electronics or computers
you purchased at
Costco? Email them to:
Or mail to:
Q&A with Marc Saltzman
The Costco Connection
415 West Hunt Club Road
Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5
or fax to (425) 427-3019.
“Marc Saltzman Q&A”
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected ques-
tions in this column. We
regret that unpublished
questions cannot be
a leading high-tech
to more than three
on radio and TV, and is
the author of 15 books.
He’s on Twitter at
Q: My printer is getting old, but seems to
work OK. Should I consider an upgrade?
A: If your printer still works but you’re mulling a
newer model, consider donating your aging equipment to a local organization that could benefit from
it, or give it to a family member or friend as a high-tech hand-me-down. Remember: Reusing (or
reselling!) is always better than recycling.
You’ll love what’s available today. Not only can
you expect better quality and faster speeds than
what you’re used to, but the latest crop of printers
can also scan, copy and perhaps fax, too (these are
referred to as “all-in-one” or “multifunction” printers). They often have large touch screens for easy
navigation, and usually have memory slots and USB
ports to insert a flash card or thumb drive with photos on it for easy direct printing.
The most exciting feature of the latest
printers, however, is wireless connectivity inside (or even outside) your
home. That means you don’t need
a pesky USB cable to print documents or photos from one or
more computers. Plus, you can
wirelessly print from your tablet
or smartphone by downloading
free apps from the same manufacturer as your printer. Many of
today’s digital cameras also let you
print wirelessly with compatible printers.
As I hinted, some Web-enabled printers
even let you print while you’re away from your
home or office. You can create an email address for
the device and then send photos or documents to it.
Imagine sending a bunch of documents to be
printed at the office while you’re on the train to
work, so the print job will be done before you even
step in the door. Or perhaps you could give one of
these printers to a non-techy relative, such as a
grandparent, and then email photos of the grand-kids to be printed out directly—while you’re still
away on a vacation.
Some models also let you download apps
directly to the printer, allowing you to print Sudoku
puzzles, recipes or colouring sheets for the kids.
Costco offers a complete line
of electronics in the warehouses
and Costco.ca, including
the latest printers and TVs.
Many of these electronics
include free tech support
from Costco Concierge
On Costco.ca, enter “Connection”;
More in archives
at Online Edition, search
; Smartphones, TVs
Tablet or smartphone?
Hear more about Samsung’s screen
mirroring on our digital newsstand
(see page 61) and online editions.
Q: I’ve heard that I can use
my smartphone with my
TV. Can you explain?
A: Depending on what model
of smartphone and TV you
have, you can access all of your
smartphone’s media—such as
videos, photos and games—on
your big-screen television.
In some cases, you’ll need a
cable (such as HDMI) to connect
the smartphone to the television,
but many “smart TVs” let you wire-
lessly push content from your nearby
smartphone to the television. There are
a few different technologies that can
facilitate this, such as DLNA, discussed in a
previous Tech Connection column.
While most solutions require a
Wi-Fi network, the latest smart TVs
offer a direct Wi-Fi connection with
compatible smartphones and tablets. Therefore, they don’t need a
wireless network at all.
The latest Samsung TVs also
offer screen mirroring, which is
even better than DLNA. Whatever
you do with the smartphone or tablet on your lap, such as browsing the
Web, flicking through photos, reading
email or watching video shot on your phone, is
mirrored on the big screen in front of you, in real
time. (I’ve tested it using a Galaxy S4 smartphone,
Galaxy camera and Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet.)
I would be remiss not to mention that many
smartphones and tablets today—especially Android
devices—have an integrated IR (infrared) blaster,
allowing you to use your smartphone as a universal
remote to control your TV, cable or satellite box,
Blu-ray Disc player and more. I like turning my tablet into a home theatre command centre of sorts.
Some phones also let you download electronic
program guides, so you can see what’s on TV, browse
the listings, record a show and so on, based on your
television provider and the city you’re in. C