Sunday, March 27, 2005

Photo Printers

I investigated photo printers a while back. What I found is that there's a BIG difference in consumer photo printers. There are 2 very different types: dye sublimation and inkjet. Inkjet prints in dots while the dye sublimation uses the same technique as commercial photo printers.

There's a good article on the differences here.

Here's a search on dye sublimation printers so you can see which models they are.

Sony's DPP-EX50 Picture Station is a dye sublimation printer. Steve's Digicams looks at the cost per page. He says:
The DPP-EX50 sells for about $180 and the ribbon and paper averages about $0.60 per print when making 4 x 6" postcard size prints.
That price per print seems high to me when I can get commercial digital prints at Walgreen's for $0.29. Better yet, I can use Picasa and upload them to Wal-Mart and have them waiting for me for $0.19 ($0.17 if you use Sam's Club). And remember, the pickup location can be at ANY Wal-Mart so you can send them to your mother's home town.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Google Suggest

Y'all know how big a Google fan I am. Remember my previous article on Google SMS. I ran across Google Suggest while crawling blogs tonight. There's background on it here.

Here's the article that led me to Google Suggest. It discusses the technology behind it.

I call myself watching what's going on at Google Labs but I missed this. I found Google Video the other day but it still seems pretty much crippled. Every link says "Video is currently not available." Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 20, 2005


I must confess. I'm a ThinkPad addict. They're all over my house.

At work, my first one was a 560. Then I moved up (so I thought) to a 240. That one had a weird keyboard and I gave it away as soon as I could to someone who was a hunt and peck typist. Next came the 600 series. The last pre-Dell system was an X20 (which I am still using to type this!).

I got my daughter a 760 for college and won a second one! Her 760 ran until the hard drive started making funny noises. I replaced it with a new-in-the-box 600. Soon after, my work's off lease ThinkPads started turning up on the recycler's list. I grabbed a couple of 600Es, one to replace her 600 and one for myself. If you max these out with memory and don't load up the hard drive (6 GB) with junk, they make a great Windows XP machine.

A few T20s have turned up at the recycler. I grabbed one of them for my Ben in the Den system. When my personal X20 was just about out of warranty, I gave in and got a Dell C400. I sent the X20 off to IBM with a laundry list of "problems." They fixed each one and I got back a practically new X20! I played with Linux at work on this X20 for a while then turned it back to the recycler. I bought it back from them and have been treating it lovingly ever since.

It's amazing at the difference in a 4 year old X20 and the latest Dell D400. The X20 still blows it away. I can't imagine what a new X40 would be like.
You can see pictures of many of the ThinkPads here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


You've probably read what kind or problems I've had with Firefox. I had stumbled across MyIE2 some time back but since it used the IE engine, I fell into the rush to Firefox.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I ran across Maxthon (formerly known as MyIE2). This time I read it closer and then downloaded it (after all, it's free!).

Wow! It's got a lot of the Firefox capabilities (tabs, ad blockers, sidebars) but it renders like IE. I even like some of its features better than Firefox. For example, double clicking a tab closes it. Double clicking on the favicon in the address bar opens a new tab with the same URL. The Favorites sidebar has the ability to auto-hide. It has a super drag-and-drop where if you click and drag a link, that link opens in a new tab.

The number of Maxthon's options makes Firefox's look wimpy.

There are things I don't like. I miss my google tool bar. It doesn't have IE's popup blocker. The one built into Maxthon is more irritating than IE's. The help, well, there is NO help. It is slooooow rendering xsl pages.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

My Favorites

I use lots of computers. Besides the work laptop, at home I have 2 desktops (sometimes 3) and around 4 laptops going. It would be a nightmare keeping up with favorites on all of them. For years, I have used BlinkPro. With the January IE patches, the drag-and-drop link to bookmark a page quit working. My second inquiry to them yielded the following:
It appears that this feature is not going to be solved. The drag-and-drop functionality was only ever available on IE. Since Service Pack 2, it has not been available for most users on IE and caused other problems for those users. As a result, we have discontinued this feature.

That sent me out on a quest to find an alternative. I started at my favorite (pardon the pun) software source I found some interesting alternatives (BookmarkSync and LinkDistributor) but I kept running into references to SyncIt. When I went to to see what that was all about, I was really confused. Then I ran across an explanation on Interesting, but sad, story. Seems like lots of folks lost their bookmarks.

There are a couple of companies out there that have picked up SyncIt's code and are offering it for free or for a subscription. SyncIt's story and my experience with BlinkPro made me leery. I wanted something that I could control end-to-end.

I played with creating a web folder on my website, but couldn't get Windows to set My Favorites to a web folder. I even tried TweakUI.

In my searching, I finally came across They apparently are one of the organizations that picked up SyncIt's code but they have a twist. In addition to storing your favorites on their server (it's nagware), you can use any ftp site. It was a piece of cake to just point their application to my web site! Now, each computer has it's own copy of My Favorites synchronized with the others. Updates are pushed after 2 minutes (default but changeable) and pulled every 4 hours (ditto). The file on the server is even in xml. There's an xsl file that describes how to render it. I've got to learn about that.

When you install FavoriteSync, just ignore all the questions about setting up an account with them. Click on through and let it install. It'll show up in the system tray as a star. Right click on it and choose Options. Setup the Server tab to point to your ftp server.

I'm slowly weaning myself away from BlinkPro and onto FavoriteSync and am having NO trouble. You can see them here.