Random Notes

Archive for the ‘Computer’ Category

Another good experience bying used IT

Posted by mfluch on February 24, 2011

There are certain companies which make excellent computing hardware with long time value. IBM (or nowadays Lenovo) is one when it comes to laptops. For laser printers I rely on HP.

When I was in England I bought 3 years ago an HP LaserJet 2300dn (duplex unit, network card) for cheap and till now I am a happy owner of it. During the time I have owned it so far I gave it an additional 500 pages paper tray and more memory (the memory is maxed with 306MB right now). All for cheap and all works like a charm!

In Germany I have just bought myself a used HP LaserJet 4300dtn (duplex unit, network card, additional 2nd paper tray) on eBay and made very good experience with both, the printer and with the FeComp, the company which sold the refurbished machine. The printer was very cheap (even for a used one, just 160€ including free shipping. The printer came quickly and exactly as described.

However the printer had a few small glitches. But then this can always happen with used hardware, regardless how well they are checked, things just can slip occasionally the attention. In my case it turned out that there has been a tiny bit of dirt on the transfer roller which caused the printing to have a small dot printed every 3.8 cm along a vertical line. The other problem is a strange noise of the left fan which is occuring in regular intervals (not too often, but always again). Both problems do not affect the use of the printer very much, but still I would prefer them to be fixed sooner or later.

So now the good news: First of all, it is easily fixable. The service manual for the HP LaserJet 4300 can be found online (it is a whopping 442 pages document) and there is hardly anything which you cannot fix with an #2 Phillips screwdriver. Also a lot of replacement parts can be found online. That is why I love HP LaserJet printers! :-)

The other good news is that FeComp did a very good job in providing me the replacement parts for free. Of course I could have sent the printer back, but who wants to send a 20kg printer forth and back for some small replacement which can be done nicely by oneself? I don’t, would not make sense (and I love fiddling around with a screwdriver and fix things for myself). I had a good e-mail exchange with the responsible person at FeComp and I am glad about the professional way the small problem was handeled. Glitches can always occur regardless how much one tries to avoid them. The improtant thing is how such things are then handled. And in my case FeComp has done a great job here! :-)


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Posted by mfluch on January 23, 2010

I just found a great service on the internet for easily keeping a collection of files of you accessible from different computers: Dropbox. The nice thing about it is that no complicated setup is needed and that it just works. And this all on Windows, Linux, Mac OS and iPod Touch/iPhone.

Here is random tutorial about the use and benefit of Dropbox which I did find on Youtube:

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Saving for the Next Investment

Posted by mfluch on March 10, 2009

Working at my office already since October 2007 and at the moment at home with a temporarily borrowed 20 inch iMac under Leopard I got more and more fascinated by the efficiency of the every days work flow. Now that Apple has recently released their new improved iMacs I got to the point that I decided to turn another dream into reality: I will soon buy an 24 inch iMac. What I am still waiting for? A few Pounds are still missing on my account (but since I slowed down buying lots of vinyls on eBay this does not take anymore long time) and the upcomming release of Snow Leopard, the new Mac OS which is due in June. So I presume that as soon as I return early in July from my planned trip to Germany I will place the order for my dream computer! Can’t wait for it! Hurray! :-)

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Merging PDF’s Under Mac OS

Posted by mfluch on June 17, 2008

A small nice tool to merge PDF’s under Mac OS: Combine PDFs by Monkeybread Software. It’s freeware.

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Posted by mfluch on April 4, 2008

This morning the hard drive of my IBM T30 and as the fan of my T30 was already in its days with its on problems I decided to go for a new ThinkPad model. On Lapstore.de, my favorite place to buy used ThinkPads, I decided to go this time for a IBM ThinkPad T60 with 15 inch SXGA+ display, 2GB of memory, 120GB of hard drive, dual layer DVD burner and a few other nice ingredients. 900€ including shipping. Not bad. Looking forward to my new working tool…

Update: Somehow I managed to boot the T30 again. Could make a more recent backup. And it seems that the hard disk runs quite stable after having warmed up during use…

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Posted by mfluch on December 24, 2007

There is still a chance of 2-128 that our isPrime function will give you the wrong answer. To give you an idea of how small this chance actually is, the chance that you will be killed by a meteorite while you read this sentence is fdar larger. Still alive? Okay, so don’t worry about it.

(Niels Ferguson and Bruce Schneier in Practical Cryptography, p. 204)

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Firefox and Thunderbird

Posted by mfluch on December 21, 2007

My favourite cross-platform WWW browser and e-mail client are Firefox and Thunderbird. Available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Both programs can be extended with add-ons. My favourite add-ons are the following.

  1. Addblock Plus (Firefox): Makes most ads go away.
  2. Flashblock (Firefox): Don’t start Flash annimations automaticaly which in turn helps a lot against unwanted advertisement.
  3. Enigmail (Thunderbird): Encrypt easily your e-mails (needs GnuPG).

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