Sunday, April 24, 2005

Techno-geek troubles

  1. My Samsung ML-6060 needs toner. A toner/drun package costs $99, and prints about 6,000 pages. Not too bad, about 1.6 cents per page.
  2. But wait -- my Epson Stylus C84 ink jet has started screwing up. It's started dribbling black ink all over the paper. Looking inside discovered three sponges. The one under the bed was saturated with ink on its ends, so I washed it out in rubbing alcohol and put it back in. The one under the black head where it usually sits when not busy was saturated with black ink, so ditto. Big glops of clotted black ink were everywhere, so I cleaned them up with paper towels and cotton swabs wherever possible then used rubbing alcohol on cotton swabs to finish the job. The one under the color head was saturated with ink, but that does not appear to be an issue because of the design (there is a rubber wiper around the sponge and there is a suction hose beneath it, apparently it's supposed to be saturated with ink?). There were great globs of black ink on the rubber wiper that wipes the nose of the print heads as they come across the bed from their resting place. I cleaned everything up as best I could, but there's still black glops. I suspect there's a black glop sitting under the printhead where I couldn't get, trapping black ink when the head recharges into the sponge and then dragging it across the paper.
  3. Still, it's obvious that this is a disposable printer. Those sponges aren't consumables, they were intended to last the life of the printer -- which, apparently, is around a half-dozen ink cartridge changes and a thousand sheets of paper. This is the last Epson printer that I ever buy. They claimed they'd solved their problems with print head clogging. Obviously not -- they just moved them. Fool me once, shame on them...
  4. So: Laser printer needs toner. Need color printer. What's the obvious solution? A color laser printer! So I go look around. The obvious solution is a Samsung color laser printer. Ooops, that thing is HUGE, I have no place to put it! Hmm, and it's a boat anchor with Linux (i.e., unusable). Look around. Ah, there's a Minolta-Konika! Err, no. Consumables eat you alive. The per-page costs are about twice that of an HP ink jet.
  5. ERK! Well, I'm satisfied with the ML6060's print quality and its per-page cost is astoundingly low, so I'll buy another toner/drun cartridge for it. Guess I end up buying an HP ink jet printer to replace the Epson paperweight. Sigh. What I liked about the Epson was the waterproof inks, which was nice when you went hiking (your topo map turning into a colored smudge is a REAL bummer!). But if Epson can't produce a reliable printer... well, what can you do?
  6. Ut-oh. My server is locking up. Updated my SATA subsystem to the very latest libata patches applied to the very latest 2.6.11 Linux kernel, and still locks up. This isn't supposed to happen. What is supposed to happen is that a drive fails, and the Linux MD RAID subsystem fails the drive and continues on using the two drives that remain working. It isn't supposed to lock up the whole friggin' system when a drive in a RAID array locks up! Since the system locks up before it prints an error message, I don't know which drive it is. I wrote a test that sequentially read each and every byte on each and every disk and everything works PERFECTLY. I don't know what's happening here, other than that Linux sucks. But if you're a penguin, what else can you run?
So I guess what I'm saying is that computer geek issues are going to be top of my plate the next few days, and it's unlikely that I'll do much more than an occasional snark riff based on someone else's blog postings. Bummer.

- Badtux the Computer Geek Penguin


  1. I understood the parts in English.

  2. Heh! Believe me, if I was getting REALLY technical, there wouldn't have BEEN any English in any form you recognized anyhow. Yes, I am a serious techno-geek, that's what I do for a living. Blogging is something I do as a distraction between kernel compiles.

    - Badtux the Geeky Penguin


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