Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

HP 3600 – Computer Shopper price error

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Following on from THIS

While looking for a new laser printer I read the Colour Laser lab reviews in the February 2008 (240) issue of Computer Shopper. I thought the HP Colour LaserJet 3600 sounded interesting so I visited the PrinterLand website only to discover that the actual price including VAT was £294.91, not £250 as the review stated. I notified Computer Shopper but I never received a reply :(

I decided to purchase a different (cheaper) printer in the end – I might post a short review on it soon :)

Since then, the price of the HP 3600 has actually dropped to £256, so it might be a bit more appealing to potential buyers again…

Analogue TV phase-out

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Re: Currys Stop Selling Analogue TVs

While it’s natural and expected for TV technology to continue advancing (after all analogue signals will be switched off in the UK by 2012), there can be problems with the new integrated digital receivers: it seems that some are more susceptible to interference or display lower signal strength (than dedicated STBs) and many will prevent recording digital channels (depending on whether there are any suitable outputs for recorders).

Ensuring all TVs and aerials are digital ready might already be a chore for some, but even if their TVs can receive digital signals they could still experience other niggles. Oh well, that’s progress for you :)

More information on the switchover: http://www.freeview.co.uk/switchover

Private Air Travel

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

As the ‘last’ Sky Commuter Prototype goes for sale on ebay, I’m reminded of all the sci-fi that features personal air travel for the masses. While it would be really cool to fly around in your own little copter/plane/ship I can’t help thinking of the possible downsides. If everyone uses them, how noisy and crowded would the skies be? How bad could accidents get? How could the airways be policed? What about traffic jams?! And with today’s fuel prices and environmental issues, they would all need to be solar powered or use some other form of renewable green energy.

Realistically, I think we are a long way off from the personal air travel future depicted in Futurama, The Fifth Element etc and perhaps that’s not a bad thing. We should probably try to solve the myriad of social-economic problems we have beforehand and anyway, I think teleportation would be much better! :)

Colour Laser Printers

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Having just bought a colour laser printer and done a fair amount of research (reading reviews, comparing prices and so on), I have to say it’s quite surprising how the industry has already got to the stage of inkjet printers: the cheapest colour laser printers cost less than a full set of toner cartridges and even less than a replacement OPC drum.

Manufacturers  are still using the business model of selling the initial device cheaply and then recouping costs through consumables. The problem is: they are encouraging customers to buy new printers rather than maintaining their existing ones, which in turn means more waste as the older printers are dumped, which is no good for the environment. Fortunately, cheaper compatible cartridges and toner refill kits exist, but it still seems like a crazy situation.