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February 6, 2014 by

Just to make things confusing, Microsoft renamed the online versions of Word and Excel; they are now known as Office Online. Anyone who has followed Microsoft over the years knows that they have a real love for name changes, and the name changes don’t always make sense to the consumer.


They only just recently changed the name of their online storage from Skydrive to OneDrive, and history tells us that they aren’t finished rebranding.


Microsoft Office Live was the first online edition, which later branched into two parts – Office Live Workspace, and Office Live Small Business. Office Live Workspace became Skydrive (now OneDrive) and the Office Web Apps, and Office Live Small Business, a paid version, became Office 365.


For an example of the strange name scheme, the XBox One is the third edition to the XBox family. Many people refer to the first XBox as the Xbox One, which makes it difficult to have a conversation about the XBoxes without first agreeing on the proper name to collectively refer to each edition.


Even Microsoft’s operating system names are all over the place. They began with a simple numbering system (1,2,3.1) that developed into a year-based name (95, 98, 2000), which eventually turned into random letters (ME, XP) before using random words (Vista), and then fell back into a numbering system (7, 8). Confusing!


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February 3, 2014 by

Head over to to enter a contest to win a Brother prize package worth $500. Not only do you have a chance to win the prize package, you also have a chance to advertise your business to a great many people who might not ordinarily see you.


The contest, which began on January 27th, challenges small businesses to create an advertisement or marketing materials using the Brother CreativeCenter. This is a free, web-based design portal. There are templates to use, or you can use your imagination.


There are three prize packages available and it’s easy to enter. Instructions are located via the above link, and the contest runs until the March 19th deadline.


The prize package is full of great items such as a Brother Wireless Color All‑in‑One Inkjet Printer (MFC-J6920DW) – $299.99 value, a Black Ink Cartridge (LC109BK) – $39.99 value, 3 Color Ink Cartridges (LC105-3PKS) – $54.99 value, a Desktop Office Labeler (PT-2030) – $49.99 value, Labels, half inch – TZE-231 (2 pack) – $34.99 value, and Labels, half inch – TZE-335 (2 packages) – $43.98 value.


The best part is that you probably need to design some new marketing material anyway, so why not use the opportunity to enter a contest with a $500 prize package at the same time!

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January 29, 2014 by

Xerox already holds approximately 12,000 patents for their innovative technology, but they managed to patent even more in 2013. 1,168 new US patents, to be exact.


Xerox already has an impressive portfolio that enables businesses to simplify and speed up their transactions, which, in turn, enables businesses to grow their bottom line. As they add more patents, they become even more valuable to office productivity.


Does anyone remember when Xerox was synonymous with photocopying? This is because Xerox invented the photocopier. Their first model was the 914, and offices worldwide used the device on a regular basis. Today, businesses simply cannot thrive without some form of photocopier and printer unit.


They also invented the laser printer, which millions of offices use regularly. Many older generations still refer to their laser printers and photocopiers as a Xerox machine, and everyone understands the reference.


Apparently, Xerox also invented the personal computer, but gave away the technology. They are credited with the invention of the graphical user interface, among other innovations, and they have employed some of the most prolific inventors in the history of computers, printers, and other like-minded technology.


With the success of Microsoft and Apple, people assume that at the time, Xerox leaders were insane for giving away the technology, but perhaps they just wanted to concentrate more on the printer and photocopier side of business. Regardless, we can all give thanks to Xerox for paving the way to a more efficient future.



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January 27, 2014 by

If your small or medium-sized office is looking for faster printing, two of HP’s printers hold the Guinness World Record as the fastest printers to complete the printing of 500 pages by a color desktop printer.


The models, both Officejet Pro editions, are the X551dw and the X576dw. They jointly achieved the record by each printing 500 pages in seven minutes and 19 seconds. We’ll save you from doing the math; this speed works out to less than one second per page – .878 seconds per page, to be exact.


They tested the printers in April of 2012, so these two printer models are literally the fastest color desktop printers today. If you think you have found a quicker printer model, let the printer manufacturer or Guinness World Records know about it!


Both all-in-one models are well suited to service a small or medium-sized office or business, and are packed with features. The X-series of Hewlett-Packard printers use PageWide technology, which cuts down on the wear and tear on your printer’s small moving parts.


Rather than moving back and forth across the paper when printing, PageWide printheads are stationary with 42,000 individual nozzles that are spread out above the full width of the paper. This allows them to get the ink onto the paper with a single pass.


There is no doubt that PageWide technology assists with the faster printing speeds. It is exciting to think about what other technology can be applied to create even faster printing, although .878 seconds per page is certainly nothing to scoff at.

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January 22, 2014 by

Announced at the North American International Auto Show, vehicle manufacturer Ford is next among those who appreciate the time and money saving advantages of printing 3D molds to make parts. The company says that it can save up to two months manufacturing parts, which means more time can be spent on product testing and other ways of improving products and services.


While Ford is currently concentrating on printing molds to make parts, the future brings direct metal vehicle parts that are 3D printed without any molds. Other vehicle manufacturers are setting their sights on 3D printing as well, so Ford won’t be the only company to pursue this route.


Ford showed a pickup truck at the auto show, which used military-grade aluminum-alloy body panels that are 3D printed, effectively shedding 700 pounds from the standard total weight of the truck manufactured with their regular process. Imagine the improved gas mileage from the lesser weight.


While investors are going to reap the rewards of lower-cost and faster turn-around times, this gain should also be extended to consumers. 3D engineered parts mean better quality control and improved service. Perhaps the manufacturers will also extend the cost savings to consumers.

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January 20, 2014 by

Have you ever sat down and added up all your printing costs? The ink or toner, the paper, extra parts such as the drum or printheads – these items are costly and add up very quickly, especially if you are working in a high-volume business or office.


We have talked about ways to save costs on printing in the past; it is an important issue that not everyone thinks about, but one that affects many people.  Everyone should understand that there are huge savings waiting to be accumulated, and it doesn’t take much to accomplish.


A good way to start is by purchasing a printer that offers ink or toner efficiency. These printers come equipped with many energy and ink/toner saving options available for use in different printing situations.


You can then set the default options for printing in your office or business, and lock the printer so that it is stuck using the best ink or toner saving options. A password is required for anyone wishing to use different settings. As long as your office employees are on board with keeping the printing costs as low as possible, you should see huge long-term results.


Purchasing low-cost compatible ink or toner cartridges is another great way to save a lot of money on office printing. The savings can be up to 70% off the price of an OEM ink or toner cartridge, making it worth looking into.

January 16, 2014 by

If you have a spare $5000, 3DSystems is releasing a kitchen-ready food printer called the ChefJet, sometime later this year. It is geared more towards master chefs, bakers, and other high-end food preparers, but it will be available to anyone who can afford it.


It is very much worth mentioning that the $5000 counter-top ChefJet only prints in monochrome. If you want to get fancy and produce color, there is another model, the ChefJet Pro edition, costing almost $10,000 that will print in full color.


The ChefJet Pro will allow you to print the full CMYK color spectrum, with food-safe color dyes. With the purchase of either unit, you will receive what 3DSystems refers to as a Digital Cookbook, which is full of basic shapes that you can use as is, or tweak to your specifications.


While much larger than your average desktop printer, the ChefJet food printer is smaller than an oven; it’s made to fit on a counter-top. It would still be large and out-of-place in a regular home-sized kitchen though, unless you have somewhere dedicated to place it.


You could really mess with your taste buds with one of these food printers. For example, you could print a steak or hamburger out of chocolate; I wonder how strange it would be to eat!

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January 13, 2014 by

Many people are excited at the thought of 3D printing and all of the wonderful things it promises. So far, we have seen the printing of food, jewelry, guns, and artificial human organs. This is amazing and there are new breakthroughs every day.


There are also many people who are probably not as happy about the capabilities of 3D printing, especially those who manufacture products for resale and depend on the money they make from their businesses.


The worry evolves into something real when 3D printing becomes more widely available and affordable for the general population. Right now, the 3D printers and various “ink” products they use are expensive and not able to be included in most peoples’ budgets, however, like any other product, the price will drop considerably after a period of time.


When more people have their own 3D printer, or regular access to one, and the available types of “inks” expands, they will begin printing their own products rather than buying them.


Products such as clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, kitchen utensils, containers, etc., will be easy enough to make yourself, therefore eliminating the need for the amount of retail outlets we have today. This means that businesses will have to close and many people will be out of a job.


3D printing is still far enough away from the general population where you don’t have to worry much as a business owner, but it is definitely something to keep in mind when planning for the future.

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January 8, 2014 by

Did you know that the colors you choose when designing graphics on your computer are not interchangeable with the spot colors used by offset printing presses? The colors you see on your computer are generally showing in mixed CMYK values – meaning that your ink color is made up of a combination of the four ink colors used by a regular process printer, whereas the colors used by offset printers (Pantone colors) are generally standardized solid colors. The numerical/alphabetical values vary from CMYK to Pantone colors as well.


If you are designing your own graphics, or having a design made up for you in a specific color, you will have to choose your color and then convert it to the closest matching standard spot color. This isn’t a complicated process, but a process that ensures that you will end up receiving your prints in the color you intended.


First off, begin by calibrating your monitor to make sure that you are seeing the colors accurately. When you have found a color that you think will be perfect for your logo or other graphics, find the color’s CMYK values. One easy way to choose is to use this CMYK color value chart. Then all you have to do is use a free online CMYK to Pantone converter to obtain the Pantone color code.

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January 6, 2014 by

Epson America has launched a new, app-enabled label printer that connects via Bluetooth for use with smartphones and tablets, and USB for use with Windows and Mac computers. The printer, called the Epson LabelWorks™ LW-600P, offers the capability to create an endless variety of labels for any personal, home, or office use.


The free app, iLabel, takes full advantage of the capabilities of your smartphone and tablet devices by offering features such as the ability to use your own handwriting, the ability to create QR-coded or bar-coded labels, and even voice-to-text recognition.


The printer itself is compact, battery powered for portability, and comes with an AC adaptor for home or office use. It prints labels quickly at 15mm/s, and offers the use of tape widths from 6mm to 24mm.


The app also includes a preview function that uses your smartphone or tablet’s camera to show you what your labels will look like before you print. This is a great feature since you can create your labels from start to finish, right on your tablet or smartphone, and it’s always best to preview your work before you print.


You can see the new label printer in action if you are in the Las Vegas area from January 7th – 10th. There will be demonstrations at the Epson SmartWare Pavilion, in meeting room S214 of the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

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