Posts filed under Hardware

Out of Ink? Buy a New Printer


A couple of years ago, I bought a Canon Pixma IP4500 printer for approx. €80. The reason for buying was that I was able to print documents (concert tickets, etc) and the occasional photo. Generally, I send my photos to a lab, so I don't need an expensive state-of-the-art photo printer.

Recently, I ran out of ink for the printer. The third time in three or four years. The IP4500 holds separate cartridges for each color. This means that I need to invest around €15 for each cartridge. Total costs: >€60.

While I was standing in the store, I saw a new Canon (color) printer for less than €50. This included the ink (for that model). Well, that was an easy decision. Out the 'old' printer and in a new multifunctional printer (Canon MG2250). It prints, scans and copies, while the old printer could only do one thing; print.

There are probably several persons out there that would recommend off-brand inks. Sure, it's possible to buy off-brand, but that introduces the hassle of:

  • removing of chips, and taping them to new containers, and/or
  • drilling holes to inject new ink into the container.
  • Resetting software by pressing 5 buttons with three fingers for 20 seconds to lure the printer into thinking that everything is alright. And this can (and will) re-occur very once in a while.

All that to save a couple of bucks. No thank you.

Anyway, I have a new printer (with ink), and the old one is heading for the garbage dump.
"Why not sell it", you ask? Well, no person will ever want to buy it (with no ink in it), since they can get a new printer WITH ink for less money. How fucked up is that?

I wonder if we will ever throw away a car, just because it ran out of petrol and buying a new car (with petrol) is cheaper.

Posted on April 13, 2013 and filed under Annoying, Hardware, Personal.

iPhone Stuck At Infinite Loop After iOS Update


The old iPhone 3G got stuck in an infinite restore loop after upgrading to iOS 6.1.2 this evening. As you might understand, the misses was not amused....

The infinite restore loop means that it keeps saying that it needs to be restored from within iTunes, but after doing that several times, you tend to loose faith. After trying it several times on a Windows laptop I tried it on my iMac. While it was restoring for the who knows how many times, I did some research on the Interwebs. The results were not encouraging.

I started gathering information, and some tools (like Tiny Umbrella) to break it from its infinite loop. After the restore the iPhone booted just fine. No idea what made it break its loop. Could be coincidence, could be my iMac. No idea.

Anyway, the misses is busy restoring the data. She (or iTunes) made a backup just before the backup. So all should be back to normal in a few minutes.

Posted on February 21, 2013 and filed under Apple, Annoying, Hardware, iPhone.

Timetravel Made Possible With The Samsung Galaxy S2

And yes. Another rant from an Apple fan-boy (I guess).

As you can read here, I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 at home, and the device is still in the original box. I did open the box, just to check the device, and as you may have read; the device went straight back into the box. Since then, it has been out of the box about four times, and not more than an hour. The main reason (for getting it out of the box) is that there a software updates that should fix problems with the device. I guess not the problems I have with the device..... I want to give the device a chance. I really do, but they don't come close to the Apple iOS experience. The Android eco-system has still light years to go.

Posted on October 25, 2012 and filed under Annoying, Hardware.

MacBook Wireless Borked Again, Still, etc.

A while back I had regular issues with the wireless adapter on my MacBook after I had upgraded to OSX Mountain Lion, but after the removal of Little Snitch (I still ran the beta version) it seemed that times were a changing... Seemed that is.

This morning I was fiddling about with my photo website, and needed to see the results in several different browsers. One of them being Google Chrome.
Trying to launch the Chrome app, it crashed immediately. Reopening didn't help. So I tried to download a newer version, since I hadn't updated mine since the upgrade to Mountain Lion. The result; It still crashed. Even after removing all Chrome (and Google) references on the disk, it still crashed.

So, it became time to consult the book of knowledge, and see what the Internets had to say about my little ordeal.

Posted on October 13, 2012 and filed under Annoying, Apple, Browsers, Hardware, Tips'n Tricks.

Ziggo Internet, Juniper Firewalls and DHCP

At the house I have currently two ISP delivering broadband. Well, broadband isn't the correct word, since the the one of them is only a mere 256kbps (I think). The other is a 'whopping' 20Mbps.
The 20Mb connection is provided by XS4ALL, and the 256kbps is for free (if you have a phone subscription with Ziggo). The 256kbp is the minimum they provide to transport the phone calls, but if you're a masochist you can also browse the internet over that connection.

So, two ISP @ home. Combine that with a Juniper SRX firewall, and a dual ISP setup is born. The theory of that setup is that I connect both ISP's to the firewall, and use the 20Mb line as a default internet connection, but when that one dies, I automatically get switched to the backup line (256kbps).

Posted on August 9, 2012 and filed under Annoying, Hardware, Internet, Security, Tips'n Tricks.

Unable To Turn On Wireless In OS X Mountain Lion

Last night I was minding my own business on the couch, when the wireless connection on my MacBook (UniBody)  decided to call it a day. According to the symptoms (no bars visible in the WiFi icon in the menu bar, no visible wireless networks in the vicinity), the WiFi adapter was turned off. Turning the WiFi back on was not possible though.

Posted on August 3, 2012 and filed under Annoying, Apple, Hardware, Tips'n Tricks.

Best 'Unboxing Videos' Ever

It's the best, mainly because it's terrible. It's a montage of several unboxing videos of the Google Nexus phone/tablet thinghy. I guess I would have thrown the entire box + contents out of the window. Google can learn a lot from other companies like; Nikon, Canon, Leica, Apple... Hell, even the shrink wrap on Microsoft products are easier to remove. Unboxing is an integral part of the new gadget/thinghy experience nowadays.

Posted on July 16, 2012 and filed under Fun, Gadgets, Hardware.

A (slightly biased) review of the Samsung Galaxy S2 Phone

My employer decided to give its employees new smartphones. Mostly because we've been begging for them the last couple of years. Unfortunately, not the one(s) we (or perhaps I) have been asking for.

In my line of work I come across customers with wireless networks that need (some sort of) security in place. The only real question I get during those projects is; "Will it work with an iPhone or an iPad?" In my entire career, I haven't had a single question of that kind regarding Android or Windows Mobile phones.... There's no denying it; the iOS devices from Apple are huge. Even in the corporate market.

So, no corporate iOS device for me. Instead, they shipped the Samsung Galaxy S2 (listed as iPhone look-a-like) to me.

Posted on November 28, 2011 and filed under Hardware, Review, iPhone.

Install KatzEye Focusing Screen in Nikon D300

Focussing manually has it's advantages. First, the number of potential lenses for your body sky-rockets. There are numerous old and new extraordinary good MANUAL FOCUS lenses available for the modern DSLR. Examples are lenses by Voigtlander, Carl Zeiss, and the old Nikon (Ai-S) lenses. The problem is that most of the modern cameras lack a decent (visual) indicator for when your object is in focus. My Nikon D300 has a small indicator (a dot) in the viewfinder which notifies you when you've got focus. But when you shoot with large apertures (e.g. f/2, f/1.8, f/1.4 or f/1.2) on MF lenses you have to keep track of your composition (through the viewfinder), and watch the 'in-focus' indicator. Something I find very hard to do. I allways seem to miss at least one of them. Missing composition is easy to fix in post-processing, but fixing focus can't be done.

Thankfully, there's a solution to this problem; Katz Eye Optics. These guys offer old-skool focusing screens for the modern digital SLR's. All you have to do is replace the focusing screen with theirs. You can do this yourself, or your camera brand service-center should be able to do it for you (at additional cost). I did it myself though, and ran into a problem (of course). But more on that later...

Posted on April 22, 2011 and filed under Hardware, Photography, Review.

Configure SSL Certificate for Juniper J-Web Interface

By default, the J-Web interface (GUI for the Juniper SRX firewalls) has SSL enabled. Like most devices with SSL out-of-the-box, the protection is based on a self-signed certificate. Self-signed certificates are easy (they come basically out-of-the-box), but they tend to nag you every time you connect to the GUI. So, it's time to install a proper certificate.

In this case, I use the XCA (1) software to create a new certificate. This certificate is signed by my own root CA, which I installed on all of my devices and Operating Systems. Basically, I trust myself.....

According to the Juniper support pages on SSL certificate usage, I found out that the certificates are to be in the PEM format. No problem for XCA.

Posted on March 11, 2011 and filed under Hardware, Security, Tips'n Tricks.