My New Kodak Hero 6.1 Office AiO Printer

kodak hero 6.1 AiO printer

My new refurbished Kodak Hero 6.1 Office AiO printer arrived today and I could not be happier.

The email that I received mentioned that I would not get a new print head or any ink, but since I had just bought a print head and a bunch of ink I should be fine. They also had to send me a new power cable because the one that belonged to my Kodak EasyShare 5300 printer wouldn’t work, but they didn’t charge me for that. They didn’t send me a new USB cable because the one I had would work, and did work. It sure is a good thing I didn’t get rid of my old printer before the new one came, I would’ve been in trouble if I had recycled the USB cable.

There are several features that my old printer did not have, nor have any other printer I have ever had in the last 17 years that I’ve been using computers. Wow, has it been that long already?

2-sided printing: This is a new concept to me. I have heard of it, but have never experienced it. I tried it as a test and was blown away. It was like someone had just shown me the invention of a thing called “sliced bread” and it blew my mind. It printed the 2nd page, then it sucked the sheet back in and it printed the other side. WOW! I’ve never seen anything like it.

Fax Machine: I used to be able to fax when I had Windows 98. I used my scanner to scan the sheet and since my computer was hooked up to a modem for the interwebs, I was able to use the modem to call a phone number. I was also able to receive a fax that would use my printer to print the fax, or I could just view it on my screen. So faxing is not new to me, but when I upgraded to DSL in 2001, I lost the ability to fax. Of course I have not tried that out, but I am sure when the time will come, it will fascinate me to no end.

Wi-Fi and Cloud Printing: When I got my Kodak EasyShare 5300 AiO printer, I read somewhere that there was a printer that you could print to from another computer through the Wi-Fi, but my printer did not have that capability. I found out that I could have bought a USB stick that when plugged in to my other printer would give me that ability, but it was something like $30 – $60, can’t recall the exact amount, but yeah… no. Couldn’t afford that. We didn’t really have Wi-Fi back then anyway, so it didn’t really matter. I looked in to it when we did get Wi-Fi, but the price tag was too high. I have this connected and it’s neat, but I am not quite sure how to print anything from my Nook or my cell phone yet. I went to my Etsy Shop with my Nook and clicked print on a customers receipt, but nothing happened. When I say nothing happened, I don’t mean that nothing printed, I mean that clicking the link didn’t do any good because a window to open a print dialog did not open. I’m sure it would work if I were using a Windows laptop or my Chromebook, but not my Nook. I haven’t tried my phone yet. It did give me an email address that I could send emails to and it would print out the attachments if that’s what I wanted to print, but that’s not exactly the type of thing I want.

kodak graph and line templatePrintable Forms: I actually did not see this one coming from a mile away. I actually found it by accident. I watched videos and never once did they mention you could print graph paper, ruled school paper, shopping lists, to-do lists, tic-tac-toe and sheet music of all things. I printed a sheet of graph paper and the wide ruled school notebook paper  and was completely blown away. It also has narrow ruled. I would be cool if it could suck the sheet back in and print on the other side, but I’m not going to push my luck.

Another feature that sort of blew my mind was the status monitor because it tells me how much paper I have in the printer. I don’t mean the page count, it says like I have 80% of paper in there. I can have 200 sheets in there, which is pretty freaking cool considering my other printers would only hold 30-50 sheets. It also tells me that my black ink is 100% while my color ink is 45% and that 2-sided printing is enabled. The little screen on the front of the printer shows me the image of how much ink and paper I have, but it doesn’t say a percentage. Not that I need to know, but still.

I’m pretty happy and impressed that I got this refurbished printer for only $89.99 plus tax and shipping for a total of $104 and change. It is on Amazon brand new right now for nearly $449.99, 6 new and used for $139.99. So yeah, I think I got a great deal. The newest version, the Hero 9.1 is sold on Amazon used right now for $199.50. It doesn’t have nearly as many buttons, and a giant touch screen, which I am sure would look awesome, but I am happy with what I have.

I loved my Kodak EasyShare 5300 AiO printer, but I really love this new one. It’s a shame that my old printer died on me, but I’m glad it did. I have had many good years with it, but I was due for an upgrade. I hope to have many years with this one and I look forward to my mind being blown away with the next thing when this one dies.

WizOrb PSP Mini

wizorb_titlescreen

I have been spending a lot of my time lately either resting in bed, getting a shiatsu massage or a vibrating massage because of the chronic pain that I have been suffering in my back lately.  I say lately, but I have had Degenerative Disc Disease for a few years now, or longer, I only found out a few years ago from an MRI that I had it because of my shoulder pain.  I have actually been suffering chronic pain for a long time, but it comes and goes and this time it seems like it doesn’t want to go because I have been in constant pain for the last couple of weeks.

Because I’ve been spending a lot of time resting my back, I have been wishing I had a more mobile computer than my Chromebook which doesn’t seem to want to be used anymore since it disconnects from my WiFi as soon as I start typing.  I have many devices that I can use besides my desktop and my Chromebook, but they don’t load websites as well.

My cell phone is, as I like to call it a dumb phone, since it’s not a smart phone.  I would love to buy an android phone from Virgin Mobile so I can do all of my internet stuff while laying in bed, but since I don’t have one, I figured I would go onto the MediaGo Sony Store to see what new game I can download for my PSP.  I had $2.09 available in my account, so I figured I’d find something around that price, and I found WizOrb in the Mini section for $1.99.  That should keep me busy since it’s a new game I’ve never played before.

I loaded the game and played the first bit of it and was a little confused because it basically looks like I’m playing pong, but with better graphics lol.  Speaking of the graphics, it reminds me of The Legend of Zelda for my old Game Boy from 1994, except in color.  It’s like Link’s Awakening to Pong.

That’s just my first impression, I haven’t really gotten to know the game yet so I can’t really form an opinion of the game until I get really into it.  I do look forward to playing it though because it does look like a ton of fun, even though it’s a PSP Mini lol.

I will come back and blog about how much fun I am having when I get to play it more.

Update: This game is really hard lol.  I give them props for difficulty, even at normal pace.

My Cromebook WiFi Works Again

I believe it was in mid January when I started having connection issues with my Cromebook (CR48) and couldn’t fix it.  I’m still not sure what happened but I was very frustrated that I couldn’t use it anymore.  It became a paper weight on my desk.  The 3G worked, but the WiFi kept disconnecting.

This is what happened.  I would be typing (as I am doing now) and suddenly lost my connection.  I noticed that my words weren’t coming out right, instead other words were being selected and deleted with every key I hit.  I would look over at the WiFi icon next to the clock and it showed that it was trying to connect, then I’d see an X.  The only way I was able to continue with my blog post, tweet, Facebook update or IM conversation was to turn 3G on.  I’d have to save my work or put the person I was talking to on hold and reboot.  At first rebooting helped, but it would disconnect again.  I got to the point that I just stopped turning it on.

What happened today was I went to play with my PSP and wondered if there was an update available.  I tried to log in to my network and it wouldn’t let me.  I noticed that it said my network was not compatible.  That didn’t make sense since Chips iPhone and my Nook haven’t had any issue logging into the network.  I loaded the Linksys EasyLink Advisor program and went into the security settings and it gave me an error.  I starting thinking that maybe that was the reason I was having issues, so I reinstalled the WPA security and viola, my Chromebook is online with no issues.

I have typed this entire post on my Chromebook without one disconnect.  Before that would have been impossible since as soon as I started typing the WiFi would disconnect.  The problem has been solved and I hope someone who is also having issues might see this and check their own network security settings.  Good luck!

Let’s Bundle Up

We have had DSL with our phone company for the last 9 years and I’ve been very happy with it but it is just getting too expensive for me to have to keep paying for.  The phone services weren’t that bad but when they charge you $10 for making a couple 411 calls then it’s bad.

I was paying about $75 a month for phone and DSL and I am paying $117 a month for our cable.  The cable company has a bundle special which is $115 for all 3 services, although we’re not canceling all of our cable services so that price is just a bit higher.  Our new cable bill will be $150 a month which is about $40 less than I pay now for the cable and phone bill together.

The Bright House technician came to the house today and installed the phone and the internet.  Before he left everything was working but then Darrin went to make a phone call and the phone was buzzing.  No good!  I tried plugging the cable modem into the router and I didn’t have any wi-fi NO GOOD!

I went to walk the dog and there was a man standing on our lawn with a clipboard and he freaked me out at first until I realized he was from Bright House.  He was a supervisor checking up on the work the technician did and he said it wasn’t good.  He had the tech come back out and fix some things that weren’t right and got everything back to normal.

It took forever to get the wi-fi working, he refused to help me with it because he was afraid I would blame him if something went wrong with my router lol.  Ok I don’t blame him I guess but I mean, what good is getting cable internet if I can only go online with my desktop?

He had to put a new cable in from the pole to the house and that is what made the wi-fi work.  Although, I was having issues with my Chromebook losing connection at least 4 times tonight after that.  I had really high security settings so I had to bring it down a notch and then it was ok.  Another couple of issues and it’s fine (I hope I didn’t jinx it).

It’s supposed to be really fast.  Our DSL was only 4mbps but our cable internet is now 7mbps so that’s a bit faster than before.  It’s something I guess.

I don’t know if the upload speed is good though.  You tell me!  I don’t really upload too many things, I just tweet and blog that’s all lol.  The grade is C- and it says it’s slower than 59% of the rest of the united states which sucks hard but like I said, I was on 4mbps and it’s faster than before so bite me.  I’m very happy with what we have, I’m especially happy about our jump in speed.

Acer and Samsung Chrome Netbooks Announced


I saw the news this morning on Twitter from Editor for PC Magazine Lance Ulanoff:

Google: ACER introing netbook-sized ChromeBook #$349. Samsung’s ChromeBook: $429 for Wi-Fi Avail June 15. #io2011

I was way off on the price.  I figured that since the Google Chrome OS is a browser-based only computer that they would sell a Google Chrome OS Netbook for $150-$200.  I never thought they would sell as high as they are.

Chrome OS Site also reports the specs for the Samsung netbook along with other pictures of the netbook from different angles.  The Samsung Chrome OS netbook will sell in WiFi only for $429 and 3G for $499.

I have been using my CR-48 Google Chrome OS netbook since mid December when they first started shipping and I love it.  I still use my desktop computer but only for things that I can’t use my CR-48 for like photo editing with Gimp, balancing my checkbook via Microsoft Money and playing Lord of the Rings Online.  My CR-48 has basically become my default computer for everything else, as it was supposed to be for the pilot program.

I cannot say that I agree with those prices because you can get a netbook for the same price with Windows installed and be able to install software that you want on it to do everything my desktop computer can do.  The Google Chrome OS is internet only.  You can get the internet on a Windows netbook so why pay that much money?

It’s a great operating system, I just don’t think it’s that great that you would pay $500 for it.  I think that they will go down in price eventually so I would wait until they are a more reasonable price.

Google Chrome Laptop

Google announced this week on Tuesday that they are going to give 60k laptops away to groups and people so that they can test out the new Google Chrome OS. People aren’t testing the laptop, they are testing the operating system itself. These laptops have a 12.1 inch widescreen monitor, built-in webcam and mic on the top of the screen, 8-hour battery, WiFi and 3G with Verizon where they give you 100mb of data for $9.99 each month for 2 years.

The test itself is only supposed to last for 6 months which makes me wonder if they will be asking for the laptops to be returned but the statement that they are giving you 2 years at $10 a month for 3G tells me that perhaps these laptops aren’t going to be taken away after 6 months. But I can’t tell for sure. I mean, what are they gonna do with 60k used laptops? They can’t sell them and they’re not going to take the time and money to refurbish them are they?

In case you are wondering why I am blogging about this all of a sudden, well, I have one. I signed up to be a beta tester last year but I don’t know if that’s why I got so lucky. I got an email from Google on Wednesday inviting me to apply to get one. Friday morning I went to the grocery store for an energy drink and found it on my doorstep when I came home.

At first I didn’t know what it was because I didn’t order anything. It didn’t even occur to me that I got approved for a laptop. As I’m opening the box I see this diagram of a helmet that an evil scientist mouse would build for world domination. Or at least cat domination. As I opened the box I see the battery pack then the laptop itself.

My first thought was “WOW I was approved? NO FREAKIN’ WAY!”

I took a picture of the keyboard, screen, top and bottom. It looks navy blue in the image for some odd reason when in reality it’s more of a charcoal color. Click it to see it full size which is 1280×768.

By the way, this is not a product review, it’s more of a bragging post :p lol. This is not what is going to be for sale in 6 months when the beta testing will be finished and as I said I am not testing the laptop but the operating system.

One of the rules about being in this program is that I use this as my primary machine. I’m not sure if blogging about it is allowed but since I’ve seen other blogs talking about it and a few YouTube videos (as I write this 1,130 videos) showing it off and people talking about it, I figure it might be ok.  Since this is going to be my primary computer for the next 6 months I figure I might as well talk about it.

I have used Google Chrome as my default browser for over a year now so it’s not a difficult adjustment for me. Although this new keyboard and touchpad are adding to the challenge. I am getting used to it tough.

I have not actually timed it but when you first turn the computer on by either opening the lid or pushing the power button, it gives you this cool Chrome logo then within seconds you are in your login screen.  When I see my image with my Gmail account name, I type in my password and I’m in.  Instant desktop, no waiting.  When I close the lid while it’s turned on then come back to it later, it loads instantly back to where I left off.

My desktop is a Chrome browser like you would see when you first open your browser but it’s always there.  Instead of having the most used websites on that window, it has icons like you would have on your desktop.  There is a new Google Web Store where you can search for extensions, apps and themes.  When you find the one you want, just click install and viola it’s installed.  No muss no fuss.

If it’s an app then you will have a new icon on your “desktop” but if it’s an extension then you will have a new icon on the top of your browser next to the wrench and bug report link.

Since it’s a website based computer, it’s really fast.  I’m telling you, it is so fast that it puts my desktop computer to so much shame.  Like when I watch a YouTube video it’s very smooth.  It plays the video from start to finish without any interruption like my desktop does.  I’ve gotten to the point where I hate watching videos on my computer because of how they keep pausing and I’ve recently reformatted it too so this new laptop is very welcome on my desk.

I haven’t tried the webcam yet but as soon as one of my friends and/or family members logs into Skype then I can try it.  Oh, since Skype is obviously not a web-based app, I had to find a web-based IMing website that allows you to Skype.  I found imo.im in the web store and I’ve been using it for all of my IMing.

I have been able to use the webcam with taking pictures with Picnik so I can tell that the webcam built into the top of the screen isn’t very good quality.  Then again like I said, I am not testing the laptop but more the OS so it doesn’t have to be great quality, although it is much better quality than my current webcam but I digress.

I have had a few crashes but it turns out to be my fault because I’m not used to the touchpad.  It doesn’t have any buttons, it’s just a touchpad.  You can press on it and the whole thing clicks on the bottom but you can also lightly tap on it which is how you click.  The problem I have with it is that it’s so freaking huge that when I type, my hand is constantly moving the cursor and clicking things.  I have to learn to lift my right hand while I type to avoid that.

It’s an awesome computer and I will be very happy with it just as long as they don’t take it away from me lol.  I don’t know how much it is going to cost when they start selling it in the summer of 2011 but it is worth every dime considering it is the easiest computer for anyone to use.  You don’t have to know anything about computers, all you need to know is what website you want to look at.

There is still some time if you want to get in on this.  All you have to do is go to this website http://www.google.com/chromeos/ and apply for the pilot program.  The deadline is 11:59:59 on 12/21/2010.  Good luck.

Barnes and Noble Nook

Well I did it. I bought my Barnes & Noble Nook tonight. I bought the Nook WiFi for $149 because I really don’t want to pay $50 more just for the convenience of having 3G.

I haven’t read anything on it yet as I just bought it but I’ve been playing around with it while it has been charging. The guy at the store told me I should charge it for a few hours before using it but it’s charging very fast. The last time I looked it was at 88% and it’s only been plugged in for 30 minutes. I think they give you a 70% charge because it didn’t start off with 0%.

I didn’t do an “unboxing” video because how many of those are there on YouTube? Hundreds, I don’t want to add to it with more of the same exact thing.

It’s a lot heavier than I was expecting but it isn’t that heavy that it will cause an issue for me.

When I signed into my account and registered my new Nook I went to my library and was surprised to see that all the books in my account were already downloaded into the Nook. I didn’t have to wait at all.

People are always complaining about how long it takes to turn the page in these things, it’s really very fast. The time it takes to change to a new page is the same exact amount of time it takes for me to turn the page in a real book so I don’t see an issue. Also one of the videos I saw on YouTube said that when you change the font size it could take up to 20 or 30 seconds to do that because it has to refresh the entire e-book but that isn’t so with mine, it took the same amount of time as turning a page.

It finally charged to 100% so I plugged the USB cable into my hard drive and it installed the driver immediately. It even popped up the explorer window so I could add my own files to it. I have a few books that I’d like to add to it from Rainbow eBooks and it’s only taken a few seconds to do that. I’m also going to add some 4×6 images for the screen saver. Although they have to be 6×4.

I did the tutorial when it came up and it showed how to do things and one of the things I like was that when you turn the page you could either use those buttons on the right and left or you could just swipe the touchscreen with your finger. Yeah, swiping doesn’t work… That would’ve been cool but it doesn’t work for me.

I loaded a PDF file, that James Potter e-book… yeah… pdf files suck. I’m gonna have to figure out a way to convert that to .epub format so it’s readable. The only way I know how is to use calibre but that has issues but I will figure it out because I really want to read those.

It’s too late at night for me to start reading a new book so I’m going to just wait until I get up in the morning and start reading Dead Until Dark, the first Sookie Stackhouse novel.