Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

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I had to resurrect Geekypatty just to say how mad I am at HP

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My HP Photosmart 7520 all-in-one printer worked fine, even for me. Until today, when it refused to scan to email even though it had scanned to email many times before. It took the best part of THREE HOURS to research the solution. In the process, I found THIRTY-SEVEN PAGES of people on the HP support forum who had the same problem, which some apparently solved using a secret that HP would not just put on the site but sent to people individually if they begged.

Here is what I believe happened: HP rebranded its old eprint function to ever-more-user-friendly-sounding HP Connected, and in the process destroyed users’ existing scan-to-email configuration. After I established a new HP Connected account, darned if scan to email didn’t work just fine.

I sure wish I had back the three hours of my life that HP stole as I previously tried at least a half-dozen other internet-recommended alternatives. I don’t even want to know what I probably did by secretly accessing the HP “Underware” engineering function to try one guy’s advice to reset.

Here’s what worked for me, provided by a person named Noose, who must be a genius. As you’re looking at the printer homescreen:

“You want the icon to the LEFT of the wifi icon.  If you touch it, the next screen says Web Services. On that screen touch settings.  Then the next screen that you see will have as the 3rd down option.  “Remove web Services”.  The next screen asks you if you want to continue.  Click yes.  Do the uninstall. Then reinstall.

“To reinstall you will want the same screen that you touched to uninstall to go through the uninstall steps.”

I love Noose. And I feel very, very dis-Connected — not to say dismayed, distraught, distrustful, discontented and dissed — with, by and over HP.

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Written by geekypatty

February 19, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Simply fan-tastic solution

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Poor blog, I’ve abandoned you. But I had a tech experience today that was simply too funny not to pass on.

My computer was whirring in a very distressing way. I couldn’t recall when the noise had started, but maybe it was since I had used a free AVG cleansing scan that was followed for days by annoying popups to buy the download (I should not complain about the cost of something free). Perhaps that was the reason. Or perhaps there was something wrong with Chrome that was screwing up my computer, because it was running ver-rrrrr-rrry slowly and some sites were not displaying properly. I ran malwarebytes at the suggestion of The Times Sunday Patrick Marshall column, and came up clean. I Googled something along the lines of “computer whirring and running slow,” and was advised that it could be a dusty or bad fan running hot, or that my hard drive was dying in which case I better back up all my files pronto. Which I did, before going back to my Google search. I was advised to download Process Explorer to see what was sucking power from my computer. Which I did, only to discover that Chrome was the major discretionary power sucker. I uninstalled Chrome but it didn’t help, so I reinstalled Chrome. I used some free error-identification tool that identified a lot of errors, none of which looked like the cause of my issues.

As I was calculating the cost of a new computer…. oh, hell, long story short:

I turned over the laptop, discovered a lot of lint clogging the vent screen over the fan and sucked the lint off with the vacuum. The whirring has stopped.

What I should have used in this process was Occam’s Razor.

Written by geekypatty

February 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Carmen to Don Jose: It’s over. I’ve unfriended you on FB.

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I’m going to become a regular reader of TechFlash now that my talented friend and former Seattle Times coworker Michele Matassa Flores has become Assistant Managing Editor for Digital Media at the Puget Sound Business Journal. Her first post, “Why does TechFlash care about the Seattle Opera,” ponders the way technology is interwoven with Seattle life.

She writes: “The Seattle Opera blogs ‘If Carmen and her friends were on Facebook,’ featuring a mock Facebook page filled with clever, fictional posts by characters in the show playing through Saturday (Oct. 29) at McCaw Hall.”

Having seen “Carmen” this week at Seattle Opera, I have to say I was dubious about a possible connection between technology and Bizet’s fateful story of love scorned. But then I thought about how raw people’s emotions get when they’re unfriended on Facebook, and realized that today Bizet could just as plausibly had Don Jose stab Carmen over discovering that she’d taken their relationship off her profile.

(As much as I enjoyed this production of “Carmen,” one of my indelible memories of opera is a previous Seattle Opera production that curtained-down with a white-dressed Carmen leaving a crimson blood streak on a stark white wall as she died. Breathtaking.)

Written by geekypatty

October 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Excellent resource/wonderful time sucker

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Alex Johnson has “cleaned up and updated” his Journalists’ Quick Reference Page. I think you’ll find it useful, and also find it difficult to resist entering something into one of those boxes he’s collected in this one-stop research resource, just to see. On this particular day in history, for instance, I learn that in 1915 a Mr. Chubb purchased Stonehenge for the equivalent of $11,500 as a present for his wife. Bookmarking this baby, for sure.

Written by geekypatty

September 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Resources

Yes, I can

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I had a success today only tangentially related to the topic of the blog, but worth noting because it was mostly due to the lessons I’ve learned from being Geeky Patty.

I replaced the rechargeable battery pack for my long-dormant Black and Decker DS 600 shrub trimmer, which is not a thing like replacing the batteries in a camera or a flashlight. It requires dismantling the tool (after calling the Black and Decker service center on Airport Way to make sure I was doing it right and to the very nice man who answered the phone, much credit for not saying “lady, we’re a service center and make our money repairing tools. Why should we give you DIY advice?”) I held my breath removing nearly a dozen screws holding the plastic casing together and thus had very little air to gasp with when a bunch of pieces fell out before I could verify the order in which they fit together.

Resolving to deal with that later, I disconnected one wire from the old battery pack but the other would not break free, so pretty sure I was going to ruin the part, I gingerly took a pair of pliers to it. Victory. Sort of, because in the process the guts were spronging out of the space they were intricately tucked into.

Long story short, I panicked a bit thinking I was going to have to take a bag of parts to the service center for reassembly, but in the end I figured it all out and got everything stuffed back in. The result: A small but intense feeling of satisfaction, and a shrub trimmer that worked the way it was supposed to.

What Geeky Patty said to herself: You can do this. Go look at the diagram. What it doesn’t show, use logic to figure out. It’s not working, so the parts must go together the other way. Take a breath and don’t give in to “I’ve screwed this up.”

I’m not sure I would have done this before the self-education of my techno-odyssey.

The battery cost almost as much as a new tool on Amazon, not that I will ever again make a purchase there in what remains of my lifetime (see below), so it would have been easy to throw the old one into the landfill and start fresh. But it was a gift from my frugal Norwegian make-it-do stepfather and my late mother, whom I miss to this day. It mattered symbolically, but also intrinsically. More and more, I try to do even small things in my life that take care of what we have.

And Geeky Patty has learned she can do things she never used to do.

Written by geekypatty

July 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One-stop digging

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My good-reporter friend, Alex Johnson of MSNBC, has created a utilitarian site for doing all kinds of basic research. It’s worth bookmarking.

Written by geekypatty

January 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Posted in Resources

Wonderful how-to site for labeling photos

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OMG, if you’re a newbie at managing family photos generally and labeling digital photos specifically, have I got a site for you: Digital Cameras and Genealogy.

Chimpanzeepatty has been (mostly) diligent about captioning photos as I’ve been scanning. But as Ken Watson notes, if your goal is preserving and sharing these ephemeral documents widely and for the long haul, you are wise to embed the I.D.s into the photo in a non-proprietary format that’s likely to be around decades from now. So Geekypatty gave it a try.

Fortunately, my free picture software in Windows and in Picasa both allow me to do this. Watson tells how. In Windows, for instance, the IPTC/XMP open standard data can be entered by right-clicking on the photo, opening “Properties,” opening “Details,” and entering the I.D. under “Title.” To make sure it’s there, open the photo in your viewer, “save as” a new file name and then open to confirm the name is embedded. Like this, when you mouse over the image:

Oops, I just discovered that my version of Picasa probably needs to be upgraded to make this work properly. But, scarred as I am from my technological adventures, I first did a paranoid Google search about upgrading to 3.8 and the effect on photos currently stored in version 3 and discovered, sure enough, there is a risk of compromisng what you’ve got and having to revert to a backup.

Uh, cancel. Back away from that upgrade.

I solved the problem for this purpose by specifying that the blog photo open in Windows sted Picasa. But now — sigh — my to-do list includes researching how to upgrade Picasa safely.

Written by geekypatty

January 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Blog, Photo, Resources, Software