Friday, February 28, 2014

Tax Time!

Tomorrow we go in to get our taxes done. It’s going to hurt and unlike Timothy Geithner we pay ours. The purchase of the new RV will help for sure, but a few years back Illinois increased the tax burden on us by 60%, they’re talking about another 60% soon because we aren’t bent over enough yet and for some reason the more we give them the more they spend, funny that.

Hopefully we come out not owing this time around, cross your fingers! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Printer Update, Day Two…

Last night I configured scanning to a network folder for Ronda and I so now there are 4 profiles for the 2 of us. 1 for pictures and 1 for documents, I scanned pictures and the complaint of poor picture scanning turns out to be true. Bright colors are over saturated, this is one area the 8600 actually did very well when it worked but the pictures can be adjusted with software and I’m hoping we won’t be doing to much of that anyway. Scanning and copying documents were very good.

Scanning to the network folders worked perfectly and the scanner is fast, press the button and a second later it’s in the folder, nice. I have to set up scan to email next, no time for it this weekend since I’m working, maybe Sunday night.

Printing pictures were amazing, every bit as good as you can expect, I printed a picture of Elvis’s desk and the print was as good as the picture. Using premium laser paper really looks fantastic, marketing materials will really pop, the HP demo page looks exceptional. More to come…


Friday, February 21, 2014

Ok, I Know I Said I Wouldn’t… another HP printer, I should have been more specific, I’ll never buy another consumer model HP printer…Disappointed smile  I know I know  After punching out my HP 8600 my hand has mostly healed and I have been doing a lot of research on a proper business class laser printer since I am also swearing off of Inkjet, forever. My research has come down to several choices, but these are the two I came down to, the HP LaserJet Pro 200 M276nw Color All-In-One and the Samsung CLX-4195FW All-In-One.

The Samsung appealed to me because of the ability to print easily from our Samsung devices but it was $100.00 more than the HP and this also and most importantly has to work for my business. So the frivolousness of apps and ease of printing from a tablet or cell phone is very secondary. Not being able to look at and check out the Samsung helped rule it out, I have to be able to check it out before spending good money on something I plan on using at minimum 5 to 10 years.

Print quality and printer build quality is paramount and the one series of printers I have 2 decades of experience with are HP LaserJet's. The one consistent complaint about the Samsung was output wasn’t as good as the HP and there were complaints of failures, all printers have these complaints so you have to separate the wheat from the chaff and read them all and see which ones are people who should not be attempting to install their own equipment and which ones are having actual failures. You would be shocked at what people will blame on a device when it’s they that should not be attempting… well you get my drift.

I found Staples had the HP on sale for $299.00, this is a ridiculously low price for a color laser all in one and $100.00 less than the Samsung, there were others I had written down as well but no need to get into those. Some of you might have a different brand or model that you love as well. So, I bought the printer and for the very first time I also bought the 2 year all inclusive warranty which was also on sale for $15.00, a no brainer for an extra 2 years of coverage.

I have the printer out of the box warming up and I am working up the energy to carry it downstairs. The good thing is I already have my HP ePrint account configured from the 8600 so I can easily add this printer to the account. It also has the ability to print from any device so we get that even though it wasn’t important to me. Being able to print in color with very good quality is what this printer is acclaimed to do, we’ll see. I’m heading down with it after I post this, cross your fingers!

EDIT: 9:25pm - All I can say is outstanding so far. Initial set up took about 30 seconds, the amount of time it took me to type the wireless passphrase and a few seconds later a report popped out, done. I then plugged in my network cable and the wireless automatically shut down, perfect, as it should be. I printed network documentation, a .pdf invoice and a word document, the quality is as good as our Enterprise level $2,000.00 HP 4700dn we bought years ago. Fonts smaller than size 8 are even clear, many have a problem with small fonts. Verdict night one, happy happy happy!



Monday, February 17, 2014

2 More Months!

It won’t be green, there will be leaves and mud and gravel clean-up to do but it’s getting close! It opens April 15th, I’m hoping they allow us to come in a bit early, like the weekend before to clean-up and prepare because once the dealership starts deliveries it’s going to be hard to get fit in.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Posted 2/27/13 – How Great Thou Art

I posted this almost a year ago, it’s so good I thought I would repost it… I Chromecasted to the big screen and surround system, incredible…

“Once in a while you come across something special.

Vance Perry recorded this on 12/29/2007 for his Uncle Jack who had just died. Turn up the volume and enjoy the harmony this man creates, it’s so well done and inspiring, brought tears to me eyes.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Google Chromecast

I got one as a gift and let it sit a while while I figured out if I wanted to mess with it or not. I figured what the heck lets see what this thing is all about. Initially it refused to work with the wireless provided by the Comcast X1 wireless router, it kept dropping off so I installed my old router as an access point and it’s happy with that, in fact so are our computers.

For playing video’s on the big screen it’s great but can get boring pretty quick. Netflix works fine with it but what I like the most is playing full HD music videos on the surround sound system and HD TV, wow it’s incredible! It depends on the source of course but those that upload 720p and higher typically have the right surround track encoded and right now I’m listening to Celtic music and it sounds incredible on this system. Using Flickr and photo sharing sites look great as well.

It’s $35.00 and if you like to have control over video/content from your laptop on your large screen HD TV over your network it’s fantastic. Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

59 Days To Go Plus Camper RV Show This Weekend

April 15th is opening day at Blackhawk Campground. I can’t wait! Until then, we have the Camper RV show this weekend at Rosemont, IL.

See you there!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

HP 8600 Premium TORTURE, Hours Spent For Nothing

I thought I could at least use the HP 8600 Premium printer for scanning or faxing… oh no, now all it does it toss out this GENERIC WORTHLESS error message and since this pile of complete and utter crap is just out of warranty HP says they are so sorry for my failed printer, have I blown $130.00 on new ink the support person asks, YES! Did I buy a new print head for $40.00, YES, did I clean this, reset that? YES! I even tried a Fonz smack down as a last resort, unlike the jukebox the printer is still stupidly giving the same error. Well if the Fonz smack doesn’t do it…

Her last question? Have I seen the new models? New models? THIS IS the new model!! Current price for this turd of electronic crap is $399.00 for the N911n model I have. I checked out the HP support forum for you know whats and giggles, there are I don’t know how many people with the exact same problem as I have and HP’s forum support people have no idea what to do but point people to the worthless user guide or to tell them to buy new $400.00 printers.. so I guess $400.00 printers are now disposable after a year of use. After trying hours of different things… still getting this generic error that helps nobody solve the problem.


Contact HP, that’s funny right there, India answers your call with a script, guess what the script lacks, TROUBLESHOOTING IDEAS!!! After I post this, I am carrying that brand new looking pile of complete HP CRAP and throwing it in the trash.

Stay tuned for a picture of it in the trash can.. I couldn’t wait, I put my fist through the top of the unit…. see pictures below.


Bye bye junk… I even had the box!!


One punch did this, broke the scanner and blew out the glass… plastic JUNK.



The History Of Windows

I’ve been using Microsoft since it transformed from CPM/DOS to Windows 8.1 Pro over 30 years later. There are a few that I forgot about, unfortunately BOB was not one of them, I remember that one, same with ME but over all most did a very good job considering there were thousands of computer makers and Windows had to work on all of them, unlike the closed off system Apple uses closing off their ability to gain more market share but my opinion of Apple is well known. I’m not saying the Microsoft OS is superior mind you… that’s a different post, anyway, check out the article and see which ones you have used over the almost 4 decades Microsoft has been around. 


Monday, February 10, 2014

HP Doesn’t Want Customers

I for 20 years have bought nothing but Compaq/HP Servers. As of February 19th 2014, HP will no longer allow free firmware updates for their servers. If after the warranty expires HP discovers an issue it issues a new firmware update to address the issues that were defective in the previous or original firmware.

Only now they’ll expect us to pay them for it, as if paying $12,000 for a new server didn’t net them one heck of a healthy profit. I’m a free market kind of guy, but this is utter crap and I’ll lay odds sales of HP servers goes down while Dell’s sales goes up since they still offer free updates as long as they have something to update. It’s almost as if HP is trying to lose business, lousy quality on printers, now this. I am moving from an HP fan to somebody who will now look at the competition first, not second…

Compaq was a great company, great support, very good products, servers built like tanks (Compaq is now the cheap line of computers from HP since the buy out). It looks like HP isn’t happy with BILLIONS in profit… nope now they want to soak us even more. You want free driver/firmware updates beyond the warranty, BUY their more expensive support packs! Well guess what, they RARELY write new firmware updates for as long as these support packs go so you’re wasting money on a gamble that just maybe something HP missed during development will be addressed 5 years or more later. The number cruncher that got this through I hope loses his job.

Maybe I’m being too picky? I’ve been doing this a very long time, the one thing you could depend on because you were paying premium dollars for these servers was they would issue firmware updates as needed not because WE screwed up but because THEY did and the firmware update is a fix for that screw up. OY.

A little snippet from the article -  “PC owners probably don’t give firmware updates much thought and rarely, if ever, seek them out directly. Enthusiasts and small businesses running low-end servers, on the other hand, have a keener interest in firmware since sometimes skipping an update can be fatal for their investment.

But getting those firmware updates for Hewlett-Packard’s servers are about to get a little more difficult. HP says that beginning next Wednesday, February 19, it will effectively start charging for access to firmware updates through the company’s support center. Only customers with an active warranty, an HP Care Pack subscription, or support agreement will be able to download the updates directly from HP.

Previously, HP firmware updates were freely available.” See the full article HERE.

I disagree with the article that “Enthusiasts and small business running low end servers have a keener interest”, enthusiasts sure but they don’t buy low end. You want to charge somebody who bought a server extra because they only forked out $350.00 for the cheapest box they could find, great, good luck with that but to hit everybody including people who spend as much on a server as some people spend on a new car, patently ridiculous.

These things are built in China, if I spend $12,000 (this believe it or not isn’t the high end!) on a new server the profit is well over 1,000% even after figuring the marketing channel and shipping etc… I hope Dell’s response to this is a marketing campaign explaining how they will not be doing this. Either way, HP is no longer first on my list for well, anything and that may not hurt them but I know a large amount of IT guys and I bet they feel the same way.

So long HP, you have been making the wrong choices A LOT lately and this last one nailed it. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

HP 8600 Pro Premium Review – Updated

Quick update to the review, the printer now doesn’t print anything… it’s a $370.00 boat anchor, not even two years old yet and kaput.

HP’s reaction? I SHOULD HAVE PRINTED MORE! My previous HP 8450 is 10 years old, it has seen only 145 pages in that 10 years and the ink is 5 years old. I printed out a picture yesterday as good as any high quality photo printer can make and HP says I should print more. With the price of toner you’d think it could handle sitting a while but the toner in the printer is new, the printer sees it as new but is unable to print more than a few dots so per HP I let it sit so it went bad, BULL*^$T. Disappointed smile

The cost to repair the printer, about what it’s worth so I’m calling a recycling place to see what they’ll give for it. The saying they don’t make them like they used to works here… this is my last HP printer.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Blog

Nope, I didn’t start a new blog, I found one that has been around since 2010 but this is my first time seeing it. Karen from the blog  image gave a link in their latest post to another blog image. Head on over and check ‘em out, they have a great blog and a twin rig to Karen and Al’s.

Have a great Sunday everybody!