Useful Consumer Review

When doing screen printing, the only timing sensitive thing is really the emulsion exposure time.  I keep forgetting, so I bought a physical timer to remind me.

I wanted something really simple, but something that didn’t make a tick… tick… noise, so I got this Jacob Jensen thing.

IMG_5670And the user interface is quite nice.  There’s just two buttons — to increase the minutes, and to decrease the minutes.  Great.

However, the viewing angle is really pitiful.  Unless you’re looking right at it, you can’t really read the display at all.


Useful Consumer Review

I thought that getting an EyeFi card for my camera would make blogging easier.  I mean, just snap a picture, and then it’s transferred to your computer automatically?  Result!

But the range of the wifi in the EyeFi card is pitiful. You have to leave the camera less than a couple of meters from the access point to have it discover the wireless network.

That’s not the worst bit, though.  If you snap a picture with the camera elsewhere, it’ll try to create its own ad-hoc network.  And then … it apparently tries to connect to it?  Or something?  This is what the screen says:

DSC00704And the only way to make it connect to the real network is to switch the camera off and then on again, and then take another picture, and then it’ll try to reconnect to the real network.

Man, that’s pitiful.  It would be faster to yank the card and put in into an SD-to-USB card manually.

Like an animal.

In conclusion: EyeFi sucks.

Useful Consumer Review

Anything that’s wireless doesn’t work.

But there’s degrees of not-working-ness.  I’ve had wireless keyboards that drops one in every five keystrokes even though the receiver is only a meter away, and I have keyboards that drop only one in twenty keystrokes over a range of ten meters.

Cisco wireless router. Fie! Ick!

But the most problematic wireless gear is wifi.  I had a Netgear Access Point, then a … er, I forget, and then a Cisco one, and they all sucked.  I mean, really.  None of them could give reliable networking over ten meters through a couple of walls.  I ended up with the Cisco two meters away, and I still lost teh webs sometimes.

And then I got this Asus RT-AC68U thing.

The Asus RT-AC68U wifi AP, hiding in a cupboard at the farthest reach of the apartment

By Emacs!  What a difference!

I’ve had it for a month now, and my laptop hasn’t lost connection once!  And the throughput! And latency! It’s unimaginable!  It’s almost like having a wired connection from twenty years ago!  It’s fantastic!

I can even sit on the balcony and work!  I should use more sunblock!  It’s really hot in Oslo this week!

The Eyefi card I’ve got in my camera still can’t get any connection unless it’s less than a meter from the access point.  That kinda sucks.

But a huge numbers of thumbs up for the Asus RT-AC68U. It’s the best wireless router in the history of wireless routers.

(This advertisement has not been paid for.  Actual router functionality hasn’t been tested; I’m just running it in bridge mode as an access point.  May not be applicable to your region.)

Useful Consumer Review

I bought an HP Officejet 7110 (which is an A3 inkjet printer) to print stuff for screenprinting and the like.  It prints out nicely onto normal paper, but whenever I tried printing onto any type of plastic (transparencies for screenprinting or vinyl for t-shirt transfers) it creates these annoying lighter horizontal lines:

IMG_5511After trying all the different print modes, and calibrating with each of them, I found some settings that lessened the problem, but nothing that could remove the problems totally.

Now, the 7110 is the cheapest A3 printer I could find, so it’s perhaps not surprising that it’s not…  fabulous.  So I got a more expensive printer, the Epson Stylus Photo R3000.  Which is also an A3 inkjet printer.

IMG_5514Look, ma, no lines!

IMG_5510Well, except where there’s supposed to be lines.

But it’s not a perfect printer. The main issue I’ve had with it so far is that you can’t use the front loader unless you’re using really stiff paper, and plastics aren’t very stiff.  So you have to use the back/top loader, which means that it takes up a lot more space than it should have to.

IMG_5513It prints out very nicely, though.  On paper, vinyl and transparencies (it’s down with OHP, even if the manual doesn’t say anything about it) — it looks good on all media I’ve tried it with.  Work well with CUPS under Linux, too, although it’s new enough that I had to install the .deb driver for it manually.

And it has a gazillion paper quality options, and lots if various inks.  Four black inks, for instance: Matte black, shiny black, light black and light light black.  (Yes, it’s called that.)

So that’s not much of a review, except to say: The Hewlett-Packard Officejet 7110 sucks if you want to use it for screenprinting, and the Epson R3000 works great.


The Sony NWZ-W273 Walkman Isn’t Very Well Made

I bought a new Walkman the other week.  I was quite impressed, and I remained impressed IMG_5443until I started to use them.

After wearing them for half an hour, the volume in the right speaker dropped down to almost nothing.  It kinda varies, but it’s very very low.

I binged, and apparently this happens a lot.  The recommended solution is to either get Sony to give you a new device, or to reset the device, so I did the latter.

And then it wouldn’t start up at all.  It gave four “lower” beeps, and then one “high” beep, and then it switched itself off.  I think that “high” beep is the “error beep”.

After fiddling around with it for a bit, I thought that perhaps it would help if I removed the songs from it, and I did.  It would now boot and play stuff.

But the right speaker is still dead.

Geez, Sony.