Archive for October, 2005

Dell Free Printer Scam

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

My printer finally ran out of ink the other day. I’d been printing out some cards to use to play Magic the Gathering with. Not even remotely tournament legal, but means I can put a few decks together to play with, without having to cough up enormous amounts of money for rare cards.

My printer is a Dell Photo Printer 720 that came free with a laptop that I bought from them a while ago. It turns out that my printer wasn’t so free, after all. The expensive part of an inkjet printer is the ink and the print head. Usually this is built into the ink cartridge, so whenever you replace the ink cartridge you are also replacing the print head. The Dell printer only comes with a Trial Size ink cartridge and so doesn’t take long to run out of ink.

When this happens, the software very helpfully points you at the Dell website to buy more ink. At an astronomical price!

I had heard that the Dell printer was the same as a Lexmark model, so I decided to see if I could find a cheaper alternative. The Dell forum claimed that only Dell cartridges would work in their printer. Although it is true that the Lexmark cartridges don’t physically fit in the cartridge slot, they further claim that the chips are electronically chipped to not work.

This turns out not to be true.

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Colegio Del Cuerpo

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

I love going to unusual events, so I especially enjoyed last night’s Colegio Del Cuerpo performance at the Bloomsbury theatre last night. The performance was a dance event supported by the Children of the Andes charity.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before I got there. What we got was a highly professional and modern dance/ballet performance. The first half of the programme was called “Homily” and appeared to be about some kind of religious awakening. There were some lyrics in the music but since they were in Spanish they didn’t tell me a great deal. Dance performances were very intense and expressive, rather than the simple gymnastic-type displays I have seen before.

My favourite part of the programme was the second half which featured a live performance of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, renamed Quartet for the End of Body for the Colegio Del Cuerpo rendition.

At the time I didn’t really understand much of the meaning of the performance - references to dates of wars, and some sort of power dynamic allegory represented by the cast taking turns to patrol the stage with an enormous set of compasses. Actually, I didn’t even get that last piece - one of Paul’s very perceptive friends explained that one to me.

I found, though, as with the first half, that giving up the attempt to make logical meaning out of the presentation made it a lot easier for me to sit back and enjoy the aesthetic aspects. The movement, the expression, the emotion and the music.

I particularly liked the music. There’s something about hearing music performed live that even the best music systems can’t reproduce. And I have heard some of the world’s best music systems - there’ll be another hi-fi show coming up soon, I’d imagine, so at some point that’ll make it into this blog.

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is a well known piece of music with a fascinating history and meaning that you can read about here.

Special thanks to Paul who didn’t just arrange the tickets but hit a home run getting the very best seats in the house, right in the front row. Apparently it is all about who you know!

Running

Monday, October 17th, 2005

Running goes very nicely with last week’s “Skating” post. Although it is a bit of a cheat, given that it wasn’t actually me doing the Running.

Runners

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Skating

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Manged to get out for an unexpected session of roller blading, today. I tend to think of every sunny weekend as being likely to be the last one for the year, so I like to make the most of the good weather.

As ever, I like to include a picture in my blog. And, once again, since my digital camera isn’t working too well at the moment, I didn’t have it with me to capture some action shots.

In true Blue Peter tradition, here’s one I prepared earlier …

Skater Boi

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Wallace & Gromit

Monday, October 3rd, 2005

Whilst out in town today I happened to be in Leicester Square where the premiere for the new Wallace and Gromit movie, “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” was happening.

Normally premieres are attended by the stars of the film. Clearly with a cartoon, this is going to be a bit tricky. I was most amused to see that Gromit did in fact put in an appearance.

Gromit

This picture was taken by someone else in Amsterdam, but I think is the same Gromit who made it to Leicester Square. I didn’t have a camera with me, otherwise I’d have got some shots of him. Notice how big the people in the picture are? This Gromit is inflatable and stands 9 metres (or 30 feet) tall.

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