Do not buy a Canon CanoScan LiDE 110 scanner

I got up early today (around 8:30 a.m.—early for me on a weekend) with the intent to scan a bunch of old pictures my mom brought to me over Thanksgiving. These photos are from back when she was a kid, and some are even from when my grandmother (who passed away last April at 94) was young.

I had purchased a Canon scanner back in the fall so that I would be able to scan in these and other photos, but I have never been able to get it to work correctly. I figured today would be the day I’d figure it out.

Yeah, well, that didn’t exactly go as planned. The auto-crop function of the scanner only works with one or two scans before shitting the bed, which is just not acceptable. It would be bad enough to have to manually crop every single picture I scanned, but a white line also appeared in every scan.

Canon scanner sucks

I had emailed Canon back in the fall for help, and they suggested I uninstall and reinstall the drivers. I did this, and the white line disappeared and the picture was auto-cropped. For one or two images. Then it would just stop auto-cropping, and the white line would pop up. Sometimes there would be a black line accompanying it.

Eventually, through lots of testing and patience-wearing-thin moments, I determined that in order for the scanner to function correctly I would have to uninstall and reinstall the drivers (two of them) after every one or two scans.

Uh, yeah. Not going to happen. I emailed Canon again and they suggested I “toggle the lock back and forth a dozen times and reseat the USB cable.” For shits and giggles I did this, along with restarting the computer several times. And as I’m sure you’ve guessed, this didn’t work.

So they’re sending out a box for me to ship the scanner back to them, and they will send me a refurbished model in exchange. I’m irritated that despite the fact that this scanner is essentially brand-new and unused and still under warranty, I am unable to receive a new replacement. But at this point, I’m so frustrated that this is a better option than throwing it in the garbage, which is what I was going to do.

I’m going to give the refurb that they send me one chance. After that I’m going to start calling people at Canon until I get a damn refund.

Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

This day was inevitable, even if he hadn’t been sick for years with pancreatic cancer, liver issues and god knows what else.

It’s inevitable that a man as brilliant (and anal) as Steve Jobs has left a succession plan and I can’t imagine that the last several years weren’t dotted with hush-hush meetings where “what if” chats eventually gave way to “it will” discussions, but I’m still a little nervous. I’m worried that the underlying oomph of what makes Apple products more than just metal and pixels and wires will slowly disappear from an empire, leaving the world with just another mediocre computer company.

From the early days when the Apple IIe was the first computer many ever got their hands on and the shitty, beige days of the mid-90s when nobody liked them to the more recent years when they flourished beyond all of the haters’ expectations, Apple computers—Apple products—have been part of my life. Playing Oregon Trail, learning how to type, slaving over high school and college papers, chatrooms explored, games played, thousands of pictures edited, poems written, blogs kept, emails sent, jobs worked—My entire digital life has been lived on an Apple computer.

To those who have never owned a Mac or used an Apple product, this all probably sounds dramatic and romantic. But to those who have, you know what I mean. They’re more expensive, but they’re worth it. When you buy a Mac, it’s not just a metal box that you peck around on. It’s a quality of life improvement. It’s an experience. It’s worth it.

I have never owned a computer made by another company and I do not intend to ever do so.

So I hope I’m over-thinking. Over-reacting. And I hope Steve Jobs finds peace and comfort despite whatever spurred this decision that was announced today.

New MacBook Pro!

New MacBook Pro!

After six years, the last couple filled with numerous frustrating sessions wrestling with the slowness of my 2005 iMac, I finally bought a new computer. And it’s badass, too: The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro. After never having owned a laptop bigger than 13 inches, I decided to go with the 15-inch model since I won’t be getting an external monitor to hook it up to. I’ve been using an older 15-inch MacBook Pro as my work computer, and realized pretty quickly how nice the extra screen real estate is for photo editing and coding.

I figured since I had the money (I’d been saving my pennies like a good little girl for quite some time), I’d go ahead and splurge on the model with the better graphics card since I plan on gaming along with all of the photo editing I do. And! I’ll finally be able to do some video editing since I now have a computer that can actually handle it. Every time I tried to make a video in iMovie on my iMac I ended up wanting to stab someone. I’m not even kidding, I would click something and could go take a shower before the computer would respond.

Now I’m going through the process of transferring all of my applications and photos over from my other machines. I didn’t want to use the Migration Assistant because I’m sure after years of use there are some bad preferences on the iMac, and my stuff is kind of scattered across multiple computers. Including the one I use for work, I have three functioning Macs with files and applications on them that I need to transfer to this machine.

So. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but luckily it’s been pretty easy so far. After nearly 30 years of working on Apple computers, I often take for granted how everything works so flawlessly (most of the time) and just makes sense. It’s kind of nice to be reminded of that again as I move stuff around, copy and paste libraries, and work through getting this beast set up to my (very specific) liking.

Feb. 12 | Mousepath

I thought I had uploaded this back on the 12th, but apparently not.

These are the paths created by my mouse as I worked throughout the day. The larger, darker spots are where my mouse rested. I was doing some coding that day, and when I work in TextMate I have its window on the right side of my screen, which would explain why the mouse was resting often near the left/center of the screen.

Also, that big blob toward the left apparently means I ate lunch that day. For once.

I take back all the curse words I screamed at Movable Type at the time

I found out today that a website I built won two awards!! We won’t know what level of award (gold, silver or bronze) from each of the award programs until their respective banquets, but just knowing the site won something is enough to make me giddy.

This was the first client site for which I was responsible for the web development (it was designed by my coworker Ben, and Summer, Rex and Megan were responsible for content and overall strategy), and I will not lie: It was overwhelmingly difficult at times. Going from kind of knowing CSS and not ever having built anything in Movable Type to Oh Hi Let Me Build This Site Quickly Now was a challenge, but looking back I see how much I learned from the entire experience.

Luckily I had a lot of support from Patrick (we hired him as a consultant to teach me how to write my own CSS and built in Movable Type–all in like a week) and several super-smart coders and Movable Type users on Twitter who were so responsive and willing to help.

According to the notification we’re not supposed to officially announce anything until the awards are actually given out, so I’m not going to tell you the site name or the awards. I tried to stay as cool and collected as I could at the office—oh who am I kidding, I blabbed to whoever would listen how all those times I said I was going to jump out the window because Movable Type wasn’t working and all those times Ben threatened to kill me because I wouldn’t stop asking for more images in different sizes and colors TOTALLY WORTH IT.

I’m so lucky that I work someplace that lets me do what I am interested in and trusts in me enough to understand that if I don’t know how to do something, I sure as hell will find out. And I’m so proud of the team that worked so hard to make this site so awesome. Even if it didn’t win anything we would still understand its value, but it’s always nice to have validation.

Now, I wonder how I can weasel my way into a trip to accept the awards? ;)

I survived BarCamp

I finally sucked it up and went to BarCamp this year—by myself, which for those of you who know me really says something—and am so glad that I did. Not only did I sit in on some really insightful sessions, but I finally got to meet one of my most favorite people in the entire interwebs, newscoma. She has been so kind and supportive to me over the past few years of blogging within the Nashville community, so I was glad to be able to finally hug her neck and sit down and talk with her.

It was also great to meet some people I had only previously talked with on Twitter or via our blogs, and to see again those I hadn’t seen in some time. There was a great deal of killing folks on the popular iPhone game GPSAssassins (I’m a bad ass—Ian and I are relentless on our commute and will take your ass down), followed later by a lot of complaining.

(People, it’s called GPSAssassins, not GPSIHopeIDon’tHurtYourFeelings. Christ.)

Anyway, I had heard that these networking things can be kind of cliquey, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the sessions had a good flow to them and I was never just standing around looking lost, like the weird, awkward girl I really am.

Something I took away from the conference and broached on Twitter this morning, though, is the lack of female web developers/coders in Nashville. I can’t technically call myself a web developer (yet), but I’ve been learning as much as I can for work. I am not complaining about the tech dudes around here, as those who follow me on Twitter are always very quick to help me out when I have questions, but I am left wondering why there are not more women in the field.

The idea of me organizing a female-coder meet-up was broached (and a venue was graciously offered), but I’m afraid I wouldn’t really know how to set it up, or even how I would lead it. Maybe starting with a Facebook group first might be the way to go?

This aggression will not stand, man!

First they take the open-apple symbol off the keyboard, now they remove FireWire from the MacBook?

WTF is wrong with Apple??

Ok, so I get the open-apple symbol isn’t functional and I’m just being a nostalgic nerd by being pissed about it being gone. But also: Seriously, the new thin keyboards suck giant balls. I HATE the keys. HATE THEM.

But taking FireWire off the MacBooks completely? Are you serious? How the hell are you supposed to boot into target disc mode? YOU CAN’T with USB!

Also, if you’re transferring a shit-ton of stuff, put FireWire and USB 2. 0 in a pit together and ask them to fight to the death. FireWire will kill USB 2. 0, bring it back to life, kill it again and then go catch you a delicious bass all before USB 2.0 will be able to even understand the question.

AND my freaking iPod (well, just one of them, but my faaavorite one) is FireWire. WTF am I supposed to do if I get rid of my two desktops and two laptops that currently support FireWire?? (Haha, but seriously: I store all of my music and sync my iPods from my desktop, which I have seriously thought about replacing with a MacBook and a great cinema display from time to time. Well, that dream has been killed. JUST LIKE FIREWIRE. Also: That dream might have already been killed when the economy shit the bed. Or before that, when I realized nobody really needs seven computers, not even me.)

If all this is happening because Steve is sick and not able to kick ass as much as he usually does, what is going to happen when he actually kicks the bucket? Excuse me while I go weep for the former shell of Apple.

Thought of the Day (The “I’m Up Early” Edition)

The problem with Internet Explorer (that people keep using it) is a lot like the problem with large SUVs* (people keep buying them).

But both problems can be solved similarly: If people would stop buying large SUVs, manufacturers would stop making them. If manufacturers stop making them, people won’t be able to buy them. Eventually all of the older SUVs would die out, making the roads safer for everyone and Americans not as wasteful with fuel.

Likewise, if people would just stop using IE, Microsoft would stop providing (worthless) updates and eventually just discontinue support for the browser. With no more support for the browser, it would start to fall into obscurity, and eventually die out. Web designers everywhere will rejoice because they would no longer have to bust their asses trying to optimize their sites for a browser that’s just going to turn their painstakingly constructed work into a pile of dog shit no matter what they do, anyway.

*I don’t want this to turn into another discussion about why people drive SUVs. I’m just making a comparison between two things that bug the shit out of me.

Kind of like buying a new couch and then putting a sheet over it

I am in love with my new iPhone 3G. I love all of my Apple products (in addition to the iPhone, I have two iMacs, one iBook, one Powerbook, one Power Mac—on loan to my sister, who also bought my other iBook—one Mac Classic, one iPod Photo, one iPod Shuffle, one iPod nano and a MacBook I use for work), but not since my iMac DVSE have I felt such a strong bond so quickly with one. I think it’s the amount of time we’ve already spent—and will spend—with each other. Don’t worry, Ian approves. He thinks I’m crazy, but he likes the phone, too.

But because I take it everywhere with me, I need a case for it. The last thing I want to do is cover up its beauty, but the last+1 thing I want to do is drop it and kill it. I mean, let’s just be honest here: iPhones ain’t cheap.

I especially want to get one before Friday morning, when I’ll be flying to Chicago for a quick trip home to see family. The idea of my newborn iPhone being naked in the airport makes me a bit nervous, but good cases are scarce these days. I’ve narrowed my preferences down to three different cases: the Griffin Nu Form, the Contour Flick and the Incase Slider. Now, the Incase and Contour cases apparently aren’t available right now, and I haven’t been able to find the Griffin one in stock in a store (although I haven’t really looked too hard).

When I worked at Apple, the Contour case was the one we recommended to iPhone (the original, I worked there over the holidays last year) owners, but Incase is a popular brand, too. (And recommended by two bloggers who I trust in terms of technology judgment.) So I could order the Griffin one and get it in a few days (with free shipping), but I might like the Contour or Incase one more. But those might not be available for a few more weeks.

What’s a geek to do???