F 1 D 0 -- 02 01 21 at 10 50 Sunday at Guru's place. I spent a lot of time on transit yesterday. It would have been a good day to bring my bicycle, I think, in retrospect. Today there is lots of snow. You see, this morning I've woke to see a few inches of snow. Pretty white fluffy snow. Now in a day or so, it will become Toronto Snow. Grey, salty and hidden ice within. For now though, I can appreciate its quiet loveliness. Yesterday was such a busy day! I woke to a phone call from Shelley. I didn't answer, as the first waking phone call has this deep voice, and a sense of mind disconnected. It causes people to ask, just after they say Hello, "did I wake you?" Now if you should answer no, then they continue to think about how dumb you sound. And if you should answer yes, then they may not actually get to telling you the purpose of their call, deciding instead to apologise for half an hour. So I just let the phone go to voice mail, but wake up, and use the bathroom. I call her right back. She wants to know what version of Operating System she has. "Windows 95?" I ask her right back. "Ok, do I have the disks for that?" I'm not sure, now. I think she may, but I'm not positive. "Ok, Thanks!", says she. Her sister wants to borrow her materials. Since she cannot find them, she doesn't have to worry any more. Before I can start the kettle, Guru calls. "My printer is having a fit," she jokes. She likes to give her equipment human properties. When we were in the car later, Wizi, her husband, talked about the printer being "A bitch". "No, it is just a Union Printer. It is only being paid to do 10 pages a day, and if you ask it to do over time too often, it calls the shop steward, and shuts down your entire operation. It is in the contract." "What contract?! We didn't sign no contract!" We joke this way for a long time. I'm shuffling time, so bear with me. I spoke with Guru on the phone, and made plans for a Monday visit. But perhaps a couple of minutes later, who should phone but my father. Dad is outside the door. He's just dropping off some mouse bait. Cool! He wants to know if I'm awake. Yes! Ok, come to the front door. And there he was. Without wasting any more time, I turned off the stove, and asked him if he'd take me to Guru's place. Sure. I called Guru back and asked if she wanted me sooner rather than later. Sure. Ok, this was a done deal. We stop at Starbucks along the way, at Eglinton near Bathurst. It is a funny narrow cafe, but it is fine. I was surprised to see that they no longer use the colourful red cups they introduced in December, and are back to the white ones with the green logo. So I get dropped off. I'm carrying a lot, as usual. A fiddle, for band practice later. A bag with winter things. This managed to miss out on hat-mitts-scarf for some reason. But included a black fleece. Back back laden with pennywhistle recorder and gym stuff. Hey, dad got himself a new car, for him: an eighteen year old Mercedes. So now Ari has a new one, and Dad has an old one. Mercedes feel so spacious inside. They don't seem elegant, as they're advertised. They seem to make sense though. When I'm inside them, I feel like there is plenty of room for me. Also the controls for adjusting the seat make sense to me. On the door is something that looks like a seat. It is two plastic controls like a seatback and a seatcushion. They lift, they depress, and they twist. Dad says, "Don't touch it! It is broken, and the whole thing will just fall backwards, and I'll have to connect it again." So much for seat controls. By the time I get to Guru's it is already time to fix lunch, and I'm invited. I go to look at the printer. It is a Lexmark Z52. I cannot advise you to go get one. But perhaps Guru can. She paid very little for it, and it made 50 pages or so a day. When it worked. If you do get one, keep my phone number, as it provided a lot of consulting work for me. The software is my first complaint with it. Not only does is arbitrarily commit illegal operations and go beyond its memory. It has a program which talks on the internet. Lexpps? I'm not sure what it is saying to who, but if you failed to give this program a connection, it would wait until it got through. I called technical support, and they said to just delete it, and it would be fine. When I did that, the printer would no longer share over the local network. I called back, and they said I'd have to choose: local printer with local access, or shared network printer which asks for the internet a lot. We chose local. When I fixed it, it was always an easy repair. I'd unplug it from all sources of power. I'd count to ten. I'd plug it in. This is one of those smart printers. It has a power switch. When the software is working correctly, it tells the computer that it is to power off, when it has a chance, please. But such a function isn't genuine. It tells it to also watch the buttons, so that when you press power once again, it should "power on". As you see, the printer is always on. When I saw this printer previously, it worked, but kept making a noise in the ink basket (or whatever you want to call the carriers of the rectangular ink cartridges). It would make a ripping or wretching sound, whether idle or working. I gave it the complete reset, and it worked! Now it was truly acting up. I could get it to print, but at about 10% into the job, it would freeze. It took about ten resets for me to read that there was a status message about the ink basket. "Damaged Ink Basket, fatal error." But that would be shown for perhaps 250 milliseconds, and it would return to "Black ink low," and "Color ink low." I opened the door to the cartridges to have a little look. !! WHAM !! WHAM !! WHAM !! It seems to have developed some strength. It throws its carriage so very very hard, I found it shocking. I reset hard, and now that is all it wants to do, is bang its heads against the wall. I give the printer last rites, and tell Guru and Wizi it is time for a new printer. So I move on to getting a Fujifilm Finepix 6900 camera going. Sigh. The drivers for this camera are NOT on the enclosed CD rom. They're also not on the web site. Not in UK, US, or JP. I spent a lot of time trying to make this happy and healthy. On a hunch, I started using GOOGLE. I began by searching for 6900, but just kept getting review articles. When I started searching for the files I *did* have (I was missing a couple for the USB drivers, USBSTOR.DLL) I found an education site with drivers for the Fujifilm 1300. The names were the same, and the files were the same ones talked about on the UK site. The UK site for this camera is VERY GOOD. They address, right on the top right of the screen, "Having Trouble Connecting your FinePix Camera? Click Here Now!" Everyone else has to browse through their make and model on this site. Once there, I see lots of screen shots. They are instructing the user to remove any prior USB Mass Storage drivers, and telling them how. That's Not Easy! They do it anyway. They make it easy by telling them to run something like UNIN_123.exe -- but I didn't have that file. Grand. It was web searching for (the above) that helped me find what I needed. Once it is all installed, the camera acts like a removeable hard drive, when plugged into the USB port and turned on. Turn it off, and it vanishes without a complaint. Cool! Guru says she's going to the Business Depot and wants to know if I want anything. I had just gotten the camera connected, and wanted to go for the ride. Wizi decides that he doesn't have to come. Just the two of us (Guru and I) should do the trick. He pulls me aside, and makes sure I understand something. "Don't go buying the cheapest printer which will do the job! I know you Virgos. Always trying to save a dollar. Well DON'T. Get something good so we don't have to be calling you all of the time. I wrote to the TORTECH email list just before we went out the door, but not soon enough to get a reply to it. Inside the Business Depot it was Very Busy. You'd think it was a big sale, but I'm thinking that Sunday Shopping makes sense. Cashiers were all very busy. The boys on the floor were all there too. I was expecting helpers who didn't know a thing, but was surprised. Our two helpers were Christian and Shakher. For a whole minute, we considered high end ink jet printers. But the problem remains the cost per page is about a dollar in ink. Christian says we should consider a color laser. Wizi says, "They're too much money!" I make with my hands, and say, "Just tell me how much it is." He interrupts "I said they're too much money!" And I make a shhh sound and tell the kid, "Just. Tell. Me. How. Much. It. Is." "We've just reduced them from 2000 to 1545. It is great. We've been making pictures on it, and it's a lot of fun." We were now nose to nose with a QMS Minolta 2200 ColorDesk. It is a big thing. Ok, smaller than a dishwasher, but bigger than Large Laser HP Printer. I was surprised. Shakher shows that it is connected, but we are wondering why we cannot print. Inspection shows that both the parallel cable and the blue CAT-5 network cable going from the printer to a network printer router thing. So no computer is actually connected. After much fussing, and telephone permission, he finds a laptop and sets it up with the printer drivers. We printed a few pages, and it does the laser printer thing. Smooth colour output. Inside it has four toner sections on a wheel. Looking inside reminded me of looking into a jammed copier. It wasn't a copier, and it wasn't jammed. Just as well. I wouldn't want to have to pick out pieces of things from it. It took the two Depot boys to get it into its box. The lines at the cash were long. But by the time Guru was there, the box was full of printer. A shame, really. We couldn't get the box into the car, no matter what. So Shakher and I unpacked the printer, and it rode on the front seat. I hurt myself a little and needed rests to move this thing. Eventually we got it set up in the basement, and I was ready to go on to band practice. I called Kevin, and they'd started early. Many of the group were sick, so they met at 3pm instead of 6pm. I was calling just as they were thinking of winding down. So I missed the chance to play the violin I was carrying with me. Sigh. So I returned to doing something useful. I needed to figure out how to use the finepix camera to take reliable pictures of faces, eyes in particular. It has auto settings, and lots of manual settings. I wanted to use the manual ones! You see, flash makes it weird. I want the eyes. Guru does Iridology, and she needs a good picture to work with. If it flashes, it makes a bad eye picture. If you don't use flash, it has trouble with the autofocus. And manual focus is hard when you cannot see clearly enough to get it sharp. I wasn't able to get to the bottom of that problem. We did chinese food at Guru's and then I needed to head to someone else. Ferdid calls me when she has computer trouble, but not right away. She has to reach a maximum level of discomfort. She'd been without sound for a long time, maybe 3 months. Lots of things wrong here, but all curable. The master was entirely muted. So I removed the [x]. In the mixer, I found the wave files all muted, so I fixed that. Still no sound. Could it be mechanical? I checked the speakers and they were on. But behind the computer, the plug was on the table, outside the socket. "Hello Gabbs. Nice to see you again." Those words were spoken by Bonzi Buddy. I'm thinking he is evil. I've read that this application watches what you do, and tries to determine which ads are the very best for you on that basis. Oh, yes, it has a cutsie blue gorilla who keeps asking you to play with him. He sings, he tells jokes, he sighs. He really does precious little, unless you upgrade him to Bonzi Gold. Bonzi free has one song, a few jokes, and mostly does sales work for himself. "You know, Gabbs, I would like to be upgraded! This won't take too long. Can I upgrade now Gabbs?" We kept Bonzi around just long enough to set volume levels, and now he's been Add-Removed from the computer. I took my time going home, and phoned Cindy. She had a bunch of guests recently and so they rented a game cube and some games. I won't do those games. Just what I need. A new addiction. I've recently re-discovered SAME.EXE a solitaire kind of thing. Maybe I'll post it so you can waste time with it as well. All in all, I don't want anything which does a great job of keeping me from doing things. 3D graphics and sounds will keep me entertained for years. I know it. I managed catching the 110am Victoria Park bus. In the bus bay is someone I've seen over and over, and so I'll call him Frank, as I can't remember his name. He comes home from work late at night, and we see each other on the last regular Vic Park bus often. Tonight he was making a Toronto Sun newspaper into basketballs, and trying, over and over, to get them to go into the garbage can. Nope. This was entertaining, in a special way. He'd try and try, but all he needed were the two crumpled sheets. They didn't want to go into the garbage can. I suppose they knew what kind of garbage was in there. He was telling me that he intends to get a new job in February, where he will work from 5am to 8pm for five days a week. "Long Days!" I tell him. "I'm saving to go to University in Windsor. I want to take Mechanical Engineering." That sounded so good. We talked about it for a while. He's good at math, and has been coaching others in between work. I finally got home at 145am or so. I was hungry for meat, and prepared some chicken noodle soup (from a yellow envelope) and sliced some frozen steak into it. I like how that comes out, believe it or not. I just let it poach in the soup until lightly done. It isn't fried tasting, so I don't feel guilty over that. And it is rare. The hot soup cooks too fast for it to come out blue. I tossed it with some Maggi seasoning sauce. It is like Soy Sauce. The bad room mates took all of the Soy Sauce I had. I try to keep a few bottles around, as I like how it makes meat. I won't bother buying more, but will concentrate on using the many foodstuffs I have here. I've been over an hour typing this. I should see what food I can take outside to the rabbits. The snow has probably hidden the other stuff. That's all I know.