Sunday, September 05, 2010

Earthquakes, winds and printers

The earthquake that hit Christchurch yesterday has left an appalling mess, but amazingly, there was no loss of life, thank the Lord - though there were some near misses.

Tonight here in Dunedin, we're having gale force winds; they've been thumping against the house since before tea time, and apparently there are tree branches littering the roads. Our neighbour's fence has collapsed, and if the wind keeps up that won't be the only thing.

The worse part about this wind is that it's supposed to be travelling up the island and will hit Christchurch tonight, or tomorrow. Hopefully it'll wear itself out before then.

On another (non-weather related) front altogether, one of the things about writing blogs regularly is that you forget what you've written a couple of years ago, and when you go back things seem quite fresh to you. For instance, to take a random post, a couple of years I wrote a piece on the WorkReport blog entitled, Poking around the printing world. It discusses a day I had a great deal of problem with the printer that used to be in the office where I work (we've since replaced it, thank goodness). While I don't mention color printing (note the American spelling - that's for those people who think this is the way the word should be spelt), I do go into some detail about the frustrations that the printer was causing. There was a time when I threatened to toss it out the window - we're on the fifth floor - just to let it know it was way out of favour. I never got to do that and see what state the thing would have been in after its lengthy fall - unfortunately. We're too frugal to consider throwing a piece of equipment out the window just to see the mess, however satisfying it would have been!

When I bought the computer I'm typing this on, we got a printer thrown in. Dell were the people who supplied the computer and printer (by a series of confusions the printer arrived some weeks before anything else, and I'm sure I've written about it somewhere on one of my blogs). We installed the printer and it worked well - and then I rang Dell to find out how much the replacement cartridges would be. They were an exorbitant price, and at that time, because the printer model was new, they weren't even available in New Zealand. In the end we put the old printer back into use (it can use recycled cartridges without problem, and they're a great deal cheaper) and the brand new one is sitting on a shelf sulking.

The very first printer I had was a wonderful old dot matrix. We used to use them at work in the shop too. They were extraordinarily fast, rarely went wrong, and would happily print page after page without requiring replacement inks. I'd be using them still today if it wasn't for the fact that they wouldn't have a hope of printing out most stuff you want to print now. Which means that we have to use printers which use expensive cartridges which don't last a fraction of the time the ribbons that used to go in the dot matrix machines lasted.

Progress ain't always progress. But at least the newer buildings in Christchurch stand upright because of newer building codes. That's the sort of progress that's worth having.
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