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
Tyan makes some nice
motherboards, their Thunderbolt S1837 makes a great workstation or server box. Tyan so far
is the only manufacturer to make a dual Athlon mother board, their
first model was very high end and required an expensive custom power supply,
this new Tyan Tiger MP S2640
too, and here and here
as well, and at AnandTech
too) looks like it could open the flood gates for AMD.
largest wind farm (well in 2007) is going to be built off the shore
Scotland is going to build wave
wind farms to tap the power of the jet stream
solar panel farm is to be built in Ontario Canada, construction to
start in 2008. Slashdot discussion
Large 5MW wind
turbines that will float in the sea are being developed for Norsk
Hydro, a working wind farm is scheduled for 2013.
solar project (covering 640 acres) is to be completed in California
Hybrid cars may be falling
far short of their fuel efficiency claims
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
 StartCom is a Free
SSL Certificaiton Authority, they now have browser support from
Firefox, Safari and Konqueror. In March'08 they introduced enhanced services, including new features like: multiple domain names and name wild cards, and are rebranding to StartSSL. 
A Slashdot book review of, CSS: The
Missing Manual, by David Sawyer McFarland, ISBN: 0596526873.  SanDisk is working hard at figuring out more ways to increase the demand for flash memory, their new TakeTV is an 8GB USB drive that enables video playback. Apparently it has a docking station that provides video output (though why you need such a bulky memory stick for this is still unclear - perhaps they have put the video chips into the same package as the flash drive rather than putting them into the docking station)? Engadget takes a more detailed look at it here. I think they are still missing the best market opportunities by not including support for hi-def playback and by not including support for playback on DVI-D LCD panels (then this could be used to make a large photo frame out of an LCD panel). Switched On discusses the TakeTV.
|Season six, more farce.
The Allo' Allo' series is great source of cheap laughs.
Wikipedia has an
Well it didn't take long for this to die, it lasted from about 30-Oct-07 to 15-May-08. Let's hope SanDisk learned something here and come back to the table with something capable of playing HiDef.  Tumbleweed Bison,
is a buffalo farm near Calgary if your taste for meat extends beyond
from WiebeTech, this is a 5 drive RAID enclosure which has
FireWire, USB and eSATA connectors, but its far to expensive at $1700
without any drives.
 I have used a Yamaha 426 SCSI (4x
write, 2x re-write, 6x read) drive for over two years now with very few
problems. In December 2000 I added a new drive, a Plextor
PX-W1210S which does 12x burn, 10x rewrite and 32x read. I chose the
Plextor over the 16x Yamaha because the Plextor has the new Burn-Proof system
(from Sanyo), this system will pause the burning process before a buffer
under run occurs, and once sufficient new data has arrived it will resume
burning. This means that you can safely use the highest writing speeds even when
burning in a challenging environment (like gathering files from across
a LAN). So far I am quite happy with the Plextor and have even started
to use the CD-ResQ backup image software that came with it.
Photo S900 also appears to be a good contender in the photo
printing arena. It has high resolution, speed and a 6-colour ink system with
individually replacable tanks. Supplies for it are not as readily available (in
Western Canada) as the Epson and HP printers. The sample print that Canon
supplied to the dealer where I saw it was far more detailled than anything my
Epson Stylus PhotoEX could do. The lower-end but newer Canon
i850 looks like it might be a good alternative to the S900 for all
but the most high-end user (even thoug it only uses a 4-colour ink
system), it also includes a USB2.0 interface. The Canon i965 printer is reviewed
here, this is the
European version of the i960, but it has a CDR printing tray which the i960 does
One professional photographer's idea of what would make a great compact camera.
This is an interesting specification here are some thoughts about it:
 Google is about to introduce its own social networking API to take on Facebook. This appears to be a unified API (called OpenSocial) to allow working with a variety of social networking sites, discussion here on Slashdot. Farmdev looks at how to get started writing social applications using OpenSocial 
The Confused Photographer's
Guide to Photographic Exposure and
the Simplified Zone System, by Bahman Farzaf, ISBN: 0966081714.
 MRI machines may soon get a lot smaller, less expensive to produce, transport and operate. Which would bea good thing as so far these have proved to be very useful with little in terms of risk (unless you've got a metal plate, or have a habit of swallowing metal objects or have tattoos).  California is going to get a small wave power generation farm. Since this is in the sea shouldn't that be a "shoal" or "reef"?  Perhaps the DCMA and the RIAA have pushed the youth of today too far, this article claims only 2 in 500 believe in IP, which could have significant impact in 10-20 years time - remember intellectual property is only protected by laws and laws can be changed quite easily once the population decides to have them changed. I will predict that by 2028 the standard copyright term will have been reduced to 25 years and patent protection will only be granted for 10 years. 
The customer is always
wrong (as far as telling the software developer what he wants
built), this idea is pretty much the central pillar of the Extreme
Programming approach (where its stated: expect the customer to change
Programming for your welfare
benefit, it happens in Australia
Notes on the Google GTAC conference
on testing held in Aug'07
 Slashdot discusses the CIA's claims that cyber attacks have blacked out cities, including one in the US. While this sounds pretty far-fetched, the claimed approach of attacking the SCADA system (which is the brain and nerves of the whole system) is plausible, especially when coupled with lax security practices (like installing WiFi on the internal LAN). Additional coverage on Engadget too.  
Setting focus to controls in a dialog can be troublesome
 A presentation from the 2008 PyCon titled: Unicode in Python, Completely Demystified. 
far down does the worlds deepest cave (Krubera-Voronia in Abkhazia) go?
Hoven Farms produces
organic beef in Alberta
 So far the e-book market is very small, perhaps about 0.1% of the publishing market, but it appears to be growing now.  
set-top boxes can do more than just decode lots of channels. They
can be controlled from afar...
phones to monitor road traffic congestion. All that's needed is a
bit of GSM and some phones that are turned on (they don't have to be in
This has some interesting possibilities: it could be used to determine
approximate traffic volume (based on the simple statistics of the
of people who have cell phones) in real time (which would be far more
than other car counting techniques used today). It could also be used
to determine how fast the traffic is going, of course they cannot use this
to issue you a speeding ticket as they don't know that you are the
but it would be useful for planning enforcement activities (even on a
personal nature - if someone does some serious speeding on a regular basis the
police could stake him out and follow him to catch him in violation). Ok,
maybe that's not a particularly good way to spend a limited policing
resource, but how about monitoring phones that leave bars at closing time and
then take a "drive along the back roads" in an attempt to avoid check stops,
this might save some lives? This sort of location ability might be useful
for tracking down potential witnesses to crimes (imagine the police serving
you a summons on the basis that you were "in the vicinity" of a
as well as gathering a list of potential suspects (better have that
turned off when you go to do evil - or better yet, leave it on, in some
other part of town, to establish your alibi).
weeding device, this sort of thing could be a great way of reducing
the amount of chemicals used in modern farming, plus it should be
possible to make a robotic insect hunter to keep some pests under
 An experiment with running PyPi (the Python package index, cheeseshop) on App Engine. Plus some more observations on the politics of what Google is doing with App Engine.  Using nose to test App Engine sites.  Slashdot discusses an article about how after market inkjet inks hold up with time. Turns out some fade a lot in only a year. There also seems to be some dependence on the type of paper that is used. My only experience with using third party inks was in an Epson printer, I tried them once and found the colours to be quite poor so returned to Epson inks. These days I use a Canon i9900 printer and am quite pleased with the quality of output and so far have noticed no problems with fading of prints over about a 2 year period (though I do not hang any where they would be exposed to direct sunlight). 
International Currency Index, this artical confirms something I
have suspected since the 1980's, that the British Pound is way over
valued. In my trips to England from Canada I have always observed
that when in Britain I "spend pounds just like I spend dollars back in
Canada", so a person living in Britain must earn far more dollars to
have the same standard of living as a Canadian (or American). When
relatives from Britain have come to visit they have the reverse
impression, they are always amazed at how far their pounds go when
spent in Canada. The classic example of this (though largely a tax
artifact) is that the price of gasoline in the UK (in pounds) is the
same as in Canada (in dollars) - and this has held true since about
- he calls for an APS-C sized sensor, which would be a very
good thing from the noise perspective (but this will make the lens
larger so he accepts a smaller zoom range). The resulting zoom
range of 28-70mm is useful for much photography (especially landscape
type work) but the 70mm end is going to be too short to appeal to a lot
of people. I have found that with the 28-210mm range of my Minolta A2 I
rarely need more zoom, and in the times I do I'm looking at something
so far away that I'd probably need a 500 or 1000mm lens to get a decent
photo anyway. Back in the late 70s and 80s when I did 35mm film
photography I typically found 135mm adequate and considered the 200mm
telephoto "exotic". The Minolta A2's lens is about the same
physical size as may 35mm camera's 50mm lens, largely because of the
film-size issue, the A2 has a smaller sensor that APS-C (but its larger
than somthing like the Canon G series), and I'm sure today that a
sensor of this size could be made with low noise up to at least
- I don't see much need for additional screw in optics (i.e
a 2x converter) as they tend to be so bulky (as big as this camera!) that
you're not going to be carrying them with you - it is better to make
the basic lens a bit bigger to get a bit more zoom range (using a
folded optical path you probably could fit a 28-150 or even 200 lens
with a bigger sensor in a pocket size camera).
- I agree with the need for standard screw-in filters, I
often make good use of a polarizing filter.
- I find his specification of only having a live-view LCD
and no optical view finder built in refreshing, he's missing two points
though, first you need the view finder to be articulated, both so you
can look down when shooting waist level and so you can look up at the
camera for an overhead shot; the second point is for you to be able to
do manual focusing the Minolta A2 shows you need at least a 900K pixel
resolution (and even then that's often not enough).
- The internal buffer should hold 10 shots in RAW, and in
motor drive mode it should pre-capture some frames (i.e. once the focus
is locked it should capture frames even before you finish pressing the
button) and save a number of these at the start of each sequence.
- The battery pack should be standard AA size (not another
custom lithium pack that needs a custom charger), using two NiMH cells
normally and regular AA cells if you get caught in a tight spot, I
wouldn't mind only getting 200-300 shots out of a single pair of NiMH
cells as they are so cheap you can always carry a few sets with you to
do something big.
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".
 Putting cows to work by walking them on treadmills and generating useful amounts of electricity.  The Onkyo DX1007A5B stretches the meaning of netbook by giving it two screens! Try opening that on your regular fare, airline seat back table!  So how badly has the stock market fared over the first decade of the 2000's?  The prices of electric cars should fall over time as batteries become less expensive.  Britain has started up the world's largest offshore wind farm, at least for 2010.  The so-called human powered car is more likely a very light weight electric vehicle with the capability of getting a boost from the passengers. When you look at the video bear in mind that the handle bar crank system is unlikely to be providing a significant portion of the power (I would be amazed if it provides more than 5%) as there is no way that driver could even go half as fast on a light weight bicycle let alone a much heavier vehicle with rather poor air drag (look at the wind on his shirt). Also the hand crank system is a very poor choice for human power, a recumbent pedal system would be far better as the legs can produce much more power and for longer periods of time than the back and arms (not to mention it would be safer as this would not interfere with the steering control). So while it's cute I don't think it makes a significant contribution to "human propulsion", though it might point the way to ultra-light electric vehicles. I do like the idea of a four-seat human-propelled vehicle that has an electric booster system (to assist when loaded, or accelerating or climbing hills), but this is not a reasonable implementation. Also, such a vehicle needs a cover to reduce air drag and keep the occupants dry. 
- 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.
['far'] is in these pages: