How to Select the Best Printer for Your Needs

Ever wanted to buy a printer but did not know how to go about it? What to look for? Well, the guest post below will explain it all. The post is by Kevin Onyango who runs an online ICT shop, www.minehardwares.com.

An all in one printer

An all in one printer

There are a couple of things you need to first understand before you purchase a printer. They include;

1. Whether it is LaserJet or Inkjet.

Both LaserJet and Inkjet printers have advantages and disadvantages. Inkjet printers are cheaper to buy than LaserJet printers. They also have very good quality printouts. However, the cost of maintaining an Inkjet printer is very high. Also, Inkjet printers make a lot of noise while printing and are slower than LaserJet printers.

LaserJet printers are expensive when buying but very cheap to maintain. Their print quality is very high and they make less noise when printing. They print faster than Inkjet printers.

2. All-In-One or Print-only.

The next thing you need to consider is whether you just want a print-only device or you need to scan, copy, fax and print. Print-only printers are cheaper than All-In-One printers. However, they have limited functionality. On the other hand, All-In-One printers have scanners, copiers and printers all put in one device. They are a little bit more expensive but very handy especially in an office setting. All-In-One printers also save space as they contain three different devices in one.

Some All-In-One printers have fax. When getting an All-In-One, always confirm if it has fax as not all of them have fax. In most cases All-In-Ones that have fax are more expensive.

3. Print Or Scan Quality.

Various aspects of print and scan qualities can be compared between different models. Print resolution is usually measured in dots per inch (DPI). The higher the number of dots per inch the better the printer.

Inexpensive inkjet models usually generate black-only prints at least as high as 600×600 DPI. Color models, meanwhile usually start as high as 4800×1200. Laser jets, meanwhile, typically produce 1200×1200 DPI or better black-only prints and 1200×600 or better color prints. Scan quality is measured using both bit-rate and DPI measurements. If scanning is an important feature, seek an all-in-one device that offers optical scan resolutions of at least 600×1200 DPI and at least a 24-bit scan rate. Again, higher numbers are better (a scanner that boasts 36- or 48-bit technology will produce even higher-quality scans).

Be sure to consider the differences between an inline scanner, in which 8.5-inch x 11-inch pages are easily scanned by passing them through a sheet feeder, and a flat-bed scanner, in which oddsize documents can be easily scanned just by placing them on the glass. In environments where multiple-page documents will frequently be scanned, ensure you select a model that boasts an automatic feed tray.

4. Network Capabilities.

The days where parallel cables where used to connect printers to computers are long gone. In fact, most laptops nowadays do not even have parallel ports. Most printers nowadays are connected to computers via USB cables. Many printers now boast integrated wireless LAN connectivity. Other models feature embedded network interface cards, making it possible to connect printers to a local area network via a standard wired Ethernet cable, and thereby usable by multiple PCs simultaneously. Still others feature integrated Bluetooth support, which makes it possible for laptop users (among others) with Bluetooth functionality to print wirelessly without the requirement that a local area network even be present.

When reviewing a printer or multifunction device purchase, be sure to consider your organization’s needs. If multiple users will need to access the printer or all-in-one’s scanning functions, network-equipped models can eliminate the need to purchase multiple units or configure a single PC to host print services for other systems. If many users access the local area network wirelessly, be sure to consider a printer model that also includes WLAN connectivity.

For assistance in selecting a printer that best suits your need call us on +254 703 523 473 or visit our website: www.minehardwares.com

What To Watch?

This is a personal review of the series I have watched over the past few weeks. Obviously, this has left me little time for reading but I shall review the few books I have also read recently.

Dexter

Image from http://geekin-out.com

Image from http://geekin-out.com

I just finished watching Dexter Season 6. No, I haven’t watched season 1-5, I just found a DVD of season 6 lying around and I had a free hour so I decided to watch it and I got hooked. I had heard a lot about Dexter but I never got into the bandwagon back then, but it’s never too late for a good series. Season 6 ends with a cliff hanger, but I don’t want to give it away. Dexter is a series about a man who works at the homicide department as a blood spatter analyst to help them catch killers, but during the night he turns serial killer. But he has a code for killing. It’s a chilling series. Well written. Cast to (almost) perfection. Each season has a main storyline it follows and several subplots throughout the episodes. I would totally recommend it, not for the darkness of the serial killer, but for the thrills of an investigative series with well carried suspense.

Before that I was watching Misfits

Misfits Season 3 leads

Misfits Season 3 leads

I stumbled on yet another DVD (these things are lying around in the house in spite of many attempts to store them orderly), Misfits Season 3. It was hilarious and different from anything I had watched recently. Rudy is this clown character you love to hate. The probation workers have the worst of luck. (Hint: they die). Curtis can turn into a beautiful girl. Kelly appears tough but is in love with the power dealer. Simon and Alisha are definitely in love. The gang of misfits is definitely worth watching. I later got Season 1 and 2, and Nathan’s character, oh my.. he’s such a character (no other way to describe it).

However, do NOT proceed beyond the 3rd season. It’s painful watching the 4th season.

Avoid watching Spartacus: War of the Damned

Garnicus, one of the characters in War of the Damned

Garnicus, one of the characters in War of the Damned

The nudity, the violence, the blood, the love stories, the (homo)sexual scenes, the barbarism, the fighting, the language… you’ve seen them all before if you’ve watched all previous Spartacus shows. This finale adds nothing new, except the ending of well, the whole thing. So if you have to watch it, do it just to know it all ends. Spoiler: the title says it all. They’re damned 🙁

Person of Interest

Are You a person of interest? The geek, the ex-CIA and the cop are looking for you!

Are You a person of interest? The geek, the ex-CIA and the cop are looking for you!

The first season was interesting, with each episode following a person of interest, someone who is either a victim or perpetrator of a murder. The geek who created the machine that sees everything, teams up with an ex-CIA to save or stop these persons of interest. And other subplots as the police close up on them, and the bad guys try to have them killed.

I’m now starting on a Season 2 marathon.

Last Resort

Last Resort

Last Resort

An impressive submarine. A crazy captain. A handsome first officer. A beautiful, ambitious lieutenant. The submarine is carrying nukes, so of course Washington politics and Middle East enemies are in the plot. The submarine captain refuses a fire order and has to seek refuge in an island, where the drama unfolds. I loved it but I hope there is no season 2.

So what are you watching? Why is it worth your time?

Samsung Galaxy S4: First Impressions

To be honest, I haven’t really had time to get down and dirty with the phone, so I can’t give an in-depth review for the geeks and enthusiasts. However, here’s my quick impression of the phone so far:

Design

The Galaxy S4- side view. Image from techradar.com

The Galaxy S4- side view. Image from techradar.com

It’s a winning design for sure. It’s slim, but not the sliding slimness of its predecessor, which falls off your hands and almost breaks your nose when you’re surfing in bed. It’s less slippery and I love the metal-cased edges. It’s small enough to type with one hand unlike the Samsung Note II, my previous device. You can also walk with it in your hand and it should slide into the slimmest-fitting jeans with ease.

Battery Life

Android drains battery :(

Android drains battery 🙁

The battery life has definitely improved on the S3, as expected. However, for a busy user like me, I still have to charge it once a day.

Screen Clarity

Life in full coluor :)

Life in full coluor 🙂

The colours feel so natural on the screen, and nowhere is clarity felt than when reading something on the screen, for example when using the browser or reading an e-book. The screen is also scratch-resistant since it’s made of gorilla glass so you can put it your pocket full of keys etc and it will still come out smooth. Someone ran over it with his car and it didn’t crack.. but don’t try that at home!

Accidental Damage From Handling- Covered

spiderweb?

spiderweb?

Should your S3 screen break, expect to fork out anything between 20-25K for a replacement. For the Note II, you’ll be told 30-40K by an unblinking attendant. With the Samsung Galaxy S IV, you get a two year warranty that covers accidental damage from handling. Your screen can be repaired twice in a period of under two years. You should still get a case though. I’m looking for a white flip case to compliment my white S4.

Camera

S4 camera versus other phones' cameras. Image from gizmodo.com

S4 camera versus other phones’ cameras

With a 13MP rear camera, you should be able to take amazing photographs of scenery.. can’t wait for my next out-of-door activity/roadtrip.

Looking forward to experimenting with all the fancy features and neat tricks, that’s the next review.

Safaricom Apps Development Challenge

Safaricom Limited has launched the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge, targeting new mobile application developers in Kenya. The aim is to equip the participants with entrepreneurial and technological skills, as part of the ongoing commitment by the organization to help nurture a profitable local apps industry.

This challenge is focusing on the following categories:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Health Financial Inclusion
  3. Education Entertainment
  4. Games and Media
  5. Utilities
  6. Transport and Infrastructure
  7. Public Safety and Security

What’s interesting about this challenge is that there will be an incubation period after the submission, where the challengers will be equipped with entrepreneurial skills.

Important Dates:

Launch: 09/05/2013
Submission Closure: 28/06/2013
Hack-a-thon: 27th to 28th July 2013
Incubation Start Date: 12/08/2013
Incubation Ends: 25/10/2013
Final Event- Award Ceremony: 01/11/2013

The grand prize winner will walk away with Ksh 1,500,000 with the runner up taking Ksh 1,000,000. Category winners will take Ksh 200,000 each.

Check it out and Register today!

If you need any clarification Please contact the AppWiz team via innovation@safaricom.co.ke

25

Wow, the years slip by so fast. One moment you’re class 3 reciting a poem at the school assembly, the next you’re 25 years old and a mother. When did I transition into this mid 20’s woman? Luckily, I have documented most of my formative years in blogs: from 2008-2010 and 2011 to now (this blog). Perhaps when I look back, I can hold onto some fragment of time that quickly slips from our grasp, a time when memories play shadow games with our mind.

Image from web

Image from web

This post is late, my 25th birthday was actually last month but it’s not easy to find time to come up with a ‘deep’ post such as the one I did on my 24th when I felt inspired. I think I might have been going through a heartbreak (he he), and such things often inspire writers.

For my 23rd, I actually had some sort of party, thanks to my friends. We had just finished campus and were suffering from leavers’ blues so we went back to our hangout in Juja: Senate Hotel and had a swimming kind of day. It was kinda special because I was turning 23 on the 23rd!

At 22, I wrote my life story in brief.

For my 21st birthday, I reviewed a Chinese Nokla N95.

Nokla N95 v Nokia N95

And earlier on, I had a teenage blog.

Well, that’s been my trip down memory lane.

Memory lane looks like this in my mind..

I have been blogging for 6 years now! When I look back down memory lane, I’m proud of myself. I think I turned out alright, and I’m on the right path towards whichever goals I wish to achieve.

My 24th year was certainly the most life changing. I was traveling, working, partying, studying, discovering and enjoying my pregnancy (the kicks are wonderful, and even in my next life I’ll want to be a woman so I can be pregnant at least once).

Here’s to my 25th year! And to motherhood!

Bloggers of Kenya Awards, 2013

The bloggers of Kenya (BAKE) awards where held this past Saturday May 4th at the Southern Sun Mayfair. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it, my son is only one month old! However, another blogger @pitzevans was there and this is his guest post. Many thanks Pitz!

I remember many things in this day of days, at least in the blogworld, but none linger so poignantly than the taste of fried chicken availed in plenty by the good people of Southern Sun. The tasty flesh melted in my mouth, teasing my taste buds, exciting my appetite and quenching the butterflies in my tummy as we waited for the organizers to announce the winners. The food, dear reader, was a lovely highlight and one can only hope that next year’s cook sticks to such generosity. But this post is not about food, neigh, it shall not feature in next year’s awards in the food category. This post is a reminisce, though a brief one, of the bake awards gala that went down at the Southern Sun last Saturday.

I sauntered into the resort at 6pm sharp, needless to say I was looking sharp, and to call the hall’s decor sharp would be an injustice to the organizers since the ambience was, for lack of better words, on point. True to the Kenyan adage, African timers, the hall was virtually empty when I took my seat strategically at the back after having my photo taken.

the setting

the setting

But the invited guests trooped in small groups and shortly before 7pm the event kicked off. It would be needless perhaps to point out that the patrons were all elegantly dressed and to quote one tweep, “this was not one of those ratchet events.” The Emcee for the day was one Larry Madowo and in his characteristic fashion, mostly unsuccessfully, he tried to keep the audience in stitches as his abundant reservoir of humor proved inadequate.

Larry  the MC

Larry the MC

The awards went, hopefully, to the most deserving blogs. Let me single out Bikozulu for finally winning the creative blog’s category; in my humble opinion, the award was long overdue. After all, high school is the platform most bloggers use not only as a learning platform but a pedestal to gauge their learning curve. I met the guy after the gala, introduced myself and after his graceful prompting; we toasted to creativity and the loneliness that haunts great writers everywhere. As our glasses clashed in a moment of kindred appreciation, one realizes that great or small; most writers are united by a singular and profound destiny. I also had the pleasure to interact with other winners like SokoAnalyst and RockeScientist.

The awards were presented by various people, some representing the sponsors and others fellow bloggers of some renown. Two bloggers in particular stood out, AKenyanGal and Kenyanpoet, very distinguished ladies these two are. But another artist, Elpoet, stole the show with his rhymes and the two pieces he performed were received with applause by the guests. The first award was presented by the outgoing chairman of the ICT board, Mr. Kokubo who offered an inspiring speech on the growth of blogging and the kind of influential platform it’s likely to become if well harnessed.

The event came to an end slightly after 9pm and it proved the opportune time for guests to network and catch up, such camaraderie aided by some smooth Irish whiskey; Biko I’m not pointing fingers here. Lastly, special mention to Savvykenya who gave up her slot so I can attend and I am eternally grateful to Jeremy for choosing this opportune moment in time to grace our mortal world. One can’t help but hope, on a lighter note, that Jeremy gets a sister same time next year. All in all, it was a great event and one can’t help look forward to next year’s gala.

For more photos, check out BAKE on facebook

And the winners were:

1.Best Business Blog
Sokodirectory.com

2.Best Political Blog
057siasa.blogspot.com

3.Best Sport Blog
Superfoota.com

4.Best Technology Blog
Techmoran.com

5.Best Topical Blog
Thinkm-pesa.com

6.Best Travel Blog
Kenyatalii.com

7.Best Corporate Blog
Letsgotravelkenya.blogspot.com

8.Best Creative Writing Blog
Bikozulu.co.ke

9.Best Entertainment/Agricultural Blog
Niaje.com

10.Best Environmental/Agricultural Blog
Rockescientis.blogspot.com

11.Best fashion Blog
Nanciemwai.com

12.Best Food Blog
Pikachakula.com

13.Best new Blog
Kenyaweddings.co.ke

14.Best Photography Blog
Mutuamatheka.com

15.Kenyan Blog of the Year
Niaje.com

The Galaxy S4 is Here – What To Look Forward To

As a blogger and a techie, I’m attracted to (the latest, fastest) gadgets and I’m looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy S4, full of dazzling features that I may not even make use of but feels good to know they are there. Every so often, companies launch new devices that are improvements on the previous models. Whether you need these ‘improvements’ is not really the question here, after all we crossed the line from necessity to luxury when we went beyond the Nokia 3310.

The Samsung Galaxy S4: Life's Companion

The Samsung Galaxy S4: Life’s Companion

Here’s some of the features what I look forward to:

Size

I’m currently using a Note II and it’s a massive device. While the S4 is big, it’s significantly smaller than the Note II and befitting a lady techie *points to self*

Samsung S4 V Note II. Image from www.onlinegadgetstore.com

Samsung S4 V Note II. Image from www.onlinegadgetstore.com

The screen size is of the highest clarity (441 ppi pixel density), the smallest screen in the world with the biggest density. It’s slimmer and lighter than Samsung Galaxy S3. On that note, check out my review of the S3 and Note II.

Dual-Camera

It would be great to be able to take photos with the front and back camera at the same time. Usefulness of this feature? Well, the camera-(wo)man is no longer left out of the picture! No need for strangers (who might run away with the phone) to take pictures so that all of you can be captured in that moment.

The rear camera is 13MP, an improvement from the S3’s 8MP.

dualcamera

However, it’s more of a superimposition on top of the picture of the people you’re taking. I never said this was perfect.

Air View/ Air Gesture

Controlling the phone without having to touch it is a new feature I would like to try out. You can operate the screen by hovering a finger over it. I guess this is useful when you’re eating (chicken) with your hands and need to answer your phone or perhaps reply a text (I’m stretching it here). However, if the finger doing the hovering is dripping with soup, perhaps you better wait till you’re done eating.

Memory, Processor and Connections

With the S4 I know I never have to worry about my storage getting full, it can pack a few series and some movies, even the 16GB version. (I’ll make it my external hard disk now that one of my brothers decided to privatize mine). In fact, you can expand the memory with a card of up to 64GB although I haven’t seen those being sold anywhere. I use a 4GB memory card. The processing power it posses is suitable for any game with intense graphics, that’s really the only way it will ever be used to full capacity. It has the full range of connections: 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC (for example what Google Beba card uses) etc etc.

These are just a few among the numerous features that the S4 packs, running the Android 4.2 OS. For a comprehensive review of everything, check out techradar.

In Kenya, the phone will probably retail for around Ksh 65,000. However, you can pre-order it before the launch on 7th for Ksh 56,999 from Airtel but it looks like its sold out on Safaricom’s pre-order! So I’m not the only one eager to lay my hands on the device.

So given a chance, would you own one?