A review of the Canon
9900 large format printer. As for the cost of ink here is some info
Speaking with Canon,
I found the
Of course, every
image is different, but in Canon's testing, the company used the ISO
Standard #5 image to estimate inktank usage. (This image provides a
fair and accurate ratio of colors to approximate the average digital
photograph.) Here are the results, according to Canon:
Cyan: 1100 pages
Yellow: 540 pages
Photo Cyan: 380
Photo Magenta: 280 pages
Green: 2300 pages
new red and
green tanks, obviously, are used far less often than the others because
they're primarily used for accent work. They're the last tanks you'd
have to replace.
Jason Bovberg -June 3, 2004
Based on CDN$20 per cartridge (current pricing seems to be in the $15 -
$19 range) this would work out as $0.24 per print. What the poster did
not mention was what the print size was... in a follow up it was said
to be 8x10 on standard printer settings, using Canon Photo Paper Pro
Here is some more information:
I purchased the i9900
about 6 weeks ago
to replace my S9000. The
S9000 is no slouch and a top rated printer from 2 years ago but i9900
is much better. I now shoot with a Canon 10D and Canon L lenses even
though I have thousands of transparencies to scan on a Canon FS4000US
film scanner. The 10D was purchased just prior to a trip to Rome where
I shot about 1000 images.
I just finished
assembling 170 of
the best Rome images into an album using Canon PhotoRecord software
that comes with most Canon digital products. I printed the album on
both Epson dual-sided matte paper and Pictorico dual-sided semi-gloss
paper. The results are amazing. Both papers work extremely well with
the i9900 although they each have their own subtle tinting difference.
This can be corrected easily with color adjustment through the printer
driver. Printing the entire album on the dualsided 8.5 x 11 stock (68
pages total) used no more than half of some of the ink cartridges and
almost none of the red and green. People who have viewed the album are
stunned and amazed with the quality and can't believe it came from an
inkjet printer. The color punch and tone is incredible and the level of
detail and resolution equals or exceeds wet chemistry printing. If you
want to see dots you'll need at least a 4X loupe and there is
absolutely no banding.
It is a mistake to
not consider this
printer because of the limited selection of Canon papers. Epson papers
work extremely well on the Canon printers as do Pictorico, Mitsubishi
and Konica. These are the only papers I've had the opportunity to try.
Needless to say, I am very happy
I bought this printer.
Bob Baron -June 18, 2004
A new wide
angle telescope in Chile, based on a 3 giga-pixel sensor, is going
to make it possible to take a complete picture of the night sky every
three nights, this should help in the search for more asteroids
asteroid impacts may be much more common than is typically thought,
perhaps as often as once every thousand years.
Breaking the gigapixel
barrier, using a 6MP camera and stitching a large number of images
together. The result is quite amazing. This also has some (simulated)
comparison between this resolution and other real resolutions. This
sort of resolution is not really so far away as one might think,
consider that the current resolution size is about 10MP, so multiply
this by just 100 and you have 1GP. Now a factor of a hundred sounds a
lot, but since sensors are not lines, they cover an area, so all that
needs to be done is to multiply the number of sensors in each dimension
by a factor of 10. This could be done today by making the sensor
larger, roughly 4 to 8 inches across would do it (but then you're
looking at a pretty big camera - but such large format cameras have
been used before), or else if the sensor was made more dense we would
have to wait about 6 to 9 years (circuits shrink by about a factor of 2
every 2 to 3 years). Sensor noise might be one limiting factor here,
but I would think we would hit some sort of optical limit before this
Warner is looking at releasing some classic
TV shows for free viewing over the internet (paid for by 2 minutes
of commercial breaks every 1/2 hour)
 It looks like the US FCC is trying to open up some of the new radio spectrums to allow the consumers who use it to have more choices in what hardware and applications they use on it. This is an interesting change from the past where the company that licensed the spectrum got to control everything, which led to a lot of the silly anti-competitive restrictions that exist today in the cell phone industry.
 Saffron, Fine Indian Take Out, opened in north west Calgary in Nov'06,
in nearly the same spot that the "Palki" used to be. Their web
site is www.saffrontakeout.ca.
They are a true take out, you show up pick a few
dishes and they package it up and you go. Their menu has a different
set of 4 entrees per day along with a few dishes that are offered every
day. Some quite nice food. Their address is:
Dalbrent Professional Plaza 
This article: Everything
you ever wanted to know about video codecs, contains a brief
history of video codecs, some basic background information and a number
of comparisons between the more popular ones. It gets further
discussion here on
The Silex SX-2000U2 is a
network-attached USB device sharer, in effect its a little computer
you put on your LAN somewhere, then attach USB devices to it (including
things like scanners and hard drives) and then you can access these
from other computers across the LAN. Its certainly no where near as
fast as attaching the device directly to a computer, but it might be
useful since the device can be accessed from several places. Details on
how these devices contend with being accessed by several computers at
once are not reported... There is a review of it here.
Que! 007 portable CD burner, also has a PCMCIA slot that can be
used to copy the contents of various flash media cards onto CDs. From this
announcement it looks like this can be done without attaching the burner to a host
computer - which would make this a very useful tool for the traveling digital
photographer (20 May 02).
 The PXIO C2 is a universal recharging system with many device-specific adapters. 
The Linux Cookbook: Tips and Techniques
for Everysay Use, by Michael Stutz, is discussed on Slashdot
 The Alberta Motor Association has reports on current road conditions in Alberta.
 NSI registers every domain that is searched for using their whois interface - this means if you search for a domain on their site and then try to purchase it from a different registrar you will find it has been taken. 
We all know you cannot believe everything you read on the
but you can't even trust
the printed word.
A Slashdot review
of Embedded Ethernet and Internet Complete,
by Jan Axelson, ISBN 1931448000, discusses using ethernet in embedded
systems. Could be a good low-level look at adding ethernet as the
interface for various devices. Jan has also writtern USB Complete: Everything You Need to
Develop Custom USB Peripherials, ISBN: 0965081958
Man Month (MMM) revisited,
some more on Slashdot. MMM is a great text, well worth a read every few
years. If you do software development of any significant size you'll
find some relevant gems in it, and a lot are of the form we're screwing up that way too! In
a way its reassuring to know that your development approach is not the
worst in the world.
Slashdot discusses the end
of native code, are machines fast enough now to run everything we
need in an interpreted or just-in-time environment?
 Let the law suits begin: a company has patented the idea of combining mobile entertainment and communications into one device. How hard can it be for the patent office to look in their pockets and say - hey that covers my cell phone.  Sony's GPS-CS1KASP device (picture on Engadget) can log GPS coordinates every 15 seconds for geo-tagging purposes.   A preview of the new WorldWideTelescope that one of Microsoft's research labs has been working on. This project takes images from telescopes all over the world and stitches them together to produce a full view of the night sky that can be explored interactively. Discussed here on Slashdot. Now this will be a great way to use a home theater system driven by a good sized PC. This has now been launched. In March'09 a web interface to this (see it here) was added.  This study confirms my own experiences that productivity increases with monitor space. Of course as this is a paid-for-by-industry type study you should take it with a grain of salt, but consider what happens if you are using Microsoft's Visual Studio to do some C++ work. It likes to do everything in one window broken up into a number of panels (for organizational and navigational purposes). This often leaves me with a coding window of about 1000x600 pixels out of a 1680x1050 (20 inch wide screen) resolution monitor. If I need to look at two files side by side, that drops to 500x600 for each, which is pretty small. With a second monitor this is much easier to do. Also, when you start running the application in debug mode (especially when working on a GUI problem) you have to fight with the two applications to get them to share the screen space and yet still have enough room to see your local variables, call stack and source code windows. If you have a second monitor, or one wider than 1680 pixels (though I doubt 1920 is really that much wider) then you can give each application (Visual Studio and the one being debugged) its own monitor and work in a much easier fashion.   The BBC's Yes, Minister and the followup Yes, Prime Minister are some of the best political satires every to appear on the small screen. Notable quotes from these can be found here, including my favorite about the minutes of meetings:
136, 3604-52 Ave. N.W.
Calgary, Alberta, T2L 1V9
Phone: (403) 441-7700
It is characteristic of all committee discussions and decisions that every member has a vivid recollection of them, and that every member's recollection of them differs violently from every other member's recollection; consequently we accept the convention that the official decisions are those and only those which have been officially recorded in the minutes by the officials; from which it emerges with elegant inevitability, that any decision which has been officially reached would have been officially recorded in the minutes by the officials, and any decision which is not recorded in the minutes has not been officially reached, even if one or more members believe they can recollect it; so in this particular case, if the decision would have been officially reached, it would have been recorded in the minutes by the officials and it isn't, so it wasn't.
 How Apple got Everything Right by doing Everything Wrong discussed here on Slashdot. Handy tips for the evil manager.  FireWire will be getting a speed boost to 3.2Gbps, hopefully this will happen before USB3 gets to market. Intel has released the specifications for USB3 which calls for speeds of up to 5Gb/s. More information about USB 3.0 from MaximumPC.  Not that we want nuclear batteries in every household, but a new material to is being developed that promises to increase the efficiency of this by 20 times over what the current thermo-electric technique does. With such a large increase (which might mean an overall efficiency of 20% instead of the current 1% or so that thermo-electric based modules have) it might make a new type of nuclear power station feasible - perhaps one that uses a fuel with less problematic waste products.  Loose weight and gain speed, perhaps on a 10km distance you can get about 12 seconds faster for every pound you loose. 
cancer scanner looks a lot like it uses one of the scanning wands
used in airport security checks. It may offer a fast, inexpensive, way of
screening for presence of any cancer in your doctor's office. If this is fast,
cheap and efficient it'll never be welcomed by the medical community, they'll
claim something like "it has too many false-negatives to be safe to
- Sir Humphrey, Man Overboard (Yes, Prime Minister)
Of course the cancer scanning that is currently carried out on all
patients on their regular doctors visits is running about 100% false negatives
right now... That is to say practically everyone who visits a doctor for an
annual medical leaves his office with a false feeling that they are healthy
(i.e. cancer free).
sculptor, what are the Italians thinking? A David in every garden?
The Canadian Government is planning to issue
a digital certificate to every Canadian (I wonder if they will
issue the same excess number of these as they did with our Social Insurance
Numbers where there are something like 27 million SINs issued to those of
working age, while the Canadian Census thinks there are only 22 million people
in this demographic)
Battery holders from batteryholders.com,
something to hold every cell.
is Big Brother's first name, in Sept'06 it was announced that
Disney World will soon be taking finger prints of all patrons. Big
steps for the the land of the ACLU.
Brother calls for more DNA, a judge in the UK has called for
everyone there to be DNA sampled and recorded. This might come
to an end due to a European Court of Human Rights ruling.
 Alligator blood my be a source of new antibiotics, it seems that several hundred million years of evolution have given the gators the ability to defend against microorganisms that they have not been previously exposed to. Of course this could just be a case of them having DNA that already contains a large arsenal of previously tried and true solutions, or it could be they recognize their own cells and attack everything else by default.  Ultra is suing a number of power supply manufactures over making power supplies with detachable cables. This is a good example of a patent that should never have been granted because it was "obvious to a practitioner of the art". The only reason people were not building "modular" supplies would have been cost - the cost of two extra connectors per cable would have made the supplies more expensive and thus less competitive in a very cut-throat market. In fact, for many years all power supplies did already have one such "modular" cable: the AC power cable. This has been detachable for pretty much the whole history of the modern personal computer to allow a single power supply to be used in different countries by changing the AC cable. Thus, the "prior art" that should invalidate this patent is even built into the device, and even a blind patent examiner should have spotted that art. 
The British plan to place Big
Brother in your back seat, reporting on your every driving flaw
 Slashdot discusses backscatter spam in follow up to this article, and this article. Most of these place the problem in the "a few an hour" category, but if you have your own domain and have set it to receive all email for any name sent to it, you will see huge spikes when your domain name is used as a target. What happens is that the spam bots send their email out and makes up return email addresses by combining a large list of user names with your domain name. Some portion of these outbound messages trigger back scattering and, as your email is set to receive any mail that comes to the domain, you get to see all of these. The first time I was hit by this was in Feb'05 for a couple of weeks. Every few months now, I'll go though a couple of days were I get over a thousand such messages a day.  Microbes have been genetically engineered to produce a form of crude oil from agricultural waste such as straw or wood chips. Discussed here on Slashdot. These microbes were originally yeast or E. coli, so perhaps if they escape into the wild they will not spread to consume everything in their path and strip the atmosphere of all CO2. 
Typhoon Touch Technologies has some patents in the area of touch screens and are now embarking on a program to sue everyone in sight, should be interesting.  Lego's secret vault contains one of every Lego set ever created.  TinEye searches the web for images of similar content.   Google is now indexing 1 Trillion URLs, a factor of a thousand increase over just 8 years ago, so their view of the web is a little more than doubling every year.  The UK is looking at building a system to store records of every text, email and browsing session that takes place in the UK. Hard disk manufacturers must be happy.  MSI is making a small bare-bones desktop, this uses an Atom chip set and for $139 you get everything except the drives, RAM and OS.  The SiRF GPS chip which seems to be used in every modern GPS device has been found to be violating patents held by Broadcom.  Tikitag is producing an RFID tag system for the home. Though they don't seem to be small enough to implant in Barbie Dolls or Lego bricks. They should have a key-fob tag so that you could at least sweep your house for missing keys.  A new device that actively removes C02 from the atmosphere has been developed in Canada. This will remove about a ton of C02 for every 100kW hour of energy input.  In First Impressions of Darcs a user new to Darcs finds that everything is a patch and the more common concept of revisions is missing.  The Pandora could be a mini-webpad, this is offered as an alternative to the iKIT from IMOVO, which gets discussed here and here.  A chapter from Everything You Know About CSS Is Wrong.  The OpenCL API specification has been released (also on Engadget), this is an open API for executing general purpose code on GPUs. More on OpenCL here.  A comparison of two bug tracking systems: Ditz and Bugs Everywhere.  Git is not for everyone.  In Mixins considered harmful Michele Simionato attempts to make a case against using mixins; however, I think what he's really arguing against are large class hierarchies. Mixins are really just multiple inheritance, and ideally they just introduce new methods in an orthogonal fashion. In the Java world they split the idea of inheritance in a rigid (but useful) fashion by introducing the concept of an interface, which lets you add a useful set of methods to a class to give it certain behavior (but without introducing new member variables). To me a well designed class hierarchy presents classes that are useful at every level, so if you learn how to use the core functionality you can reuse this knowledge when using any derived class, and you only need to concern yourself with learning what's new and useful about each new derived class. I prefer to see classes that are intended to be used as mixins to be small, self-contained, tools that are intended to provide just a specific function or service. The second, third, and fourth articles in the series.  The raw contributions that went into the book: 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know.  The Toshiba Camileo S10 at a $200 price point could put 1080p into everyone's pocket.  The orbit of the Sun around our galaxy is thought to have a connection to the periodic mass extinctions of species that occur about once every 62 million years. But there are others who think that it cannot be the cause of the 140 million year cycles in Earths climate.  Slashdot discusses why OpenBSD's approach to scheduling a release every 6 months works.  Amazon has just demonstrated a good reason for not buying digital products that are DRM protected: they just remotely deleted every Orwell e-book that Kindle owners have purchased.  The web knows everything, now there's the National Public Toilet Map from Australia. They just need to combine that with the national Pub Map!  Google's SideWiki allows any user to mark up the web.  Gyroscopes are showing up everywhere, now you can replace the training wheels on a kid's bike with a special front wheel that contains a gyroscope. Well its pretty simple really, its just a wheel with another wheel inside of it (covered for safety) that is kept constantly spinning by an electric motor. All it really does is to replicate the normal gyro stabilization that bicycle wheels produce once they are turning quickly enough, but it does so at a low road speed allowing the novice rider to stay upright more easily at low speeds when they are learning to ride. Heck, the Steam Punks could build one of these with a clock work, coil spring driven, mechanism and you'd use a big brass key to wind it up before each use. Now that would be awesome!  The GoPro HD Hero Naked is a 1080P HD camera capable of 30 and 60 frames per second, it comes in a protective waterproof housing for first person perspective action photography. It also has a time lapse still photography mode that can be set to capture photos from once every 2 to 60 seconds until stopped (which would be useful for documenting a wilderness trail).  Slashdot discusses adding additional headers and error correction codes to files to protect against bit rot. I would prefer an approach that builds this into the file system so that everything on a disk partition that is formatted this way is protected.  Micro financing of the third world, perhaps a good gift for the person who has everything?  Slashdot discusses task and project tracking tools.  The secrets of ACTA get more discussion. And a portion of it relating to the internet gets leaked, discussed here on Slashdot.  So on 27-Jan-2010 Apple revealed the iPad, not everyone thinks it is a great thing and there could be a number of alternatives to consider soon.  The Obama Administration is pushing for warrantless tracking of cell phone locations. Why not just let Google index it all and put everyone's location tracks up on Google Maps?  The EveryTrail application for Android, is a GPS geo-tracker program. MyTracks is another that works quite well.  Thoughts after a couple of weeks. I have owned a Google Nexus One for a couple of weeks now and I thought it would be a good time to record some first impressions. In a word BETA. Yes, in keeping with Google's fine tradition of apparently never finishing anything, this is most certainly a beta product. Now given the intended audience (geeks) of the Nexus One this is not a particularly bad thing, but Android is being billed as a mass-market phone (and appliance) operating system and I am finding the smart phone platform is falling short of what a consumer would need, want or expect.
The hardware is quite good, the device looks and feels nice. The screen is very nice, except in bright sunlight. The digitizer generally works quite well, it certainly feels like the iPhones I have played with. The sound quality is good for both phone and media functions. The battery life is good for this sort of device, I'm getting about two days of use out of it by which time the battery level is at about 30%, but I don't do many calls and maybe log about an hour of web surfing, an hour or two of MP3 playback and about 2.5 hours of GPS use in that time. I leave the WiFi and Bluetooth radios on all the time. The fastest drain is when I use the GPS (using Google's Latitude and the MyTracks route tracker applications). I like the fact the battery is user-swapable and there is a microSD card slot.
The only issues I have with the hardware so far are:
The software, this is the part of the phone that's really beta. I have not had any real problems with the underlying OS, I have not had to reboot the phone to get it to function properly or anything like that. My gripe is with the included applications. One of the things I wanted from this phone was a unification of the functions of my old phone plus my old Palm Tungsten T3 PDA, so that I would be able to replace two devices with one and have more functionality at hand too (like the GPS and browsing on the go). So far the places I find that fail are with the basic PDA functions. Here's how I see it:
- The ringer volume (as is mentioned here along with other issues) is too low
- the back cover is rather hard to remove, they could fix this quite easily by including a ridge or slot to get a grip on, or better yet a small latch.
- I would prefer that the microSD card slot was exposed (i.e. externally accessible on one side) so one could change cards without having to power down the phone, remove the back cover and battery and the reassemble everything. My little Samsung flip phone did this quite well. Perhaps there should be two slots, an internal one that is used as fixed storage and an external one that is intended for user-swapping?
- the dock connector appears to only provide a power connection, any other connection must be either through the USB port (which is limited) or via Bluetooth or WiFi radio. This may be a good thing, but at the moment it limits what other things the unit can be used for. Perhaps someone will make a WiFi player dock for it so that the device can be used to play video to an external monitor or TV.
- For a few cents more why didn't they put an infrared transmitter/receiver on this so that it could also be used as a programmable remote control?
- The GMail client is pretty good, its an effective way of doing email triage on the road (train) and the unification of your email into the Google GMail cloud is very well done. You do something on either the GMail web client (at home or at the office or where ever) or on the phone and it's auto-synchronized in a seamless fashion. For anyone who needs to deal with email while on trips this would be worth it alone.
- The contacts manager is also very good, again it pulls off a nice, seamless two way synchronization All you need to do to make this useful is to import your contacts into the GMail contacts lists. I had to do some work on this one because GMail does not have a direct import from Palm devices, you have to export to a CSV and then upload to GMail, which is ok, except GMail import does not understand a lot of the columns that the Palm export provides so it just tosses a lot of stuff into the "Notes" section.
- The todo (tasks) list is missing. Total fail, GMail has a todo list on the web, but to get at it from your Nexus One you must visit a web page! Todo lists have been standard on PDAs since the beginning, so why is this missing?
- The Note taking function is also missing. It seems obvious that this should have been implemented as something that interfaced with Google Docs on the web, in fact there is a third-party free application called GDocs that attempts to fill this void.
- While the device does have a media player that does a reasonable job of MP3 playback and video playback this is a very basic implementation. It lacks the glitter of what the world has come to expect from the iPhone, so it's just basic marketing that this needs to be improved. Note the video formats this can play appears to be pretty limited, so expect to transcode anything you want to view here. Given there are a lot of inexpensive media players that are based on Linux that do a great job of playing just about anything without using super powerful chips one wonders why this cannot be done on this phone?
The last issue is with accessing the microSD card over the USB cable to load or unload data. As a geek I can understand why they have done what they have done, but surely there must be a better way! Here is what the user sees:
In my view what should happen is that when you plug in the USB cable the phone should immediately do all the mounting, the fact it can detect the connection and then prompt you, tells me that there's no real reason why it could not have just done the mounting right away. The mounting attempt might fail if some phone application current was using the SD card (though I have not seen this happen yet), in which case it should notify you of the problem. Then Windows would have quickly opened the drive and you could get onto the important business of dragging over some more MP3s right away. Once you are done with the drive in Windows, you should just use the Windows eject function as normal. Then the phone would detect the end of the session (as it currently does) and instead of bothering you with some more UNIX voodoo it should just silently umount the drive and return it to the normal phone mode - only if there is a problem should it prompt you for anything. This would make the whole process plug and play, the only voodoo left is on the Windows box when ejecting the drive at the end, and that's now accepted as "normal".
 The Pirate Party of Canada is now an official national political party.  The limitations of floating point arithmetic (IEEE 754) and some of the programming pitfalls that result.  The Bureau 42 Summer School and the Khan Academy are interesting places to go for some science lectures.  Was there only one Big Bang? This is something that I have sometimes thought about, why should there have only been one Big Bang, perhaps smaller bangs are going off all the time (or at least every few billion years) and they are widely distributed through space? Maybe this is a better explanation of why we keep seeing objects further and further away. 
- Upon connecting his Nexus One to a computer via the USB cable he gets a notification that says the USB was connected.
- He then drags open the notifications list and touches the USB notification.
- Then a dialog appears saying: "You have connected your phone to your computer via USB. Select "Mount" if you want to copy files between your computer and your phone's SD card." and it gives you two buttons: "Mount" and "Don't Mount". This simply reeks of geek, and not just any geek, we're talking about 50 year old UNIX geeks with massive beards that wear old hiking boots to work in case they need to climb things in the server room! Mount, don't talk to me about Mount! Steve Jobs must find this hilarious!
- Once you hit "mount" your microSD card becomes accessible from the computer and then you can use it until you use the Window's remove USB devices tool to eject it (in a way equally mysterious, but in this day of USB thumb drives something that most people know how to use).
- Once you do this the Nexus One gives you another notification titled: "Turn off USB storage", tapping this gets you another dialog that reads "Before turning off USB storage, make sure you have unmounted the USB host. Select "Turn Off" to turn off USB storage." and gives you to choices "Turn Off" and "Cancel". Again the mountains appear on the phone.
['every'] is in these pages: