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Bait and Switch on Amazon Marketplace PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Sunday, 28 June 2009 20:40

thegrandchefLast week I decided I would buy The Grand Chef Vol. 1 DVD set on Amazon Marketplace.  Ninety bucks is a bit much, so I decided to get one of the much cheaper used copies being advertised.  A couple clicks here and there and the item is bought.  The next day, the seller sent this message:

Thank you for shopping with me. I upgraded your set to a double volume collector's set (which includes the sequel, "Grand Chef II" (also known as "Gourmet 2"). The USPS parcel's # is...

Huh, that's interesting.  I wonder what this collector's set is.  No sign of it on Ya Entertainment's web site.

When I open the package on Saturday night, I'm greeted with this:

gourmetYep, I am not happy about this one bit.  I believe this might be the first time I've actually fallen victim to a bait and switch.  If I really wanted to get the Chinese version, I would have spent half the price and bought it on ebay.  I'm not looking forward to dealing with Amazon and the seller in the morning...

Printing Takes Time, Money PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 18:38
Various printing problems...

So right now I'm printing stuff.

I've got two fairly nice Epson Stylus Photo 1280 printers.  When they work, they create wonderful, wonderful output.  On really beautiful paper (like my preferred Ilford Premium Pearl Photo) the prints turn out drop-dead gorgeous.

Unfortunately, they don't work 100% of the time.  In fact, they don't work even 40% of the time.

On this particular job I'm stressing over, I'm being commissioned to make 20 full bleed art prints.  Unfortunately for me, I can't just put 20 sheets of paper into the feed and hit a button.  Doesn't work that way.

First off, the feed mechanism on both of these printers sucks.  You look at the printer wrong and suddenly it's sucking in two or three sheets of paper at a time.  When the media costs $0.50 to $1.00 a sheet, you don't want that to happen, so that means I print one sheet at a time.  Every 20+ minute I have to load another sheet of paper.  Fun.

Then there's the print heads.  These things get clogged every 5 sheets or so.  One clogged nozzle means nasty streaking.  That means I'm doing nozzle checks before every single print I make.

Then there's the fact that full bleed printing is non-trivial on these printers.  You can't simply say you want borderless prints.  (Well, you can, but only if you like a couple millimeters being cut off on every border.  That means I have to guesstimate the dimensions in my print settings.  Right now, I'm telling Photoshop to print the picture as 12.8" x 18.707" in order for the printer driver to properly fill the 13" x 19" page.)

And then there's the stuff that you just can't account for.  Just an hour ago, one of the two printers developed a clog that just will not go away, even after an hour worth of cleaning cycles.  Earlier today, the Windows print manager decided that every job was done after about 8 inches of the 19 inch long document was printed.  Before that, the printer decided it would be a good thing to mar otherwise perfect prints with a smear of black ink on the bottom edge.  Yesterday, a fly got into the printer and... well, you can see the results here.

So!  All in all: printing sucks.

Lately I've been considering my options.  I only use these printers to print jobs for other people, so considering all the time and money I funnel into them, I should probably just get rid of them.  Considering my nature, it's far more likely that I'll replace them and continue offering services...

Time to rework this thing... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Monday, 08 June 2009 18:49

The site looks great in Firefox 3... and horrible in everything else.  Chrome, IE, Opera... ARGH!  Damn top bar is messed up... ah well...

Edit: FIXED!  No thanks to you lousy updated css...

A quick update... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Thursday, 21 May 2009 17:13

So let's see...

I'm rewriting about 2 weeks worth of music because I suddenly lost control of one of my soft synths, one of my monitors is still going crazy (at least it's just the one monitor...), and I'm currently shuttling metric tonnes of crap between apartments while being tempted to run a print shop.

In lighter news: I now own the most awesome basketball game ever (aka: Run and Gun 2, aka Slam Dunk 2) and thanks to Flickr Stats, I've found another person I need to keep track of in the blogosphere.  To Rachael: Thanks for writing and being pretty interesting at it!

And before any of you say anything: Run and Gun 2 IS the most awesome basketball game ever.  Save your Double Dribbles and NBA Jams and all that; I'm not having any of that...

Wait... Calbi BBQ? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Wednesday, 29 April 2009 12:09

Kogi BBQIf you're an LA area foodie, you've probably known about the Kogi BBQ truck for a while.  With its twitter-mania and pretty tasty Korean-inspired tacos and burritos alongside more traditional or out-of-right-field specials, it's been a rather big hit.  Of course, it was inevitable that they'd get some imitators.  A few traditional Mexican dives have been trying to integrate the Korean flavors into their own menu, some with more success than others.

Thanks to some random blog comments, I happened across Calbi BBQ.  Check out their twitter.  Check out their menu.  Compare it to what's currently on Kogi BBQ right now.

Wacky, huh?  I'll probably be keeping track of this thing...


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