Archive for March, 2006

Canon Pixma ip4200

13 March, 2006

I finally bit the bullett and bought myself a new printer. The last new one I’d bought was a HP Deskjet 815C, sometime around 1999 so I was really impressed with how far the technology had come. I was used to inkjets skewing the paper with a dodgy feed and then leaving large lines through any section of colour.

This new (and cheap) Canon is nothing like that. It has a cartridge feed underneath in addition to the “normal” feed on top and all of the various places where dust can potentially get in fold up. The photo printing is also excellent. Using Canon’s expensive Photo Paper Pro produces results far in excess of most places you’ll find in town. I also like the 5 different colour tanks – should be much cheaper when I run out of ink.

Now for the bad points, the photo paper is really really expensive. It’s much cheaper to order prints online and wait a few days. Secondly the software for the Mac is terrible. I can’t seem to make the proper adjustment to get iPhoto to print at the correct size so I have to use Canon’s own software. This software is very different to the usual Mac UI and it’s quite painful to use, plus you can’t drag and drop images into it. I need to export my photo from iPhoto to the desktop, then load it into Canon’s print software and go through a nasty Windows-like process before finally getting the document to print. The provided help files (no printed manual BTW) are specially prepared for the Mac, pity they just don’t load into the help viewer. I found that if you use finder to view the conents of the bundle you can eventually find some html and view that – ugh!! The installer also dumps an icon for the help on my desktop – double ugh!!

So, short summary. Very nice hardware, very poor software.

Google Mars

13 March, 2006

My good friend tyme pointed out the new google map of the surface of mars to me via IRC. It’s colour-coded by altitude in a way that reminds me of a fractal. I think it’s pretty cool, although there’s not really a lot to see if you’re not into astronomy.

Cleaning out the cobwebs

13 March, 2006

Geez, I’ve left this place unattended for a while – I guess I should post something of an update.

My viva has been and gone and I now hold a PhD, I sometimes wondered if it was worth all that time and effort when I could have been out in the real world making some money but now I have the degree and a nice postdoc position I’m very happy about it all. I guess that I’ll be much happier in this line of work than if I was working in a bank or as a code-monkey somewhere.

My postdoctoral work is investigating how anti-cancer pharmaceuticals interact with DNA, which obviously involves much larger systems than my PhD work. The ideas that we have also mean that I’ll be doing some coding, it’s ages since I’ve written anything so I’m looking forward to it.

I’ll try and post more regularly, but no promises!