cloud migration and there are some good ones that cost nothing to use.

Shut down your Laptop or PC with the Same button you use to start it.

Some people prefer this method and others simply find it easier. In a nutshell – a single press of the power button can both turn it on and off. I have created a PDF version of this and a powerpoint presentation, both show you the same thing. They show you clearly each screen and what to do. This was made for Windows 10 but the actual control panel instructions are much the same for Windows 7 & 8.1.

Click here to view or download the PDF version

Click here to view or download the Powerpoint version

If you need a copy of Adobe reader you can get that here

If you need a copy of Microsoft’s Powerpoint viewer you can get that here


Still using Free Antivirus?

Loads of us use the free offerings from AVG, Avast and Panda and we put up with the nag screens that keep offering premium features for a discount or trial period.

What I find some people don’t realise or simply forget is that they could get a full internet security suite from one of two places. Many banks offer free Internet Security Software with on line banking and many Internet Service Providers also offer free Internet Security software with your subscription. If you are running free software then you should check with your ISP or bank and see what’s on offer with your current level of service.

Current as of 26/05/2016

Talktalk have a product called HomeSafe that you set up on line via your account and also a downloadable product called SuperSafe Boost (provided by F-Secure) that you can install on your computer for added protection. Check out your level of service as some subscribers can protect up to 8 devices with SuperSafe Boost.

BT provide McAfee Internet Security in the form of BT Net Protect Plus. Also BT Protect that you can activate from your account on line (nothing to install) and they also offer parental controls. Information of what you have will be available to you once you log into your BT account.

EE offer Norton Security Premium for up to 10 devices.

Any of these security packages can be complimented with the free Trusteer Rapport

Pebble Time

Pebble Time
Pebble Time

My first step into this world of smartwatches. The Pebble Time is one of the cheaper smartwatches on the market. on a basic level it vibrates on your wrist to alert and show you text messages, emails and your schedule. There are other apps and watch-faces you can install from the Pebble App on your phone if you wish.

There is one button on the left hand side that turns it on, activates quiet time and activates the back-light. apart from turning it on a quick press activates the back-light while a longer press activates or deactivates quiet time.

On the right there are three buttons. The top one takes you back over your schedule up to 48 hours in the past while the bottom button takes you up to 48 hours ahead. The middle button both actions things and gets you into settings and apps. Press the middle button from the clock screen and you can then use the top and bottom buttons to scroll through the apps and other standard options, another press of the middle button starts the desired app or gets you into whatever option you have displayed. Pressing the middle button from a message or email screen gives you various options, again the top and bottom buttons highlight your desired option and the middle button actions it.

If you press the middle button on one of your appointments then you get all the information that you put with the appointment when you created it (tested on Google Calendar). I use Google calendar and if I put notes with the IMG_20160523_122627appointment they are displayed using the scroll option.

There is an option in the settings to increase the text size as well. Charging only takes an hour and they say it will last for a week although I have not had it that long yet so time will tell. Android wear is installed on my phone but it only serves to share fitness data, I find that starting the Android Wear app simply asks me to pair with my device but of course as the Pebble is not android it does not pair (not for me anyway) – data is simply shared so just ignore the presence of the app.

In conclusion the one thing I find very useful is that because our smartphones are bigger and more breakable they are often secure in a case, in a bag or pocket and it’s not always convenient to get it out. I have a basic bluetooth headset in my ear and when my phone rings the Pebble tells me who is calling and if I choose to answer I can simply press the button on my headset and I’m away – no need to even reach for the phone. it is very comfortable to wear and saves me reaching for the phone to check the details of my next appointment. As for replying by voice to a text it works fine so long as you have a wifi or 3G signal. It serves my needs perfectly and possibly yours too.



Remove / Uninstall Windows 10

You have one month from the day you install Windows 10 to be able to go back to your previous version of Windows

If you suddenly find out your computer has upgraded to Windows 10 and you don’t want it then it is easy to remove. This is a quick help guide without photos.

1. Click the Windows button and choose ‘Settings’.

2. Click the ‘Update & Security’ option’.

3. Click the ‘Recovery’ option on the left.

On the right you will find an option to revert to your previous version of Windows be it 7 or 8.1. Click this and follow the prompts (and decline the offer to look for updates). Your computer will reboot and should restore you back to your previous version.