HP Photosmart C410a Premium Fax Wireless e-All-in-One

I recently needed to send in a copy of a receipt for an expense report for work. I attempted to scan the document but my old CanoScan requires additional drivers that are not compatible with my beta OS. I doubt if the drivers will ever be updated to Cocoa. Likewise my NeatWorks scanner was not working. Neither scanner is compatible with ImageCapture nor VueScan without their proprietary drivers. I then decided to try an old school approach: fax. i still have an old Sharp thermal fax machine that I use occasionally for sending faxes. It however was not working either. I guess I have not used it in quite a while. I finally had to resort to taking a picture with my phone.

With my frustration level high, I decided I was time for a new inkjet printer. There’s nothing wrong with my HP DeskJet 6127. It still works fine. It however is not designed for high quality photo printing and it is not compatible with iOS AirPrint. After doing a little online shopping I found the HP C410A to be a worthy replacement. It had all the right options for me.


Typically once a product gets home it fails to live up to my expectations. I have historically not been a fan of All-in-one printers as they usually are disappointing in their necessary compromises. So far this little printer has exceeded my expectations in several ways. The setup was easy. Each computer immediately recognized the printer. My iOS devices also recognized it. The web interface is clean and easy to use.

One feature I really love is ‘Webscan’. This allows you to scan a document from just a web page. This means that I can scan using an iPad. This is in addition to the ability to scan to a flash drive.

I was skeptical about ePrint. The jury is still out on its actual usefulness. With this feature I can email a document to HP and it will come out the printer. Sounds like a fax machine to me.

Looks like this printer is going to work out. I’ve taken the old inkjet and fax machine off the work bench and replaced them with one device. I have not replaced my copier and laser printer as I feel they are still better suited for their respective jobs. Overall I’d have to recommend this little printer.

iPod Mini Compact Flash Upgrade

Recently my iPod Mini has been hanging up on me. Typically this means that the hard drive is having trouble. I tried to restore the iPod but the problem persisted. It seems like it was time to put the old FireWire 4GB iPod Mini out to pasture. I felt the same way last year when the battery died. I tried other replacement iPods but none was able to talk to my car as well as this relic from 2004. Just like last year I looked for a way to keep it alive. Last year it was a new battery. This year the rebirth came in the form of a compact flash card, the kind you used to use on high-end digital cameras. It turns out that the Hitachi Microdrive┬« has the same ATA interface as a compact flash card. There are some gotchas. There are plenty of compact flash cards on the market that are not ATA compliant. I decide to give it a try. If it didn’t work out I would only be out my time.I went to Fry’s, the best place to find old technology on the cheap. I found a 4GB compact flash card for $12.99. By comparison Best Buy had on for $43.99. Fry’s offered higher capacity but the point of this exercise was to keep the repair cheap. I was also worried about compatibility and decided that the 4GB model was the safest choice.

I got it home and ripped apart my poor unsuspecting mini. It is the same procedure as replacing the battery. There are sites out there that will charge you for the directions. There’s no need to pay them because you can find the directions out there, usually from the company selling you the replacement battery. I found some instructions on YouTube too.

The basic procedure is to pop off both ends. The trick is to not damage the plastic shields. One site used a hot glue gun to glue the iPod to a Popsicle stick and then peal it off once it cooled down. I just used a really tiny screwdriver and lifted it gently all the way around. Inside is a spring loaded thingy and a couple of screws. Don’t forget about the touch wheel connector. Once everything is unhooked, it just slides out. Form that point you have access to the screen, hard drive and battery. There’s not much else to it.

I replaced the hard drive with the compact flash. I used Disk Utility to delete the primary partition (DOS formatted). Then I plugged it into iTunes to let iTunes restore the drive and synch my music. Everything was working so I put it all back together. Project complete. The iPod is back in my car and ready for another commute.

RDM License Plate Confusion

This morning as I was walking out of my hotel to the parking lot I had a double-take trying to find my rental car. I had rented some Japanese mid-size white sedan. As is my habit I try to notice my license plate number when I rent a car to help locating it later should that become necessary. This trip the plate was easy to remember because the letters “RDM” reminded me of the word “random”. So when I saw this white mid-sided toyota with nearly the same license plate it gave me pause. Obviously this person had rented a car from the same agency and ended up at the same hotel. Statistically there are a lot of reasons why this coincidence was more likely. I started looking around the lot to see several other cars with “RDM” and “RDN” plates. Obviously a hotel is a good place to find rental cars. If you are a thief and the barcode sticker on the window is not clue enough, you can just look at the license plate to help identify the tourist.Years ago Florida license plates always had your county listed at the bottom of the plate. If the car was owned by a rental company it would say “Sunshine State”. They also ended all the rental cars with a “Y” or a “Z”. This practice came to a halt once they realized that thieves would target tourists using the plate. It’s my understanding that today when you get your license plate you can choose to have your county or “Sunshine State” listed on the bottom of your plate. Thieves will just have to use the barcode to target tourist like in every other state.

VLA at Dusk Lock Screen

VLA Dish Lock ScreenI love the way this picture turned out. I took it from the road to NRAO off US 60 at dusk. I’m looking west, obviously. The picture has not been photoshopped or in anyway altered other than setting it as my iPhone lock screen wallpaper I have a similar image in my Sunlight album on Picasa (some rights reserved). I created another version that is already cropped and ready for use as an iPhone/iPod Lock Screen and iPad Lock Screen. Click on the link below from your iOS device, tap and hold on the image to “Save Image” to your device cameral roll. Once it is in your Cameral Roll view it in the “Photos” app. From the Actions menu choose “Use as Wallpaper”. You should not need to “Move and Scale”. Press “Set” and specify where you want it to appear. You can delete the image from your camera roll when done.I credit the colors of this photo to the Canon T1i camera and my circular polarizing filter. I took several pictures with the filter in different rotation positions and it is amazing the different effects you get.

iPhone/iPod Touch Lock Screen iPad Lock Screen
VLA iPhone Lock Screen VLA iPhone Lock Screen