Tips and tricks, solutions, resources, information, news on the world of ICT (Information and Communication Technology).
Personal work experiences, annotations, curiosities and interests of a IT-manager for all that is technology and information technology.
The Post with the label "Personal Experience" contain reviews and feedback directly verified!
At work or at home it could be useful
to share one printer with several devices (tablet, notebook, smartphone, PC) both
to save money and to gain more efficiency.
connect a printer to the local network, in order
to print with the LAN(Local Area Network) connected PCs,
there are several options, depending both on the printer’s characteristics or
on the printer (or all-in-one device) itself, and on the user’s needs.
of all you have to verify the printer’s characteristics, if it has already an internal network interface controller (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and
if it is predisposed for a LAN connection,
or if it has just a USB port (or an old parallel port).
you have to consider if it is destined to a domestic use (few users that
use it occasionally) or to professional purposes (many users that need
it always on and ready to use).
1) If the printer has
already a built-in ethernet network controller
you should just connect it to the network
switch or to the router and assign it a free static IP
address (such as 192.168.x.y) or you could even use the dynamic
IP configuration (DHCP) service, which dynamically and automaticallyassignsan available address. Generally, every kind of router (included
the ADSL one)can
give a DHCP service or at least it has to be enabled to function as SERVER
DHCP, whereas the printer becomes a CLIENT DHCP.
you should install the print driver related to your printermodel on each PC of the network.
case of Wi-Fi connection you should follow the same advices.
2) If you’re not so lucky and you
have to use a USB or Parallel connection then you should
directly connect the printer to a
PC of the network (e.g. the network "SERVER") installing
the printer driver on it. Then you should share it with all
the other PCs and install the driver on them. Here, the printer is available through the SERVER, thus this
computer must always be on and working in order to allow the users
Share files and printers on Windows 7
Click the Start button,then Control Panel andopen
Advanced connection settings. Type network
in the search box , click on Network
and sharing center then select Change advanced connection settings in the left box.
the down arrow button to expand the current section.
printer sharing is off, turn on printer sharing and click Save changes.
Then you have to share the printer
Start and select Printers and devices. Right-click the printer
you want to share and click Printer properties.
the Share tab and select the control box Share the printer.
3) If you don’t want to set
apart a PC for the printer or to leave
always the sharing PC on, you can buy a print
/ printer server, in other words a usually small and low energy
consuming device, which incorporates an internal network interface
card and one or more USB/parallel
ports. By this device you can connect one or more printers to its
ports and connect it/them to every PC of the network by the LAN. Of
course it has to be configured by following the advices by the device’s
4) If you have an ”evolved” ADSLrouter
with a USB port and you
can activate it as "printer server" then you can
connect the printer to the ADSL router and share it with the whole LAN. Even in
this case you don’t need to set a PC apart, it is sufficient to leave the ADSL
router on and connected to the LAN switch. For a domestic use, if the ADSL router
has more than one Ethernet port, it could also substitute the network switch; it
could be even “underused” as printer server and switch (avoiding to use it as a
system to access to the internet by ADSL).
instance, in the ADSL router"ALICE GATE 2 PLUS WIFI"or"ALICE GATE VOIP 2 PLUS WIFI" you need to access to the router
IP address (the default one is 192.168.1.1) by web browser, type the
password (default "admin"), move to the section relative to
" USB Port ", activate "USB Printer server" and assign a
name to the device. You have to connect the printer to the master USB
port of the router. Finally, you
need to add a new device "printer" specifying the pathway, the name
of the router (\\alice gate) or the IP address, and the device name
on every PC Windows that is to be
connected to the printer. Finally, you have to choose and install the correct
driver relative to the printer model used.
you use either Windows or LINUX, the sharing of peripheral devices is within
everyone’s reach; you have just to remember that the sharing PC (that is physically
connected to the printer) may suffer the extra-work due to print spooling.
the other hand, true "print servers" (e.g. D-LINK DP-300U with
2 parallel ports and 1 USB) may be very useful in a company, where they
need to be H24 available.
I would underline that ADSLrouters as printer servers
may result in higher efficiency, compatibility and performances
if compared to other solutions.
detail, if you want to share an all-in-one
photocopier equipped with one USB only, (e.g.: KONICA Minolta
Bizhub 163) you can use an ADSL ALICE GATE VOIP PLUS
WIFI router (Pirelli) configured as printer server, with the further
advantage of allowing not only LAN but also WIFI sharing!!!
HDD Low Level Format is a free software tool ( for personal/ home use only ) that allows the Low-Level Format (LLF) of hard disks (and mass storage devices in general).
What is LLF ?
"Typically this involved subdividing each track on the disk into one or more blocks which would contain the user data and associated control information. Different computers used different block sizes and IBM notably used variable block sizes but the popularity of the IBM PC caused the industry to adopt a standard of 512 user data bytes per block by the middle 1980s. " Source Wikipedia English
HDD- LLF has the following characteristics :
Supported interfaces: S-ATA (SATA), IDE (E-IDE), SCSI, SAS, USB, FIREWIRE.
Big drives (LBA-48) are supported.
Supported Manufacturers: Maxtor, Hitachi, Seagate, Samsung, Toshiba, Fujitsu, IBM, Quantum, Western Digital, and almost any other not listed here.
The program also supports low-level formatting of FLASH cards (SD, MMC, MemoryStick and CompactFlash) using a card-reader.
HDD- LLF can also work with external drives connected via USB, and Firewire as well as with supports SD , MMC, MemoryStick and CompactFlash .
There is also an option to quickly delete the partitions and the sector MBR (Master Boot Record) of HDDs .
The utility is available in two versions: can be installed on Windows or directly executed ( portable).
WARNING: After running this low level format tool, the whole disk surface will be erased.
Data restoration is impossible after using this utility!
I used HDD- LLF for low-level format an external drive connected with USB no longer wanted to learn to operate and above who do not " want to be" formatted by Windows. With both Windows XP and Seven, the format utility (which try to format only high-level) returned an error message and did not proceed . With HDD- LLF I managed to break the deadlock and then, through the utility of Windows XP " DISK MANAGEMENT " , I was able to format ( high-level) disk with the NTFS file system and now it works !
The latest model of the Cordless Phone RTX is currently the DUALPHONE 4088. It can be simultaneouslyconnected to two phone lines: 1 terrestrial analogue PSTN telephone line cable with RJ-11 and 1 VOIP (SKYPE)line through a RJ-45 cable and an internet connection. In this way, you can choose at any time which line is more convenient to use between the available for outgoing calls and you can be reached on two contemporary lines with a single incoming phone.
One of the most important features of DUALPHONE 4088 is that to use, simply connect it with an ethernet cable (RJ-45) to a modem / router with ADSL internet connection FLAT broadband, so it is not necessary the connection to a PC (as required, for example, by the previous model DUALPHONE RTX-3045 ).
The DUALPHONE 4088 allows you to receive automatically updates of the phone software (firmware) so it can be corrected and improved by the manufacturer if SKYPE modifies some functions!
It also has a color LCD to better appreciate the characteristics of SKYPE (status icons, photos and pictures of the account) and allows you to manage 2 SKYPE account on the same phone!
As previously said, I find it very useful and advantageous to have a cordless phone that can also use SKYPE without being connected to a PC, and this is precisely the DUALPHONE 4088! Furthermore it uses standard AAA batteries (not proprietary batteries)
The Dualphone RTX 4088 is a good product but beware of the firmware versions you have on your phone or you may encounter some problems in configuring it. In fact, the phone works fine if the router / modem that handles the connection to the internet has preset the DHCP .
To check it go to menu -> settings -> advanced -> internet settings
check if the way IP is set to Dynamic or Static
The phone usually is preset to use the 'dynamic addressing' using just DHCP, but if you need to change the address from dynamic to static (you have to assign static IP addresses on your phone, the primary and secondary DNS, and default gateway) you have to keep in mind that with the firmware version 141 ... simply DOES NOT WORK! The phone accepts the input data (IP address, sub mask, primary dns, secondary dns, default gateway) but after saving everything the 0.0.0.0 static IP address appears again and a "network not connected"message is displayed! Unfortunately I lost several hours to try and try again, searching on the internet and calling for service, but there is nothing to do! However, it has been illuminating a telephone interview with the Italian seller (who was already awared of the problem but not of the solution). Several weeks later the confirmation came to me directly from the technical support of RTX, which confirmed the presence of the bug and its correction took effect in the fimware version 167 and later.
The solution is to update the firmware to the latest available firmware version (currently version 171) BEFORE, and to do so you have to leave the dynamic addressing and connect the phone to a router with an enabled DHCP service. Only AFTER the update of the firmware to version 171, you can configure static IP addressing of the phone, and then ... yes it works!
A small gem: by pressing the menu button of the phone and typing the key sequence 1-3-9-7-5 a new menu with all the available firmware versions (beta included) is shown.
Finally here is the list of steps to do if you wish to reset the phone to the factory settings:
1) Base: Power on the base station and place a network cable in the base
2) Base: Press the reset button for 15 sec. ( the LED should flash shortly at 10 sec, but just be sure to press it for 15 sec. )
3) Base: Wait 10 min until the base station lights
4) Handset: Reset Handset – Menu –settings – advanced –reset
5) Base: Press the reset button (1 sec) again on the base station to enable the registration mode
6) Handset: Place the handset on charger, now it starts searching for open base station (if the handset still cannot find the base station, please try again from step 4 – 6 and put the handset on charger immediately after the base station enters to registration mode on step 5)
7) When the base station is found – follow the instructions described on the screen.
In a company, the 'systemadministrator' of the computer often needs (for maintenance or assistance) the access to one computer (host) or more which are physically located far from where he works (e.g. remote servers).
Some software companies and computer services use Virtual Network Computing (VNC)technologyto provide remote tele-assistance to its customers via the Internet.
Moreover, a home user can benefit from 'remote access' as such he can work on his office PC from the comfort of his own home PC (work from home or teleworking)!
To fulfill all these tasks there are specific softwares and services (both free and with fee) suitable for the purpose.
But what are the most suitable services and software to access and control a PC remotely ?
1) Software with remote access via the local area network (LAN)
On Operative Systems Microsoft Windows XP Professional and latest there is the function "Remote Desktop Connection"
You must first enable the host PC: e.g. on Windows 7, click on the Windows Start button and select Computer voice with the right button of the mouse, then click the Properties option. In the opening window, click on the item Remote settings. Click the radio button "Allow Remote Assistance connections to the computer and select" either "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop" (less secure) and "Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication" (more secure). The first is less secure but allows you to receive remote assistance from any version of Windows, the second is more secure but allows you to receive remote assistance only from other computers with Windows 7.
At this point you can remotely control the PC via another PC on the same local area network LAN. You just have to launch the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection client software (start -> all programs -> accessories), enter the name or IP address of the PC you want to control and then the access credentials (username and password).
There are other VNC softwares free or with fee, for Windows, Linux, Apple which, once installed on the host PC, allow you to remotely take control of it. Here are some examples:
2) Software and Services with remote access via the Internet.
In essence are websites that offer limited services for free or unlimited services but with fee that allow you to register an account and assign it to one or more host PC. Usually to "assign" the PC account you need to download and install a special software. Finally, to use the service you have to authenticate via web browser and access to a Remote Desktop Manager page, and you can choose which PC to activate and use it remotely.
In other cases it is sufficient to download a software (client / server) to run both on the PC by remote control, and on the PC that you use to log in and control.
For example, in telecare enough that the customer notifies the operator login code and password shown on your screen when the application software, and from that moment on, the operator can access the client PC and work quietly in remotely to provide the requested assistance.
With some types of software you can also permanently install the application on the PC (host) and immediately access to the remote PC without typing the password and without the presence of a user for authentication (PC unattended).
As a system administrator it is helpful to have more access doors, so you might want to enable Remote Desktop on any PC on the network, and activate a service such as LogMein for access from the outside via the Internet. For those not satisfied and wanting to further access to the PC via a local network, you can also install UltraVNC VNC software and related services on a PC on the LAN.
These softwares and / or remote access services, often have additional features specially designed for tele-working, tele-assistance and for the management and maintenance of computer systems such as some of the following functions:
Chat to communicate with the client by exchanging short text messages.
VOIP function to communicate by voice with the customer.
File Transfer to copy or synchronize files from your local PC to the remote one (and vice versa).
Remote Printing to print files from a remote computer to a local printer.
Remote Management to display the events, and to start and stop the services of the remote PC.
Sharing the Desktop to show the others what you are viewing on your Desktop.
the ability to access remotely using your smartphone.
Optimization features to improve the quality of the connection or the speed of the connection,
Update function and remote monitoring to keep track of all the hardware and software of the host PC and update the O.S. remotely.
Remote Desktop Manager that shows all PC remotely available.
The Du@lphone RTX 3045 is a cordless phone for SKYPE able to work with a standard analog phone line. In fact it is a product that has a bit dated, but that can still be used if appropriately updated.
To use the DUALphone in analog mode, simply connect the base of the telephone, to the phone jack with a telephone cable (RJ11). Instead, for use it with SKYPE you must connect the base via USB to a PC on which you must also install the DUALphone Suite software and the Skype software.
Du@lphone RTX 3045 is now a product outdated and no longer in production so after you have installed the software, it is possible that DUALphone Suite software (eg version 2.08) is not sufficiently updated to work with the latest version of SKYPE (currently version 6.7). Usually appears the message "Skype is not connected" and the DualPhone does not work with Skype.
However, I verified that the DUALphone Suite software version 2.39 instead works with Skype! You can find it here. It also rewrite your phone's firmware updating to version 0.151.