— Jared Huet (@jaredhuet) March 9, 2014
My 87 year old Granny recently asked me to get her a new printer for her house.
Her HP colour inkjet that she picked up on sale in Tesco had never worked correctly and she wanted something that (a) worked and (b) was simple to use and (c) did not cost an arm and a leg to run.
The requirements I drew up were:
- Must be a mono laser printer (cheapest to run, no messy ink)
- Has to be able print but also scan and copy
- Wireless (So we could put anywhere in the house without having to worry about cables)
- Must have a good app for her iPad to print emails and FaceBook messages
- Must costs less than €150.00
So the search was on.
After considering options from HP and Brother, I found an amazingly cost-effective unit from Samsung that ticked all the boxes:
For less than €125 (£102) including delivery to Dublin, Ireland from Amazon.co.uk [Link]
When it arrived it took about 10 minutes from opening the box to printing from the iPad with no need for a PC to set it up. The iPad sees the printer in in list of printer without having to configure this. The unit is compact and the fact that you only have a single cable (power) allows for a tidy install. It comes with a 700 page toner starter cartridge which should last a year. Replacement toner will cost €60 for a 1,500 page yield, which works out at only 4c per A4 page. We spent the next hour getting everyone in the house to print something from their phones (iOS and Android). Copying only needs a single button press and the Samsung app from the Appstore allow you to scan documents directly from the unit to your phone or tablet.
It’s an amazing amount of technology for the money. I’ll be recommending this to my friends and I’ll probably end up buying one for my house, it is that good.
Last week Google announced a new product that they were offering in conjunction with Hardware Manufacturer Asus – The ChromeBox for Meetings Video Conferencing system.
The system is comprised of a Chromebox (small form PC running Chrome OS) with a USB Camera, USB Microphone & Remote Control to make a fully functional High Definition Video Conferencing System when combined with a display unit.
The most surprising aspect to the announcement? the price - less than $1,000 to include a $250 annual fee for management and support.
This is great news for the Small to Medium Enterpise Video user especially if you are already running Google Apps for your email system. We at Digicom have been running Google Apps for coming on 5 years now and sometimes the easiest way for us on making a video call is from the chat box on the side of out email screens. This now means we can call Room Systems without involving third party service. If you are not running Google Apps all you need is to sign up for a free Gmail account to get on board.
Currently these are only available in the US but plans are to launch in Europe soon.
Similar to my post on DNS Settings for the iPad, it is possible to change WiFi settings on the Apple TV so you can access US / American Netflix which has far more content than Irish / Canadian Netflix.
Do this by going into Settings > General > Network on the Apple TV and change the DNS setting from Auto to Manual. Insert 22.214.171.124 as the new DNS.
When configured correctly it should look like this:
A similar technique can be used to get US Netflix to work on iPhone, iPad, Sony PS3, Google Nexus 7, Smartphones and computers.
Note: This can make websites and apps think you are in America which may have an adverse (or positive) effect on your other apps, so you may wish to change these settings back when not using Netflix.
This is the Meraki Story:
Founded by 3 guys from MIT and bought by Cisco for $1.2bn in December 2012, Meraki are a manufacturer of Cloud Managed Access Points, Switches and Security Appliances (More than just a firewall) . Here is a great blog post on why cisco bought them.
I installed 2 Meraki access points in May and have been running the office wifi through them 3 months now. Digicom are a Meraki partner for Ireland and I completed my Certified Meraki Network Associate course in July.
Amazingly simple to set up and monitor, I’m confident this the future of networking.
They run a great promotion whereby you can get a free access point by registering for and attending a live 1 hour webinar which very informative. You must work in IT and there is only one free AP per company. I highly recommend trying one out.
Register for free here: http://goo.gl/H2iDEx
If you have any issues with delays in the access point shipping or registration, let me know and I can check with my Meraki contacts.
I found that by changing some simple DNS Settings in the WiFi settings on the iPad I could access US Netflix which has far more content than Irish Netflix.
Do this by going into WiFi settings and selecting Static.
When configured correctly it should look like this:
Primary DNS Server: 126.96.36.199
Secondary DNS Server: 188.8.131.52
A similar technique can be used to get US Netflix to work on Sony PS3, Google Nexus 7, Smartphones and computers.
Note: This can make websites and apps think you are in America which may have an adverse (or positive) effect on your other iPad apps, so you may wish to change these settings back when not using Netflix.
If you have queries or comment the quickest way to get to me on is on my FaceBook page here: http://goo.gl/9kdmFZ
Update : This is still working coming into January 2014.