Archive for August, 2007

Canon multi-functional working with Mac and PC

August 14, 2007

Our old HP DeskJet had finally given up the ghost, so I splashed out on a new Canon MP600R: a fast colour printer that also copies, and can work wirelessly with Mac and PC. Or so the ad said. In fact, a better wording would be that it worked with Mac OR PC.

The set-up was pretty painful: my MacBook Pro wouldn’t recognise the printer. After a long night, nearly ready to throw in the towel, I tried to install my PC laptop and it worked first time. The next day after a fairly quick response from Canon Support Netherlands (in Dutch though: why does Canon assume I want to speak Dutch just because I live in the Netherlands?), I realised that the drivers supplied for Macintosh do not work with Intel Macs, but those available on the Canon software site (version 5.72) do. However, on calling the Support helpdesk, the friendly lady who had written the reply also reliably informed me that there was no way I would get my Mac working with the printer now that the printer was working with my PC.

Googling Canon Mac PC issues revealed the fabulous PrintFab driver. For a €49 one-off fee, this’ll give you a driver with a bunch more functionality than the default Canon driver: including the ability to work with a Canon multifunctional network printer that was already working with a PC.

Oh — and the printer itself did everything else it said on the box:

  • Connects over 802.11g, so you can place anywhere in the house (although if you get so far away from the access point that your laptop would have half signal strength, the printer won’t work)
  • Fast printing of colour and black & white — i don’t think I’ve seen the 30ppm claimed, but it’s pretty blinding
  • Easy access through the scrollwheel and easy viewing through 2.5“ screen.

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Web 2.1

August 12, 2007

TechCrunch has an interesting article regarding German websites copying US originals (Web 2.0 in Germany: Copy/Paste Innovation or more?) . This is an idea that must have occurred to a few: take a reasonably rich country that likes to speak its own language, find a successful US idea and replicate.

The interesting thing is that this is actually successful, and that a US site takes time to localise and compete. Much of the success of a Web 2.0 site depends on user generated content and user collaboration, and without an initial critical mass of local users the site will not catch on locally. Perhaps as much as anything the local copies give their country a core cadre of native power users to collaborate, generate content and grow the site.

Getverdikkerie and potverdorie

August 5, 2007

My son Ben is not allowed to swear. But there are so many different levels of swearing. For my parents, the f-word in English is already the limit. When I worked in London (which is admittedly a few years back now), the same held true. Up north — and I mean far north, in Edinburgh — the c-word was almost the only taboo left, and the f-word was completely normal. Now, I work with a number of Australians, for whom a sentence does not make sense unless it contains the f-word.
Ben gets a regular supply of Dutch swearwords from me, since I swear in Dutch (but speak English to him). His mother generally swears in English (but speaks Dutch to him). He’s 4 going on 18 right now. I’m pretty sure it won’t be too long before he is scaled the swear-ladder up to some more (un)reasonable levels. Logic would suggest that he finish at a level that his surroundings find offensive.

In Dutch, the most worst swear words revolve around nasty illnesses such as cancer or the ‘pox’, since the most offensive thing to say is to ‘get the pox’ (in Dutch at least). ‘Damn’ is godverdomme — literally G-d be damned. Ben has not yet discovered anything worse than a auditory smudging of the work into ‘getverdikkerie’, but even this is too strong, so now the most he is allowed to say is ‘potverdorie’.

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