Printer woes…and boat anchors!

I have this nice printer in my home office. It’s all black and dark greys and has this nice little red diamond in the logo. (Printer company name withheld to protect…well…someone!) And it’s one of the printers “recommended” by my company for use in a home office. The only problem is that it is about as useful in my office as a boat anchor…and actually less so since it weighs almost nothing.

Ever since I got this piece of home office equipment, I have had nothing but problems. Although being a colour ink jet printer, it will only print colour on the test pages. If I send a colour document to it, it will just ignore the colour. Perhaps I should just use coloured paper! And, by the way, I do use branded ink cartridge from the manufacturer in the printer, so there should be no question of compatibility.

But I think the worst problem (I don’t really need colour for business-related stuff…) is that it will not print if the monitoring application is not started! If, for some reason, I forget to start the “<insert brand name here> Solution Center”, then the print job will just sit in the queue, not printing, and not even being cancellable. It now has a hold on printing and there is nothing I can do but reboot!

I just wanted a quick one page printout to take with me to a partner meeting and now I have to reboot!?!

Even though this is one of the “recommended” printers and even though I can get the ink cartridge for it through work, I do not think it will last very long…

Anyone wants a cheap boat anchor?

Pop goes the Palm!

Aaarrgh!

This is not going to be a good day… My office is also a spare bedroom and we had visitors over the weekend, so I reset my workspace to start work this morning. Connected the ThinkPad – no problem. Took out the Palm Tungsten E2 that has been my PDA of choice for the last few years, pressed the calendar to turn it on to look at my schedule while the TP was booting and got a strange screen. So I reset it and it came back up to the preference page. So I pressed the calendar button again only to hear a POP followed by a slowly fading image of the screen content…

And that was it. I could not restart it. Tried to disconnect can reconnect the battery. Tried with and without power. This time, it is toast. RIP.

I have been relying on Palm-based devices since the PalmPilot Personal, years ago. I am mostly relying on it for calendar entries and as an address book, but also as a general reference tool. Luckily, I make backups of everything on every sync, so I did not lose anything. But I still need the device! Or, at least, a device…

I do want to stay with electronic devices as I feel there are significant advantages to the usage I make of them. One thing for sure, I will not be getting another Palm Tungsten E2 as I have had nothing but problems with that model. So I am now turning to the community: What should I be getting next? What have you used that you find useful?

I want one of these…

OK. I’ll admit I’m a big Dr. Who fan*. That’s why I think I need this for my computer. It would certainly look better than the one I currently have and the sound would be neat!


*   Even though we get the new episodes in Canada two years after they are broadcasts in the UK – if we’re lucky – and don’t get me started on Torchwood…

Second Life – I guess the first is enough…

Given all this talk in the various IBM internal blogs regarding this Second Life phenomena, I decided to go ahead and give it a try – or at least try…

So I went over to the Second Life web site and registered for an account. That was easy enough and I did get one. I then proceeded to download the software. I did check the requirements and my home PC did not meet them, but I thought I’d give it a try. Well, no surprise, it didn’t work. Not even slowly.

So I tried the install on my work T42p. The installation process did not complain this time and I was able to start the software – only for it to be slower than swimming through molasse in winter. The bottom line is that I now have a Second Life, but no way of living it.

Actually, my first life sometimes feels like that too…

I guess I have to get a new graphics card. Now to convince “She Who Must Be Obeyed” of the necessity…