Some times it pays to be single

Well usually my Grandfather sends me a check for my Birthday and a check to split between me and my Mother every Christmas. It didn’t come for Christmas so of course my mom took him off her card list, yeah you could say she’s like that 8=).

When he noticed that the checks was never cashed he had my Aunt call and resend them so… $400 arrived today. Normally I split things 50/50 with my Mom and the Christmas check usually is sent for both of us. I’m not going to say what I usually do with my share of the Christmas money less any one start thinking I’m a nice guy :

According to my estimates we spent it at a rate of about $130 an hour LOL.

I figured I could get the memory card I’ve had on my brain and stop buy and ogle the Digital Cameras and Printers at Best Buy. I didn’t find the 1GB Kingston card I was looking for but there was a 2GB SanDisk one for the same price plus a cheaper 1GB one from PNY (makers of my nVidia GPU).

When Ma saw there was actually a few cameras for $99.99 she was interested in (finally) getting one. Because the family camera, uhh predates digital cameras by 2 or 3 generations of de facto standard film? I wasn’t very set on buying one initially but, why not when there’s finally a chance to afford it lol. So I got myself the 2GB SanDisk card and went back for the 1GB PNY so there would be one SD Memory Card for transferring my files and one for using in the Camera.

We got a Nikon Coolpix L11 Digital Camera. It’s a compact 6 Mega pixel one with an LCD on the rear. I think I like it, first time I’ve ever used a digital camera really. I find it a little hard to aim using the LCD Monitor on the back because I’m used to the old family 110 film using camera for which my own is a similar model I got as a kid. It had the view port in the centre of the rear lined up with the lense and the flash to one side of it. So even if you couldn’t see crap you at least knew what you were aiming at ^_^

I’m no Peter Parker when it comes to photography but I think I’d like to learn more about the science involved in taking decent pictures. Thumbed through the user manual but I’ve yet to play with the new Nikons feature set. I know it can do Wav audio and Mov video and stuff but as always. Either RTFM or play as you go hehe. On this one the flash is centered and the lens is offset towards one side. It’s very nice that you can see what your about to capture on the screen. When I read the manual about how it dealt with pushing the shutter release half way for the AF/blah blah and all the way for taking the shot I was some what worried it would be to easy to by pass the half-push but it works really well.

It’s got the USB Cable and an Audio/Video cable with it. So using regular umass or PTP it should be able to transfer files easy; my Desktop has a 9-in-1 card reader but Ma’s only has USB. This also makes me happy that my Flat Screen TV has a set of A/V ports in back and in front, i.e. DVD and PS2 ;-).

It is technically the “Family Camera” now but I think I’m probably going to be the only moron who knows how to do more then take a snap shot with it without jogging peoples memories (I’m the RTFM guy) lool.

Sadly I was unable to find any reasonable Laser Printers that were not also all in ones. Found three inkjet based Hewlett Packard models, one regular printer and two all in ones. The regular printer was makreed as working perfectly on as was the two all in ones but the scanners were not listed as supported by SANE :

I could probably have gotten things going with the one all in one over a Wifi connection but I didn’t want to spend $120 for the sale price for parts I was not going to need (Ma has an all in one). So I took the cheap regular one. It’s just a HP Deskjet D1455 printer but it should work great with HPIJS.

The thing is compact which is great because there is almost no space to put it !!! The paper tray is a good enough capacity because where it’s likely to be put — reloading it will be unpopular for me. I also liked a lot how the Ink Cartridges come in two packs, if they gotta charge ya $30 or so they outa give you a fair deal for it after all. But not only can that you can also get two colour or two B/W cartridges instead of one of each in a package. I don’t do a lot of printing myself so most of the time it is just hard copy. Ma wanted me to get an extra cartridge so I got a pack of 2 blacks.

Me and printers generally don’t mix well, hey I use hard drives for a reason !!!! Namely that I don’t own a filing cabinet lol. I also like the idea because if my mothers printer goes down or needs fresh ink she could always use this one and I do intend to hook it up to my OpenBSD Box for network printing.

Tomorrow I’ll need to fsck with it. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind putting it on my desk here just for the extra space but that is still at a high premium : I don’t really need a printer so much as I wanted one. I also like the idea because ma could use this one for work rather then going nuts buying cartridges for hers if it goes down. She does a lot of B/W printing and her all in one gets very pissy about doing any printing if you don’t keep all colours full which can be bloody expensive in the middle of the month !!!!!!

With the memory cards, I had an interesting problem. Trying to write to the 2GB card made FreeBSD reboot. I used Vi as root to create a new file on it with a test string. The file got created empty as the machine rebooted… After I stuck it in the new family camera and took a random snap shot of my desk. Plugged it back into the box, mounted it and used FreeBSD to view and delete the files – worked perfect, even made another test. Funky but hey, as long as it works lol.

The only problem is while FreeBSD detects my desktops internal USB 9-in-1 card reader it doesn’t seem to find my laptops 4-in-1 🙁 So that is gonna take a little mucking around.

While walking around I also saw some thing by chance, nab’d a Trace Adkins CD which just happens to have my favorite song on it :-). This is like the first time I’ve bought myself a Music CD in 5 or 6 years or so loool. While we were there my mom grabbed a few collections of Johnny Cash so hopefully I’ll get to rip those later xD.

I used my laptop to rip my CD, worked quite well and I’ve got a nice battery of oggs. Konqueror can also do inflight ripping. Just open the CD in the file manager, choose the format (wav/ogg/mp3/etc) and copy the files to your hard drive and it will automatically rip them for you ! I tested it but found it a little slower then I cared for but I’ve got to admit. That is some pretty damn good desktop integration of music cd’s !!!!!

I fed the CD through kaudiocreator and ripped them. I chose ogg because I generally only rip to MP3 when I use Windows Media Player for the deed. I think I might let Amarok finally organize my music collection, it’s small, under two gigabytes but that’s because I almost never buy (or can afford to buy) music. If I had the money to spare and parts of the music industry wasn’t such jerks I think I would probably get most of the songs I listen to on the Radio, on Audio CD. But hey, in this world of DRM and $$$ crazed people I’d rather listen to the radio and skip the on-demand freedom of ripping the CD to my hard drive when it sends more ca$h their way.

I just hope I can get the card reader on my laptop going because I don’t have enough cash left for an external USB one… And that’s the main reason I spent the $20 for a 2GB one. If I dumped ~/Music and ~/Video’s to my file server and maybe my wall papers collection I could fit my entire home directory on this Secure Digital memory card.

For me, it’s just a pest to have to use my file server as the man in the middle if I want to work on files from one system or another. So often projects started on my desktop get done there and ones on my laptop Dixie get done there. Which is probably why the master version of my “home directory” and all personal files are on my laptop along with lots of source code and documentation lol

I remember one time I had money to spend.. I set aside $100 to donate for [SAS]. I’ve always wanted to be able to donate but my personal income is not connected to how much work I do :. It was a good idea… Until my family bled me dry before it could be done.

You could say my family can smell money… lol.

It’s kind of odd that I’m the only one that doesn’t place much value on it. It’s just paper, you can trade it for stuff but not good for much else unless you’re short of toilet paper.

I was able to set aside like $70 dollars or so by ***NOT*** spending the gift money I’d received for several holidays but that got drained to.. I never ask for repayment and with the exception of the $100 I set aside last year… Usually give when there’s a need. My replacement graphics card was bought with the money my mom would have used to repay me for the money I gave her from my schooling. I thought about setting aside some of this money today in hopes of donating some to [SAS] but I knew if I tried that some one would find a way of spending it.. *sighs*.

If I had a steady personal income I could donate weekly.. and without others finding ways to spend it for me :

You know, I think I am glad to be single at the moment.. Not currently involved so no fund fundellation spent that’a way. Because I know what I would do with that kinda cash to spend on that special some one today, ok I can be a bit of a romantic at heart, so sue me :-P. Got to admit, pretty good timing as things happen to be… hehe.

My family would still have some thing to say through 8=). I could always be a bastard and say no.. but I’m not greedy, selfish maybe but not greedy. And my family usually finds a way of being needy whenever I have the ability to be of assistance… I’m not complaining but I’d still enjoy a little more freedom.

I figured, it was about time I spend money on myself for a change (y). I’m $400 lighter but it was well spent and not all of it on me either.

out of $400,

Private expenses:

Printer – $70
Extra ink – $30 (Ma’s idea)
HP Paper – $8
Memory card – $20, $15
1 Music CD – $14

Family expenses:

Camera – $100
3-4 Music CD’s – ?
Dinner – ?

Remainder used as a gift and empty pockets for me again hehe.