In my previous post Frankensteining PC to Chromebook, I talked about converting an old crashed i7 PC into a low-budget, but high performance, DIY Chromebook for my daughter. During the past month, she has been power using it for her school work while the learn-from-home trend continues here in Ontario. Similarly, the kindergartner has been making the max out of the cheap Chromebook I had assigned him for his homework. So, I might be excused for feeling quite pleased with my budget-friendly solution to the Chromebook challenge – or so I thought, until they wanted to print!
If you are a Chromebook user, you would know that it is next to impossible to print with the damn thing unless you have a WiFi enabled/Cloud-ready printer. Chrome OS had no support for wired printing when I first bought my Chromebook a few years back. However, they have now added support for a few wired printers, if you are lucky to have a model they support (probably the higher-end ones). I have an old Conon Pixma MG2525, the cheapest I could find on Amazon for CAD29.99, which, maybe not surprisingly, is not supported by Chrome OS. Option one is to fork out over CAD100 to buy a WiFi enabled/cloud-ready printer so that the kids can print from their Chromebooks and option two is to figure out how I can Frankenstein my sub $30 crappy printer (after digging it up from the garage) to work with Chrome OS – I chose OPTION TWO.
Here’s how I did it:
- I connected and installed the printer on my Windows PC using the USB cable (yes, I use a Windows PC at home for my “grown-up” work)
- I setup the printer on Google Cloud Print from the PC it was connected to. I used my wife’s Google credentials to setup the printer on Cloud Print – await explanation.
- And that’s it!
Now whenever my kids want to print from their Chromebooks:
- Press Ctrl + P.
- Select the Destination drop down.
- Select See more…
- Call Mom!
- Mom comes and selects her Google profile from the Showing destination for drop down.
- Logs in with her credentials – refer to point 2 above. This is to save me the headache of kids disturbing me all the time to print stuff for them. Also for security reasons so that kids don’t print all the stuff they find on the internet.
- Selects the Canon printer which was setup on Cloud Print.
- Hits Print.
- And that’s it!
Now the Chromebooks can print whatever from wherever as long as:
- Mom is in a good mood!
- They are connected to the internet.
- My PC and Printer are switched on – which are most of the time.
BTW, now that it is cloud ready, you can pretty much print on it from any computer connected to the internet through a Chrome browser. No fuss wireless/cloud printing using a crappy sub $30 wired printer which was dug up from a box in the garage. Not bad – if I do say so myself 🙂