Tags: prime

03/31/12

  03:27:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1112 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking, Ubuntu, Windows, Printers, Scanner

I got a Brother DCP-7065DN

In a rather impulsive move, I bought a Brother DCP7065DN Monochrome Laser Multi-Function Copier via an Amazon Lightning Deal!

I had been considering getting a new laser printer for a very long time. I had ditched my old Brother HL-630 laser printer about a dozen years ago. This was a crappy printer from the start...with its grey background problem that they never seemed to resolve. Had gotten it from Future Shop of years way gone by....where it had been a special buy for them...so they were selling them really cheap. Kind of like the Canon BJ-5e bubble jet printer I had gotten before.... (It was a BJ-10e, but made cheaper just for them. And, used a special ink cartridge not used by any other model from Canon...at the time. Otherwise, I often wish I still had it....though when I moved from Canada to the US, it became kind of a problem to get ink for.)

So, after the Brother HL-630 was scrapped....I spent a long time thinking about my next laser printer....I was heavily leaning towards getting an HP Laser printer....so it was going to likely take a very long time before I would make a move. And, then I started to lean towards getting a Color Laser Printer.....and then I wanted built-in Duplex. And, having been spoiled by the HP Photosmart 8450xi, it also needed network capability....

There was an HP Color Laser printer that seemed to fit the bill, and it was popping up on sale now and then. But, then I upgraded to Windows 7...and found that not only is my old Photosmart 8450xi no longer fully supported in Windows 7, neither is the HP Color Laser printer that I had been considering.

So, that nixed wanting to jump on it the next time it went on sale. (Sale as in cheaper than it would cost to buy 4 new toner cartridges for it.)

So, the search continued....I started looking at Brother again....in current models, something like the HL-4150CDN or the HL-4570CDWT.... but, then I was introduced to a multifunction printer. Which actually was kind of useful. Being able to scan a document onto a USB drive. And, there's always the once a year or so occasion, where somebody wants me to fax something. I used to have a fax machine...first a dedicated thermal fax type thing, and later a refurbished HP OfficeJet v40xi. A power surge took out my first fax machine...and then a few years later...living in the same apartment still....a power surge took out the HP OfficeJet....

So, I then started to consider printers like the Brother MFC-9560CDW....plus the idea of color copying seemed useful, especially duplex color copying.

Of course, now its getting expensive to start and expensive to keep....

I also had this issue of printing envelopes....a capability I had lost when I upgraded to Windows 7. The Dymo Labelwriter that I had gotten from stamps.com didn't work on Windows 7. And, I didn't really want to buy a new Dymo Labelwriter to keep this capability. Eventually I canceled stamps.com, though still have the occasional postage need....which it would be nice if I could still print postage, etc. Think there are cheaper ways than stamps.com, but probably not from Linux.

But, then last December while visiting my parents...my dad snapped up a Brother HL-2270DW, and this was a pretty decent little printer. It was on sale for the holidays...but it does PCL emulation. I wish I had just gotten one of these for myself then, too.

Instead, I started to reconsider whether I really needed color laser. Around year end...there were things I needed scanned or copied, for things like taxes and FSA...so I was still was still leaning towards getting a multifunction printer of some sort. And, I kind of fell for the Samsung SCX-47xxFN, and then later the Samsung SCX-4828FN (about $400). The 4828FN adding Postscript emulation. I've always wanted a postscript printer....

Though these are still expensive printers. These ones had fax....and I did have to need to send a fax once this year, so far. If I were to leave out fax, it should've been something like the Brother DCP-8085DN (about $350)....which would've had duplex copying, and both PCL and PS emulations.

But, instead the Brother DCP-7065DN showed up as an Amazon Lightning deal for $80 (50% off)....I did a quick google search to see if it work on Linux, and some sites seemed to say it had PCL and PS as well. And, bought it.

Well...apparently its common in the industry to make similar internals/firmware across their product line with different features available or not, etc. And, Brother didn't even bother to remove PCL and PS from the capabilities page that the printer spits out or not advertise the LPD queues for these modes in its network info. But, trying to use the queues is like sending to /dev/null. This particular printer is only GDI (so in someways worse than the HL-2270DW ... currently about $120. And, then there's an HL-2280DW for about $10 more, and adds a scanner....a network scanner would be useful. Though a standalone scanner would be more useful during my situation where my primary desktop is dead.

But, I was able to get the DCP-7065DN working from my Ubuntu server, after following some websites on the subject. Namely..the detail that they only provided 32-bit deb's, and I have a 64-bit Ubuntu Server. I haven't tried the scanning feature, since the printer sits by TARDIS...and I have my Fujitsu ScanSnap S300M working on my Ubuntu server....though not sure if I've gotten the two-sided scanning part to work. So far the bills that I've needed to scan for FSA reimbursement have been one-sided.

But, the DCP-7065DN doesn't have a duplex ADF...so it doesn't provide an alternative. And, my other scanner is a Fujitsu ScanSnap S300! (I bought the Mac only S300M on a Black Friday sale, and back when I used to bring work macbook pro home now and then. Later I got the S300, when I had more FSA money to spend and wanting faster turn around...but wasn't bring the macbook pro home anymore.) A regular flatbed scanner has been on my wishlist...perhaps the DCP-7065DN will satisfy that need. Something to probably check out after I get around to finally upgrading TARDIS.

So, while it was a problem to find that the DCP-7065DN is only a GDI printer...it does currently work from Ubuntu...and sharing it out from my Ubuntu server is interesting. There's no native DCP-7065DN driver in Windows XP, but I just pick some Postscript printer driver...and that worked. And, it looks pretty good (compared to the early days of ghostscript...)

What what I'll do when I finally get around to rebuilding my Windows 7 desktop????

02/04/12

  07:22:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 284 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Travel, Storage

Dropbox offers up to 5GB of free space to anyone willing to go beta -- Engadget

Link: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/03/dropbox-beta-5gb-free-space/

I was just wishing, I had a little bit more space in my dropbox....when I came across this.

This is also gives me the excuse to play around with my new camera lens. An smc Pentax DA 35mm f/2.4 AL.

Wonder if I should still take both lenses with me when I go to Gally?

It does make we wish to add an smc Pentax 70mm f/2.4 DA Limited to my setup as well…. Also wonder if there’s a Pentax K-01 in my future....

Additional note about my new lens....I added the usual filter to it, a B+W 49mm Clear UV Haze and some what unusual, a hood.... 49MM metal lens hood for Pentax.

After which, I learned that a 58mm cap fits the end of the hood nicely....so I bought a Promaster SystemPRO White Balance Lens Cap - 58mm.

But, this then means that the Camera Buckle Lens Cap Holder; for 62, 49 and 40.5mm Lens Cap Sizes that I had gotten wasn't sufficient anymore. Though it never really was, given that one side is blocked with on my strap...so I guess it really worked out that I needed to add another one of Camera Buckle Lens Cap Holder; for 67, 58 and 52mm Lens Cap Sizes to my strap as well.

62mm is the cap size of my Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 lens....which is now the other lens that I'm debating if I should bring on my trip....

Meanwhile...I'm wonder where one finds a lens chamois these days.... Think I at least have a recent lenspen somewhere. Also I discovered that the online storage part of my Eye-Fi cards aren't working....probably has to do with the great password reset at DreamHost.

http://db.tt/8sC6ZtO <-- Bonus .5GB signup link.

12/05/11

  05:22:44 pm, by The Dreamer   , 561 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Travel

Still missing the old days of SLR photography

Incase I forgot to blog about it or haven't even mentioned it....during the summer, I broke down and snapped up a DSLR.

In a strange move, I had gone with a Pentax....specifically the Pentax K-r. A large part of my decision was the ability to use commonly available batteries. Came in handy during my last trip...where I seemed to keep running into the hotel gift shop to buy batteries.

I did finally get around to ordering some extra LiIon batteries and an extra charger for the Pentax K-r, but not sure they'll arrive in time for my next trip. Maybe I've bitten myself by setting my mail hold to start before the trip, rather than the day of the trip....

I haven't done any real shooting with the camera yet, just been walking around home getting a feel for it. One thing I've found, is the autofocus is really slow if live-view is used. (which I guess is well covered online...) So, I guess the real SLR experience is there. Though it does default to having review on...like most digital cameras, so I can do the chimping. &#59;&#68;

Though I usually disable the review function on my digital cameras, especially in situations where I want the least delay between shots...like when I was at Chicago Tardis. So, I'll probably turn it off on the DSLR.

Anyways...the thing I miss...is that they don't sell cameras any more with a 'normal' lense anymore.

It used to be all cameras typically came with a 50mm prime lens...typically an f/1.8 (or better.) Now instead, they come with a simple/slow zoom lens (in my case, a 18mm-55mm f/3.5-5.6). Wishing there was a ~35mm (1.5x) prime lens as the stock.... Since being the standard lens, it would probably be cheap too.

Now, I have a Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens for it...though I'm questioning if that's what I really want to use.

In the old days I had a nice Tamron 35-80mm f/2.8-3.8 zoom lens...though that MF and Nikon (though I don't know if tracking down an adaptall mount for Pentax would get me anything).

Thing is that while I was shooting at Chicago Tardis....I saw there was quite the difference between my Canon Powershot SX120is with its f/2.8-4.3 lens versus my Nikon Coolpix S80 with its f/3.6-4.8 lens.

So kind of wishing for a nice affordable 35mm or 50mm (23.33mm or 33.33m) full frame equivalent prime lens in the f/1.8 or better kind of thing.

Maybe I should've gone with a Nikon DSLR...at least I have the normal lens that came with my first Nikon somewhere still (the later Nikon's were body only.)

Yeah...I primarily shoot in situations of low light and no flashes allowed (though it doesn't stop other people from using flash and ruining shots of mine here and there....) Zoom is nice, but to some extent I can crop better in post. Might want some other size primes though, in case I don't find myself right up close.

Not sure if or when I'll get to getting a hot shoe flash for this camera....

Still working on a case to carry my camera around....miss my old case, but it was bad that I used a lot of duct tape (rather than gaffers tape) back then....and had left a lot taped to it before it went into storage....

Meanwhile, the Lytro camera sounds intriguing...

11/20/11

  12:49:06 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1764 words  
Categories: Stuff, WiFi, Furnishings, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Nintendo 3DS

Kindle Fire -- the first 72 hours

Well, it's been just a touch over 72 hours since I got my Amazon Kindle Fire.

I pre-ordered it shortly after it was announced, with an ETA for November 17th with free 2-day Amazon Prime shipping. I knew there was a chance that they should ship early, because they did that the last time I pre-ordered something (The Kindle 2 and the Nintendo 3DS). But, its been a busy week...and I tried my best to keep my calendar open to receive it....I had an appointment pre-Kindle Fire announcement on the 14th, and I was keeping the 15th open for something that was later scheduled in conflict to the 14th....and ended up having an appointment on the 16th. If I had some notice from Amazon just before they shipped to adjust its timing...I might've...since the 15th being open now...I could've gotten it then. Instead I had to wait for UPS to make a redelivery attempt and bring it to me on the originally scheduled day... November 17th.

I didn't open it immediately when UPS gave it to me, in fact I put it down first and then had to find it before I could open it. It was easy to open...no info with it, but I eventually found the power button and it eventually booted and walked me through setup...though complicated by the fact that I needed to know its MAC address to add it to my radius and dhcp server configs. Plus I hadn't decided on an IP for it yet. Fortunately with radius access controls, its easier to find the MAC address of new devices than before.

It came pre-activated, in fact I had seen it in my kindle account before they shipped it (but no serial number was associated with the registration yet)...but I changed its name to follow the naming scheme I had gone with (if you can call only one previous device the basis of a scheme)...though I am tempted to get a Kindle Touch 3G to succeed my Kindle 2....though wonder if they're going to come out with a DX version? What I liked was that my Kindle Fire's email address was my first Kindle's address with '42' added to the username. &#59;&#68; Though there's a bunch of Kindle apps associated with my account that I don't recognize....wish the automatic naming was more descriptive. Suspect some are devices where I had to reinstall the system or have since be retired.

Though I wasn't crazy enough to buy content for it before receiving it...though I was tempted.

Anyways...what I was getting to, was once I got it working on my WiFi network, the next step would've been registration...and it flashed it briefly before telling me that it was registered and had the name I have given it earlier. And, then it was to update itself. So I found somewhere to plug it in and left it.

Big problem that is getting worse in my home now...so many things that need to get plugged in, and all the convenient outlets are already full and now I'm running out of inconvenient ones too. The Kindle Fire is using one of those inconvenient ones. I've been meaning to build myself some kind of charging center, similar to the kind of thing Cali Lewis was presented doing in a GeekBrief. Perhaps I'll have to step up plans to get around to 'building' it. Just haven't found that piece of furniture to buy to modify yet... Probably just a matter of time that I come across something reasonable on Amazon.com with Prime and get it though....

Full story »

09/16/10

  08:04:17 am, by The Dreamer   , 565 words  
Categories: General, Amateur Radio

iGive: Now supporting Sunflower CASA

Since I discovered the Causes application in Facebook, I've been doing the bulk of my regular monthly charity donations using it. Where each month a different cause. The list of 10-11 charities that I support using the app has varied over time. December is the exception, because I donate to a number of special causes through more direct (such as EFF, ASAA, Narcolepsy Network) And, there are also others that I support over the year, either through planned regular or other special one time (such as a monthly donation to Amnesty International, the quarterly to PlanUSA for my sponsored child [in Nepal], Shay's walk for March of Dimes, recently Toby's ride for MS).

But, before there was facebook and the Causes application, there was iGive.com. Originally, I had been invited to join the service by a friend with MS to support an organization that provides assistance to people with MS. iGive is like other online shopping sites that give percentage 'discount' on purchases...before iGive, I was using Stockback...where the percentage was invested in the S&P500. I even got the card, but shortly after that the bank became Chase and the program switched to another card provider (the program also went away and then came back...I didn't though). There are others that are more direct about cash back, etc. But, iGive is the one I stick with. Meanwhile, I now donate to MS related causes in a more direct way (even though it appears that some years I do quite a lot of online shopping through iGive.com, that results in much larger donations than I would make going the direct route).

I made the first switch while I was living in Columbus, Ohio....I switched my supported cause to "Adventures for Wish Kids" (now known as "A Kid Again"). And, then when I moved to Manhattan, KS...I looked for a more local like cause to support using iGive. iGive allows you to add causes to support if they don't already have it listed, so I created a listing for Make a Wish Kansas. Apparently over the my time here so far, I've raised over $300 through shopping for them (possibly more and all, because Amazon.com iGive purchases are reported anonymously...and I do a significant portion of my online shopping using Amazon.com now, due to Prime.) However, iGive does require that the charity be contactable before they'll release the funds to them, etc. And, apparently they have been ignoring emails for some time. So, the pending checks haven't been sent.

Now back to Facebook...the causes application seems to be ending its run. (Guess I'll have to find some other way to donate soon, apparently its not a sustainable Internet resource... [they aren't getting rich off of it] and, probably the fact that the causes application prompts for [and requires you to make an election, not assume a default of none...] for adding a percentage TIP to the application for you donating to your favorite causes.... this is one case where I never TIP).

So, to support Sunflower CASA by doing more than just play net control for the annual CASA Bike challenge, my September cause is/was Sunflower CASA. But, word is that they will be shutting down their Causes application page at the end of this September. So, I made my one last donation yesterday using the Causes application, and switched iGive to (try to) support this cause now. &#58;&#108;&#97;&#108;&#97;&#108;&#97;&#58;

05/15/10

  04:20:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1373 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

5-bay RAID and backuppc

Ever since I learned about 5-bay port multiplier SATA enclosures, I've been wanting to get one to play with. And, when I acquired 'orac'...I sought out a port multiplier eSATA adapter to include in the build of the system. And, then waited for support of the adapter in ubuntu. Stopped on 8.04LTS and waited for inclusion in a kernel.

I took a step closer when I finally got the 2-bay enclosure to mirror a pair of drives I had impulsively purchased. Since it worked, I then then bought a 5-bay enclosure (it came up as a NewEgg ShellShocker).

But, after some thought, I decided that what I wanted to do was build a 5 disk RAID5 using 1.5TB drives....so it would get me at least 5TB of real storage. And, set that I would wait until 1.5TB drives were under $100.

In the meantime, I collected a bunch of old SATA drives to see what I trouble I could get into....it didn't last long, as one was definitely dead and two quickly failed. Of course, two of the had been kicked out of RAID1 setups previously, and the other was a failing drive that I replaced/upgraded. So, it was back to waiting.

Eventually, I got 3 Samsung 1.5TB drives through NewEgg ShellShocker. And, I set up a 3 disk RAID5. Sadly, it didn't last very long....one of the drives failed while I was building the array. I exchanged it for a new drive with NewEgg, and waited for it before trying again. While I was waiting, I formatted it a bunch of times and learning about smartctl and various things of drive repair. One of the remaining two original drives, was showing signs of slow death and one unrecoverable sector. When, the new drive arrived...I did a long self test and a quick, but full, format....taking a couple days before I created the 3 disk RAID 5.

Once, that was done, I created a new big filesystem that is /var/lib/backuppc to have backuppc on 'orac'. Initially a 1TB filesystem.

Then one day, the bad happened. A drive on 'gumby' failed. It was time to stop putting off figuring out how to setup backuppc and start putting stuff into it. It turned out to be a lot easier than it thought to get started, though I did have to rebuild smbclient to have a longer timeout to get it successfully complete a full backup of a given partition. I then learned some other stuff and fine tuned the configs.... One big change was I broke out the windows hosts into individual partitions (ie, gumby_c, gumby_e, gumby_f), and came up with a 'semaphore' solution so that it wouldn't backup more than one partition at a time from a windows host. Eventually, I had all my systems in it (it fully backs up everything except itself, where it backs up only key parts....) I even got it backing up my work Mac Book Pro.

I later grew the filesystem out to 2TB.

Pages: 1· 2

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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