Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

Archive for the ‘Misc Tech’ Category

The good news is…

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… I have a new four-in-one printer that I installed with only minimal frustration (mostly around linking it to our answering machine and getting rid of the Comcast Xfinity voicemail that I never asked for when we bundled a couple months ago). It’s an HP Photosmart 7520, which got pretty good reviews for its price point. In one day, I’ve already used 3 of its 4 functions and sure do like it. But it’s early yet.

The bad news? I also liked my old Canon printer, even though it had only one function. But I was done in by Error 5100.  The error message reappeared after I thought I’d been successful in making it go away. After several days with no printer and several hours of trying to resolve Error 5100, I chucked the Pixma in. I did the cost/benefit analysis of time/upgrade/money and the Pixma lost.

This time, at least, I tried to pay attention to ink costs, not just upfront costs. The consensus on the sites I researched is that all ink is a scam (kind of like the cheap razor and the expensive razor blades).

It pained me severely to have to recycle my old Canon cartridges with ink still in them.

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Written by geekypatty

March 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Posted in Misc Tech

The geeks and I vanquish Error 5100

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I got Error 5100 on my Canon Pixma iP4000 printer. I’d never seen that message before (although lord knows I’ve seen my share of error messages), and it happened when I canceled a double-sided print job in progress to make it print on 2 pages. I Googled the error and found that it had stumped a lot of people,  many clearly geekier than I, but had been resolved lots of different ways, many having to do with holding the Power button down whilst pressing the Resume button some varying amount of times that sounded a lot like magical thinking.

Several other resolutions involved cleaning the clear tape with rubbing alcohol in case it had gotten ink on it. Or replacing the ink cartridges. Or vacuuming. Or Or Or. I did some of those, including vacuuming, which had worked so well for me last time, all the while thinking Operator Error in somehow changing the printing instructions midstream. To no avail. The geeks had solved their problems, but not mine.

In the course of cleaning things with rubbing alcohol, however, I noticed a big smear of black ink on the right floor of the printer’s innards, under where the cartridge holder sat while it was resting. I sopped up an enormous amount of black ink with an old pillowcase remnant wet with rubbing alcohol.

Yes! I do not know why that was the problem, but after the cleaning and much whirring and back-and-forth, the printer agreed to print again.

It’s magic!

Written by geekypatty

March 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Posted in Misc Tech

What, me bitter?

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I was featured today in a Seattle Times article on Zoe Krumm, a business-intelligence manager on Microsoft‘s anti-piracy team. More precisely, maybe Krumm included my case (see blog entries below, below, below….) among Washington state contacts in her efforts to track down people who sell counterfeit software. Janet Tu writes:

“Since 2005, Microsoft has received nearly 400,000 leads from customers around the world, 2,850 alone from Washington state.

“The typical submission comes from someone who bought counterfeit software off an online marketplace or downloaded it from a fake Microsoft site.

“Microsoft replaces those products free, in exchange for information about where the fake product was purchased and for giving the product itself to Microsoft.”

That describes me, and apparently 2,849 other Washingtonians.

I wonder how many of them took unseemly satisfaction from last week’s Times four-parter on Amazon’s business practices. My personal boycott of this “online marketplace” continues. And that includes not linking to Amazon in my blog that no one reads.

Ha, and yes, I know how to carry a grudge.

Written by geekypatty

April 9, 2012 at 8:18 am

Posted in Blog, Misc Tech, Software

Doggone internet connection

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We kept losing our internet connection, leading to the really annoying need to disconnect the router, reconnect it and wait for the lights to flash their way back to allowing us internet access so that we could resume whatever task had been interrupted. It was happening up to eight times a day. Our dog sitter guessed the problem might be that the phone was too close to the router and interfering with the signal, which had been the case at his parents’ place. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the phone and router the recommended 10 feet away from each other in the dinky alcove that serves as our office, but as we used to do with quarrelsome kids, we got them far enough apart that things appear to have settled down. I’ve had to reboot only once in the past three days. Smart guy. And the dogs like him, too.

Written by geekypatty

January 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Posted in Misc Tech

Trying to think win-win

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There will be a post coming about scanners, drivers, Canon tech support, WinZip and WinZip tech support. If you think there’s a story behind this, you probably have read Patty Goes Geeky before. I’ve already got hours into trying to solve the problem, including half an hour or so with an incredibly patient Canon techie who, bless his heart, I think let the tiniest bit of frustration creep into his voice as he said the problem must be with my computer and he couldn’t fix it. I am now waiting to hear back from WinZip, so I will know how the story ends. Sigh.

But in the meantime, I encountered another simple thing I used to not know how to do, but now I do. The WinZip person asked me to send a screen capture of the error messages I was getting. I didn’t know how to do that, but I know enough to know that it must be very simple and it was something I already should have learned to do. I did a search and found the Vista directions before I noticed she’d thoughtfully included a link to instructions in the e-mail.

Here’s my version: Click the Start button, type “snip” in the search box, double-click the return for “snipping tool” and use it to draw a box around the area you want to capture. Save it and use it.

Let us now hope that the solution to my Canon/WinZip issue can be handled as deftly. I’m not counting on it.

Written by geekypatty

January 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Misc Tech, Photo, Software

Wrong number

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Well, that didn’t work very well, did it? I came across a SanDisk Mobile Card Reader/Writer, unopened, in the box of my husband’s abandoned BlackBerry phone. It’s for transferring photos from cell phone to computer, and I NEED THAT! I scissored open the package and started reading the directions. Alas, to use it I needed the card out of my hand-me-down phone, which I couldn’t find. But wait, there was also a cable in that box that fit both my phone and the USB port on my laptop, so maybe I could bypass the thumb-drive-looking gizmo and connect directly. But wait, I had to download new software. But wait, my computer didn’t recognize the attached device. But wait, maybe both devices needed to be restarted.

Nope. After researching what kind of phone I inherited (a V323i), I discovered Motorola’s directions and online troubleshooter didn’t accomplish my task. I Googled a site that answered a similar question with, “You idiot, there’s no card in that phone so the only thing you can do is e-mail the photos to yourself,” and the comment thread was closed because of the inappropriate response. But both the other questioner and I agreed that maybe the flamer was right.

Written by geekypatty

January 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Misc Tech, Photo

Contact sport

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Because my theme (as opposed to “resolution”) for 2012 is “experiment,” I reckon I may be posting more diligently to Patty Goes Geeky in the new year. Or not. Maybe experimentation will lead me in non-tech directions, instead.

In any case, there’s still an item left for 2011. As new secretary (somebody forgot her resolution to cycle off boards) of the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, I needed to create a board mailing list for my Gmail account. After confirming preferred contact info for those who’d been emailed under multiple addresses (and tracking down through Facebook the last name for a new member I knew only by first name “Barnaby” — how many beekeeping Barnabys can there be in Seattle?), I had what I hope is a clean list to send to other board members.

Using my low-tech skills, I planned just to copy and paste my contact list. Nope, Gmail decreed. After consulting Help, I learned I had to create and export in CSV format. (CSV is comma separated values, a factoid of no relevance to getting this task done.) The instructions were useful only to a point (I was not saving to a disk), and then I had to muddle the rest.

I saw that Excel was an option, so created a spreadsheet and labeled the fields. Turns out I didn’t have  to label the fields to export into; labeling was automatic. All I had to do was delete my first attempt (I exported all my contacts instead of the group I needed) and then hide the unneeded columns in my second attempt. After a couple tries at saving (the instructions about losing information depending on save-format were only moderately useful), my experiment was a success! I had an Excel spreadsheet I could email to my fellow bee-loving boardies.

Why “experiment” for my 2012 theme? The unformed desire to be at my age at-least-non-stuck-if-not-crazy-risky crystallized during this vacation time spent with my chef son. Will, whose Christmas list included both singing and welding lessons, coached me through home projects (e.g., a substitute for Diet Coke syrup being one) saying, “we’ll try it and then we can tinker with it.” His desire to learn and his fearlessness (singing lessons? when all of his genes would wail “lost cause”?) were inspiring to me.

Both my children are brave, smart, funny and passionate about their beliefs. They are my teachers.

Written by geekypatty

December 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Misc Tech, Software