Canon Pixma MG5220 – Two Month Review

On January 15, 2011 I wrote a mini-review of the Canon Pixma MG5220 all-in-one wireless printer. Since my original review I have had the opportunity to use the printer more extensively and I wanted to share my thoughts about what I have learned.

The Canon MG5220 can handle two-sided printing with ease. There are two paper drawers, with one mounted below the unit and holds 150 sheets of paper. The second drawer is for thicker paper and card stock. The cover on the scanner also can accept thicker materials as well.

Using standard paper and printing black text documents the Canon Pixma MG5220 spits the pages out on average of about 8 pages per minute. Color documents and slightly slower but not by much while color photographs print out on average of about 2 per minutes.

The memory card holder supports SD Card, Memory Stick, CompactFlash as well as XD-Picture Cards.

Wireless works very well. All of my laptop computers have no issues printing from anywhere in my home.

The scanner is a little slow and takes a minute or so to warm up. But once it does get warmed up it works flawlessly.

I also believe that the controls on the Canon Pixma MG5220 are easy to use and function without issues. The best way to describes the controls is that they just flat-out work right.

At all speeds, the MG5220 is quieter than most printers.

When it comes to the price of ink, the Canon is on par with any of the other ink jet printers. I don’t believe the cost of ink is outrageous nor is the amount of ink used excessive. Overall the printer usage and cost of ink is average.

I did try using the printer with Linux Mint buy I couldn’t get it working via wireless.

Overall I am very satisfied with the Canon MG5220. When I purchased the system from Amazon it was on sale for only $89.99 which I believe is a very good price for a all-in-one printer.

If you own one of these printers, please let us know what you think of it.

Comments welcome.

Will webOS On All HP Computers Change The Way We Compute?

The way we use our computers is going to change dramatically this decade and the changes will be coming fast and furious. Starting in 2010 we saw the first devices that featured non-Microsoft operating systems that actually make many new devices function on par with Windows or that actually are better. Operating systems like Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Chrome, and Linux versions such as Mint are now capable alternatives to Windows. Now HP is talking about placing its recent purchase of webOS on all of its computers, along with Windows, starting next year. This will allow consumers to try the webOS, which HP is hoping they will prefer over Microsoft’s popular operating system.

In the past most consumers only knew one thing: Windows was what made a computer work and Windows is what they used exclusively. Mention Linux and they look at you like a deer looking into the headlights of an oncoming car. Consumers using computers are a lazy bunch, and if Windows worked, why change? That was than and this is now. There are new kids on the block that consumers are trying and starting to like.

The entire phenomenal change started with Apple and its iOS, which is used on its popular iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Google followed with its Android OS and is in the process of beta testing its Chrome OS. Consumers suddenly realized that there was a life outside of Windows and that the alternatives offered extremely friendly operating systems that were easy to use. Gone are the days when we struggled trying to learn how a computer system worked. The slimmed down operating systems are intuitive and the learning curve is quick for experienced users.

So will the experiment by HP to include the webOS along with Windows change the way we compute? I seriously doubt it will and here is why. Most users will not even play with it. They will just use the operating system they are familiar with and that is Windows. Do you think I am wrong? Try a simple experiment. The next time you start talking computer geek with a non geek, ask them their thoughts about Linux, iOS, Android, or Google Chrome. Ask them if HP will be successful with webOS.

The odds are they will not have a clue as to what you are talking about.

Now I have a confession to make. I have tried Linux Mint, used the Cr-48 Google Chrome netbook, and played with my wife’s Apple iPad. They are all great products and I enjoy using them. But my computer of choice is my Toshiba 17″ with a full keyboard and running Windows 7 Ultimate. It just works for me for my daily chores on the Internet. Everything fits like a glove and it may be a while before I completely dump Windows. In fact it may not ever happen.

But that is just my opinion and my choice. I respect whatever you use and hope you enjoy your computing experience as much as I enjoy mine.

Comments as always are welcome.

Source – Tech News Daily

OpenOffice – Could It Be Right For You?

I have been using Microsoft Office for about 15 years and have always found it a very good software product. Yes, there have been some minor issues, but for the most it has been a very useful products. On the Windows side of my system I continue to use Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate and thus far I have enjoyed the product. But since I am also booting into Linux Mint, I have also used OpenOffice, which is the default product that comes with Mint.

I am using OpenOffice version 3.2, which, as I stated, was the default that came with Mint. OpenOffice is a complete suite of products that is very similar to what Microsoft Office offers. Though the product names are different, the Calc spreadsheet is similar to Excel, Writer is similar to Word and so forth. The basic functions are the same. Notice the word basic. Because using OpenOffice is basically the same as Microsoft Office, so the learning curve I found was minimal.

There was one thing I discovered about myself and my relationship with either Office products. I have changed how I use Office over the years. There was a time I used mail merge, spreadsheets, and made presentations. But that is no longer the case. I basically use Word for creating documents which require minimal functions. I also find that I use .pdf documents the most for receiving newsletters from other organizations.

I copied over all of my Word documents from Windows 7 to Mint. OpenOffice had no problem opening any of them. In fact, OpenOffice also allowed the saving of the document in either Microsoft Office file formats or its own file format. Compatibility for me wasn’t an issue.

The best way to find out how well 3.2 can work for you is to download it and give it a try. Versions are available at the link below and versions are available for 32 bit and 64 bit Windows, Linus, OS X, and also for Solaris.

After using OpenOffice, along with Mint, I discovered that OpenOffice has everything I needed. Your mileage may vary.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part. OpenOffice is free. :-)

Comments welcome.

Download OpenOffice from here.

Why Linux Mint?

I received an interesting email the other day that I wanted to share with you:

Hi, Matt

Here’s another tip-of-the-cap for Linux Mint, as compared to my Ubuntu distro.

I went to Yahoo! to check one of my mailboxes, and there was an interesting video being shown on the opening Yahoo! page. Well, after adding several ‘flash’ components to my Ubuntu distro, I still couldn’t show the video, and Yahoo! complained that several things needed to be upgraded, etc. before it would even offer to play. I switched over to my Linux Mint box, went to Yahoo! and the video played. My point? Linux Mint just worked, when, after several minutes of futzing, etc., Ubuntu still didn’t.

As much as I like Linux, I still can’t recommend it to my click-and-run Windoz friends. It still requires more hands-on than does the current incarnations of Windoz. So, I have to steer them to Macs. And even when I’m in Linux, I’ve grown tired of the constant amount of config file hunting and editing, and ‘figuring out,’ forum reading and Google surfing that I have to do to get something to run. It reminds me of the period between Win 3.1 and Win95. Joe Blow just won’t dig that hard to find the answer or to figure it out. And beyond a certain point, I’m beginning to think that the casual user shouldn’t have to. If if doesn’t ‘just work’ what good is it to Joe Blow. Something as mainstream as accessing Yahoo! Videos should have been anticipated out of the box, shouldn’t it?

Incidentally, this isn’t a request for tech assist on the ‘problem,’ just an unsolicited opinion from the field, both on the lack of basic assumptions on the part of Ubuntu, and a compliment to Linux Mint. Again, thanks for telling us about it. I’m enjoying getting comfortable with it..

I hope this note finds you well, safe, and happy.

Well, I am thrilled that Linux Mint saved the day. And would agree that Ubuntu is still rough around the edges in the sense of simply giving the casual PC user a disc and telling them to “go for it.” But for anyone who has ever edited a registry, built a computer or chased down a virus, Ubuntu is really not that difficult.

Installing Flash has never been an issue for me when using Automatix. Trying to do this an alternative way would likely prove tedious. So I can only conclude that people that have issues with Ubuntu are experiencing these problems based on not knowing where to locate reliable information. This is understandable and I feel their pain, I really do.

The learning curve is definitely similar to that of someone learning a brand new operating system. To believe differently, is frankly a bit naive. But in the defense of new users, I would be first to admit that information explaining how to accomplish tasks are scattered, half-written and even the official documentation project for Ubuntu assumes constant use of an apt-get type mentality from a console/shell.

No matter what, I would say that “limited” editing of a .conf file is acceptable to toggle on and off features in a given application; such as 0 for no and 1 for yes. Much as editing my registry so that my Start Menu reads “Stop,” is fun to do. But editing a .conf file must never be needed to make the OS work, this is stupid for a newbie distribution.

As I have stated in the past, I am working with a developer to create a utility called the “xorg configurator.” It will offer the following:

  • Easy to use GUI, HIG Compliant.
  • Show the Driver, Manufacturer on ‘Display Information’ tab.
  • Show the monitor configurations on ‘Monitor’, this includes setting up dual-monitor.
  • Show the display adapter configurations in a tab named ‘Adapter’.
  • Show color profile in ‘Color Profile’ tab.
  • Dual monitors can be setup using ‘Monitor’ tab, and by clicking add a monitor will enable other options in Adapter and Monitor tab.
  • Driver specific options can be configured in Adapter tab,
  • OpenGL, Composite (Beryl) options configurable in Adapter tab.
  • Safe mode option in Adapter tab
  • Display resolution(s) is in Monitor tab (this includes improved wide screen support)
  • Update video driver in Adapter tab

As things stand now, we have entered this concept into the Google Summer of Code program and feel good about being accepted. Unfortunately, my developer had a hardware crash recently and is now re-working his PC to get things back up and running. We expect this to be taken care of by the end of the coming week. Then we will return to work on the project.

Once we complete that project, we are exploring other ideas which include a cleaned up version of the GNOME Network manager /w/support for RaLink Wi-Fi cards and WPA built-in. And after this, improved LAN/networking tools for logical file and printer sharing as Edgy and Dapper are awful in this regard.

It should be said however, that latter depends largely on what was done with the final release of Feisty. I doubt this has been addressed, but we’ll see…

And finally, I am also working with two companies to release their once non-Linux applications, into the Linux realm. One of them is considering open source, most likely with the MIT License.

But even with all this, there is still an issue within the world of documentation. I have studied every Ubuntu book known to man. The only one worth the money I paid for it was Ubuntu Hacks, the rest were over-written and way more than you want to fool with. The only resource that really impressed me was free and can be found here.

As for Linux Mint, I am still recommending it, but only as an alternative to those who are simply not able to make Ubuntu work for them.

Oh, as for the “backing-up” article that I have been promising, it’s coming. Part of what is taking so long is that I want to cover all three major platforms – Windows XP/Vista, OS X and Linux (Ubuntu in my case). With each, I will be showing you how to save a nice skeleton of your system, so when disaster strikes, you are only left updating copies of your documents and pictures from yet, a more frequent back-up. The time saved on all three platforms will be impressive, believe me.

[tags]Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Linux, distro[/tags]

Dual Booting Vista With Ubuntu Already Installed?

Well looks like a distro switch is in the cards for my notebook. The decision came down my way as I discovered Ubuntu is apparently, useless with captive portals. You know, those hotel/book store login pages to access the provided wifi. Whatever ever reason Ubuntu Edgy fell on its face here and what is even more comical, the complete lack of response from their forums after three different attempts to seek an answer. Based on this and a response from the folks behind an Ubuntu variant, Linux Mint, I will be moving over to that distro come this weekend. From what I have been told, Linux Mint has better implementation of the GNOME network selection tools that I would otherwise get via APT. As a matter of fact, the network selector is offered in the default install. So considering this, moving over to Linux Mint makes the most sense for my notebook. Seriously Ubuntu, captive portals, how could this not receive an response? Even considering the inclusion of improve network tools in the upcoming Ubuntu release, Linux Mint already beat Ubuntu to the punch a long time ago. Sad. Moving on. I have software migration tools that work for both distros, so all is well.

Back at the home front, Ubuntu is cruising right along on my desktop. But it looks as if I will need to be upgrading to Vista for some software developement duties, therefore I was told today that I will be sent what I need here fairly soon. But this leaves me with the prospect of trying to blend together an existing Ubuntu install along with a new copy of Vista. Do I need to uninstall Ubuntu? Not at all.

Thanks to this great tutorial, adding the extra OS ought to go smoothly. I will admit that the tute looks like a lot to deal with, but in reality, it is merely a thorough how-to. Besides, should things go badly enough that I need to reinstall Ubuntu (or just move this to Linux Mint as well), APTonCD will make the migration of software very easy.

And of course, should I wish to keep XP, there are options here as well. Frankly, Linux is my desktop of daily use and Vista will be for development purposes. So I doubt I will see much need to keep XP at all. Still, it’s nice to have options.

[tags]vista,upgrade,linux,ubuntu,linux mint,apt,software[/tags]