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      Friday, September 09, 2005

08:37 AM - 09/09/2005

The topic: My workstation (geek alert)


Well, it’s slowly coming together.  Things I thought would work, haven’t, which is a PITA.  And I’ve sat here pondering how I can set that up to work this way and set this up to work that way.  And I’m obviously overthinking some of the things I’m thinking about.

For instance, last Saturday I tried printing a test page out on the laser printer.  This has always been a good printer for us, we’ve had it for twelve years I guess.  Never gave us any problem. Well, lately it’s not doing such a good job.  It’s printing garbage.  So, I tried connecting it directly to the computer, not the switchbox and it worked correctly every time.  Okay, so I can’t run that printer through the switchbox.  Well, I get the brilliant idea to run the other printers using USB.  I’ve got three Epson color inkjet printers.  So, I go online and start searching for an USB switchbox so that I can run all of them.

I recently got three manual USB switchboxes so that I can share the external DVD burners I’ve got with the laptop and the desktop (more about that later).  So, I figure there’s got to be one that will work for more than one printer.

I searched for hours.  And I couldn’t find any, anywhere.  Brian came into the room and I was telling him about my unsuccessful search, how much time I’d spent when it hit me like a bolt of lightning.  I didn’t need a switchbox, any old USB hub would do. D’oh!  Hook the hub to the computer and the printers to the hub.  Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid me.  I found an extra hub and got the 1160 and the 900 hooked up.  The 800 didn’t have an USB connection, so I found an adaptor at eBay, which was less than twelve bucks, including shipping.  It got here yesterday and all computers are now hooked up.

I also got Brian’s computer set up so that he can use the printers, via this machine. 

Oh, there was a problem there.  The only network computer that recognized this computer was the laptop.  Took me a while to figure out it was my ZoneAlarm settings and I had to add the other two computers to the trusted sites.  Once I’d done that, it all went well.

I’ve also learned some stuff along the way.  I’ve learned that USB cables come with many different end connections. There’s male A. There’s female A.  There’s male B. There’s female B.  I found this out because I needed type A ends, both male.  When I ordered cables, I didn’t realize that there was a female A.  Got cables with male A and female A.  They don’t work so good.  banghead  So, I ordered three foot, type A, male to male USB cables.  These would go from the hub to the switchbox.  I’ll keep the others, just in case. You never know when they might come in handy.

I started on this on Monday or Tuesday.  And I found that the DVD burners would not work on the laptop through a hub.  If I connected them directly to the computer from the switchbox, they worked.  But not when I put them in the Targus 2.0 7 port hub.  They work fine on the desktop via the same type of hub (I got one for each computer).  This makes absolutely no sense at all to me.  Why one would work and the other not.  Anyway, I ended up having to get more cables, longer this time.  I also got a few extra, just in case I need them in the future.  I got a great deal on the cables at pcmicrostore.com.  Before I got them there, I’d gone to Office Depot and Best Buy and their cable selections started at over twenty dollars.  That’s a little more than I wanted to spend. So, I got them online.  I think “I can wait a few more days”.

They’re supposed to be here today.  Then I should be able to get my little movie studio together. *lol* That’s what I’ll be using the laptop for, since it’s so much more powerful than the desktop, which amazes me.  And when I make my little slideshows and movies, I won’t have to unplug any cords.  With the desktop, I have to shut down all programs and disconnect from the internet since burning a DVD needs everything it’s got. 

Whew, that will be a load off.  And the end of the excuses.

UPDATE: My cables didn’t show up as expected.  So, I wait another day.  And it would appear I’m not the only one in geekmode this week.  Git ‘er done, Lair, git ‘er done.


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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