danagryphon: (writing)
So in the last week, I've gotten both the Kindle Fire HD AND my first smartphone. One of the things that has made me resistant to getting a smart phone is that I'm easily intimidated by new technology (snort... yeah, I know. WTF is an MIT nerd doing being a technophobe??? My only excuse is 'hey, I'm a biologist.'). But since I needed to learn the Android OS for the Fire anyway, I might as well go all-in and do the phone too. Also, I got a plan on the phone that will give me a mobile hotspot, which will come in handy for the Fire on the train, and in case I need to go to my Dad's house again for an extended stay (he doesn't have internet).

Funny story, the mobile hotspot wouldn't activate properly, so I had to call Verizon. Turns out it was something on their end, with a block that had been put on the phone that shouldn't. But the tech actually complimented me that for someone who had only had their first smartphone for 2 days, I was very adept at "speaking the language". HAHAHAH.

Anyway, an added side bonus to all this steep learning is that I'm also getting more familiar with my new PC that hubby got me for Xmas, running Windows 8, which is annoyingly cleverly designed to mimic Android/app technology.

After getting very frustrated trying to transfer tons of data from my work Mac to my home PC via various clouds, I also sprang for a couple of high capacity flash drives, which will also let me store some stuff I don't access regularly (like about 15GB of eBook files and about 80GB of music and video.

The only other frustration I've run into so far is that I can't seem to get my non-Amazon ebook files (MOBI) to show up properly on the Fire. It keeps sticking them in Docs instead of Books. Although honestly, I'm not that worried about it, because I'm keeping my Kindle Touch as my primary reading tool. The e-Ink/paperwhite technology is SO much easier on the eyes than the backlit Fire screen. Oh, and I need to see if there is a way to keep E's Fire from accessing the Amazon Cloud that is unfortunately linked to both our Fires. There is no reason for him to access any of that information. I'm hoping there is a way, but I haven't had any time yet to put into investigating it.

Using the Fire for writing is impacting the way I organize files for my stories. I do find that the app I am using (OliveOffice) does sometimes screw with text, so I'm breaking big stories up into smaller files for each chapter, instead of one big long file for the entire story. And then I'm copying what I've written back over to the cloud or my PC every day or two. And when the story is done, I'll reassemble it on the PC and fix any formatting (mostly page breaks). So that is not a big inconvenience, especially since I have taken to posting longer stories a chapter at a time on the usual fanfic sites. The only other things I miss are the thesaurus and spell-check in MSWord, but 1) I can spell check when copying back to PC and 2) losing the thesaurus may not be a bad thing either, and if I really need it, can fix word choices in editing. All in all, I'm finding the writing experience pretty good, and I'm hoping it will boost my productivity.

I got this cool little shoulder bag that nicely fits both Kindles and a couple of accessories, with enough room for a couple of other commuting essentials (tissues, gum, pens, a paper calendar book). M called it a purse (which I suppose it really is), but to it's my commuting bag as far as I'm concerned (I don't carry a purse, and my wallet lives in my pocket).

Anyway, the only drawback to all this stuff is that it sucks power like a Hoover, and it all needs to be recharged pretty much every day, unlike my Kindle Touch which can go for weeks between charging. Which does mean that it won't be very useful for longer term trips without electricity (i.e. weekend camping, or a week at Pennsic or scout camp), but that may be a good thing. A person should have a forced unplugging every now and then.
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
And I don't mean the rhino kind.

My laptop is infected. Big time. (This comes to you from my work computer.)

I've got Norton, SpyDoctor, and a couple of other programs running to try to clean it up, but they aren't catching everything. Something keeps trying to open Internet Explorer (but at least SpyDoctor is blocking that). I have a feeling I'm going to have to take it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy to get it cleaned up completely.

Anyone have any experience with them? Or suggestions besides seppaku?
danagryphon: (Cluebat)
And I don't mean the rhino kind.

My laptop is infected. Big time. (This comes to you from my work computer.)

I've got Norton, SpyDoctor, and a couple of other programs running to try to clean it up, but they aren't catching everything. Something keeps trying to open Internet Explorer (but at least SpyDoctor is blocking that). I have a feeling I'm going to have to take it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy to get it cleaned up completely.

Anyone have any experience with them? Or suggestions besides seppaku?
danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
My new AIO 4280 rocks. It scans, it copies, it prints photos, it prints b&w, it prints color. Even better, it prints both b&w and color wicked fast compared to my old printers, even to the Laserjet 5P, which has a rapid-fire speed of 6 ppm that was impressive way back when. The new printer can do up to 30 ppm in b&w, 23 ppm in color. I haven't actually tried printing photos with it yet, since I need to get a special cartidge that didn't come with to do that, so I can't really comment firsthand on the awesomeness of photos, but since that is what it is primarily billed as, I will assume its awesomeness for now.

B has to do a mini-poster project for science on natural selection for Friday. I'm actually looking forward to being able to print out all sorts of nifty color images for him to use. And this year's science fair display is just going to rock.

Not to mention all the cool stuff I can do for the Cub Scouts now. Time to whip out all that desktop publishing paper stock I have and put some of it to good use. The only thing I need to check out is how well it handles cardstock. It doesn't seem to have a straight-line printing path, but hopefully if it's designed to handle photopaper, it should handle cardstock without choking. Anybody want some parchment-looking business cards?
danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
My new AIO 4280 rocks. It scans, it copies, it prints photos, it prints b&w, it prints color. Even better, it prints both b&w and color wicked fast compared to my old printers, even to the Laserjet 5P, which has a rapid-fire speed of 6 ppm that was impressive way back when. The new printer can do up to 30 ppm in b&w, 23 ppm in color. I haven't actually tried printing photos with it yet, since I need to get a special cartidge that didn't come with to do that, so I can't really comment firsthand on the awesomeness of photos, but since that is what it is primarily billed as, I will assume its awesomeness for now.

B has to do a mini-poster project for science on natural selection for Friday. I'm actually looking forward to being able to print out all sorts of nifty color images for him to use. And this year's science fair display is just going to rock.

Not to mention all the cool stuff I can do for the Cub Scouts now. Time to whip out all that desktop publishing paper stock I have and put some of it to good use. The only thing I need to check out is how well it handles cardstock. It doesn't seem to have a straight-line printing path, but hopefully if it's designed to handle photopaper, it should handle cardstock without choking. Anybody want some parchment-looking business cards?
danagryphon: (Celtic Gryphon)
If anyone is interested, or knows of anyone interested in a free doorstop inkjet printer, I have two. Neither is functioning at the moment. There is an HP3820 which doesn't want to recognize that there are actually print cartridges in it, and an ancient HP660C that won't turn on (but the last time it did turn on, it printed just fine). Both are free to anyone more ambitious than I who would like to either try to make them functional again or use them for spare parts. Or as hockey pucks. Whichever.

Similarly, I now have several fairly new (i.e. full) printer cartridges that are looking for good homes. The cartridges for the new printer are, of course, completely different than any of the cartridges used by any of my other printers. They are:  HP29 (black for the 660), HP 49 (color for the 660), HP15 (black for the 3820) and HP78 (color for the 3820). I might have two of the HP29. Or if anyone knows of a clever way to transfer ink from a mostly full but incompatable cartridge to the compatable cartridges, I would love to hear it.

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, and drop me a line if you have any interest or other useful comments.
danagryphon: (Celtic Gryphon)
If anyone is interested, or knows of anyone interested in a free doorstop inkjet printer, I have two. Neither is functioning at the moment. There is an HP3820 which doesn't want to recognize that there are actually print cartridges in it, and an ancient HP660C that won't turn on (but the last time it did turn on, it printed just fine). Both are free to anyone more ambitious than I who would like to either try to make them functional again or use them for spare parts. Or as hockey pucks. Whichever.

Similarly, I now have several fairly new (i.e. full) printer cartridges that are looking for good homes. The cartridges for the new printer are, of course, completely different than any of the cartridges used by any of my other printers. They are:  HP29 (black for the 660), HP 49 (color for the 660), HP15 (black for the 3820) and HP78 (color for the 3820). I might have two of the HP29. Or if anyone knows of a clever way to transfer ink from a mostly full but incompatable cartridge to the compatable cartridges, I would love to hear it.

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, and drop me a line if you have any interest or other useful comments.
danagryphon: (Greenman)
Well, I found a place online that had the HP 4280 AIO printer on sale for the same price as the 4180. The 4280 is about 50% faster than the 4180, and has the capability to print photos in 6 color ink, up to 8x10. Basically, it's a little higher end than the 4180, and if I can get it for the same price, why not. It was $80, with no tax and free shipping from this place.

I'm still going to keep the 5P LaserJet for now, since it is functioning, just putting faint black lines across the page. But there are certain desktop publishing functions I can only do with a laser printer. But being an AIO, the 4280 will let me get rid of 2 non-functioning deskjets plus a really old scanner that I haven't even had room to hook up, and who knows if it would even be compatable with the system I have now.

And have I mentioned how happy I am that I got my Epson PictureMate to work properly? It's definitely going to be worth keeping since most of the time I am happy printing just 4 x 6 photos, and it is ridiculously portable, and more economical for printing photos than even the 4280. But it will be nice to have the ability to print larger photo sizes like 5x7 or 8x10 if I want to.
danagryphon: (Greenman)
Well, I found a place online that had the HP 4280 AIO printer on sale for the same price as the 4180. The 4280 is about 50% faster than the 4180, and has the capability to print photos in 6 color ink, up to 8x10. Basically, it's a little higher end than the 4180, and if I can get it for the same price, why not. It was $80, with no tax and free shipping from this place.

I'm still going to keep the 5P LaserJet for now, since it is functioning, just putting faint black lines across the page. But there are certain desktop publishing functions I can only do with a laser printer. But being an AIO, the 4280 will let me get rid of 2 non-functioning deskjets plus a really old scanner that I haven't even had room to hook up, and who knows if it would even be compatable with the system I have now.

And have I mentioned how happy I am that I got my Epson PictureMate to work properly? It's definitely going to be worth keeping since most of the time I am happy printing just 4 x 6 photos, and it is ridiculously portable, and more economical for printing photos than even the 4280. But it will be nice to have the ability to print larger photo sizes like 5x7 or 8x10 if I want to.
danagryphon: (Mal)

Well, after burning dinner because I was helping B print out materials for the research paper that he got assigned today, something finally went right.

I went to the Epson website and found their troubleshooting guide for the PictureMate. After printing a nozzle check sheet, and finding out that one of the ink colors (magenta) wasn't printing, it suggested running the "clean print head" function. And it worked! One printer fixed, 3 more to...er... go. Yes, they will definitely go.

And yes, the Epson was still under warranty, it's good for 1 year. And since it was bought with my bday money, I know it was at least March of last year, maybe even April.

W00t!

So, this all started when we were trying to print out a nice portrait of Fuzzy; I bought a stocking holder that says "my cat" and has an opening for a pic. Now Fuzzy will have a stocking holder for next year.

danagryphon: (Mal)

Well, after burning dinner because I was helping B print out materials for the research paper that he got assigned today, something finally went right.

I went to the Epson website and found their troubleshooting guide for the PictureMate. After printing a nozzle check sheet, and finding out that one of the ink colors (magenta) wasn't printing, it suggested running the "clean print head" function. And it worked! One printer fixed, 3 more to...er... go. Yes, they will definitely go.

And yes, the Epson was still under warranty, it's good for 1 year. And since it was bought with my bday money, I know it was at least March of last year, maybe even April.

W00t!

So, this all started when we were trying to print out a nice portrait of Fuzzy; I bought a stocking holder that says "my cat" and has an opening for a pic. Now Fuzzy will have a stocking holder for next year.

danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
After consulting with my mega-geek ex, I've decided that I'm going to ditch the laser printer and the two inkjets in favor of an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/photo printer. I can get an HP one for about $80, and he seems to think it would cost at least that much to even figure out what was wrong with the others, given their age.

I'm considering one of these:
HP Deskjet F4180

HP Photosmart C4280

I'd still like to figure out what's up with the Epson (not a Kodak as I had thought earlier) photo printer, though, since it is less than a year old. Hopefully still under warranty. It would be nice to have a portable printer just for photos.
danagryphon: (Gryph Avatar)
After consulting with my mega-geek ex, I've decided that I'm going to ditch the laser printer and the two inkjets in favor of an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/photo printer. I can get an HP one for about $80, and he seems to think it would cost at least that much to even figure out what was wrong with the others, given their age.

I'm considering one of these:
HP Deskjet F4180

HP Photosmart C4280

I'd still like to figure out what's up with the Epson (not a Kodak as I had thought earlier) photo printer, though, since it is less than a year old. Hopefully still under warranty. It would be nice to have a portable printer just for photos.
danagryphon: (House Face)
Ok, there is some weird shit going on at our house with electronics.

Shortly before vacation, our laser printer (HP 5P) started developing big black lines across the page. Ok, so there is scratch on the cylinder of the toner cartridge, I've had this happen once before. It sucks because the cartridge is only about 6 months old, and normally a cartridge will last me about 5 years, and they are about $80 a piece. So I went and got a new cartridge before I went on vacation, put it in, and arg, the lines are still there. Much fainter, but still there.

Since the laser printer was on the fritz, we tried using the inkjet (HP 3820). It told us that there were no ink cartridges in it, which there most definitely were. Ok, I have no idea how to even begin trying to fix that one.

So I tried the old standby, the old inkjet (HP 660C) as a backup. It won't even turn on. It was working find the last time I used it, which was about a year ago, but nothing has happened to it in the meantime to cause it to do this.

So I go away to PA convinced that all electronics hate me, and unsure what to do about either of the inkjets.

The other printer in the house is a Epson PictureMate photo printer. M and I got a new digital camera from his parents for Christmas, and he wanted to print out a couple of the photos he's been taking. So we fire up the photo printer. I last used it just before the Crossroads event to print out pics of my leatherwork, and it printed fine. Now it is giving everything except bright red objects a greenish tint. Ok, I think, the print cartridge is reaching the end of it's life and one of the ink colors ran out, so I change the print cartridge (a new one comes with each pack of paper). Nope, still green. So it is fubar, too.

Basically, that makes 4 printers in the house that have all gone south in less than a month, all with different problems. The photo printer is the most annoying one, because it is less than a year old. I'm going to have to dig out the paperwork this weekend and check the warranty. Hopefully there is a tech line I can call, and it is something that is easy to reset. Otherwise, I am going to be pissed.

The other 3 printers are all fairly old (especially the 5P and 660C), but should still work fine. I'm trying to decide if doing anything more with them is throwing good money after bad, and whether I should just ditch them all and get something new, maybe one of the "all-in-one" things that does printing, scanning, and photos. It would certainly save us room to have one machine instead of 4 (laser, inkjet, photo printer and scanner). I would probably still keep the Epson printer, assuming I can get it fixed, just because it is so portable if all I want to do is be able to print 4 x 6 photos. There is currently an HP all-in-one available for about $80, which is what I just paid for a new laser toner cartridge.

But just more evidence that despite being an MIT nerd, I am cursed when it comes to electronics.
danagryphon: (House Face)
Ok, there is some weird shit going on at our house with electronics.

Shortly before vacation, our laser printer (HP 5P) started developing big black lines across the page. Ok, so there is scratch on the cylinder of the toner cartridge, I've had this happen once before. It sucks because the cartridge is only about 6 months old, and normally a cartridge will last me about 5 years, and they are about $80 a piece. So I went and got a new cartridge before I went on vacation, put it in, and arg, the lines are still there. Much fainter, but still there.

Since the laser printer was on the fritz, we tried using the inkjet (HP 3820). It told us that there were no ink cartridges in it, which there most definitely were. Ok, I have no idea how to even begin trying to fix that one.

So I tried the old standby, the old inkjet (HP 660C) as a backup. It won't even turn on. It was working find the last time I used it, which was about a year ago, but nothing has happened to it in the meantime to cause it to do this.

So I go away to PA convinced that all electronics hate me, and unsure what to do about either of the inkjets.

The other printer in the house is a Epson PictureMate photo printer. M and I got a new digital camera from his parents for Christmas, and he wanted to print out a couple of the photos he's been taking. So we fire up the photo printer. I last used it just before the Crossroads event to print out pics of my leatherwork, and it printed fine. Now it is giving everything except bright red objects a greenish tint. Ok, I think, the print cartridge is reaching the end of it's life and one of the ink colors ran out, so I change the print cartridge (a new one comes with each pack of paper). Nope, still green. So it is fubar, too.

Basically, that makes 4 printers in the house that have all gone south in less than a month, all with different problems. The photo printer is the most annoying one, because it is less than a year old. I'm going to have to dig out the paperwork this weekend and check the warranty. Hopefully there is a tech line I can call, and it is something that is easy to reset. Otherwise, I am going to be pissed.

The other 3 printers are all fairly old (especially the 5P and 660C), but should still work fine. I'm trying to decide if doing anything more with them is throwing good money after bad, and whether I should just ditch them all and get something new, maybe one of the "all-in-one" things that does printing, scanning, and photos. It would certainly save us room to have one machine instead of 4 (laser, inkjet, photo printer and scanner). I would probably still keep the Epson printer, assuming I can get it fixed, just because it is so portable if all I want to do is be able to print 4 x 6 photos. There is currently an HP all-in-one available for about $80, which is what I just paid for a new laser toner cartridge.

But just more evidence that despite being an MIT nerd, I am cursed when it comes to electronics.

December 2015

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