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Science & Technology / Re: Endless Complaining
« Last post by random axe on January 18, 2020, 11:36:30 AM »
I would LOVE to have a laser printer again, although I almost never print anything at home.  But a color laser printer is expensive, and seems like everyone needs color now and then.
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Science & Technology / Re: Endless Complaining
« Last post by pdrake on January 17, 2020, 08:29:39 PM »
Our whole office is HP and they all seem to be pretty solid. The only inkjets are the 60" roll printers and the 8' flat bed printer. The rest are laser printers.

we have a few Xerox big copy/print/fax machines (big floor standing models) that are utter garbage. constantly breaking down and the windows print drivers were written by drunk (superfluous) Russians on their 80th hour of work for the week.
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Science & Technology / Re: Endless Complaining
« Last post by random axe on January 17, 2020, 06:52:20 PM »
I've been dealing with a lot of recent HP printers lately, and, I gotta say . . . at least fifty percent of them seem to be utter crap.  Never mind the insane ink prices, bad design, evil subscription plans (which so far I've been able to opt out of).  If I'm counting right, I've had to deal with . . . six new ones in the last couple of years (mostly various Envy series models), and half of them have not been worth taking out of the box.

I was a HUGE HP printer fan for decades, not that that makes me unusual, but now I couldn't recommend one to anyone I don't hate.  It's a total crapshoot.  And their customer service is a joke, now.  We had a problem with an Envy 5055 today, and we were directed to the online helpbot thing.  It's super-clunky and weirdly slow, but early on it wants to know what kind of printer you have.  Which is fair.  But you can only choose a model from its list -- and it's not aware of the Envy series.  The most common kind HP currently sells.

We tried several different times to get it to cough up an Envy model in its list, and finally we got something . . . weird, but it was apparently related . . . and so we chose that.  By clicking on its name.  On the list of model names that the bot gave us.

And then the bot told us there was no such printer model.

:nonplused:

Hey, HP?

:brick:

:gfy:
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Arts & Entertainment / Re: What are you reading lately?
« Last post by stormneedle on January 15, 2020, 09:52:34 PM »
I get that people, me included, don't like the narrator changing in the middle of a series of [audio]books. But I don't need to see two pages of reviews where that's the only thing mentioned! If that's the worst thing that happens to you, count yourself lucky.

But at the moment I'm about halfway through Charlie N. Holmberg's "Smoke and Summons". Subtle storytelling, and the world building accretes as necessary rather than getting all laid out in a long exposition or two. There seem to be similarities in how she writes her characters to her "Paper Magician" series, but I'd have to read them more to make the connections.
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Arts & Entertainment / Re: What are you reading lately?
« Last post by Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 10, 2020, 03:56:48 PM »
Right, I loved the Pelican Brief, but I can credit myself for having read them all that I've read that one.
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Science & Technology / Re: Endless Complaining
« Last post by flipper on January 10, 2020, 01:42:30 PM »
I vote for the facade.  The gas station food sealed that for me.
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General Discussion / Re: Weather ... or not
« Last post by random axe on January 10, 2020, 11:43:53 AM »
WELP it's about 45 F today, with a drizzle of rain.

After 7 PM, we're supposed to get two freaking inches of rain by morning.

Then we're supposed to get half an inch to three-quarters of an inch of ice.  I'm not sure I even believe there'll be THAT much ice.  We'll get sleet and rain and maybe snow mixed in.

Then more of the sleet / freezing rain into Sunday.

Then temperatures in the mid-30s Monday and in the 40s on Tuesday.

This is the new normal -- rapid crazy changes of unusual nonsense.  :nonplused:
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Arts & Entertainment / Re: What are you reading lately?
« Last post by random axe on January 09, 2020, 01:18:48 PM »
I read Pelican Brief and Time to Kill by Grisham.  Pelican Brief was surprisingly good, although the film was surprisingly bad.  Time to Kill was . . . either just terribly naive or a great example of a First Novel.  But from what I hear, his later novels were of the If You Want More Of That variety.  Eh.

I haven't read Robert Harris.  All we have at the moment is Archangel, which looks like more of an investment than I have time for right now, but I'm gonna watch for The Ghost.

While I was looking, I found a 1972 Harry Harrison spy-thriller called Montezuma's Revenge, apparently one of two about an art expert who works for the CIA.  I had no idea Harrison wrote non-SF.
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Arts & Entertainment / Re: What are you reading lately?
« Last post by Dr. Leonard HmofCoy on January 08, 2020, 07:48:39 PM »
I recently read, in rapid succession, "The Broker" by John Grisham, and "The Ghost" by Robert Harris (Enigma, Fatherland, Archangel, etc). What a contrast. The Grisham is so freaking routine as to make me wonder if he's actually far more clever than we ever realized and has come up with an AI to write Grisham novels. My wife was ranting about his consistent, rigidly followed formula. Anyway, it mostly takes place in Italy, which is why we bothered, because we just went there! Anyway.

"The Ghost" is one that it turns out I've read before, duh, but dang, Harris can write creeping dread better than almost anyone. The story is, a hack ghostwriter is retained to write the memoirs of the recently retired and extremely unpopular British Prime Minister (and obvious Blair clone) because the previous ghostwriter fell drunk off the Martha's Vineyard ferry in the middle of the night on a trip no one knew about. Not suspicious at all! And, of course, like in all Harris novels, there's a Big Secret, worth killing to preserve, and the tension ratches up on the main character as he closes in, wittingly or unwittingly, on the answers. Also, utterly formulaic, but so much better somehow than the Grishams that I don't feel bothered by it.

And speaking of formulaic ... well it's not like that, but I read a new Louise Penny Inspector Ganache novel, "A Better Man." I might be done, there, even though I like the characters, the silly little invisible Quebec town, and the murderous office politics in Montreal. But they're all about the same. A bit overwrought. And I should have realized from the title that it was going to be about domestic abuse (oh yeah, that pearl jam song) so meh. Or méh, as they say in Quebec.
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Arts & Entertainment / Re: What are you reading lately?
« Last post by random axe on January 07, 2020, 11:36:42 AM »
I read a few detective novels by Jeremiah Healy, an author I only heard of when a customer asked if we had any of his books.  I don't know why I'd never heard of him -- Healy wrote something like a dozen "Cuddy" novels, about an Irish private investigator in Boston, and three novels as Terry Devane, about an Irish female attorney who turns PI, also in Boston.  He was publishing from something like 1984-2003, and the Cuddy novels aren't terribly similar to Robert Parker's Spenser books, but I'd think there was considerable audience overlap.

The ones I read (Blunt Darts, The Staked Goat, Invasion of Privacy) were all fine -- it was easy to read all three of them in the same month, which says something.  The structuring is a little odd, but not broken, and it helps keep them from being too predictable.  They're not stunning, but I'll ready more of them if I see more of them.


Right now, I'm re-reading Wintersmith, by Pratchett, which I haven't read since not long after it came out.  I'm impressed by how little I remember of it.  :lol:  :whatever:
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