LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
You are arrested on a vice change for going into a plumbing supply store and asking the woman behind the counter where the nipples are.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Several years ago I went on vacation for a month. I had no access to my email and came home to 2800 emails, 99 percent of which were spam. I now receive over 1000 spam messages a day. To go on my next month-long vacation, it appears I will have to re-partition a hard drive to be able to handle such a large email spool.
But getting back to the CAN-SPAM act. Here's yet another example of politicians not understanding the issue at hand. If they understood spam, they would know their law was going to be worthless. It's possible they knew this, but passed the law to look as if they were doing something about the issue.
Taking great pictures isn't enough. Unless you can get a great print which can be stuck on the fridge, you've missed the point of many pictures. My fridge is covered with pictures I've taken of Mrs. Fek'Lar over the years.
You can buy various printers which will spit out 4X6 images. Some even take your CF card directly and have a screen to preview the image before printing. These tend to look nice, and the printers are inexpensive, but you do get nailed on the consumables. Unless you buy their ink and paper, it all tends to look like crap.
I've been looking at the commercial printing services. These can be anything from the drug store, to the grocer, to online merchants. After looking at the results, I can't say I'm not surprised at which service is the best. I tried Kinkos (now part of Fed Ex), the Kodak kiosk at Safeway, the Aladdin kiosk at Long's Drug, and the online merchant Shutterfly.
There's a Kinko's near the swamp I work in. I whipped past at lunch time to give it a shot. The prints were spat out in about 20 seconds, the fastest of any service I used. But they looked horrible. If you've ever worked in color and know the difference between an 8 bit color picture and a 24 bit color picture, you have some idea of what I saw. Although this was the first service I tried, I was rather shocked at how poor the image was. After all, I had seen a Polaroid kiosk demo'ed at CES the past January, and their pictures printed quickly and looked great. If Sony's kiosk at Kinko's was the best that was currently out there, it was time to buy Polaroid stock.
I tried to use the Kodak kiosk at Safeway. But this was a little difficult. There are Kodak kiosks in many supermarkets but a lot of them do not work. The older machines do not yet have readers for many common memory cards used in cameras. Many of the supermarkets have no idea how to service the machine when it runs out of consumables.
I used two test pictures. One was a black and white scan at 2100 dpi. The other was a color image of a California Poppy. This image had a gradient from yellow to orange that I though would be difficult to print. The Kodak kiosk I found which was working printed both accurately.
Next, I was off to my local Long's Drug store. The Aladdin System is made by FujiFilm. It also goes hand in hand with the big monster film processor behind the counter. An Aladdin print, like the Kodak Kiosk, takes two minutes to be made. They suggest you send any job of more than 20 prints to the monster behind the counter for 1 hour processing.
The trouble I've had with Aladdin isn't print quality, or machine servicing. It's been too popular. I've decided that if I walk in and there's someone at the kiosk, I might as well leave and watch the four hour version of Ben Hur.
Finally, I sent off my images to Shutterfly. I've got a calendar from Shutterfly a friend made. This is a great way to use pictures. When I signed up, Shutterfly had a special for new customers. The first 15 prints free. As another ad once said, "Free is good!" The prints showed up in a few days, but I paid about three bucks for shipping.
What have we learned? We're still at the beginning of the digital photography revolution. Companies like Kodak and Fuji are having their heads handed to them. Film is dead. But while everyone and his brother are out buying up cameras, the digital print is just getting started. Find one difficult picture and try a few vendors. Stick with who you like. But I expect in five years all the kiosks will work, and the print quality will leave what we have today in the dust. After all, in technology, everything gets better.
An open letter to my neighbors:
Take your Christmas lights down! It's over! Take 'em down and wait ten and a half months before putting them back up.
If I don't have anything nice to say, I'll make sure everyone knows. This was last year's resolution, and it seems to have worked just fine, so I'm keeping it.
It's Tax Season
Time to Send Your Congressman a "Bite Me".. er... "Thank You" Note
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"You need to learn to reveal in others' pain."
"If this piece of software doesn't scare you, you don't understand it."
"I'll proofread your resume, and you proofread mine."
"I'm not, I'm saving myself for New Years."
"I'm going to take Kick Boxing!"
"Why don't we just line up and kick you? It will save you the expense."
My bail just came through.
(The Last Honest Geek)
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people in the Bush Administration.
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