Tara has updated her printer firmware after ignoring the updates for a while. Now it's totally inoperable. What can she do? Leo says that a firmware update will rewrite the software on the physical chips of the printer. So you'd have to reboot those chips to roll it back. That's a challenge. Sometimes, if you plug in your printer to the computer, you can reset it through the Epson software. But a call to Epson support is probably in order at this point.
Jody needs to replace his printer. He'd like to get one that prints in color. He doesn't want an EcoTank because it's too expensive for his needs. Leo says the EcoTank is a bit pricey, but it comes with two years of ink for free. But he also doesn't want an inkjet unless he can print every day. A color laser printer can provide "business color" and do it at a lower cost per page. And he can get a color laser printer for a few hundred dollars. Brother makes one for $200. Model 3210. Leo has a Brother and it's quite good. It prints at 19ppm, so it's pretty fast too. Does it have a scanner?
Kevin got some new equipment from his ISP and he can't seem to use his HP printer with it. Leo says that all of today's printers are WiFi enabled and Kevin will need to input the network information and password using the printer interface. If it can scan for the network, that would be easier. Input the password and he should be able to see it online after adding the printer in Windows. Leo also recommends going to HP's website to download the latest drivers.
Al wants to get a Chromebook. What does Leo recommend for under $500? Leo likes the Acer Spin. It's quite good. Solid aluminum, decent keyboard. Good screen. Battery life. And it's in his budget. Check out Chromebooks.com for reviews of others. How about a USB Hub for his Mac Air? Leo likes the Cal Digit TS3 Plus. It has Thunderbolt. USB-C. Ethernet.
Paul has an HP OfficeJet Pro that he wants to extend the life of. He's having issues with connectivity and it just won't print after an update. Leo says it's possible that a firmware update has failed and clobbered the connection. Sometimes updates can brick a device or make it unusable. He may be able to roll back the firmware but will have to find out from HP if that can be done. It's a very hard thing to come back from though. What Leo recommends is to Google the model of the printer with "firmware failed," and see if there's a workaround to try. It can't get much worse.
George has an Epson printer, but he tried to update the firmware, and now Windows won't recognize it. Leo says you can access the recovery mode by hooking the printer up to your computer via USB. But it may require repair by Epson. Contact Epson and see if they can help you. From the chatroom, there's a discussion on REDDIT about how a recent firmware update can brick your Epson Printer. Read it here.
Natasha is scanning images and she wants to have the same quality image when she prints from the scan. Should she get a laser? Leo says that choosing a higher quality paper that's "whiter" and thicker could help. She could play with the intensity setting on the scanner as well. That could give her better color and resolution. She could get a higher-end laser printer, to be sure. Brother, Canon, and HP are the top brands.
Henry needs a recommendation for a laser printer. Leo uses Brother Laser printers, as he's very happy with them. HP is another brand Henry can go with, but Brother tends to be more affordable.
Joe recently had a firmware update, and Epson killed the ability for him to use third-party ink cartridges. Leo hates that and says it's anti-competitive. It also wreaks of industrial sabotage and begs the question: if they can do that, do you really own your printer?
If accurate, Leo finds this a disappointing development because he's always considered Epson one of the "good guys." And he hates copy protection.
If you like Epson though, the EcoTank line gives you enough ink so you don't need cartridges.
Susan says that private companies like Facebook and Twitter can censor speech if it's violent. Leo agrees. But the larger question is, just how much power does big tech wield? It's a LOT, and it rightly has people concerned. It's reasonable to ask if we've given companies like Facebook and Twitter too much power, even when they use it properly.