Friday, December 07, 2007

Print Anywhere...YEP...Anywhere!

Besides being a self-styled Lotus evangelist (I just bought a new car and am going to get some personalized plates...and I'm considering things like IM LOTUS, NOTES8 or, what a geek!), I'm also a productivity junkie. Anything that can make me more productive while allowing me to maintain high quality output is considered for part of my standard toolkit. I wanted to tell you about one of those tools that has just entered my arsenal.

Say you are at the office and you want to print something out but don't want to use work printers to do it. Maybe you'll e-mail it home or save it to a USB key, then bring it up on your home machine and send it to the printer. Yeah...that works, but sometimes it's a chore. Perhaps you don't have the same program on your machine at home, or the kids are hogging the PC chatting with their friends.

All of these potential time wasting issues are now a thing of the past thanks to Printer Anywhere. Printer Anywhere is an incredibly useful tool that allows you to print to a remote printer using the internet. Thus, in the scenario above, you could print directly from your work PC to your printer on the desk at home. The service works by installing their software on the machines you want to print to and from. It automatically recognizes printers connected to your computer and gives you the option of sharing them. When you want to print a document, you simply issue the print command, pick "Printer Anywhere" as the printer and then choose the remote printer from a list (you can search by user ID, name, etc.). The item to be printed gets packaged up and sent across the internet to the other device, where it rolls off just as if it was printed from the local machine. That's the simplified version anyway. You can find out all the details, plus cool features such as encryption and the like, by exploring the Printer Anywhere homepage.

I can see many unique ways to use this service and plan on exploring it more in the future. Thought you might be interested in checking it out too. Cheers!


Elf said...

What's the big deal about being able to print anywhere? As long as a printer has an ip-adress, it should be no problem. I did this fifteen years ago on UNIX-machines. ;)

And with VPN one should be able to do this with no trouble on Windows.

Chris Blatnick said...

Hi Elf...the big deal for me is:

1. My printer at home doesn't have an IP address, so that's a bit of a problem! ;-)
2. I'm usually behind a firewall and I can't access my remote machine from the office, even with a VPN.

Thus...Printer Anywhere works great for me. I can think of other scenarios as well.

Let's say I want to share some data I have in a Notes database with a friend in Stockholm. I want to retain the formatting, but he doesn't have Notes. With this method, I could print right from my Notes client to his muss, no fuss.

It's a simple solution and certainly there are other ways of doing the same thing, but I love that it's free and easy! :-)

Elf said...

He he. You make some valid points. I was only half serious.

I'm actually using Printer Anywhere from time to time myself. I also use similar programs that gives me some remote controlling abilities for my machines at home. Especially the tool that allows me to access my MCE-pc to add programs to the recording list. :)