Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quiet Drink

Now, in the Irdeto headquarters, there is a bar. A general recreational area with a pool table, table football and pinball. Along with beers and soft drinks. This was installed to cater for a coworker get together which was to happen every two weeks. There's a dutch word for it, but I couldn't pronounce or spell it. When I started work, the bar wasn't open yet. It was a new building, and they were still preparing it. Even now, its not finished, one of the pinball machines doesn't work and the dart board hasn't been put up.

It is, however, open. And has been for a number of weeks now. As I'm not on the general mailing list in work, I didn't find out. Of course, nobody bothered mentioning it to me, as they presumed I would have seen the email. So I've ended up missing the last two after work drinking sessions. However, I ended up staying a bit long on Friday, so I saw the group gathered in the bar and got the message.

There wasn't a big group, I was told there was usually more people. Seems there wasn't much worth celebrating this week. Even so, I managed to get in some games of table football and a game of pool. Some fun before heading home. Of course it took me so long, that all the stores were closed by the time I got home. No supper for me.

On Saturday, I had the need to print something. I get the need to print a document or something every now and then, but I've usually been able to work around the problem of not owning a printer. From using the printers in DCU, to using my roommates printer, to just writing down whatever information I needed in a notebook. However, this time none of those options were available to me. So I set out on Saturday morning to find either a print store or an internet café with a printer.

By lunchtime, I had yet to find anywhere were I could get something printed. So I decided to take a trip to Saturn and price a printer. To my surprise I was able to pick up a decent looking scanner/inkjet for little over €30. The box didn't give much indication as to what came with the printer. I presumed it would have the necessary cables, but there was no way to know if it came with any ink. Luckily they were selling some ink from right beside the printer. So I grabbed a box and a handful of print cartridges, cyan, magenta, yellow and black, and set off home.

Now, I'd made the assumption that the printer came with cables, but no ink. As it turned out, the printer did indeed come with a set of cartridges. They weren't full cartridges, but they'd probably be more than enough for what I was looking for. Well, that was a waste of €30. What the printer did now have, was a USB cable to connect it to my laptop. One would assume that such a thing was just a standard piece of kit. The printer has no other means of connectivity and as a result I have no way to print to it. I guess EPSON figured I'd either pick up a cable in the store or have one already.

So it'll be back to the shop for me again on Monday. Luckily Saturn opens until 9 on the weekdays so I'll be able to grab a cable after work tomorrow.

While I was in Saturn yesterday, I also got a chance to play with an iPad. It was an amazing experience. It's a very nice machine, and using it is wonderful. I was surprised by how easy typing came, and how accurately the screen picks up my every gesture. It does feel a bit heavy for holding for long with one hand, I noticed this very quickly while trying to play Plants versus Zombies. Its easy to see how this style of device will become prevalent in the near future. The price does seem a bit steep to me though, the weight is also a minor issue. Hopefully some competitors will start to spring up soon to start a good old fashioned price war.

One thing I confirmed from my brief experience with the iPad, was that although the display is wonderful, it's no replacement for an ereader when it comes to reading. The weight accompanied by the ultra bright screen would make prolonged reading a bit of a pain. I also get the impression that the surface would turn to a mirror in direct sunlight. If I were to buy a device like the iPad, I'd also like something akin to the Sony Pocket Reader or the BeBook Mini for reading books on. Electronic ink displays, that are natural and easy on the eyes, and devices which are small and light enough to use single handedly.

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