HP LaserJet 100 Color MFP M175nw

A while back I came into ownership of a color laser printer, the Color MFP M175nw. This is a great printer that may actually be a little much for the typical home user with regard to price, but the quality of what comes out is high.

Of course, I immediately began printing things I didn’t need just to marvel at the fact that I owned such a beast, though completely did not need something of its caliber. You have to understand, something like this, to an IT guy is sort of like buying a ride on mower for the typical home owner. Yeah, you could make due with a walk-behind, but… Ride-ons!

So for the next couple weeks, I began printing things to have a solid record of what was happening at work. My trouble ticket resolutions that I thought would require some follow up, some inter-office babble that I thought might come in handy, etc. I loved watching the HP software pop up after every print, telling me how much toner I had left, and so on. Handy info, that!

Anyway, it worked great for a while, then all of a sudden I could no longer print. I scratched my head for a little while, and finally figured my system was being a jerk, and I rebooted. Problem solved! …I thought. It seemed that after every print, I had to reboot, or I could not print anything further! How frustrating is that? One print, and then I had to reboot?

This problem, I’d decided, MUST be my computer! So I started saving whatever I needed to print over to some cloud storage, and opening on the other computer in my home office (which of course I would access remotely, because six feet away is too far to walk). The problem reared its ugly head immediately on that system too. This proved that it wasn’t my computer.

Diagnostics on the printer itself yielded nothing, nor did rebooting the printer, ruling out a hardware issue. I had to turn to my old friend: Google.

I went digging through the internet, and I found some other folks complaining about the same thing, though it didn’t always seem to be the same model. It seemed that several HP printers had this “single-print, gotta reboot” thing.

I will admit, I was glad to see other folks having this problem, and that it wasn’t just me. I hate those problems that seem to be just me.

As it turns out, I found buried HPdeep in an HP online support forum, that disabling the “Printer Status Notification” feature on the Device Settings of the printer properties made the problem go away. Of course, you have to do this before you print that first thing. If you print something, see that handy little pop up and remember “Oh, suck. I have to go disable that…” You’re going to have to reboot first, because nothing to do with that printer will work.

You could always uninstall the HP software from your machine and go straight driver, of course… Though that’s not quite as simple for the typical home user. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, there’s no shame. Don’t feel badly, I don’t know how to drive a ride-on mower.

Microsoft is Shoving Windows 10 Down Throats

I’ve been using windows 10 for a month or so now. I installed it pretty much the moment it became available, and I wasn’t disappointed.

That being said, I wasn’t blown away either. I really had no problem with Windows 8 to begin with… So the start menu was the whole screen… Now it’s all the same shit that was in the windows 8 start area, just jammed in an area the size of the old start menu. Is the simple fact that when you click the button, everything on your desktop goes away really THAT unsettling to everyone? Your stuff is still there, you just can’t see it for a minute!

Well whatever – so now Microsoft is making Windows 10 download to computers that aren’t joined to a domain, as a “Windows update”… EVEN if you’re not going to install it, the files download and sit there, taking up space.

Sure, a few GB really isn’t that big a deal these days, but isn’t a little bit obnoxious that you have to stay vigilant to prevent this from taking space on your system? I HAVE seen systems not work with 10, that worked fine when they were on 7… so it’s not like they can claim that upgrading will not make anything stop working… It totally can, and there are definitely users out there who are not capable of stopping it from happening.

Anyway, I hadn’t bitching about anything in a while, thought it was high time, so… there you go.

Shouldn’t Technology be Better by Now?

I can’t think of a single person that I know, who isn’t participating in technology. We use it constantly, every day, for things we could never do before. We have people flying around in the sky in fucking six-ton metal boxes with a few hundred other folks, and it’s all happening because of technology.

Commuting, surgeries, communication, research, warfare, engineering, genetic mapping… All this shit is happening because of some technological break through, and without today’s technology, we’d be nowhere.

Why then is shit still breaking down?! Why can’t someone fucking make something that just fucking works!? I can’t even buy a fucking flashlight with the fucking button working SOMETIMES. Even really expensive flashlights fucking fail!

Why are computers still crashing?! You mean to tell me since the first fucking computer screwed up a punch card that all computers for the rest of existence were doomed to have occasional failures? Seems pretty ridiculous to me, it’s been almost 70 years that we as a people have been making computers, and they still fucking fail and “act funny” sometimes.

Why are batteries still dying? Why can’t I buy a fucking cell phone that lasts more than a day and a half on a single charge? Every damn phone that comes out is a million times more awesome than it’s predecessor, in reverie (TYPO! And I’m not fixing it, because it’s mentioned in the comments.) fucking way EXCEPT for the battery life! We get an extra hour out of a battery and we think it’s a gift from god!

We’ve been conditioned to expect things to be mediocre, and we’re handed this crap and when it fails people just shrug and go “eh, time for a new one anyway”.

But the problem is us, not the technology. We’re content to live with substandard stuff, as long as it does cool things for the unfortunately short amount of time it works fine. I tell you what though, it scares the shit out of me when I go to the doctor and I see a little six-year-old Dell Optiplex small form factor computer with crud-caked fan grates, zip tied to a pole and wheeled around the hospital on a battery unit. Someday that thing is going to have an inconvenient problem, and someone’s going to die because we’re too busy pushing technology to do the next big thing rather than focusing on getting it problem free.

Gmail’s Right Click Preview is Gone

Google’s Gmail has a feature called “Labs” which you can access by going into the email settings. Within labs, you can enable funky functionality to enhance your user experience. Sometimes these “labs” get approved as a fantastic piece of functionality, and written into scripture as a main feature within Gmail. Other times they get scrubbed out.

One such lab that was fantastic, and everyone who used it loved was the “right-click preview” which allowed you to right-click a message, get some options like mark as read, archive, delete, reply, etc… And you could read the first bit of the email.

Used to look like this:


Can’t fucking have that anymore, it was too god damned useful! They scrubbed the lab,and replaced with a simple piece of useless shit right-click menu that allows you to mark as read, archive, and delete.


As if that didn’t suck enough, they added a bunch of tabs in, and divided our inboxes into different categories… Depending on what kind of mail (that Gmail THINKS it is) it goes into a different tab. Things from blogs and Facebook go into “social” where forum notifications go into “Forum” etc… And with this dumbass change, they added “Move to tab” to the right-click menu.

Oh, and by the way, if you don’t like the tab names, tough shit, you can’t change them. You can’t add your own either, so if you have a favorite person you want a tab for, tough shit. They go where Google says, you don’t like it, hit the fucking road.

Clearly, they must have expected some folks to fucking hate the tabs, so you can turn them off and just go back to a simple inbox like every other useful fucking email reading platform.

But wait! Remove those other tabs, and you’re back to NO FUCKING RIGHT CLICK ACTION WHATSOEVER! NOTHING. No labs, no built-in right-click for the simple “archive” function… You get nothing, cause fuck you.

Don’t wanna use the new toys? You don’t get to use the old ones either.

What the fuck Google? That Lab was not only fantastic, but useful for YEARS! You can’t make a god damn right-click menu that just fucking works with the same functionality? As if it’s not bad enough that you couldn’t give the preview users a fucking heads up, you’re basically saying this:

We’re taking away this option thing that people love, and cutting its legs of. You can use the version we’re creating with a quarter of the functionality. Oh, and BTW, you have to use our newest TABS feature if you want even this watered down version. Otherwise, you should go back to Windows Mail.

Thanks a bunch, jerks!

I’ve used Gmail’s web portal for YEARS, and I’ve always enjoyed when they made “improvements” before, so I have to make myself believe that they’re going to fix this shit soon, otherwise it might be time to re-evaluate my options.

Pictures snagged from here: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2013/05/no-more-gmail-sneak-peek.html 

I Fucking Hate Acronis Just as Much as Backup Exec!

In my epic (and seemingly futile) quest to find a backup software that just plain works, (which started a while back with this post about Backup Exec) I happened to find a client who’d purchased Acronis backup SBS somethingorother for exchange and server blahblahblah… 

I configured a backup to USB for data, and another backup to another USB drive for exchange. And it worked for a little while… these two backups were two different modules, mind you… an installation for exchange, and one for server. 

Of course, like anything I start feeling good about, it stopped working, and there was no indication why. I contacted support, and they made me uninstall and install the latest version. This didn’t work. So they had me install a half dozen “hot-fixes” for windows and for it, and whatever… Nothing. 

Now… This is the (very very) abridged version… But the client ran outta dough, and it just kinda sat in limbo for a couple of months… REALLY hate leaving things like that, but consulting is consulting, after all. I got him something that worked for the time being, but wasn’t very robust. (just a robocopy… which Ironically is short for “robust-copy”). 

Eventually, we started the support thing again, and again, I had to remove and reinstall the fucking latest version. This of course required a few server reboots, and as any IT consultant for small businesses knows, you can’t just bounce a server in the middle of the day… so it took a few days to get to where “It should be working”. …also known as where “it should be working but fucking doesn’t!”

SO, infuriatingly, tech support has to defer to developers to weigh in. Should “be a couple days”. We never heard back. The company gets a few jobs, cash begins to flow, and I start chasing this bullshit again. Guess what I get to do? Remove, reboot, reinstall, reboot, reconfigure AGAIN!


Dude, WHAT THE FUCK!? It’s just a backup, why is this impossible?! 

…I have a theory, that the big name backups are pushing folks away from local onsite backups, in favor of online, monthly subscription backups, based on Data Size. 

I’d rather they just stopped selling bullshit that doesn’t fucking work, and offering shit support. Just fucking sack up and say “Yeah, we don’t wanna do that, go with this product instead” instead of wasting my time and patience, and my clients’ money! 

What do you do for backup? Does it work?? 

My First Hour with Windows 8.1 Preview

Let me first say, I’m not really unhappy with Windows 8. Really doesn’t bother me to hit the windows key to get to the “Metro” or whatever the place with the tiles (or charms) are…

I use Windows 8 for several different devices. I have a laptop and a desktop, both of which are Dell and running Windows 8 pro. I also have a Surface RT running 8 RT… On my desktop and laptop, I seldom use the metro. I go in to start-up programs and such, but once they’re up I typically pin the icon to the task bar, and don’t have to go back in there for it anymore.

Still, being curious, I was intrigued. I went and downloaded it, expecting an “update”, like what a Windows Update would be. This was a little different from what I’d expect.

First, you download a patch and reboot. Then you’re able to log in and go to the store, and download the 8.1 preview. It then installs, and it reboots several more times. The process (on my laptop) took around 1 hour. This might as well have been a whole OS upgrade… Which I suppose, it sort of is.

Now that it’s installed, I have a windows button, just like old times. …huzzah?start button

Now, I know this was a big deal for folks, but like I said earlier, I really didn’t miss it. Hit the windows button on the keyboard, no big deal… And I don’t think this is really what people wanted, to be honest… they wanted a button that brought up a little menu with a list of their stuff. This one just opens the metro.

Again, I don’t care, so whatever.

Another thing, I can make HUGE “charms”.

large tiles

Huzzah again… (read as: big fricken deal).

Another thing that makes me frown, is this:


E-freakin-valuation?? I realize of course that this is there because this is not the “full release” of 8.1, but if I have a problem activating my OS again after this evaluation build expires, I’m going to be furious.

All that said, I can’t really comment on much else, as my tablet is still updating, which is the device I use the Metro most on. I’m expecting to have some good experiences with that, as you can dock more than one thing on the screen…

Other than that this whole process has been a big old: Meh.

But again, it’s only been an hour, and I’m hoping that things like start-up is faster than it had been, it’d ground down to a glacial pace during start-ups.

Have you gotten it? What are your thoughts?

Stop Endorsing My Skills on LinkedIn!

Hey, remember me? If so, my condolences. If not, sorry you get to meet me now. 😛

I’ve just realized that over the last, I dunno… year? I’ve been complaining about something, and nothing’s changed. Perhaps I’m complaining to the wrong folks. …Actually, I’ve just been complaining to maybe two or three folks.

Anyway, a solid year of bitching sounds to me like a great indication that I have a blog post.

Years ago I joined LinkedIn and thought it was a pretty cool place to showcase my skills. That’s what it’s for, right? An online portfolio / resume, I thought. These days there are groups, and discussions, and articles, etc… Not such a bad thing to have on a site dedicated to professionals, and what not.

Not sure when, but relatively recently they added “Endorsements”. On the surface it’s a tool for you to see how many people will vouch for the skills claimed by the person whose profile you’re looking at. If Captain Von Dingwall says he can hoist a mizen-mast (or whatever) it’s a skill, and Chippy Fitzslapfart can “endorse” it, basically saying “Yep, Capt’n hoists my mizen-mast a few times a day. He’s a pro”.

Over time, perhaps a dozen or so deck swabbers will jog in and endorse the good Captain’s ship-related skills. What better way to judge a person’s skills than by the word of his peers, right?

That’s on the surface.

Beneath the surface, it’s a fucking gimmick. You see, you log into your profile to add a line about your co-ed naked yoga ball class, and at the top there’s a pile of pictures. These pictures are of some folks in your connections list, and it says “Does Chad Nippleflash know about basket weaving? Endorse here!” and “Does Billy Bag-o-donuts know about pothole digging? Endorse here!” and so on… OR! You can make the whole fucking window go away, by clicking “Endorse all!” …and you do cause it’s easy! And it goes away, and now you’re about your business again!

Now, let’s say I’m Chad Nippleflash. Now, I get an email saying “Phil McCrackin has endorsed you!” and I think, “Gee, I haven’t seen Phil in four years, and when we worked together we were refurbishing battery operated battery rechargers, that only recharge their own batteries… He’s never even seen me weave a basket…” But you think the best, and say “Well, that was pretty nice of him, guess he’s just trying to help me out.”

But no, that bastard was just trying to get into his own business. He didn’t go and seek your page out to do me a good deed, he clicked the “Get this shit the fuck outta my face” button.

So now, if you look at my LinkedIn account, you’ll see that 8 people think I’m great with “Hardware”. …nuts and bolts? Washers? Faucets?

Here’s another thing… I never added these things. For example, I haven’t updated my profile now for at least four years, cause I really don’t need to. I have a good job, I’m not exactly networking (socially I mean… Not talking about plugging wires into switches, which 12 people think I’m awesome at) but yet, “Windows 7” is a skill. And so is “VMWare”, which I’ve used once, was completely out of my element with, and hated… But yet, this bozo (who I helped to get fired some years ago, by the way…) thinks I’m a master of.

It’s fucking useless! Not only are people who I haven’t seen in over ten years and never worked with vouching for my skills, but somehow they’re adding skills they don’t even know if I have, because they can’t stand to have this “Endorse All” button floating in their faces!!

And what’s even MORE fucked up? I removed ALL MY SKILLS… And somehow, they’re back!

Stop endorsing me! I don’t care if you DO think I’m great at what I do (Because let’s face it, I am) I don’t need your help. You’re encouraging idiots to endorse me for things they’ve never seen me do, and their making promises that I have to keep! Thanks for the fucking help, now I have to convince assholes I know nothing about VMWare, and they’re going to think I just don’t want to help them.

In my opinion, LinkedIn has only proven that people are too fucking lazy to go out of their way to put some thought into the shit they’re doing to “Help” others. Oh, and they’ve increased traffic to their site, which I’m sure makes them more money. Guarantee this whole endorsement thing came about as the result of a discussion that started with “How do we increase user interaction and draw in more traffic.” not “How do we better help our users?”

Rate my #$@?!

This is just a quick rant.

I am really sick of being asked to rate apps and things or take customer satisfaction surveys. If I am at your website downloading drivers, chances are you do not really want me rating your products. If I am calling support, something is the working right, and I am not like you to be happy.

Rule of thumb: no news is good news. Believe me, if I was unsatisfied with your customer service, you’d hear it. Otherwise just leave me the hell alone!

I Hate Symantec Backup Exec.

I do. I hate it. It is the last fucking backup software I would ever recommend these days, and it’s still the fucking industry standard. 

Backup exec has been a pain in the fucking ass for years and years and years. Thank whatever god you believe in that backup tapes are on their fucking way out. Magnetic media… impacted by magnets. The earth is a giant god damned magnet…. Ok, I’m not getting into how stupid that is, that’s a post for a different day. 

Every fucking time I touch backup exec to upgrade to the next version it fucking blows up in my face. 

I started the upgrade for a client of mine from 2010 to 2012. You would think that a multi-billion dollar company like symantec would understand the importance of making one revision of software easily upgraded to the next. Clearly they do not. 

Backup Exec 2010 had an addon option called “Desktop Laptop Option” hence forth called DLO. That no longer exists in 2012, cause it is it’s own product now. With that installed for 2010, you cannot upgrade to 2012 unless you remove it. Seems simple enough. Open Backup Exec, go to options or something like that and uncheck it. Then of course, it asks for the 2010 installation disk.

Apparently when 2010 was installed, it was installed with a download from their website. Not a problem, we do this all the time. Someone at the client however, deleted the installation files. Fuck. 

To Google I go. The internet is littered with people in the same predicament. The solution is to go to the Backupexec.com downloads area and download the trial version of DLO2012. So I did. It’s not there. You have to fill out a request form to have a sales person contact you regarding it. Two days later, they email you and ask if you’re certain you want this. You have to convince them that yes, you want it, and then they email you the download link. 

Downloaded this 400MB software, and installed it on the server… almost. It wants a serial number. To me, this doesn’t exactly scream “trail version”. 

Instead of waiting another two days to hear back from symantec, I decided that their current backup job isn’t all that complicated, and recreating it wouldn’t be a big deal. So I removed the 2010 software all together. Reboot. 

Installed 2012, the report said it went fine. Reboot. However, the serivces do not start. Did a repair install. Reboot. Still no good.

Scoured the internet, for the error message: The Backup Exec Server Service did not start. An internal error (-1) occurred in object 51. The “Solution” is to remove the software again, reboot, then manually hack out ALL references to Symantec and Backup Exec from the registry. reboot. Then install again. reboot, and everything should be peachy. 

Are you kidding? Who is writing this code that an uninstall can’t fucking uninstall correctly? For the amount of money my client is spending on me to do this upgrade, on an installation that was running find I might add, they could have bought a whole redundant NAS device and backed up across the network with Robocopy, for Christ’s sake. I have submitted a ticket to Symantec, I’m sure I’ll hear back at some point in the next three to twelve years. 

Why can’t you make a software that just fucking installs or upgrades? How is someone who runs a small business supposed to handle things like this, if everyone thinks you buy a disk, put it in, and hit go. 

This is the worst god damned software on earth, bar none. I swear, if the installation doesn’t like the color of the paint on the walls, it fucking throws a bitch fit. 

I need to go listen to some really loud Tool for a while. Fuckers.