Monthly Archives: August 2010

Phillips Comes Through

Filed under Rants

image It’s been almost two months since we got hit by lightning that took out almost all the electronics in the house. A very looonnnngggg two months. Far more time that I would ever want to spend hassling with insurance adjusters, repairmen, UPS vendors, etc.

Still, it could have been worse.

Fortunately, a little good news came in the mail today.

I’d built a very custom computer to power a gaming rig I’m building. It was connected to a Philips Surge suppressor with a “master” outlet, basically, a surge suppressor power strip with one plug that is the “master” plug. When whatever is plugged into that plug is turned on, all the other plugs come on. When turned off, all the other plugs completely power down. They’re a great way to cut down on vampire devices that suck energy even when “off”.

Well, the computer was fried by the lightning. As was the Altec Lansing speaker/subwoofer system connected to it.

I’d called Philips to try and file a claim against their “25,000$ connected equipment guarantee”. Obviously, my losses weren’t that much but every little bit would help.

They sent out a UPS mailing label to return the surge suppressor (it still worked but they wanted engineering to investigate it).

So I boxed it up and shipped it, along with the rundown the the fried equipment.

It took about 2 weeks, but today I get a package in the mail. They sent me a new surge suppressor (not sure how much the old one helped, as it was fried and my PC was fried, but that’s another story) and a check to cover the damages.

I’d had my doubts whether anything would come of that guarantee, but they did indeed come through, so hats off to Philips!

HP G85 and JetDirect for the Win!

Filed under Hardware, Rants

image I’ve always been a bit of an HP fan when it comes to their printers. Ages ago, my dad bought a LaserJet that worked for what seemed like forever.

So, back when I first started telecommuting, when I needed a printer, I naturally thought of HP and ended up with a G85 Inkjet/Copier/Scanner.

I also picked up a JetDirect box to let me hook it up directly to an ethernet network. This was all circa 2000. Yep, seriously olden days.

But, that printer is still going strong. Absolutely no problems with it. I’ve dropped it. Moved twice. And most recently, the house got struck by lightning. I lost computers, a SAN drive, network switches, hubs, a TIVO, even UPS’s and my AC units.

But that printer and the Jet Direct box survived unscathed.

So what?

Here’s the thing. The G85 is a great scanner, BUT, the software is hopelessly outdated and HP hasn’t updated it since the XP days. So running it under Vista or Win7 has been a pain.

After the lightning, I was re-setting up new machines, when I happened to try browsing over to the printer’s IP address, basically on a whim.

Guess what I found?


That JetDirect box has a webserver built into this WHOLE TIME!

Not just that, but check that scan button…

Click it, and it leads you to this page…


Yep, that’s right, you can initiate a scan right here, from the browser, then download the resulting image. No drivers to load, no compatibility issues. Nothing but good ol’ fashioned sweetness.

I’ve had this thing literally ten years and never knew that was there. Certainly never came across it in the docs or any online info.

Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks (or get him to do tricks you’ve never seen before <g>)