Friday, April 30, 2010

O Giant Techbrains, Are You Listening?

This post is a customer's amused view of the interaction among three outstanding products of our hi tech culture: the Imac computer by Apple, the Pixma MP830 all-in-one printer-copier-fax by Canon, and the BE750G uninterruptable power supply by APC.

When I received my Imac I already had the printer. I found that the Imac Tiger OSX had a feature that allowed me to point and click a command that would put it to sleep, after which pressing a keyboard key would reawaken it in virtually the previous condition. I say "virtually" because there was a delay while it reacquired its wireless network. The successor OSX has the same feature.

Because my printer could be used independently as a copier or fax I turned it on while the Imac was asleep. Whoop-de-doo! When the printer turned on it woke the computer. So I put the Imac back to sleep and completed my work with the printer. Then I turned the printer off. The computer woke up again! I subsequently learned to turn the printer off before I put the Imac to sleep but I frequently forget that and it has been a nuisance but a livable one.

When I called Apple tech support about this I was told, after about half an hour for consultations, that tech help can't do anything about that and that I should address feedback on the Apple home site. No doubt this feature was built into a much earlier version of OSX before there were so many all-in-one printers in use and it just got grandfathered into every subsequent release.

The best is yet to come.

When my old APC power supply shuffled off this mortal coil I bought the BE750G. This new unit had two interesting features. It had software and a data cable for connecting to the computer so that, in the event of a power failure, the system could be powered down gracefully before the battery power was exhausted. Great! I attached the cable and called APC tech help for further guidance because the software disk gave me some unintellible gobbledigook about obsolete versions of OSX. Tech help explained to me that the software only worked with those obsolete releases and that it would be totally useless to me.

The second feature is that there are three outputs of the power supply that are contolled by the "master" output to which my computer is attached. When the computer is off or asleep, any peripherals plugged into these outputs would automatically also be powered down.

Great! I tested this by plugging my printer into one of the controlled outputs. The following results were obtained.

1) When the printer and the computer were both off, I could not turn the printer on without first turning on the computer.

2) When the computer and the printer were both on and I turned the printer off, that seemed to work OK.

3) When I subsequently put the Imac to sleep, both machines remained off but the power supply began to make a strange noise about every 6 seconds. It sounded roughly like a drop of water falling upon a metal tray. Possibly, some component in it was switching on and off periodically. I found this noise very distracting.

4) After that, when I woke the Imac, I found it impossible to turn the printer on.

5) When I put the Imac back to sleep, I could still not turn on the printer.

6) When I woke the Imac again, the printer finally could be started.

7) With both the Imac and the printer on, I then put the Imac to sleep and something really remarkable happened. First, the Imac went to sleep, then the printer went to sleep, then both the printer and the Imac woke up again!

I have gone into survival mode by disabling that APC feature.

I hold Canon innocent in this madness. It is a perfectly good printer. But - - -
Apple and APC, are you listening?

white rabbit

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Same Old Power Addiction

The Vatican clerics have responded to the outrage of the faithful who were raped by priests as children or whose children have been raped by priests by calling them "anti Catholic" and dismissing their protests as "gossip."

This is very human behavior. In every age and nation the powerful have clung to power by falsely accusing their opponents of any kind of wickedness they can dream up and by callously dismissing their criticisms. Yup, underneath their fancy attire lurk the same old miserable, lying specimens of homo sapiens we can find in government and many corporate boardrooms. We have met the enemy and it is us.

This is not my fight but I am curious to know exactly how much disgusting, criminal and abusive behavior the faithful are willing to swallow. Can this hierarchy represent Jesus? I have always thought better of Him.