Wednesday, July 27, 2011



I know that at first this topic may seem dry, but it is important. Ink costs a lot. Now, many studies have been done looking into which printer costs the least to run whilst having a good quality. A lot of the time Kodak comes to the top.

I tried a Kodak printer once, I was drawn in by the low ink costs and 'supreme printing quality'. What I found was that the printer wouldn't connect to my computer. It was annoying but fixable. It turns out the supplied cable was broken and that even if the cable was working it would not work in a USB extender. Fair enough. I have loads of USB cables around my room so I could use one of those. I rearranged my USBs so I could plug it in direct and I was off.

Well, the print quality would've been better if I'd written the document my self with wax crayons. It looked bitty and awful. I checked the ink levels and it said they were half full. Why didn't they supply me with full ink. After running the print head cleaner program supplied with the printer I tried again. The quality had improved slightly but the colours were washed out. Most of the ink had gone by now. Essentially that told me that half an ink cartridge can do the following things:  Produce two terrible prints and run a print head clean. Needless to say I returned the printer.

The replacement, a HP Photosmart C6380 All-in-one printer. I have had it for a while now and have made the following prints since connecting to the network:

4787 prints on plain paper (a mix of documents and full colour images)


85 Photo prints (A4 and 10x15s)

and I have used the following cartridges in the printers lifetime:
9 Black
6 Yellow
6 Cyan
7 Magenta
7 Photo Black

Remember that the prints only got counted since connecting to the network. Add about 500 plain paper prints and 20 photo prints for realistic figures.

OK so the photo ink gets used up very quickly. But the others are pretty decent. The best thing is that from Amazon you can get a full set of XL print cartridges for about £50 which is a very good deal. The print quality is very good and the printer itself looks quite stylish. The scanner is very high quality. I scanned a magazine in at a mid DPi and could zoom right in with pixelisation making it unreadable.

So, if you want a good printer get a HP printer. They're great!

Matt B

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Crinklebottom Short

I thought I'd post with you all the opening paragraphs of my new contest piece which is being co-authored by two of my WDC friends. The opening section describes the main character and is (many) flaws.

Mr. Crinklebottom has a fat arse. Seriously it is huge. Even as a child, his behind was twice the size of every other kid his age. As a matter of fact, Mr. Crinklebottom's buttocks are so large his clothes must be specially tailored. His parents couldn't afford to purchase him tailored trousers, to cover his fat arse; they'd simply make him wear a burlap sack originally containing potatoes bought at the local market. The sack, tied around his waistline, hung like a burlap skirt down to the young Crinklebottom's swollen knees—doing little to create popularity with his peers.

Despite being fat arsed he still had room for more imperfections. If there’s a hole he’ll inevitably fall into it. If it’s a narrow hole the fire brigade will inevitably be called. Not from a friend, but from a construction worker who needs to use the hole. This ‘hole-magnetism’ as his parents used to call it has been with him his whole life. His psychiatrist, paid for by his dad, theorises that it’s because he was dropped, accidentally, in a hole by the midwife when he was first born.

To be fair to Mr. Crinklebottom, he is a very jolly chap. Despite the lack of friends or a loving family he is still very happy. He has a job at the nearby chair manufacturing plant and gets royalties from the saying ‘move your fat arse’. This isn’t because he’s optimistic, it’s because he’s rather stupid. Or, as his parents would say at dinner parties ‘academically challenged’.

It's got a different tone than I normally write with. I felt, along with my co-authors, that the slap in the face style works quite well. The style changes slightly when the main story starts; it's in a style which looks at what Crinklebottom is thinking in the third person. This allows the reader to get closer to the character whilst still being able to laugh at the sheer stupidity of the character.
There are a few types of co-authoring. The type we're using is that there is a lead author (me) and the co-authors read over what the leader writes and gives suggestions. The co-authors also provide vital support when the lead author is stuck and they also give plot ideas. Originally the opening paragraphs said 'Mr. Crinklebottom sucks.' But my co-authors suggested getting closer to the chacracter gave me a the first paragraph which I then altered and ran with.

Matt B

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Magician's Tattoo - Snippet from chapter 4


I know my previous snippet was from chapter 1, but I thought I'd give you a section where the comedy is so ouvert it's almost childish! In the word of Miranda's mum from Miranda "Such fun, such fun!"


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