Stop Paying So Much for Printer Ink

I ordered this printer ink on Amazon for our Canon MX700 ink jet printer.  It’s currently going for $5.86 plus shipping.  My first thought is, how the hell is it so cheap?  For this many cartridges, you’d probably be paying close to $80 bucks!  Well, I ordered it and it came it relatively quickly and I really have no complaints.  It works just like normal.  Now I don’t have to complain if i rarely use my printer and the ink dries up a bit because I barely paid anything for this.  Try it out.  Start ordering these third-party ink cartridges and stop overpaying.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001VOSCHW/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

PS3 Can’t Read Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Formatted External Hard Drives :-(

Son of a b..  Now I realize why I had formatted my external as FAT32 (on a previous post I said it was NTFS, but I was wrong).  I usually transfer a bunch of tv episodes or movies from my Macbook Pro to my external hard drive just so I can watch it on the PS3 and big screen.  Well since I had to reformat that hard drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), the PS3 isn’t gonna be able to recognize it when I plug it into the USB port.  Ugh.  I guess I gotta seriously look into getting the uPNP on the NAS working so I can stream videos from there to the PS3.  I’ve gotten the pictures and music to work, but video isn’t showing up on the PS3 as a network drive for some reason.

I Need NAS

Before I go into what I did today, I just wanted to say that I find a lot of value in the pictures I take, the videos I make, the music I buy and the rest of the important crap on my computer. Well, a few months ago, after I had a perfectly new Western Digital hard drive crash on me, I figured it was time to seriously look into backup solutions.

I finally took the dive and spent some money on some cheaper computer parts to make myself a NAS (Network Attached Storage) running FreeNAS. I figured it would’ve cost just a little less to buy a PCI SATA card to handle the SATA hard drives (the old motherboard still has IDE), but I wanted to spend a bit more on some parts that might last me a little longer. So I bought

  • a cheap motherboard
  • a cheap one-core AMD Sempron processor
  • a gig of DDR2 memory
  • two 2TB hard drives
  • and a power supply

So yeah, I basically started from scratch, lol. It’s okay.

I don’t feel like going through all the details of installing it, but overall it wasn’t that bad. However, I learned not to change any settings that I’m not familiar with. One setting ended up changing something on the BIOS, so when I rebooted, the computer was just dead. So I learned how to reset the BIOS today, lol… It involves putting jumpers on particular pins just for a few seconds then putting the jumper back in the original position.

I learned about ZFS, how to create a ZFS Virtual Device, how to create a mirror out of my two hard drives (so my backup has a backup in case one fails). I’m afraid 2TB isn’t gonna be enough to last us for a while so I believe ZFS makes it easy to scale to more and more hard drives. I did find out that FreeNAS has some power-saving options to turn off the hard drives after a period of inactivity which you can set.

I’m definitely going to need a better case to keep these hard drives cool. Right now, I don’t have fans blowing directly on the hard drives, which could most likely reduce the life of the drives.

So currently, I’ve got Kristine’s computer running Apple’s Time Machine to back up all the stuff on her computer. I’m curious as to how much space Time Machine uses up after a period of time. I’m debating whether we should even be using Time Machine or if we should just use this NAS as a fileserver which we manually transfer files to ourselves. If anyone has any thoughts on how to use this NAS, especially if you’ve got Time Machine running, I’d love to know. Also if anyone’s successfully gotten UPnP to work successfully with their PS3, let me know. The PS3 isn’t finding the NAS so I’m not sure what’s going on.

last.fm = win

I’m probably late, but I just discovered the last.fm app for my Blackberry. I’ve discovered a perfect harmony across several of my devices thanks to last.fm. The first step has been to setup your iTunes to scrobble all your songs to last.fm every time you listen to something. Also, when you connect your iPod to your computer, make sure all those songs you listened to get scrobbled to last.fm. If you’ve got that set up, you can access “Your Library” on last.fm anywhere – any PC, your iPhone, Blackberry, whatever. “Your Library” basically consists of the songs you’ve scrobbled.

So to make a long story short, I’ve got a nice little shuffled list of all the songs I listen to streaming to me on my Blackberry. And there’s no possibility of them giving me a crappy recommendation like Pandora or Slacker Radio can possibly do. If you’ve got everything synced up correctly, you will be on your way to success.

If you want to add me on last.fm: http://last.fm/user/frankspastic

Suck It, AppleCare

I’m anxiously awaiting my replacement topcase and keyboard which I bought off of e-bay for $50 bucks… It’s been a known problem with the previous generation of Macbook Pros (my model is A1226) that a small ribbon, which connects the keyboard and trackpad to a small board on the top case, tends to bend and no longer has connection. You can see this ribbon if you take out the battery on the bottom. I’ve been living for several months using an external keyboard and mouse with my monitor, basically using my laptop as a desktop, which isn’t that bad. But I would like to be able to surf the web and do my work on the couch once again.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemVersion&item=250574395218&view=all&tid=543124914015

You may or may not know about my quirks with Apple regarding getting your crap fixed. First off, if you don’t buy the Apple Care extended warranty after the first year, good luck finding parts. The only place I’ve found crap is on E-bay. If you try taking it to the store, they’re gonna charge you an ass load and make you feel bad for not buying AppleCare. They wanted $400 bucks for this repair. Screw you. I found this part for $50 bucks, jerk. All in all, I’ve spent about $120 bucks on replacement parts. My dad dropped my laptop once and I had to replace the optical drive. $120 is still cheaper than buying AppleCare so I win so far.

But you know what, I’ve thought about it and what other laptop manufacturer sells individual parts such as a new keyboard or a new casing? None that I know of? Maybe I’m being a little unfair to Apple. I’m actually glad they’ve only got a handful of models and I there are a decent amount of people out there who have the same thing and are selling their spare parts on e-bay. Sorry Apple, I’ll try not to be so mean next time.

Firefox 3 and D-Link DIR-615 Router Issues

So a couple weeks back I thought my freaking D-Link router was shot (not working).  I was having issues where I wasn’t able to login to the router administration.  It would keep returning this error message to me:  “The network connection seems to be down.”  I was very close to buying an Apple Time Machine for 500 bucks, but I’m glad I didn’t.  All it is is an issue with Firefox 3.  If you just try going to the webpage in a different browser like Safari or Internet Explorer, you shouldn’t get that message.  I was on the phone with D-Link tech support for quite a damn while and I’m suprised they’re not aware of this issue.  I tried to suggest to the nice Filipina call operator to take note of that, but I don’t think she really cared.