Tech Tips: Printer Problems and VPN Ideas

By Chuck Linebaugh of O'Hagan, Smith & Amundsen

IT Guy, I have an older HP 6L Laser printer that continuously pulls more than one sheet of paper. Before this problem began the printer worked perfectly, and I was very happy with the print speed and quality. Is there a cheaper alternative to buying a new laser printer? If not, do you have any suggestions on where I can recycle this printer?


Dear reader, I recently had a very similar problem on a HP 4 Laser printer that was continuously jamming. Typically, the problem is worn rollers and guide pads if jamming occurs or if multiple pages are being pulled. I found a supplier that offers repair parts and replacement instruction, and spent less than an hour making the replacement with the aid of the instructional video. The kits are moderately priced and can be found at

Dear IT Guy, I am a Network Administrator for a mid-sized law firm, and I have been given the project of setting up home VPN connections for our attorneys. Do you have any suggestions that would help me be successful in this endeavor?

Getting a VPN program in place can be quite a challenge. We originally had a small pilot group with the initial users being located close to the office for testing and onsite modifications. From our early VPN days, we have worked to develop a VPN policy that explains the security concerns and the responsibility of the attorney once the VPN has been installed. We generally try to guide the attorney into a DSL broadband solution since the speeds are generally more stable. Cable broadband seems to get higher throughput at times when there aren't many users on, but when there are a lot of people using the cable connection, speeds seem to greatly diminish. Unfortunately this slow down seems to be at the time when attorneys want to access the office network.

Setting an IS policy of requiring the attorney to purchase their own home Firewall and having a home PC minimum OS standard have also added to our success. The final advice I can share is to define who will be making the at home installations and try to make the installation as easy and convenient as possible. This includes having your Firewall specialist available during the installation to troubleshoot any problems during the install.

Tips courtesy of Chuck Linebaugh of O'Hagan, Smith & Amundsen.