Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lessons in "Confirming the problem".

Canon MF8350Cdn Printer
I just carried my new (to me) color laser printer from it's previous home in the closet up to my lab. Of course I want to test it out, and I just got a laminator (for PCB fab) so I printed out some cheat-sheet type cards to laminate. They all went fine until the last one (vi/vim) came out funny. The magenta was misaligned by a lot! I did a cleaning and several calibrations and it was still off. I thought I'd broke it. Or at least needed new cartridges for sure now. (it has been complaining about the magenta and cyan cartridges) I tore the magenta cartridge apart and found nothing unusual. I printed about 6 of these through the process, trying different things and was about to give up when it occurred to me:

The other pages printed fine, it's just this one. 

Scan of bad print

It was a .gif file, but it looked perfect on the computer. I printed a photograph of my dog. (Yes, I have more pictures of her than anyone else, so sue me) It came out perfect. 

I hunted around and found the vi/vim cheat sheet in pdf format. It also printed perfect. The Morale?
Always start with the last thing you changed, for me it was I was printing a different file.  Oh, yea, always Confirm the problem lies where you think before you start tearing stuff apart. 
Scan of good print

Kindle Fire Problems (that weren't)
The above lesson applies to the time I thought my Kindle Fire was dead, it just shut off and wouldn't turn back on. I had 70% battery, so it couldn’t be that could it? I couldn’t plug it in that night and as a result didn't sleep very well. Fortunately the next morning I plugged it in and it booted right up. Seems something hung and the battery monitor didn't update.

My Dad's Kindle Fire had a different problem. I charge mine frequently and as a result it seldom goes dead on me. Dad appears to waits until it dies before charging it. The problem? When he turns it back on some of his apps don't work. It acts like the apps are corrupted and it tells you to re-download them from the app store. That is a real pain since with no internet out here at the moment it requires a trip to the library or Lowes to do. The last time it happened we discussed returning it, as something must be wrong with it. Then he said he had noticed it would start working again a few minutes after getting a connection, no re-downloading needed. Hmm, sounds more like a “feature” than a bad memory module. Then I realized the time as wrong, I checked the date and it was back in 1999. I set the date and time manually and it works again! Among other things it updates the date and time automatically from the internet, as long as the battery is charged it keeps ticking, but if it goes completely dead it resets. If it connects as soon as it turns back on you'd never know, but out here with no internet it can't.

1 comment:

  1. The kindle issue is interesting, android does do some odd authentication to prove you have rights to apps you've purchased.

    Although I would have thought there would be a little rtc or something similar to keep the time.