Saturday, February 10, 2018

Why do I need to download Google Cloud Printer in Windows?

So I'm figuring out Cloud Printing, and I have a Windows computer. I ran across some mention of a download for Windows, which caused me to scratch my head because I already have Cloud Print working. After much googling, I finally found an explanation here.

To summarize:  

Apparently, I don't need it to use Google Cloud Print. However, the download adds Cloud Print options to my regular desktop printing options.

This will allow me to send a desktop print job to my home printer from wherever I am.

But I'm still wondering why Cloud Print doesn't show up in my Print Destinations, such as printing an email from my gmail account.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Around in circles with Epson Cloud Printers

New phone call to Epson Store on 2/9/2018
Direct Tech Phone for calling back with any more concerns: 562-276-4382

I called to find out which Epson printer supports Google Cloud Print. The Epson web page that lets you find such a thing was useless. I gave these musts:

Google Cloud Print
Google Cloud Scan
Under $300
All-in-one printer
I did not ask about ethernet but later found out from googling that both of her solutions offer ethernet. 

She had two:

Workforce 4740
Their line of Ecotank printers

Then I asked the rep if there would be a firmware update. She said if there is, I could download it, so I explained that I have a chromebook, and at that point she connected me to Technical Support (for which I listed the direct number at the start of this post.)

Technical Support told me that I could do it with a chromebook, and if I buy the printer, I could call back and get walked through how to get the firmware.

So I figured I'd ask about our existing WF-2660. He said that yes I could update that firmware from a chromebook, and he walked me through it, so now I know how to do it.

Steps to update firmware on an Epson printer without downloading:

Go to the panel of the printer and retrieve the IP address
Type the IP address into any browser window including that of the chromebook
Then click firmware update
In my case, the landing page showed that the firmware is already up to date. The tech confirmed that there are no updates right now for the 2660.
I could do this if I buy a new Epson printer.  

In addition, technical support said to call this direct number and use the Reference number he gave me if the 2660 suddenly loses its ability to support google cloud. My reference number is with my personal blog copy of this post.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The care and feeding of our heating units

On 2/6/2018 which is today, Randy and the other guy came to the apartment in response to our report that sometimes the heating units weren't heating up in Dwight's room and Mike's office. They swapped out the entire units for new ones so they could test offline. They expect these should be okay. Randy did say a chip failure could cause problems, so it's better to just swap out the unit. He likes the manual dial ones in M1 better.

Randy did make some suggestions moving forward:
  1. He said, and this is in the manual, that when it's been on low, and you want the heat to come back quickly and it's around 30 degrees or below, best to put it on HIGH instead of AUTO for two to three hours. He said the manual says 24 hours but he figures that's for a larger space or a big house. When I asked him whether this could totally explain what we experienced, he said maybe yes, but he's not sure.
  2. He also said that if you turn it completely off, it will still come back on once in a while if it detects that the coils are freezing up. If they freeze up, the unit will stop working and become damaged. The freeze protection ensures this does not happen. However, he pointed out, because this happened to a resident, that if you unplug the unit instead of turning the heat off, then the freeze protection will no longer work. The resident's unit became damaged. 
  3. He also said it's really okay to turn the heat totally off because the freeze protection is reliable.

Also I'm noting here that when the other maintenance man came to initially look at the problem a few days ago, he mentioned that unplugging and plugging back in does the job of rebooting. That's good to keep in the back of our minds, but now we might not need to ever do that because the units have been replaced and because we will not use the HIGH feature to initially bring a room back up to temperature.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Gave up on Epson, looking for a new Google Cloud Printer for Chromebook

We've been brand loyal to Epson for years. As brand loyal as we've been to Hondas, which is very loyal.

But no more. Epson doesn't play nicely with Chromebooks.

Did some googling. So far, have learned this:

  1. Chromebook users seem to like the Canon printers.
  2. To get ADF (automatic document feed) stick with the MX series.
  3. Epson cloud printers seem to be having winter firmware problems again (2016/2017) like they did in winter 2016/2017. In 2016/2017, customer printers stopped working for a period of time, which is unacceptable.
  4. Our Epson 2660 cloud printer is being discontinued

Our phone conversations with Epson seem to tell us:
  1. Epson has its own proprietary cloud print, which could be the reason they're so lax about continuing to support Google Cloud Print
  2. They say the firmware must be updated through a Windows computer (huh?) but when we try that, it doesn't show new firmware since our last update

At first I chose this: 

Canon Office Products MX532 Wireless Office All-In-One Printer because it has two sided copying and scanning.

But then I realized we need ethernet because our apartment building's routers have crappy 2.4Ghz wireless support.

So then I picked this:
Canon Office and Business MX922 All-In-One Printer, but it doesn't appear to do two sided copying and scanning.

However, according to PC Magazine, the MX922 does do duplex scanning (which is the same thing as two-sided scanning, also called Duplex ADF.):

"One small extra for the MX922 compared with the Canon MX522 is that its ADF offers a little higher capacity, at 35 pages. More important, it adds the ability to scan in duplex, by turning the page over to scan the second side."

Also, the specs on say this "The specs say this: Printer firmware update may be necessary for Google Cloud Print function."

The I saw cheaper Canon printers, so I used a Canon chat, to see if they have ethernet, and to make sure the 922 does indeed have ethernet. Got a ridiculous answer but eventually learned that only the MX922 has ethernet:


After a three hour grueling setup, I found out that while it does support Google Cloud Print, it doesn't support Google Cloud Scan. I returned it to Amazon.

And here's the entirety of that Canon chat:

10:46 AM
Does the PIXMA MX492 have an ethernet port
10:52 AM
Thank you for contacting Canon. My name is Ashley. I will be happy to
assist you today.
10:52 AM
Does the PIXMA MX492 have an ethernet port
10:53 AM
also does the PIXMA MX922 have an ethernet port
10:54 AM
Good morning Linda. Yes, the MX492 has a ethernet port
10:57 AM

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

10:57 AM
are you looking up my other question?
10:57 AM
I asked 2 questions
10:57 AM
Yes, the MX922 also has an ethernet port
10:58 AM
And my third question is: does the MX532 have an ethernet port
10:59 AM
Yes, the MX532 also has an ethernet port
11:00 AM
A review on amazon says that the MX523 DOES NOT have wired ethernet.
So how do I know for sure? How are you doing your search?
11:01 AM
I meant MX532 sorry about that
11:01 AM
You can use a generic printer USB cable for all of our printers
11:01 AM
USB? I said ethernet
11:02 AM

Canon is certainly able to assist you with this matter. Our technical
support department is available to assist at 1-800-828-4040.

11:03 AM
You're kidding. You can't find out if your printers have an ethernet port?
11:05 AM
Thank you for your patience. I have consulted with a technician. The
only printer that has the ethernet compatibility is the MX922.
11:06 AM
thank you
11:06 AM

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

11:07 AM
11:07 AM
Again, my name is Ashley, thank you for contacting Canon Direct Sales.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Lakeland Bank's infinitessimal improvement screwed up Quicken downloads

So Lakeland changed their user interface but I fail to see any substantial improvement. It did force Quicken One Step Update to fail.

I logged into the Quicken account, and discovered a page asking me to switch to electronic delivery which would not allow me to leave until I read the terms and conditions for electronic delivery, even though I want to continue paper.

Then it was unclear whether I still kept my paper delivery. It was a page not for mere mortals to understand.

After that, I still couldn't do a one step update in Quicken, so I did  a reset in Quicken, which resulted in two files instead of one, and a failed one step update.

I discovered that Quicken had created a temp file, so I had to google to find out how to delete it.

Then I went back into the remaining, correct, Lakeland, and disconnect, then reconnect. That got one step update working again.

I have two grievances with Lakeland about this:
  1. The confusing page about electronic delivery is either a new depth of stupid user interface, or it was on purpose to make people accidentally switch to electronic 
  2. Talk to Quicken about this poor API

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Cast (share screen) from Windows 10 to Roku streaming stick on tv

I usually use the chromecast device plugged into the tv's hdmi port, but I also have a roku streaming stick plugged into an hdmi port.

Sometimes my router's 2.4GHz connection craps out.

I discovered this about my Windows 10 computer

  1. Make sure you've switched your tv to the correct hdmi
  2. Click on the notifications area (to the right of the date in the bottom right corner of my windows display). It will show a rectangular window
  3. Click "connect" down at the bottom of the window
  4. You should see roku stick listed there. Click on it to connect
  5. You might see a message on your tv coming from roku to "accept" or "always accept." Click on one of those.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Solved! Plex Media Server indirect only

Tried to watch a Plex movie on my android tablet (amazon fire) and saw that it would only do an indirect connection, which is slow.

Solved! I had to turn off my VPN