Sandra's Epson Expression printer has "squiggly lines" when she prints. Leo says that means the printer head needs to be replaced and frankly, it's cheaper to just buy a new printer. But if it's brand new, then she should take it back. She can try cleaning the heads with the software utility first, as well as the alignment routine. But if she's done all that, then Leo recommends taking it back.
Mike has an old Mac that he dual boots with Windows XP. He wants to upgrade to Windows 7. Leo says to get the upgrade and it'll install on top of it. Use the Windows 7 upgrade install disc to wipe the partition, and then install it. Mike is wondering whether it will preserve his data, though. Leo says no. He should make sure he backs up his data first.
George has a D-Link router and it won't read his printer on the network. Leo says it may not support it. Leo advises getting an XPrint server. Some routers just don't support printers directly. Most supported are wireless, but an old USB printer may not.
Debbie also has an old XP computer and wants to know if she can install Linux on it. Leo says that Debbie can, but she can also run on XP if she uses these steps:
Oromay bought a Lenovo laptop and is having trouble connecting it to her Dell printer, and Dell says it's too old to support the Lenovo. So she's thinking of getting an HP printer. Why HP? Because she saw it on sale in the paper. Leo says that Laser printers would give her a lower cost per page, even though they're a bit more expensive up front. They don't do photos very well, though. Deskjets are better for photography and home use because the use isn't as intense as in the office. So Leo advises a wireless networking inkjet that prints photos.
Ray has a friend who just bought a MacBook Air and he's having trouble connecting to his Canon wireless printer. He can print when it's hardwired, but not wirelessly. Leo says that he's used a Canon Pixma wireless printer for years. The question is, will it print with any other computer? If so, then it isn't a network issue. Leo says to remove the printer and then add it again. It may have had a problem when it was first added. Leo also recommends using the Apple drivers as opposed to the separate drivers from Canon.
Ken wants to refill his ink cartridges, but has heard that there are now chips in printers that prevent you from using it after refilling it with ink. Leo says that it is true. In many printers, you can't use third party cartridges. It's anti competitive, but the printers are so cheap, they make their living on selling the ink. So as long as Ken is refilling the same cartridges and can reset the cartridge chip, it should work. The printer also reads the chip in the cartridge and knows when it's out of ink. So it could be a problem on that end as well.
When upgrading to a new operating system, it isn't uncommon for devices such as printers to stop working. Fortunately, it's often a very simple solution. First, go to System Preferences and find "Printers & Scanners". Then delete and re-add the printer.
Carl's dad is looking to replace his HP laserjet printer. Leo says laser printers have plummeted in price, and suggests getting an all in one. Epson makes a great one called the Epson WorkForce. HP makes some good laser printers as well. If you want color, everyone makes them.
PC World did a roundup last December and they said the Brother MFP9970 was the stand out.