Author Topic: A random thread for small computing things that don't really warrant a thread of their own  (Read 179375 times)

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
I don't like it when I've had the volume high the night before and the following morning

BONG!
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

I don't like it when I've had the volume high the night before and the following morning

BONG!
I have been similarly awoken.

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
The "news" thread is that --> way. 
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Turned on the printer for the first time in a long time.

After it spend a long time checking itself and using ink for no reason. I send one single page to print. It talks to my pc via wifi.

Said page got printed out, all be it a bit grey since all the other colours are running low.

Turned off printer, why have it on when it will easy be another month or two or even longer before I need to print something again.

20min or so later, win10, popped up with an error message - "failed to print filesendtoprinter.pdf"
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

Kim

  • Timelord
Printers were sent from hell to make us miserable, and it's only going to get worse if Windows or The Devil's Radio are involved.

It took me about 40 minutes to set up the reassuringly sensible Laserjet 4000[1] on a Windows 10 laptop the other day.  For some inexplicable reason it didn't have a copious database of HP drivers[2] out of the box (which previous Win 10 machines seem to have done), and the one that the HP website tries to persuade you to download is a trap.


[1] "Can you plug it in directly by USB?" asked the laptop's owner, assuming it was a network problem.  Snork.
[2] It's a real printer that speaks Postscript over Ethernet.  It just needs a PPD file.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
HP is evil too. You can only scan* via their app (read massive file to download with stuff you WILL not use). It also now ask you to sign in (which I can skip for now), more clicks and nags. Just to scan something.

Not sure how they behave via Linux. If they aren't as naughty as on micky$oft, I might have to set up a Linux machine so that I can scan and print via that.

When it dies, I'm tempted to set up my old dSLR and make a small light box for my scanning needs. instead of getting a new plastic object to collect dust.

*Main reason why we still keep this item in our house.
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

Kim

  • Timelord
The rot had already set in by the time people started building scanners into printers, but it certainly hasn't helped.

As ever, the rule of thumb is not to buy hardware that doesn't work properly in Linux, even if you've got no intention of using it with Linux.  It's a good way to avoid being tied to evil drivers.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

We're still using our ancient HP LaserJet 1018 for anything that doesn't absolutely need colour. It's on at least its 3rd PC operating system. IIRC I had to find a driver once. Going from Windows 7 to 10? I forget.

Sad that they've sunk so low. I suspect it's to protect their obscenely fat margins on ink & toner, where they charge about five times as much as non-HP sellers. They claim that non-HP toners can mess up your printer. Since our LaserJet 1018 has been in steady use since the 2000s, & hasn't had any HP toner in it for most of that time, but whatever was cheapest at the time online (i.e. lots of different brands, usually in refilled cartridges), I think I've tested that proposition pretty well.

HP's current price for a single black toner cartridge to fit that printer is more than the printer cost. I like their engineering a lot, but I won't pay that.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Neglected to close iTunes on the Great Hall box last night.  Which means play counts not updated for everything* wot DJ Random played on the Estate Office machine this pm.  Buggrit buggrit buggrit >:(

* About seventy tracks.  Buggrit encore.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
The USB port on the front of my W7 box has lapsed to USB-1, with speeds somewhere south of roadkill.  Pulling the stick out and plugging it in again appears to goose it up to USB-2. Sometimes. ???
But they never got to Carcassonne.

I've just installed Big Sur OS on my 2020 MacBook Air.
I appear to have gained the Sosumi bong on startup.
I appear to have lost the 'Woomp!' sound when connecting the charger.
Happy days.

archy

  • once asterix
A New ‘Extreme Ultraviolet’ Microchip Machine Could Revive Moore’s Law

Quote
The Dutch company ASML has developed a next-generation extreme ultraviolet lithography machine that can produce microchips with never-before-seen levels of precision, possibly ensuring the continued miniaturization of chips for years to come, according to a press release on the company's website.
what man calls civilization
always results in deserts

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
I have quantum mechanics on the other phone, she's quite insistent.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Here's a curious issue. Opinions welcome.

I have a Logitech mouse which connects to the computer by a dongle. The dongle plugs into a USB port.

When I plug it directly into the USB hub a very short distance from the mouse, I get very jerky and unreliable mouse action. When I plug the dongle into an Apple keyboard, I get much smoother mouse operation, even though the Apple keyboard is plugged into the same USB hub.

I'd really rather like to ditch the other keyboard as I have recently upgraded to a stupidly expensive Apple Magic Keyboard, which connects to the computer by Bluetooth and doesn't have a USB port to take the dongle. The old Apple keyboard stopped working as a keyboard after someone spilled non-alcoholic lager into it...

Edit: my dear wife said I should try spilling beer into the USB hub to see if it improved things. I didn't think this was terribly helpful.
Bach without a doubt.

Kim

  • Timelord
It's RF, which means it's black magic voodoo pixie dust and not to be trusted.

I too have a Logitech mouse with a dongle.  The dongle is dangling (as dongles often do) from the end of a pair of ~20cm USB-A extension leads, in order to position it close enough to the mouse for reliable operation.  When plugged directly into the hub the signal's a bit iffy.  I suspect interference from the monitor, but if I turn that off, I can't see the mouse pointer moving.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
If you’re going to go to all the trouble and faff of dangling dongles, wouldn’t it be simpler just to used a wired mouse ???
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Kim

  • Timelord
If you’re going to go to all the trouble and faff of dangling dongles, wouldn’t it be simpler just to used a wired mouse ???

Ostensibly yes, but  a) it's one of the few left-handed[1] meece that's (no longer) on the market  and  b) it does avoid the drag of the cable interfering with your mousing, which is nice.

Unlike most wireless things, it's been utterly reliable (other than the pathetic range), and I merely have to swap a set of AAs every couple of months.  I'm reasonably sure it's an interference issue, as barakta has a trackpad that uses the same dongle, and it has a range of a couple of metres.  (No, I'm not sure what the point in a wireless trackpad is.)


[1] I'm a righty trying to avoid overuse injury, so an ambimoustrous one would just encourage bad habits.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Judging by the fact that it's case is hot to the touch, and the fans are blowing like Concorde's turbines I think this 2008 imac might be be ready for retirement.   I'm just hoping they release a reasonably priced 27" model before I get my credit card out,
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Have a look in Activity Monitor to see if anything’s running constantly. It shouldn’t run hot for no reason.

Also, if you’re adventurous and/or reckless you can take it apart and clean any accumulated dust. I think the older models are held together by screws rather than glue and magnets.

Kim

  • Timelord
I think the older models are held together by screws rather than glue [...]

That's just letting the terrorists win.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

There's a glass front screen that is held on with magnets.  Remove that & you can remove the front bezel & get at the gubbins inside.  I did it when I replaced the hard drive with an SSD a few years back.  It was full of dust then, so a clean is probably a good idea.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Have a look in Activity Monitor to see if anything’s running constantly. It shouldn’t run hot for no reason.

Also, if you’re adventurous and/or reckless you can take it apart and clean any accumulated dust. I think the older models are held together by screws rather than glue and magnets.

I'd check that too, my 2015 iMac (I'm holding out for the rumoured 30-inch version) runs silent and it's usually only something maxing out the cores that reminds me that it indeed has fans.

You might want to reset the SMC.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Using the built in DVD drive seems to kick the fans off.   I've got a separate boxed & unused Apple DVD drive,  as the current models don't include one.  I might give that a try.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Sigh.

We have acquired a newish (2018) Ford Focus puddlejumper.
It has build-in satnav on the dashboard, on the same screen that does radio etc.
The maps are old, and don't have the local bypass on them.
So off to Mr Fords website to see what can be downloaded.

Yay, there are map updates.
But I need to update the system firmware first, before it will offer them to me.
OK, done that.
Now the map updates, plz.

25GB of download, which will take an estimated 4 hours here.
Bugger that.
Off to the orifice, with the work laptop, and it's a 30-minute download.
The work laptop has a feeble SSD drive, and that came close to filling it.

The downloaded file is a zip file, which needs un-zipping to an exFAT memory stick.
Fine. 7zip, have at it.
Gets 50% done, and fails.
Seems it does not unzip directly to the USB stick. It unzips to tmp folder on local SSD/HDD then copies that to the USB drive afterwards.
Out-of-space on the stupid local SSD.

So copy over network to my own PC.
Due to a PSU failure on a switch, this is currently on an old 100Mbit switch.
30 mins to copy over the network.

Then it will be something similar to unzip to the USB drive.
Then the docs say up to 2 hours to install on the car.

Hmph.


I've just found that the latest Dell monitors also contain a laptop power supply and a docking station that can run a second monitor. I can plug my laptop in with a single USB-C connection, and two external monitors, keyboard and mouse just work, and the laptop stays charged.
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...