JT's Blog

JT's little piece of the internet.

May-12-2013

Brother HL-2270DW needs toner… HACK!

BrotherHL2270DWSome time ago, I got a Brother HL-2270DW printer from NewEgg. The price, the ease of configuration and the performance were all excellent. Let’s be perfectly clear, I don’t print a lot – maybe an average of 15 pages per week. So when the toner light started flashing, I figured I could keep going for a few months, right? I mean, any self-respecting geek knows you don’t replace the toner until the print is completely faded. And even then, you take out the toner, shake it a little, and get 30 or 40 more pages.

2013-05-12 01.05.01 pmSo I was astonished to have the printer just STOP on me, after printing 6 of 9 pages of a PDF that I really need. While digging around on the web a little, I found a youtube hack using straws and fun tack. No thanks. But there was a great comment in there, that suggested going to the web interface and reconfiguring the toner settings from STOP (which is the default) to Continue. Wow… cheeky buggers. They must really want to sell more toner cartridges.

So problem #1, how do you find the printer?  I used a great utility called Angry IP Scanner which showed me all the “live” IPs on my WiFi network. After using my web browser to hit a few unlabeled IPs, I found it.   Problem #2, logging in: FYI, the default login credentials for the Brother HL-2270DW are: u/admin  p/access . If you set yours and don’t remember it, reset the printer settings and that will restore the defaults. You may have to go fish for the IP again though.

OK so there. Have fun.

And don’t wait so long to get new toner next time.

🙂

Posted under IT, Personal
Mar-10-2013

Chivalry among warriors

In a world where warfare has become “high-value” asset assassinations at the hand of a remote controlled drone, it’s fascinating to read about honor among warriors in the field of battle.  Or skies, or seas of battle.  Fascinating stories here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/09/living/higher-call-military-chivalry/

Posted under Personal
Nov-5-2012

Misappropriation of resources?

Several years ago, the City of New York went around digging up and replacing sidewalks.  I’m not talking about the ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, I’m talking about the city determining that your sidewalk is in a state of disrepair, and showing up one day with jackhammers, digging it up and replacing it before you have a chance to complain about the noise.  Of course, a very costly invoice arrives shortly thereafter.  This invoice is generally two to three times what such work would cost in the private sector and failure to pay results in the usual collections and seizure tactics.

While the public-safety motivation behind this policy is obvious, the simple fact is that landlords, not the City are liable for slip and fall accidents and the extremely subjective and unpublished criteria by that determines whose sidewalk gets dug up makes the process suspect.  Universally, landlords and supers see this as another form of taxation: a cash-grab by the New York City.

Sidewalk Replacement in NYC on 11/5/12

And now, the point of today’s post: this morning, I saw the sidewalk being dug up on 111th Street and Broadway, in front of the Citibank.  I stopped in to joke with a friend who works there.  He informed me that the city is replacing the sidewalk, pursuant to the policy I’ve just described.

My question: could these work crews not be more useful helping clear debris in the communities ravaged by the hurricane?

Oh, and for the record, this sidewalk was absolutely fine and did not need replacement.  What qualifies me to say this?  Simple: I walk on it every day.  Unlike the sidewalk on the opposite side of Broadway, where I’ve twisted my ankle several times along the uneven surfaces.

 

Look for yourself:

View Larger Map

Posted under Politics, WTF?
May-23-2012

A Valid DVD drive could not be found

I have a MBP and recently upgraded it by adding RAM and by removing the internal CD/DVD super-drive and replacing it with a second hard drive.  There are some pretty nifty kits for doing this; I used the Data Doubler, which I bought from Other World Computing. You can also get a nice little USB-connected plastic case in which you can mount your newly-naked CD/DVD super-drive.  The rationale here is that you hardly ever use the CD drive, but it’s nice to have when you need it.

The problem is that now, your MBP doesn’t know how to find the CD drive.  This is extremely annoying when you want to play a DVD.  OK, let’s be honest, more realistically, it’s extremely annoying when you want to rip and compress your DVD so you can take it on the road or  convert it to an MP4.

While searching for a solution to my problem, I contacted the support people at The Little App Factory (the makers of an excellent app called Rip It), and in a quick response, someone named Jane asked me if I could actually play the DVD using Apple’s DVD Player.app.  Such a dumb question… oh wait, let me try… hmmmm… Good question… heh, no I can’t… it doesn’t work! SONOFABITCH!  No wonder it couldn’t rip the disc!

Call me an idiot; I didn’t think these problems had anything to do with the fact that I had ripped out the guts of my laptop and moved the CD from internal to external.  I thought maybe these problems were because I hadn’t ever used the SuperDrive to play a movie, or hadn’t set the region or jumped through any of those annoying first-time hoops.

Digression: did you know that region-free DVD players are perfectly legal?  Content providers impose regions on their discs, and the manufacturers of media players play along with this non-competitive behavior.  The end result? I bought French DVDs from Amazon.fr and can’t play them in America.  This is bullsh*t.

OK.  back to our regularly scheduled programming.

So I asked support people for help and was told to check the OBVIOUS.

Yup, today I’m the one asking dumb questions instead of googling it.  I ran a search for the DVD Player.app error that I received: “A Valid DVD drive could not be found”.  In less than 5 minutes, I ended up in this forum,  where a self-declared notebook geek proposed downloading this script: DVDDriveSwitcher.

DVD Drive Switcher

Drum roll please… everything now works.  The DVD loads, I’m asked for the content molesting region settings, DVD Player.app works, I can play DVDs, VLC works, Rip It, FairMount, and all the other wonderful tools you’ve ever needed just work again.

Yay – Problem solved.
Thanks for the sript, Notebook Geek!

May 20, 2013 Update: uh oh… looks like that link to the DVDDrive Switcher script is broken 🙁 .  Good thing I saved it!  Looks like a super tidy perl script, but I couldn’t find anything about the author.  Sadly, I can’t give the author credit.

Posted under IT, Personal
May-10-2012

My Grandparents in 1975 at JFK

Arthur and Madeleine Morris circa 1975

Arthur and Madeleine Morris circa 1975

Grandma and Grandpa: RIP May 3, 2012

You are sorely missed.

Posted under Personal