Monday 7 May 2012

Setup Secrets for Canon Printers

I finally decided to abandon my 5 year old Canon inkjet printer (and my even older separate Canon flatbed scanner) and move up to an All-in-One (AIO) model. For me, this meant getting a model without a fax capability. I never fax and didn’t want to waste money on unneeded hardware that would unnecessarily complicate the machine.

Instead, I wanted the absolute best combination of photo printer and scanner/copier that I could find. I settled on the new Canon MP990. So far, I’ve been very happy with it. It’s fast, photos are sharp and accurate, and scanning quality appears excellent. Perhaps my biggest surprise was to discover how much Canon’s application software has improved since my prior printer and scanner purchases. For example, Canon’s MP Navigator EX scanner software includes an OCR feature. In my brief testing, it converted a page of plain text into an editable TextEdit document with amazing speed and accuracy. The more I explore what this AIO can do, the more cool features I uncover.

In my decision making, there was one more significant advantage of the Canon MP990 over many other models I considered: I could connect the MP990 via Ethernet (in addition to USB or Wi-Fi). This meant I could share the MP990 to all the Macs on my local network via the Ethernet port on my AirPort Extreme Base Station. A critical point here is that both the printer and scanner components of the MP990 can be accessed from my Mac via this Ethernet setup. If I instead connected the MP990 to the USB port on the AirPort Extreme, I would only be able to access to the printer (because the AirPort Extreme does not support scanning over USB).

Is the MP990 the absolute best printer/scanner combo I could have gotten? I don’t know. I didn’t do side-by-side comparisons with all its competitors. I’ll leave that to others. This column is not meant as a review anyway. Rather, I want to alert you to a few setup problems you may have if you too decide to buy this, or a similar recent, Canon AIO.

Are you running Snow Leopard? If you a running Mac OS X 10.6.x, you’ll have a bit of work to do before you can use the printer. First, be sure to install the latest Canon Printer Drivers Update for 10.6, available from Apple. But that’s not enough. Even with the update installed, when you launch the Canon Setup application (from the included CD), you will be greeted with this message:

Any Kind of Canon Printer Problems Call Us 
+1-855-517-2433 (Toll Free)

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