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Summary:

Printers sure have come a long way since my first one (an Okidata Okimate for you trivia buffs): they have more features and functions, double as memory card readers and can even run on batteries for mobile printing. What if the next printer innovation wasn’t an […]

Printer_anywherePrinters sure have come a long way since my first one (an Okidata Okimate for you trivia buffs): they have more features and functions, double as memory card readers and can even run on batteries for mobile printing. What if the next printer innovation wasn’t an actual hardware innovation? Instead, what if you could use software to print to a printer that your buddy or business partner decided to share on the other side of the world? You can do just that for free with Printer Anywhere.

I stumbled across this free application beta in this month’s PC World print magazine and it’s a gem. "With PrinterAnywhere you can print documents and photos on other people’s printers as easily as on the local one connected to your machine. No special technical knowledge is required from both – printer owner and user. It just works!"

Any artifact you can print locally on a printer can be printed on another printer with Printer Anywhere. The application doesn’t allow for the print files to be electronically forwarded and it encrypts the print jobs, so it’s perfect for sending confidential or documents you’ve signed on a Tablet PC or UMPC. The free download requires Microsoft Windows XP and an Internet connection. I was going to try this, but I don’t have a Printer Anywhere buddy just yet. Hmmm…same goes for my Zune, so I can’t "squirt" music or printed pages just yet.

Howitworks_printer_anywhere

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  1. Print to Your Printer From Anywhere Monday, December 11, 2006
  2. Specialty Batteries Monday, December 11, 2006
  3. Free Laptop Programs Monday, December 11, 2006
  4. Free Family Contact Cards Monday, December 11, 2006
  5. Poor Kevin. He has no “buddies”.

    Well, I’ll be your buddy Kevin. I have a Zune, and would love to play with the printer thing.

    See you at CES, and I’ll share a bit of my ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Buffet and James Taylor with you (yeah, I know, my tastes in music are a little eclectic). Eric Clapton is my specialty. I prefer to just call the sharing process “sharing”. The whole squirt terminology just sounds a little weird to me, I have no urge to have anyone “squirt” me! :)

  6. You may not think have a buddy, but you do (you can be your own best friend). I use printer anywhere on my laptop and the family desktop. That way if i’m out in the kitchen using the laptop, I can send the print job via wifi and have it print out on the printer in the living room (makes a virtual wireless print server). Works great.
    Bob

  7. Demetri Poulos Monday, December 11, 2006

    I use Cute PDF on my computers and print many things as a PDF. It is free and makes it easy to share “electronic prints” with virtually anyone. Plus it is one step closer to being less paper oriented.

  8. I’ve been playing around with this at home and it is a great virtual print server, Bob. This thing rocks! Good find Kevin.

  9. I couldn’t get this to work. Various steps hung the computer, including uninstalling. I finally got rid of it by reinstalling and then uninstalling successfully.

    It sounds like this will be a good service once someone gets the bugs out of it.

    The Web site gives no indication of what business model is being used for this free service.

  10. It Works great long distance too. I live in MA and recently had to go to MN on business. I printed a letter to my wife on the home printer using printer anywhere. She was just a little freaked when a letter started printed across the room when no one was near the computer.

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