Archive for the ‘Tidbits’ Category

You are trying to kill your printer gradually

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

This is a real-life conversation between my roommate (”NG”) and an HP tech-support representative (”Harpreet”). He was having some trouble with his printer, so went online to chat with an “expert” about how to solve the problem. This is what happened:

(it doesn’t get truly otherworldly until the end, so read it all the way through)

NG : replaced the black ink cartridge. Black text no longer appears in my printed documents. However, black text appears properly on diagnostic page.
[An agent will be with you shortly.]
[You are now chatting with Harpreet .]
NG : hello
Harpreet : Welcome to HP Total Care for IPG. My name is Harpreet. Please give me a few moments while I review your problem description details.
Harpreet : As per the records with me you are referring to HP Deskjet 6980 printer, with WIN XP installed as an operating system on it. Am I correct?
NG : yes
NG : can you see my responses? I attempted another support chat earlier and the technician could not view my responses.
Harpreet : Nathaniel, please let me know more on the issue so that I may be able to assist and get the issue resolved at the earliest?
NG : ok, I replaced the black ink cartridge because it was empty
Harpreet : yes, i am bale to see you r responses..
NG : i tried to print several documents
Harpreet : sorry able to see
NG : from different programs (microsoft word, photoshop, etc)
NG : and the black text portions of the document do not print
NG : occasionally some “shadow text” appears that is very light grey
Harpreet : make sure the cartridges are filled?
NG : yes, all the cartridges are filled
NG : when i print a diagnostic page
NG : (by holding the power and cancel buttosn on the printer)
NG : it is fine
Harpreet : did you tried with another set of new cartridges?
NG : but when I print any documents from any software programs, the black text does not show up on thepage
NG : yes
NG : 2 different sets
NG : i have also tried cleaning the cartridges
Harpreet : ok, since when are you facing this issue?
NG : 2 days ago when I first attempted to replace the black ink cartridge
NG : i have rebooted the printer and the computer several times
Harpreet : please power off the printer.
Harpreet : unplug all the cables from the printer.
NG : ok
Harpreet : Press the power button for 35 seconds and plug back the cables.
Harpreet : turn on the printer.
Harpreet : try to print a test page and let me know.
NG : the microsoft word document still has no black text, except some very small blocks that look like the tops of words on 3 random lines
NG : however
NG : a diagnostic test page
NG : (by holding the power and cancel buttons on the printer) prints properly
NG : with color and black text
Harpreet : ok, please give me a moment
NG : ok
Harpreet : i am sending you alink, please open it and check how to know ink level, please tell me i am waiting. In the page, please check step 5.
Harpreet :
NG : The print cartridges I’m using are remanufactured
NG : so they do not properly show the ink levels
NG : but they are both brand new
Harpreet : you mean to say are these cartridges refilled?
NG : THey were purchased as “remanufactured” ink cartridges, which I assume means recycled or refilled
NG : when I inserted them, a message appeared explaining that because these were not original HP cartridges, the ink monitors would not be accurate
Harpreet : this is what exactly happens when you use inferior quality cartridges in you Good HP printer
NG : I would blame the cartridges
NG : except
Harpreet : I am afraid if you continue to use it further it may permanently damaeg the hardware of the printer’
NG : when i print the diagnostic page, everything is correct
Harpreet : thats only because the printer is of superior quality
Harpreet : and as the stand alone prints due to internal memory of the printer
Harpreet : & it does not require a driver so it is printing
Harpreet : this indicates that still now there is life in the printer
Harpreet : which will soon go out with this inferior quality cartridges
NG : i have used these cartridges before with no problem
Harpreet : its my sincere preyer to you that please dont damage your beautiful printer for the sake of saving few dollers
NG : i appreciate your time and advice, though I must admit I am not convinced that this is the source of the problem
Harpreet : This means that you are trying to kill your printer gradually
NG : i will procure genuine HP catridges
NG : but if the problem remains I will be very upset
Harpreet : however its the best time
Harpreet : to stop
Harpreet : using refilled cartridges
Harpreet : THANK YOU

DisplayPort Fails.

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

This image is from the front page of the DisplayPort website. DisplayPort is a new video interface technology that aims to replace the DVI ports that are currently used to transmit video data from computers to monitors.

Take that, Morgan Spurlock!

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

“Super Size Me” never really rose to the level of making sense—of course you will be unhealthy if you eat 10,000 calories per day without exercise. But the film’s smug crypto-paternalism annoyed me nonetheless, so I feel that the cosmos are back in balance after reading this news story of a man that lost 78 pound by eating only at McDonalds.

Hippy Watch

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I was watching a History Channel special on the Hippies this weekend. It was mostly quite boring; good thing I had my reading. I looked up at one point to find the most unlikely “expert” to appear in such a show: NR Editor Richard Brookheiser. On second thought, being a member of the Pythagorean Brotherhood probably does qualify you to talk about hippies…

Google, Google über alles

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

A wise man* once said “If Google does something, you can bet that they figured out a way to do it 10,000 times better than anyone else.” Its latest coup: LayOut and SketchUp. My boss asked me yesterday to design and draw a site plan for a potential tenant. Eight hours later, I had produced a series of beautifully rendered, 3D drawings, complete with a professional-looking border with our company logo. I taught myself to use AutoCad over the course of several months and two summers with an architect; I taught myself how to use SketchUp in a few hours. AutoCad costs thousands of dollars; SketchUp Pro costs $49. There is no longer any reason for anyone to pay an architect to do anything besides make construction documents.

I eagerly await the day when I can embrace Google as my master (Google Earth Ruler Edition maybe?).

*Geoff Calkins


Friday, April 11th, 2008

The Washington Post did an experiment to see what would happen if a world-renowned virtuoso played some of the most beautiful music ever written on one of the finest violins ever made … in the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station at rush hour. Calvin Myint was one of the people who walked by Joshua Bell that day on his way to work. When asked about it hours later, he had no memory that there was even a violinist in the station. He was listening to his iPod.

The song that Calvin Myint was listening to was “Just Like Heaven,” by the British rock band The Cure. It’s a terrific song, actually. The meaning is a little opaque, and the Web is filled with earnest efforts to deconstruct it. Many are far-fetched, but some are right on point: It’s about a tragic emotional disconnect. A man has found the woman of his dreams but can’t express the depth of his feeling for her until she’s gone. It’s about failing to see the beauty of what’s plainly in front of your eyes.

Hat tip to my brother for sending this my way.