Q: My wife and I have homes on Bainbridge Island and in Southern California, the latter being the one we flee to when Pacific Northwest skies turn leaden.

We each take our laptops (a Mac and a Dell Windows) back and forth, and we have printers at each location: an HP Envy Photo 7858 here on the island and an Epson WF-3620 in California. Both use ink cartridges.

We have experienced printing problems at each location, at least partly because of not using the printing function all that much and the ink drying. I have tried several remedies, but none has seemed to work all that well or for very long.

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I’m thinking that an answer might be to buy one top-rated non-cartridge ink-tank model, or a color laser, and take it back and forth with us. (We drive between the two locations, and this should not be an issue.) It also seems as though this might be nice from the standpoint of each computer only needing to tie into one printer, albeit in each of two locations.

Granted, I would need to reestablish the one printer at each location every time we moved, but I don’t see that as a big issue. Might this be a good solution?


Carl Grimes

A: I’m living a life much like yours. My wife has children and grandchildren in New Orleans so we have a house there and a place on Bainbridge Island, where my son and his wife live.

And yes, I have printers in both locations. If you don’t print with an inkjet printer roughly once a month it’s possible for the print head to get clogged. And the print head is the most expensive part of an inkjet printer.

And laserjets can have similar issues with caking toner.

Yes, if I was within reasonable driving distance of our other place, I’d just take the printer with me.

Still, you may want to consider that many of the latest-generation printers have software that allows you to print remotely over the internet. That’s a simple and affordable solution.

Unfortunately, my Epson SureColor P800, which I use to print high-quality art prints, doesn’t have that capability. So I have to keep it and a connected computer running all the time then connect to it remotely using TeamViewer. Of course, if the power goes out I have to get someone to go over to the house and restart everything.

Historical note: Until December 2020, Google offered the free Google Cloud Print, which did just what you want. You could connect to a remote printer and keep those inks flowing through the print head. I was disappointed to see that service disappear.


Q: I am using a Samsung Galaxy A20 smartphone with Consumer Cellular. My phone does not have the ability to read QR codes and I am looking for a recommended app that will allow it to do just that. Can you recommend one?

Fred Rowe

A: Actually, the Samsung Galaxy A20 can scan QR codes without installing anything. You can find details here: samsung.com/ph/support/mobile-devices/how-to-scan-a-qr-code-on-galaxy-device/

If you want more choices, go to the Google Play site and search for “QR scanner.” You’ll find lots of free apps to choose from. I haven’t reviewed them so I can’t make a recommendation but you will find user ratings.


Q: I have Microsoft Office 2010 installed on a desktop PC purchased in 2011. I would like to purchase and install the same version of Office on a laptop but since Microsoft has stopped shipping or supporting Office 2010 I can find no way to do this. Have you any suggestions on how this might be accomplished?

Thanks for your help.

Bill Fly

A: Actually, you can still buy Office 2010 online. I found all versions of the suite for sale at softwarekeep.com.

That said, I don’t recommend installing software that is no longer supported since there may be security vulnerabilities that are no longer being patched.