Tag Archives: hardware

Canon Online Support Sucks

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Another post in my series about incompetent or plain unfriendly companies. This time it’s Canon.

I have a Selphy CP710 photo printer (cute, dinky little thing). You buy complete sets of ink + photo paper to use in it and the default printing size is 100x148mm postcard size. That works fine. You can also purchase other cool paper sizes such as 54x86mm credit card size stickers (KC-18IF). I ordered a pack online from www.123inkt.nl which is a perfectly good company, by the way. But then…
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Logitech MX Air (eek! it's a mouse)

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MX AirThis is one of those gadgets that I’ve had my eye on for some time and finally purchased a couple of weeks ago. On the whole I have been very pleased with Logitech mice, but this particular mouse is quite a new concept. As the name suggests, this mouse is used in the air rather than on a desk. It’s not a pointing device I’d ever consider for my desktop (although it also works on a desk), but as a remote control for our Mac Mini Media centre I thought it might be more practical than the (already half-broken) wireless media keyboard we have. After all, what I usually do from the sofa is open a folder, point to a downloaded AVI, right click it and select “open with VLC”, with little need to type. So grabbing the keyboard with its built in mouse and broken scroll wheel is often overkill.

Although the box does not mention Mac support, the Logitech Air Mouse does work on a Mac without installing any drivers (there are in fact no drivers available). Even some of the function buttons work (muting sound and scrolling), but not all. Controlling the cursor takes a bit of getting used to. You basically hold the mouse with two fingers resting on the left and right buttons and tilt it up and down. You can reposition your arm, but I do find myself holding it in the air quite unnaturally a lot of the time.

MX Air

Between the two buttons there’s a scroll strip which makes a very satisfying clicking sound as you fly through vertical lists and pages (I tend to scroll rather too fast, it’s hard to flick your index finger down the strip with just the right speed). The mouse actually looks very sleek, black, with orange lights and a chrome undercoating. Fits snugly in the hand. Its rechargeable battery seems to last less long than my MX revolution, which may be due to the fact that it keeps the lights lit all the time.

At €119 it’s priced pretty steep and I’m not yet 100% convinced it was worth it, but I think I still need to perfect my control of it. Inspired by the latest Harry Potter which I am presently reading, it makes me feel rather like I’m waving my wand at the television from the sofa. Alakazam!

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Nabaztag – Supawabbit

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Almost a year ago I wrote about the Nabaztag as a very desirable, totally useless gadget. Now there’s one in our house. It’s officially Merel’s Nabaztag, although I am playing with it extensively, of course ;-). She christened it “Supawabbit”. However useless it might be, it is definitely fun. We are particularly enjoying the spoken clock which says the time in numerous different ways. After some repetition I’m sure we’ll tire of that though. How endearing a piece of white plastic with movable ears can be!

What is even more fun though, is having other friends with Nabaztags and getting them to speak phoenetic Dutch or English, or even German. You can send supawabbit a message via www.nabaztag.com.

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Terra Bytes the Dust

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Lacie 1tbA month ago I purchased two 1TB Lacie Big Disks. One as a backup for my MacBook Pro (using Leopard’s Time Machine) and the other as much needed extra storage for our Mac Mini Media Centre.

Yesterday I connected one of the Lacie’s to the Mac Mini and transferred all our Eye TV recordings (some 60GB) to it to free up space on the two smaller Lacie disks we had been using and had pretty much filled up. Then I left the computer on as it was downloading episodes of Dexter to the the 1TB.

This morning, heading for the loo with sleepy eyes, I heard a helicopter in the living room. CRSSSCCCHHH CRRSSCHHH tjakktjakketjakketak. It was the 1TB. Forced to switch it off without unmounting, the helicopter spun down and switched off its engines. Silence. The silence of lost data. No remounting possible for this month-old terrabyte.

I am glad there was not a huge amount of personal and irreplaceable data on there (except for some damn excellent Eye TV recorded documentaries – grrr). There are people who have had it a lot worse. But this kind of thing really damages one’s trust. It’s not the first time a disk has crashed on me.

Tech lifestyle is rather like romance. The giddiness of being in love with a new gadget as you explore and discover the beauty of it. Tentatively you let it deeper into your life, settling down a bit, relying on each other more and more. Then, just when you think you’ll be together forever, Lacie suddenly breaks up with you. No signs, no warning. Bam! And it hurts all the more because you were so open. You shared music, photos and spreadsheets with her. She burnt them all. The bitch.

Then you’re on the rebound. Looking around for a replacement but finding that you’re more cautious than before. Cynical, in fact. Monogamy has lost its charm and polygamy seems the way to go. Cover your bases. It’s hard to ever open up again and let the bytes back into your life. 😉

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MX revolution

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MX RevolutionGisteren heb ik impulsief, maar toch ook wel na enkele weken er tegen aan te hebben gehikt, een Logitech laser muis gekocht, de MX Revolution. Meestal koop ik geen extreem rechtse muizen, maar in dit geval heb ik een uitzondering gemaakt omdat een laser muis het beter zou moeten doen op mijn witte bureau dan een optische (springt alle kanten op) en ik me realiseerde dat ik de halve dag met mijn hand op een muis rust. Daar mocht dus best wat geld tegenaan gegeooid worden voor een goede ergonomie. Dan maar alleen met rechts muizen.

Er zitten diverse extra functieknoppen op die prettiger zijn dan ik had verwacht en een scroll wheel die sneller gaat dan een Porsche Carerra. Lekker zwaar, spacey-looking en ook nog rechargable. All in all, tot nu toe nog geen spijt.

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