My New Epson XP610

My New Epson XP610


Just wanted to do a follow up to let you all know that I just purchased the Epson XP 610 which I recommended earlier this year!

It not only has all of the great features I noted, but it also has duplex printing, which means that you can automatically print on both sides of the paper!

Here’s a picture of my new printer installed in my office cabinet:

Epson XP-610

It does faxing, copying, scanning and printing and also prints photos.

But the reason I like it is that it also prints on CDs and DVDs!

Check it out! I highly recommend it.

#EpsonPrinters @EpsonAmerica



The Best Printer Under $200

The Best Printer Under $200

epson printer

Do you have a printer at home? If so, I’ll bet you paid less than $200 for it right? We currently have four printers in our house. I’m getting ready to get a new one for my office and I was wondering which one I should get.

Most printers for under $200 are good for home or home office use. Yet from my IT – Systems Coordinator experience for the Federal Government, as well as my own personal experience, not all printers under $200 are worth what you pay for them.

Now-a-days you can get nice basic printers for under $50 on sale. The companies almost give them to you, knowing that you’ll more than offset the cost of the printer when you buy the ink cartridges over the lifetime of the printer.

The printers that I’ve had experience with are: Lexmark, HP (Hewlett-Packard), Canon, Epson, Dell (basically a Lexmark re-branded as “Dell”) and Panasonic (a laser jet printer). For home use, you’ll probably want to get an inkjet printer as they are cheaper and more cost effective than laser jet printers. The newer inkjet printers have a very good quality print too, which now rivals the more expensive laser jet printers.

The government used HP for their single user color printers, almost exclusively. My wife has had lots of HP printers for her home business and they’ve been fairly reliable. The Canon printer lasted very long but after a year it started making a horrible noise every time it printed something. I’ve had my Epson for almost 4 years and it’s still printing very well, but it only prints, it’s not an “all-in-one” printer.

What’s an all-in-one printer? It’s one that prints, scans, copies and faxes! Most of them will be in the $100 – $200 range and some are more depending on the features you want. As my older Epson does not scan or copy, and Canon decided not to upgrade the drivers for my old stand alone scanner (which means it’s now trash), I find that I really want a new all-in-one printer.

Printers under $50 will NOT be all-in-one printers. If all you want is a basic printer, then this is a good choice. Pick a name brand that has reasonably priced ink cartridges and you should be good! My wife recently picked up a new and inexpensive HP printer for just $29.

In my opinion, you should get an all-in-one printer for home or home office as the flexibility it offers with scanning, copying and faxing make it indispensable.  Also, you might want to consider getting a wireless printer, which is sometimes called a wi-fi printer. They can be very handy and placed in a central location and shared by all the computers in your house. It takes a little more effort to setup a wi-fi printer, but it’s nice to not have your computer or laptop tethered to a printer. 🙂

My recommendation for the best home printer under $200 is an Epson. It’s been the most reliable and longest lasting printer that we’ve had. The ink cartridges run around $15 to refill, so its fairly economical. Here is the one I’m recommending and the one I’m going to purchase soon:

  •  You can even print from your iPad or smart phone  on this printer – how convenient!

I’m very interested in hearing your opinions and experiences about printers you have used. Also, if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them if I can. Please drop me a note in the comments section.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!


Fixing Windows 8.1 (aka I hate the win 8 interface)

Fixing Windows 8.1 (aka I hate the win 8 interface)

Windows 8.1 Start Screen

Happy Holidays!

I love the new HP laptop computer I received, but I hate the new Windows 8.1 interface! Microsoft is trying to make you use your computer the same way that you would use your cell phone. They want you to have a home screen where you drag or create shortcuts to apps that you use most often. I don’t want to do that when I’m on my computer – do you?

I prefer to log onto my computer and use it as I have done for the last 18 years! If I wanted to have a cell phone interface, I’d use my cell phone and not my laptop or desktop computer.

With Windows 8.1 Microsoft wants you to log onto your computer using a Microsoft owned mailbox. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free. The benefit of this is that if you log onto another computer, your desktop should show up. This is due to a cloud based backup that Windows 8.1 uses.

I was a little put-off by the fact that they wanted me to do that, until I found out the reasoning behind the request. Needless to say, I didn’t use that feature when setting up my son’s new laptop that Santa brought.

So being Microsoft trained, I knew there would be ways to get rid of this horrendous interface. So off I went and found a fix that is just what I was looking for! Classic Shell is a program that will give you back your start button and so much more!

You just go to their website and download the program and install it once the download is finished. You then have numerous options for bringing back your good ole start button. Check out the Classic Shell ReadMe for a description of what the program can do for you. I love it!

Now I no longer need to have the app interface screen show up when I log into the computer and I go straight to my desktop! I also have a start button interface similar to the Windows 7 button that I liked very much. I am a happy camper!  🙂

So if you have Windows 8.1 and would like to change the way your start button works or disable the app screen on start-up, or make other changes to make your laptop / desktop more user friendly, do yourself a favor and check out this free program. I highly recommend it.



HP Laptop Is A Good Value

HP Laptop Is A Good Value


HP 2000-2d11DX laptop
Hi, my name is Mark. This is my new blog and this is my first post, so as a way of introduction I’d like to let you know a little about me. I am a recently, early retired IT person who has opened and setup dozens of laptops for managers in my old job. But the only laptops I’ve ever used at home were my wife’s older laptops that she no longer used once she got a new laptop (which of course I setup!)  😉
So when the opportunity presented itself to get a new HP laptop, I jumped at the chance! HP graciously provided me with a brand new HP 2000-2d11DX laptop. I purchased it at Best Buy on sale for $349. The price was right and the laptop has everything I need to take care of my new self-employed business.
For the techies out there, it has:
  • an Intel Core i3 Processor (2.4 GHz)  – for the non-techy, that means it’s fast
  • 500 GB hard drive – lots of room to store files and run programs
  • 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory – it can run graphics programs easily
  • DVD Drive – You can watch movies and burn disks with data or pictures
  • 15.6 Brightview LED Display – the screen is nice and bright – easy to see
  • Wireless Lan – to hook into your home’s wireless gateway
  • Built in microphone and video cam – to use with Skype or any video chatting you’d like.
The laptop is basic black and comes with Microsoft WIndows 8.  Microsoft created Windows 8 for mobile devices but it works well on the laptops too. It took a little bit to get used to the new operating system, but it has a walk through to help you with that!
Being familiar with setting up laptops I was done in just a few minutes, but it comes with instructions that even a novice could follow.
The laptop is much faster than the one I was previously using, which is very helpful when working with graphics and website design. The 4 gigs of RAM make the laptop work fast and the 500 GB hard drive gives me lots of storage space for saving my work. The fact that you’re getting that much memory with that large hard drive and that low of a price shows that HP is seriously providing value to its customers.
It comes with various software, some of which are trial versions, which you may purchase if you like. They’ve worked out deals with software providers so that you’ll get discounts if you do decide to purchase the software. Of course, this is something most computer companies provide, but it is a nice convenience.
I’ve used many different makes of computers over the years and I build my own desktops, but when it comes to laptops, I recommend to folks that they buy one of the major provider’s laptops. HP is one of them and they offer great value with the HP 2000-2d11DX laptop.
So thanks to HP, I’m ready to go out and makes lots of money> with my new self employed business!
Thanks HP!