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Technology Untangled: easy printing from phone or tablet

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technology-bourThese days I find that many tasks that I used to use my computer for are now accomplished with my smartphone or my tablet. The one task that has been a problem is printing. I recently needed to print an email I received on my phone and discovered a process to print directly from the phone to a Wi-Fi enabled printer. Here we will investigate how to set up your phone or tablet for printing.

Printing from a computer has always been a rather straightforward and matter-of-fact function. Simply choose File/Print and produce a hard copy. For all the variety of functionality that today’s phones and tablets offer, printing is not a built-in function; I can’t understand why. The standard work-around for this shortcoming is to email the file or document to yourself as an attachment, and then print it the next time you are in front of the computer. My need to print something presented itself on an evening where my laptop already was packed away, but my Wi-Fi printer was at the ready, as always, on the desk of the home office.

I searched for an Android printing app on the Google Play Store and found PrinterShare Mobile Print by Mobile Dynamix. Now, usually I like to try free offerings first, and there were a number of them that offered varying degrees of functionality, but none of them were as comprehensive and useful as this $12.95 paid application. Study of user comments and Web articles made it clear that PrinterShare was worth the relatively high fee. Specifically, this was the only application I found that made it easy to print email messages. It also allows for useful printing of other types of files, which I will discuss below. The PrinterShare app includes a version that is supposed to work with Apple’s iPhone and iPad, but I suspect there may be better, similar Apple-specific printing applications that would be worth a try, too. This review only covers the Android application.

Be aware that the “free” version of this application displayed at the app store is not really free. All it does is allow you to test the functionality of the program with your printer by printing a test page. Compatible printers include many HP, Epson, Canon, Brother and Samsung models. However, to do any useful printing, you must purchase the premium key version. The easiest method of printing with PrinterShare is directly to a Wi-Fi enabled printer on your local network. A Wi-Fi printer is a wonderful addition to your office or home office if you don’t already have one. It facilitates printing from any computer, and now phone, that communicates with your network router.

Once installed, you enable Wi-Fi communication to your network from your phone or tablet and then select your network printer, which should appear on the list. If you don’t have a Wi-Fi printer, there are other connection methods including through Bluetooth, through other computers on your network that have attached printers, and through Google Cloud Print. These methods are a bit more complicated but still can be accomplished by carefully following the instructions.

Email printing worked well, with one important limitation. You can only print messages from Google Gmail accounts. There is no choice to print from other types of POP email accounts that you might access with your phone. The workaround is simple enough. Just forward the message you want to print to the Gmail account of your device. To print email attachments, click on the attachment paper clip icon and choose “Preview,” then complete the action using PrinterShare. PrinterShare also allows printing of other important information from your phone, specifically entire strings of text message conversations and complete call logs in chronological order. These types of printouts could be very useful for many sorts of legal matters. Other printing choices include calendar, contacts, Web pages, Google Docs, documents (such as .pdf, .txt, .doc) and pictures.

For many, the main attraction of phone and tablet printing will be primarily for photos captured with the device, plus an occasional document. In that case, there are several good, free applications for specific brands of Wi-Fi printers. Search the Google Play Store using the word “print” and your printer brand. I found that the HP ePrint Home&Biz app did a nice job with photos from my phone. It did not do as well, however, with an MSOffice .doc document. The font and formatting of the printed page was substantially altered from the original during the rendering process.

Perhaps someday soon these mobile devices that we depend on more and more will continue to take on more computer functionality, including conventional printing ability. In the meantime, programs like PrinterShare should serve quite well. For more information, visit printershare.com.•

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Stephen Bour (bourtech@iquest.net) is an engineer and legal technology consultant in Indianapolis. His company, the Alliance for Litigation Support Inc., includes Bour Technical Services and Alliance Court Reporting. Areas of service include legal videography, tape analysis, document scanning to CD and courtroom presentation support. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author.

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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