18 Nov

LA Is Not My Kind of Town

Despite my taste for corny Barry White songs, I don’t like Los Angeles much. At least not the LA I remember from a UCLA summer session 18 years ago, as a non-driving visitor with little money on hand. Admittedly LA without car nor cash is by definition a non-starter. Bldg Blog had a great post that captures the essence of that place very well (I can’t bring myself to call it a city), in a “never met a woman so alone” way. To many people LA doesn’t feel just indifferent but also downright hostile. I’ll have to give it another chance some day but I think you need someone to drive you along and help you socialize or else, or how do you even get started there?

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01 Nov

Scam Alert: Canon IP5300 Ink Vampire

We have several products from Canon and we usually like their stuff, but what they’re doing with their IP5300 inkjet printer makes me think it was the last product I bought from this brand. Here’s the deal: they put little chips on their ink tanks to be all smart about it and tell the printer when they’re going to be empty. First problem is, I have a tank complaining that it’s empty even though it’s more than half full. Second problem is, the damn printer driver won’t let me print even *in greyscale* (which uses a separate black ink tank) because of that supposedly empty tank. Third problem is, the bypass they’re telling me to use to force the print doesn’t work most of the time. This system is supposed to be smarter and it’s just plain dumb instead.
Given that a) I have no time to deal with that kind of shit and b) ink is an order of magnitude more expensive than champagne, I’m concluding that this is a deliberate scam to sell more ink. Or an extremely incompetent way to write printer drivers. Either way, if you’re considering buying Canon printers, you’ve been warned. I understand that the inkjet printer business model is razor and blades on steroids, but this is too much.