Archive for Save money!

Pimp your Mac Mini!

Posted in Misc with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 09 August 2010 by Richard Hornbaker

I think the Mac Mini is the unsung hero of Apple’s computers – it offers the power of a nice laptop for a fraction of the price; however, like a laptop, its compact size makes it trickier to upgrade.

Below is my photo journey through upgrading the guts of a 2008-era Mac Mini (also known as a “MacMini2,1” in System Profiler – 1.83GHz Core2Duo, 1GB RAM, 80GB disk).  This is my second venture under the hood of this compact little gem – the first was for a RAM upgrade; this time it’s for a new hard disk.  Hopefully this post will give others the confidence to beef up their own Mini!

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“Print is cheap”… adventures with Continuous Ink

Posted in Misc, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 09 December 2009 by Richard Hornbaker

I’ve been curious about CIS systems for a while, but they always seemed like overkill. I finally decided to give one a try after looking at the cost of refills for an HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 – the CISS is 15% cheaper, refills cost 90% less, and it only takes about 30 minutes for the one-time setup. For your amusement, here’s a blog of my experience; I’ll update it over time.

What’s a CISS?

CISS is continuous ink supply system – a third-party inking scheme for inkjet printers. Rather than installing replacement ink cartridges, a dummy cartridge goes in the printer with a siphon hose that connects to a large ink reservoir outside the printer – often 4-5 times larger than a typical cartridge capacity. Continue reading

Fixed in a flash

Posted in Electronics, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on 30 November 2009 by Richard Hornbaker

Posting this as a work-in-progress.  I’ll get photos posted shortly.

[Insert photo of broken SB-800 LCD]

My Nikon SB-800 speedlight took a nosedive during a recent project, and the impact hit the LCD display squarely.  The outer LCD protective cover survived intact, but the shock shattered the fragile LCD panel inside, and most of the display became unreadable when the LCD fluid leaked.  Rather than ship this flash unit back to Nikon, I opted to buy a replacement LCD panel for about USD$50 and tackle the repair myself. Continue reading

Nikon D2H goes to pieces

Posted in Electronics, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 10 October 2009 by Richard Hornbaker


Nikon D2H body

If you’re curious like me, you’ve wondered what’s inside your camera, especially a pro DSLR.  So, of course, I couldn’t resist the idea of a “teardown project” with this broken Nikon D2H.  I really wanted to see if I was up to the task of replacing the shutter – get it working again, not just tear it apart. Continue reading

Cheap software – legit!

Posted in Misc, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 21 August 2009 by Richard Hornbaker

If you aren’t buying “academic licenses”, you’re probably paying too much for popular packages like Photoshop CS4, Lightroom, and even MS Office.  A lot of folks qualify for these deals but don’t realize it. Continue reading