Archive for August 2009

Fixed: Gray Haze After Adding Toner Laser Printer

printing gray

Update: I haven’t fixed the problem. Read on…

A little while ago I bought an ink toner refill for my HP Laserjet color printer. Right after adding more black toner, every sheet had a gray haze. I googled around but found no solid solution, it might have been that the toner formulation was wrong for my printer but it wasn’t definite. I wrote to the folks who sold me the toner but they couldn’t help.

It turns out that, apparently, I had overfilled the cartridge. After printing maybe 100 pages, pages stopped coming out gray. :-)

So don’t overfill your laser printer cartridges like I did!

I hope that some wayward toner refilling soul finds this message and their suffering is eased.

I bought the toner from an eBay seller, “printdealsmontreal”. The 3 colors + black toner refill cost $70 or so while new cartridges would have cost more than $200. I’m now quite happy with their product.

Cell Phones at Burning Man

Rumor has it that there may be some cell phone service at Burning Man. This is generally unpopular…

Rick: My normal phone has been turned off for the duration of the burn. Until then, if you need to contact me, give me a call on my uber secret non work phone. The number is …

Lee: Be warned that there is a scavenger hunt going on at Burning Man. “A person talking on a cell phone” is worth something like 1,000 points. If they catch you, they will put you and your phone in a burlap bag and drag you out to the trash fence.

Rick: I have no intention of using my phone at BM unless someone is bleeding. I also am tired of recruiters calling…

Lee: Awww. Come on, That’s 1,000 points! I’d clean up!

Rick: Well, start bleeding, then!

Lee: Touché!

Nature vs Nurture

Some friends have been commenting on a nature-vs-nurture paper concerning adoption. I haven’t read through the whole paper but I found a snippet that strongly implies the chart draws from incomplete data and is completely irrelevant.

Here is the paper for your perusal and comments.

Here is the graph


and here is the snippet from page 14 calling this graph into question.

The survey measure of family income is much higher for the non-adoptees than for the adoptees: $61,000 per year versus $42,000 per year. But this huge difference narrows to $1,600 when I control for age, education, and gender.

I don’t know the origin of the graph for sure but it appears to be from

Improve Outlook Exchange Performance

If you are using Microsoft Outlook on an Exchange Server and performance is consistantly slow, this might help. One way to make Outlook much faster is to do the following.

  1. Create an offline .ost file
  2. Set Outlook to be offline by default (and leave it “offline” all the time)
  3. Set Outlook to check for mail very often

From now on, Outlook will draw upon the local data file instead of constantly checking for changes over the network. It completely syncs up every 60 seconds so you’ll never be out of date.

After you do this, Outlook won’t ask you for the Exchange password for 60 seconds. Make sure you type in the password or Outlook won’t send an receive email properly! One workaround is to click “Send/Receive” whenever you start Outlook. Then it will immediately ask for the password.

I have gotten this to work in Microsoft Outlook Office XP and Microsoft Outlook 2003. I haven’t tried any others.

These instructions are borrowed from

To enable Offline Folders:

  • Launch Outlook.
  • On the “Tools” menu, click “E-Mail Accounts”, click “View or change existing e-mail accounts”, and then click “Next”.
  • In the “Outlook processes e-mail for these accounts in the following order” list, click “Microsoft Exchange Server”, and then click “Change”
  • Click “More Settings”.
  • Click the “Advanced” tab, and then click “Offline Folder File Settings”.
  • In the File box, type the path to the file you want to use as the .ost file.
    The default file name is Outlook.ost. If this file already exists, you are prompted for a new name. You should not use an OST file that was previously used. You may wish to first delete the existing file and create a new “outlook.ost”.Once you have created the offline file, Outlook will be able to download data to it. It may take several minutes or an hour to download all of the mail.

To manually control Offline Folder state:

  • Launch Outlook.
  • On the “Tools” menu, click “E-Mail Accounts”, click “View or change existing e-mail accounts”, and then click “Next”.
  • In the “Outlook processes e-mail for these accounts in the following order” list, click “Microsoft Exchange Server”, and then click “Change”
  • Click “More Settings”.
  • Now you are on the General tab. From here, do one of the following:
    • To always start Outlook offline, click “Manually control connection state”, and then click “Work offline and use dial-up networking”.
    • To choose each time you start Outlook whether to work offline or online, click “Manually control connection state”, and then select the “Choose the connection type when starting” check box.
    • To always connect to the network, click “Manually control connection state”, and then click “Connect with the network”.
    • To have Outlook automatically detect whether you can connect or not, click “Automatically detect connection state”. If Outlook is unable to connect with your server, it opens in Offline mode automatically.Note To specify the amount of time to wait for a response from the server before you are notified to retry or work offline, type a number in the Seconds until server connection timeout box.

Check Your Tail Lights Today

Every time I get behind the wheel, I find myself driving behind a car with at least one broken tail light. Whenever I get the chance, I pull up to the car and tell the driver. They’re always thankful that I told them but it’s not often that I get the opportunity. Of course the problem is that when you are driving, you can’t easily tell when one of your tail lights is out unless you have a friend help you.

So I hereby declare, by the power invested in my by the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution that October 1st each year is “Check Your Tail Lights Day!”

Spread this news far and wide!

Strange Eats

This is written by my friend Schuyler and his brother. It’s pretty cool.

Stranger Eats: Recipes from Strangers