pbray: (Default)
Four years ago I acquired a Netbook, an EEE PC that I named EEK. The original purpose of EEK was primarily for travel but it soon developed a new use-- as the couchsurfing machine. The perfect tool for answering emails, surfing the web after dinner, or snarking with jpsorrow during Project Runway.

Alas EEK has begun showing signs of dementia, as befits its advanced age (in PC years), and while last week's mishaps where it randomly inserted strings of 9s into the midst of everything I tried to type was annoying, now there are a couple of keys that it no longer recognizes, which means the valiant EEK's days are numbered.

I want something similar, a lightweight tool that's the right size for email, websurfing and the occasional writing stint when I'm away from home. I also don't want to spend a fortune. Tablets appear to be all the rage, and you can't beat them for portability, so I stopped by Best Buy yesterday to check out what was there. The tablets are very shiny, but the whole typing on the glass screen experience wasn't a winner for me. I know you can buy auxiliary keypads, but having to lug around accessories defeats the point of buying the compact tablet in the first place.

So, peanut gallery, any thoughts? Netbook? Tablet? Do touch typists eventually get used to typing on that limited keyboard on the flat screen? Or should I go back to the telephone and mailing handwritten letters?
pbray: (Default)
I've failed at technology recently, ever since the great PC virus incident was followed by the human virus which I swear lowered my IQ by 20 points for every degree of fever.

Most recent failures? My website http://www.patriciabray.com has spent the last few days pointing to a "Coming soon" page at Goddaddy.com rather than my actual website at http://www.sff.net/people/patriciabray/ due to a failed update to the domain record. After bouncing around with emails to tech support and making updates that each require a 24 hour waiting period to see if they take effect, today I braved the call queue hold time and talked to a live person. Who advised me to try a different nameserver setting and... wait... you guessed it, wait 24 hours to see if that fixed the problem.

Came home to find my cable box was apparently fried when Time Warner tried to send out updates last night, so after mucking around with them on the phone I've now packed up the box and will have to drive it over to the cable store and hand it in for a replacement. I can get basic channels by just plugging in the cable line to my TV but there's no onscreen guide telling me what's on or what's coming up next. I feel like it's 1989!

And with my newfound technical wariness, I'm taking my time setting up my Dreamwidth journal. Still need to add people to the circle (what LJ calls friending) and set up filters, so that will take a few days. As with this entry, anything on Dreamwidth will be crossposted to Livejournal for the immediate future, as I get used to the new space and kicking the tires.
pbray: (Default)
Ever wondered how many queries an agent sees in a year? [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia posted her stats here. My eyes began watering in sympathy.

On the printer front, the new printer was finally installed tonight! It had arrived earlier but I'd been waiting for [livejournal.com profile] jennifer_dunne to help install it, since it weighs 65 pounds. The print quality is great and the speed is stunning to someone used to a 10-year old inkjet. The print lizards have found perches and are happily sniffing the toner, which is a tad overwhelming in a small space. I'll probably wind up rearranging things so the printer isn't right next to me. But so far so good, and you really can't beat a $299 color laser.

Hard to believe Christmas is less than a week away. My shopping is done, packages mailed, and most (but not all) of the stuff ordered over the internet has arrived or is en route. Still a ton of stuff to finish up at the day job, but with many folks already out on vacation, I'm hoping tomorrow will be a productive day.
pbray: (Default)
Through the miracle of the internets discovered that the printer I wanted is currently on sale on the OfficeMax website (note nearest OfficeMax is an hour away). Free shipping on orders over $50, so voila, printer has been ordered and should arrive by the weekend. It's a Brother color laser with 250-sheet input tray capacity and a theoretical top speed of 21 pages per minute.
pbray: (Default)
My ancient inkjet printer has been slowly dying--at first it was misfeeding paper and then it developed a tendency toward spitting out ink. I changed inkjet cartridges (twice), but while there was a brief improvement, the smearing ink came back. As did a new symptom, where random lines appeared much lighter than the text above and below them. I tentatively diagnosed a problem with the track mechanism--as it travels back and forth the cartridge is either too close to the paper (smearing) or too far (light print).

So on Saturday I went over to Staples to see what they had in stock, and found a printer that looked good, with a 30% off rebate. But since I hadn't made up my mind, I decided to check a couple of other places to see what they had on offer.

Somehow I missed the fine print that the rebate offer was only good for one week. When I returned Sunday, the printer was back to its regular price.

Grr. Argh. Now I'm stuck waiting to see if that printer goes back on sale, or trying to find something else at a comparable price. And in the meantime, my HP knows it's about to be replaced and is misprinting with wild enthusiasm.
pbray: (Darth Tater)
Many years ago, flushed with success after selling my first book, I purchased an HP inkjet printer. As I recall it was on sale for $399.

Pause. Blink. $399. A bargain at the time.

It still works, but it's slow. The input paper tray holds a maximum of 100 sheets, and the output tray needs to be emptied if there are more than 50 sheets in it, otherwise they begin spewing all over the floor. Normally this isn't an issue, except for the times when I need to print an entire manuscript. As happened recently, when I needed to print off not one by three copies, which meant an entire evening of babysitting the printer.

I'm now toying with the idea of purchasing a laser printer. Any thoughts or recommendations? I thought about it last year but was lazy and never got around to making a decision. But the prices of B&W laser printers have come down so much that it's really foolish not to have one.

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