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Written By: Gary on April 10, 2011 5 Comments

Last month I saw the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525nw Color Laser Printer on sale so I picked one up. Why?

  • Because I don’t have a color printer set up (inkjet printers usually dry out before I use them all),
  • I wanted a network printer (I gave Mom my networked laser printer so she could keep it in my old bedroom instead of at her desk) and this one also has WiFi,
  • I wanted to be able to directly print to the printer via an Apple Macintosh (not routing it through a Windows PC),
  • I wanted it to print directly from my iPhone (and my future iPad)
  • and it was only $150 plus tax!!!!

The darn thing got to my house in under 48 hours and it didn’t cost anything for shipping.

cp1525nw.pngThe one I received needed the firmware updated (maybe that’s part of the cheaper price?) but that only took a few minutes. It works great. It was easy to put together and I can print from my iPhone!

What else can I tell you: It’s also built-in Ethernet, wireless 802.11b/g/n and USB connections. And it’s got some other kind of feature that you can set up so you can e-mail files to it via HP ePrint. It’s got 4.3 stars our of 5 at HP.com and about about the same at Amazon (but it’s $70 more).

The huge benefit is when I’m looking at an e-mail or web page, I don’t need to remember to go back later and print it, it just does it for me then. And my e-mails and web pages look just like I printed them from my computer. The photos print small though (maybe 3″ x 5″?) but they look great. I wish the iPhone would let me print while on the go and then sync up to the printer when I got home (that’s the way it works on the computer); I’m sure that will come in a later version. I’m almost tempted to get a second one because that would get me 4 spare toner cartridges at only $37.50 apiece.

So the color wireless HP LaserJet printer is only $150 until the 15th of April, 2011 so if you’re thinking of a new printer get it. It’s worth it for the cost of toner alone…

Written By: Gary on November 21, 2007 4 Comments

200LaptopSo I caved and ordered my $200 laptop, actually I had to order two . The only way to get one is to donate one, so you actually get one for yourself and a tax deductible laptop that is donated to a developing nation (total = $400). The Get 1 Give 1 (G1G1) program only lasts 5 more days (ends November 26) so order now.

As a “Give One Get One” donor, you will receive one of the first XO laptops to be distributed in North America. Laptops will be delivered on a first come, first served basis.

OnelaptopperchildIn addition, T-Mobile gives you one-year complimentary access to T-Mobile HotSpots (I think you can use any laptop there, not just the XO). So that’s an extra bonus too. The tax write off for part of it and a year of free hotspots (granted I wouldn’t have purchased it, but I will use it) give even more value to it. And I’ll probably spend a little more time at Starbucks and Borders now.

Here’s some more details from when I had mentioned this $100 laptop before and some reviews on the laptop and the program. I’m not sure why they’re limiting the window for when you can buy it or why it’s limited to the US and Canada. I just wish I had it for my next trip to Costa Rica….

Written By: Gary on October 6, 2007 No Comment

Shirt AnimActually it’s more that my shirt detects WiFi. I hope for the next blogger meetup we go somewhere with WiFi so I can wear my WiFi shirt! Watch the animation to the right…

Yes, I know I’ll look like a total dork geek, but isn’t that the point of a shirt like this?


 


 

Written By: Gary on August 24, 2007 No Comment

So I spent some time on Drummond Island (in Michigan just off the east side of the upper peninsula) a few weeks ago. You can see a better perspective of where this is by checking out this map. Note the solid line that zig-zags around it, that’s the Canadian international border. You have to take a ferry (from DeTour on the Michigan Upper Peninsula side) to get over to the island, it was great both times, didn’t have to wait for the next ferry (only once and hour) although we just made the ferry and I had to part at a 45 degree angle to fit! But at least I didn’t have to wait an extra hour. Since there is only one ferry you only have to pay to go there, there ride back is free.

Drummond-DetourI’ve been there before but only when it was very cold. It was beautiful weather the whole time, it was great to bicycle around. The stars were so clear and I had an excellent view of the Perseids Meteor shower.

The internet access was lacking though. They offer hi-speed free wireless at the chamber of commerce but the DSL was down for the whole weekend, , I was starting to get the shakes!!! FYI, the Chamber of Commerce is kind of the Visitor’s Center and is located at “The Four Corners”, everyone knows that’s the intersection with both the blinking red-light and a stop sign :)NorthwoodbarPlus, while I was there I got to hang out at the Northwood which is where everyone hangs out in all the Jill Traynor Mystery books. I had actually started re-reading New America (Book 4) while I was on the island.

So it’s a very relaxed atmosphere there, which is good as long as you want to relax. That’s all that I wanted to do so it was perfect, well, except for the internet being broken that was a problem for me (they did fix it sometime the morning I left) but not so much for most people….

Written By: Gary on March 12, 2007 One Comment

So I picked up a Buffalo WHR-G54S Wireless Broadband Router because you can never have too many routers in your house but mostly because ever since wireless existed I’ve wanted someway to bridge across my house (mostly to hook some old non-WiFi equipment that was in the living room hooked to the stereo) for older equipment that wireless wasn’t an option. So I just wanted a box with an ethernet and an antenna that would then connect to the network. The stuff I tried was too expensive (although that was a few years back) didn’t work as advertised or didn’t pass Appletalk packets. In general, my favorite home router is the Netgear brand wireless routers but I thought I’d try thing.

So the packaging on the Buffalo WHR-G54S made me think it would work (or that I could make it work). It seemed like a nice wireless router but it looked like it wouldn’t do what I wanted, but more importantly I knew I could make it work with the DD-WRT project. This is pretty much a way to put a different OS inside the router and it supports a lot more options, it’s kind of a mini-linux (it might actually be all linux now, mildly confused on that) and there are a few projects like this out there. The most important option (for me) is by being a bridge (a mega-bridge that I can hook 5 computers up to). But it’ll also support radius authentication (if you need it, it’s a big deal), a mini web-server and even a way to power (and charge) your internet cafe.

Warning the content gets pretty geeky from here on.So you have to flash it with a new OS which is mildly tricky, I recommend printing the instructions and crossing out all the non-relevant stuff. It was pretty simple once I found the parts to ignore. Once done it was pretty much how you’d expect any wireless router to be (but better).

It had an option to be a the bridge I wanted this meant I could take any old computer that had ethernet and make it wireless by just plugging it in the router and it would connect to my wireless connect in the other room. I told it what my network was and it was ready to go. This would also be handy for running operating systems that don’t have support for some odd wireless card or USB dongle. Not only would it let me hook up 4 devices it could actually use the 5th port too (that’s probably overkill but it does it anyways).

It’ll run a little web server too. I haven’t figured out all the parts but I will. What I’d like is to set it up like a regular router and as soon as you connect it’ll give you a default web page welcoming you to the network (I figure if I can make this work I can more easily convince my local hangouts to WiFi.)

As a router goes, it supports the blocking options that many routers support but it has 10 different definable options by IP number than you can use (plus you can block by keyword and URL).

Other stuff: It supports multiple DDNS Services (Dynamic Domain Name Services), multiple VLANs, and some VPN stuff. Also some QoS options (Quality of Services) which might be handy if you don’t want those computers sucking up all your bandwidth (just lower their limit). You can telnet in and all sorts of fun stuff.

Written By: Gary on March 9, 2007 3 Comments

So my Mom asks me what her network is, I tell her the name of it but she wants to know what it is. We talked for a bit but she’s not liking any of my (wonderful) analogies. Plus the fact that she’s wireless now means I can’t just say it’s the wire…

The closest on a home scale I could come up with was her phone network. She’s got the phone wires just like the computer wires and a cordless phone in the house. It’s not weird that she doesn’t understand the computer network, it’s weird that she thinks she understands the phone network…

It’s funny the questions people ask when they use technology that they never asked before (I don’t mean just my Mom, I’m picking on millions of people here). There are just so many computer similarities with phones, cable tv, and plumbing but people just never seem wonder about it; but when they get a computer they want an answer. I’m thinking that when she’s over my house next she’ll see all the other wireless networks (in my neighborhood) in her list and that’ll help (at least the why of why it has a name). I was sure to leave out the fact that her phone now goes over the cable with the internet and the television channels.One of the communications issues was to her “network” was a computer word so it just didn’t apply when I tried to talk about the network of highways and roads (or the phone network). I’ll make sure I have some visual aids next time (and wave my arms around while I talk, that always helps).

And it turns out her community education computer class was canceled. Not enough people signed up…

Written By: Gary on January 2, 2007 No Comment

So wireless Internet connections are limited around here (all of Costa RIca). There are computers at Internet cafes (all over) but most don’t have wireless (WiFi), actually I haven’t seen any cafes with that yet (just a few restaurants). Some are willing to let me plug in my laptop (which is almost as easy as wireless) but many don’t understand the concept. I want to do it this was because I type and pick photos before I ever go to the cafe, I don’t want to sit at the cafe, I just do it when I have a few minutes here and a few minutes here and there (99% of what you read and see is picked and typed already). Then when I get to the cafe I hit send and I just have to wait a few minutes to send/recieve e-mails and post items (photos take longer).

FYI, Internet is way cheap everywhere here, about 20 colones a minute which is about $2.40 an hour. Some are very slow though…

Written By: Gary on December 15, 2003 No Comment

I’m so excited!!! I can post wirelessly to my blog via the cell phone. I don’t know how often I’ll use this feature but it’s nice to know that it’s an option. I just love technology!

It’d probably be just as easy to hook the phone up to my laptop, but I’ll sleep better knowing that I can. ;)

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