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Two Firewalls Are Sometimes Better Than One; Forcing an HP Printer to Print in Gray

Sunday, April 10, 2005; Page F07

You recently advised people to run only one firewall at a time, but what about backing up my WiFi router's firewall with a software firewall on my PC?

While I don't recommend running multiple firewalls on the same computer, it does make sense to have a firewall on each machine at home, plus one on the router that links them all with the Internet.

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That adds an extra layer of security and increases your home network's utility. Here's how: Set your wireless router to block all non-legitimate traffic, then, inside that perimeter, you can safely set each computer's firewall software to allow more communication on your home network. At home, for example, the firewall programs on my computers allow file and printer sharing, but the WiFi router tying them together blocks any such communication over the Internet.

The one trick with this kind of setup is remembering to raise the firewall shield on each computer when you take it outside your home.

How can I print a color original in black and white to save the color ink in my HP PSC 1200 printer-scanner-copier? I can't figure out how to tell this printer to use only the black-ink cartridge.

As a note on Hewlett-Packard's Web site explains, this printer and two others "do not have a grayscale option in the print driver" -- so you'll have to remove the color cartridge to force a black-and-white printout of a color subject.

Even on other HP printer-scanner models, the option to request black-and-white output can be easy to overlook. It, with other choices, hides behind a "Properties" button in the print dialog box. That's the wrong word: "Properties" are usually fixed characteristics you can't change, only inspect. If that button read "Options" or "Settings," its function would be more obvious.

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or rob@twp.com.

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