March 29, 2008

Hacks and Toys

Posted in Commentary at 3:38 pm by Michael Sweeney Media

I bought a Canon MP950 all in one printer a year or so ago. Paid more than I should have but it has proven to be a workhorse printer which has always worked with my Macs, printing, scanning and coping. Which is a hellva lot more than I can say for the two different HP all in one piece o’crap printers I had before this Canon.

It makes outstanding prints of photographs, but it’s limited to 8×10. What has happened recently was I needed to print some DVDs and my Epson R200 which I had bought just for this reason a while back, is at the office and not here at the home office. I stumbled over the hot tip of the fact that many Canon printers including my MP950 WILL print CD/DVDs but the option was removed in the US settings and the opening covered up somehow. The hack is to remove the cover (10 seconds) and to drop the printer in to service mode and then flip it to the EURO settings. On my Mac, I had to remove and reinstall the OSX printer drivers for it to “know” the CD option was now there.

I also had to buy the tray off of eBay for 20 bucks with free shipping and the CDR with the CD printing application plus directions. So I spent about an hour getting everything hacked and in place and voila! I printed a DVD from my printer. Yay!!! Suck on that Canon. I’m looking at getting a i9000 for large format prints and I’m told this one also will do CD printing.

My ebay seller was rungsamilathai and the site with directions is pixma.ulmb.com . If you have a Canon printer, you owe it to yourself to go over and see if your printer can be converted to print CD/DVDs. Stupid that they locked it out when everyone else in the world offers it.

I just bought an old 15 inch iMac G4 for 25 bucks and then spent another 100 to get RAM and a wireless card for it but now I have the perfect Mac for the kids. It plays movies, surfs the internet, integrated monitor, wireless and almost impossible for them to tip over :). And no worries about viruses and spyware from the “kid” sites. Old Macs never die, they just keep working and working. Heck, the damn thing even runs Tiger 10.4.11 pretty well in 768M of ram. I’ve seen a hack to put Leopard on it but I think that is a bit over the top for now. Maybe if I could overclock the CPU, then I would consider it.

My old/New AppleTV 2.0 is rocking cool now. The iMac Intel upstairs streams movies and shows 24×7 to the AppleTV downstairs via wireless (8011.G) and never misses a beat. I have been using Handbrake and Visual Hub to convert my various kids DVDs into the AppleTV format. Both have been effective in getting around the stupid DRM on my DVDs. I hear that the newest DVDs are to come with iTunes ready files plus the normal movie files. About time they figured it out.

I have been making post cards for a site called “postcrossing” using my HP A626 printer and some self sticky postcard backs I found at http://www.the2buds.com. Niffty way to make a 4×6 post card. So far cards have been sent to Finland and Singapore. I made some from a fav shot from Disneyland which is a nice local color picture and everyone knows what Disneyland is.

I have been learning about shooting weddings (with camera, not with the 9mm) and I found a great tutorial at Monty Zuckers site here. He gives alot of cool info on shooting and posing. I also got some DVDs from my favorite rental site, www.smartflix.com. If you have not looked at the site, you really owe it to yourself to go there and poke around. The rentals are cheap, the customer service is top notch and they have everything.

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