Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Week and Counting!

There's only one logical choice, of course ....



Photo by Drew Friedman from the New Yorker.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bad Money by Kevin Phillips

If you're angling for a frightening read this Halloween, instead of picking from the Horror genre, let me recommend Bad Money by Kevin Phillips, a long and hard look at the realities of our economic plight. Phillips examines everything from our mounting public and private debt, the collapsing housing market, the link between oil and our economy, the rise in financial services as a portion of our GDP at the expense of manufacturing, and the hubris and failures in the financial sector.

Though written in late 2007, the book might as well have been authored today, as Phillips clearly saw the consequences of the housing bubble on the overall economy.

Phillips' predictions for the future are grim, and he argues that the likely end of American domination of world markets parallel the declines of previous leading world economic powers, notable especially the Dutch and British.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beyond Polling: Presidential Projections and Futures

I've comes across two interesting websites that project the upcoming presidential election in very different ways:

FiveThirtyEight.com - A monster polling tracker and aggregator, FiveThirtyEight.com accumulates and analyzes polling and political data and provides keen assessments of the likely outcomes of upcoming elections.

Iowa Electronic Markets - The Iowa Electronic Markets are small-scale, real-money futures markets where contract payoffs depend on economic and political events such as elections. Perhaps the most popular IEM markets are the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Markets, where contract payoffs will be determined by the popular vote cast in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Configuring a Wireless HP Photosmart C4380

Updated on 2009-11-16:
It's been over a year since I wrote this, and lot of people continue to find this page from Google, which leads me to believe that people are still having problems with their HP Photosmart C4380s. For the record, over a year later the workaround I detailed here is still working for me. If you have something to add that might help others, please feel free to add to the comments. The original post follows below.

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So, we bought a wireless printer. After some initial back and forth, we settled on a wireless HP Photosmart C4380. I thought we did a fair bit of research before purchasing the product, but apparently not enough, as there were many issues and surprises that we discovered only after we setup the device.

I'm posting this to relate the significant difficulties we encountered setting up the printer and post workarounds I've implemented for the benefits of others who might be considering this product or who may have already purchased it and are looking for support.

The printer configuration was not easy. It took me over a dozen hours spanning multiple days to resolve all of the issues, and I was really forced to draw upon all of my IT experience to get everything working as expected.

Of course, operating system setup and configuration plays a role when installing any device, so let me preface everything by reporting that the system I was configuring to use the printer is a fully-patched, high memory and CPU Windows XP desktop that's connected to a Linksys WRT150N wireless router.

I've condensed the problems I encountered into three core issues and workarounds:

1. The HP Setup software (installed on my desktop) could not find the printer wirelessly.

Workaround:

  • Add the printer as a wired printer, installing all required drivers and services (minimum HP software).
  • Determine the printer's MAC address.
  • Add the printer's MAC address to the router's MAC address filter list. You may need to turn on MAC address filtering.
  • Install a new device using the HP setup software.
  • Now the software will find the wireless printer.
  • Add the printer as a wireless printer (remove the wired printer).
  • If you initially had MAC address filtering disabled, you can disable filtering again.
The wireless printer should now be working and you should be able to print. However, post-install, you will encounter other issues:

2. After getting the printer setup, the computer runs sluggishly, and the CPU eventually locks at 100%.

Workaround:

  • Remove or disable all HP software (if you installed any) other than the requisite drivers.
  • Change the Startup Type of the "HP Network Devices Support" service from Automatic to Manual.
3. The printer goes offline and will not come back online.

Workaround:

  • Change the Startup Type of the "HP CUE DeviceDiscovery" service to Disabled.

For further information, check out the forum link below, which delves into some of these issues in greater detail:

http://www.fixya.com/support/t239273-unable_complete_wireless_installation_hp