Friday 29 February 2008
links for 2008-02-29
There shall be beer-battered pollack in our house tonight.
Thursday 28 February 2008
More Canon woes
I have some simple advice for you. Don’t ever, ever, ever buy a Canon product. This evening, I have fired off this missive. To say that I’m furious would be an understatement:
Firstly – I have checked with Dell and I have the latest firmware and hardware drivers for my very new and highly specified Vista laptop – and if it runs on my five-year old Dell XP laptop, then there is no reason why it should not run with my newer Vista laptop. I am convinced that the problem lies with your driver software. However, I succeeded, as previously, in copying the settings from my XP laptop (where I installed the MP600R using the supplied drivers) so that I can use the MP600R with my Vista laptop to print over my WLAN. I have no USB functionality and no scanning functionality on my Vista machine – if I need to scan a document, I must boot up my XP machine, scan the document and then transfer it to my Vista machine via a memory stick. This is completely unsatisfactory.
I now have a new issue.
The MP600R will not respond to any instructions from either my Vista machine or my XP machine via WLAN or USB. When using the IJ Network Tool on the XP machine, the printer is “not found” over WLAN. Via USB it is described as “in use”, even when the Vista machine is shut down, there are no print jobs in the queue and the MP600R has been disconnected from the power supply and reconnected in order to reset it.
I have attempted to reset the MP600R via the panel on the machine. It will not permit me to restore or even print the LAN settings (when I press “OK”, nothing happens). If I select “restore settings” from the menu, nothing happens. Clearly the printer believes itself to be busy, but I can not understand why. The laptop is making a status request, but gets no response. There is no paper jam and the ink cartridges are all functioning and adequately filled.
This is a problem with your hardware/firmware. It is not a problem with either of my laptops or my WLAN. Re-installing the drivers is not going to make any difference, I believe, particularly as your Vista driver installer is clearly dysfunctional.
Currently, I am so disappointed with this machine that I would like Canon to collect it from my premises and refund my money – this is no fault of the company who supplied it to me, who did so in a timely fashion and in good faith. So far, I have wasted more than five working days on trying to get it to function properly. I am self-employed and can simply not afford to spend any more time on it. Until now, I have always used Hewlett Packard machines without any problem and I bitterly regret not being loyal to their products.
I have already expressed my dismay to a number of business colleagues. I run one of the UK’s longest-running blogs and have provided a commentary on it there, as well as remarking on the disappointing level of tech support that I have received. As far as I am concerned, this machine is not fit for purpose as advertised and I believe I could take my complaint to Trading Standards.
I look forward to receiving your comments and response.
I’ll let you know what they say. Don’t hold your breath, though.
links for 2008-02-28
A good guide in plain English.
The Natural History Museum’s project on bumblebees, complete with a simple and useful identification guide for British species.
Bumblebees have 0.000001% of the number of brain cells that you have, but they can find their way to Tesco without satnav.
Excellent reportage photography, principally of Palestine but also candid photos from the Barack Obama campaign trail.
Wednesday 27 February 2008
links for 2008-02-27
Interesting attempt to modernise Islamic teaching. But I wonder how widely these revisions will be accepted.
A cheese for amateurs? Pah! I think this is great for true lovers of mild creamy cheeses, with a delicious creamy texture and flavour. Who says you can’t be a connoisseur of mild creamy cheeses? There are lots of subtleties to explore.
Interesting. With increased devolution within Belgium, perhaps the idea that Flanders and Limburg will eventaully become part of the Netherlands are not so far-fetched.
Tuesday 26 February 2008
Because you’re interested, really
Man From Canon eventually called me last Thursday afternoon. All well and good, except I was at a trade show in Angers, France. Even though I politely explained that I was 500 miles from my non-functioning multifunction, he still tried to talk me through the problem. I politely explained that my WLAN doesn’t have that sort of range and it was very difficult to resolve an issue in a noisy exhibition hall whilst propped against a window balancing notebook, pen, mobile, laptop bag and a collection of brochures. We agreed that he should call me yesterday when I was back in the office.
On reviewing my emails yesterday, I noticed one from Man From Canon. It told me that he would be out of the office until Thursday but had asked a colleague to call. He also offered a possible solution to the problem. Unfortunately, the "solution" was simply another walkthrough of the same steps that we had been over before. For the sake of completeness, I went through it one more time with the same eventual outcome. I emailed a reply to this effect stating clearly what the problem was/is and saying that I was looking forward to a new call and some new ideas.
This morning, he called. Strange, considering he was supposed to be out of the office. Essentially, he told me that, since my multifunction functions just fine on my old XP laptop, it clearly wasn’t a hardware problem. And Canon were satisfied that there was nothing wrong with their driver. And that the problem must be with my laptop hardware – a USB port driver problem, perhaps. So I should call Dell.
What crap. We’ve established that the USB port is functioning correctly and that the issue is that the Canon driver installation software does not complete its process fully.
So, using my not-particularly-extensive knowledge of computing, I’ve got the machine working on my XP laptop via USB and via WLAN to both print and scan. I have then succeeding in reinstalling it on my Vista laptop so that it wil print via the WLAN, although there is no communication via USB and no scanning functionality at all. Thankfully, I use my machine 95% of the time for printing. But for that 5% of the time when I’m scanning, I’ll need to power up the old XP machine, scan the document and then transfer the file to my Vista laptop by email or using a memory stick.
Verdict: the Canon PIXMA MP600R is not a good machine for use with Windows Vista. Canon tech support leaves much to be desired, both online (due to assumed knowledge) and by telephone (whether overseas or in this country – they only seem capable of dealing with known issues and then can only walkthrough the normal setup and installation procedures). In short, I won’t be buying another Canon product and wish I’d forked out the extra cash for the HP C7280.