Sunday, July 27, 2008

My New Printer Is an Alien

After several years of excellent service, the main printer I use for large photos bit the dust.

I can’t say the event was totally unexpected. The printer had been moody for the last several weeks. Each startup required a bit of fussing for proper paper alignment and head cleanings were required more frequently. Finally, late Thursday, it died completely.

On Friday morning a call to the service center verified the cost of repair would be more than half the cost of a replacement. Spending that much money on an electronic device of that age is, at best, questionable.

Seven years of almost flawless service is a pretty good reason to stick with the same brand. Seven years is also enough time for the manufacture to go through several generations of upgrades and at least one ink reformulation. So, where six ink tanks were enough to do the job in 2002, it now takes ten.

Unboxing and installation were quick and uneventful. A trip to the manufacturer’s web site was necessary to update the drivers and utility software.

The biggest, most time-consuming problem was silly. The old printer’s power connector was on the left end of the case and the USB connector on the right. The new printer’s connections were reversed. You wouldn’t think that should be a big deal, but the printers are just over two feet wide. About 30 minutes of re-cabling was required to make the old cords reach the new connectors.

A couple of hours and several test prints later I’m back in the printing business with significantly improved print quality.

By they way, each of the ten ink tanks has a nice bright red light to let you know when it’s properly installed. Too bad they didn’t make the head cover translucent so you could see those red lights scanning back and forth. They could have called this model the Cylon.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Omaha Railroad Days 2008

Omaha's two day celebration of it's railroad heritage was expanded this year.

Lauritzen Gardens and the Durham Museum were joined by three museums across the bridge in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Union Pacific Museum, the General Dodge House and the Rails West museum joined the Omaha attractions to repeat last year's very popular family event.

Click here to see more photos.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

It's time for the annual celebration of the birth of the U.S.A.

You don't have to go too far to see a parade or a big commercial fireworks display this time of year.

In many areas you can buy the smaller, less powerful fireworks at roadside stands like those at the other end of this link. Locally, the proceeds from these sales go to charities, and other non-profit groups.

The photos linked here were taken a couple of years ago, but today's festivities promise to be just as exciting.

Have fun and safe holiday!