December 29, 2005

My new printer

Santa brought me an HP PSC 1410. It is at the bottom of a nice line of printers who print, scan, and copy (hence the "PSC"). The main differences I could see between it and those higher up the line were in how much paper the input tray could hold at a time, and small differences in speed of printing...and fairly large differences in cost. So far, I love it. It's fairly compact, and setting it up was a breeze. It prints color pictures on plain paper better than my Epson ever did (I printed out some so that I could stop hearing "Mommy, look at pictures!" every time I sat at my computer), and the black-and-white is crisp, too. Copying has been easy, and as advertised, does not require the computer itself.

I've been busy figuring out some work-arounds for the parts of my computing life that are in System 9, that I'd like to print out. Being cheap, I'd rather do that than upgrade software for money if I can help it. The most important one is in Quicken; that's the one document I really, really, really would freak out if I lost (and I was a little worried when my hard drive crashed a while ago, but thanks to Ty I recovered everything. And there was an old back-up on Matt's computer. I just didn't want to have to hand enter five years worth of check registers....) Keeping that incident in mind, the first thing I wanted to print once I again had a reliable printer was that whole time period of the register in the computer.

I was able to export the data from Quicken. I found a freeware program called AbiWord, which has gotten good reviews, to paste the data into. It's not pretty but it's readable (Quicken's fault, not AbiWord's), and it's nice to have a hard copy now. I think I will have fun with AbiWord, too; after the check book, the worst loss from not being able to print from Classic is all my Word documents (most notably, lesson stuff). This new program *looks* like Word and *acts* like Word--as far as I can tell from our brief acquaintance and its online reviews--but it's open source, cross-platform, and did I mention it's free?

Anyway, not being one to do things by halves, I opened up this 164 page document in AbiWord to see how it'd do. It did what I wanted, but sloooooowly. I haven't figured out how to fix that, although Word would likely have a similar problem, though perhaps not quite so slow. I'm also not sure how much I care, though, since now that I have my Master's, and have done the stoopid portfolio for my shiny new license type (that is now not required--argh.), I can't imagine needing to print out this much at any one time (after today). As I type, the new printer is humming along: 2005 is long since safe on paper, and it's up to 2001 (I didn't mention, but it collates, too.)

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