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Adventures in commerce - Phil's Rambling Rants
April 14th, 2006
08:58 pm

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Adventures in commerce
On Wednesday, the people I talked to at Office Depot suggested that I try an outfit called Computer Physician to see if they could fix my printer.  I looked in the Yellow Pages, and stumbled upon a listing for Lazer’s Edge.  They’d been suggested to me earlier and I’d tried to call them and gotten a number out of service message, but this was a different location.  So I tried calling Computer Physician, got no answer, tried Lazer’s Edge, and got a helpful person who said that they did work on inkjet printers, and they’d charge me $15 to look at it, which would apply to fixing it if they could.  So I took the printer out to their store on north Mattis.  They are mainly an HP dealership, and I asked the clerk if she had anything specific to say about the HP 2600N, the color laser printer I’m tempted to buy.  She didn’t have any negatives for it, and she confirmed what I’d seen on a couple of web sites (and which I’d been told at Best Buy, but didn’t believe it then), that the 2600N comes with full toner cartridges  The printer is currently on sale at Best Buy for $299, and I’m pretty seriously thinking about getting it.  I don’t *need* a color laser printer.  But it would be so cool.  They also have USB printer cables for $10, which is a bit outrageous considering that they are $3 on line, but they are $25-$30 at the big box stores.  If I order on line, I have to pay more for shipping than for the cable, so if I’m not getting anything else it is probably worth the $10 for the convenience, and it supports a local business.  Of course, if I do that, then I have to face the problem that I only have 4 working USB ports on this box, and three of them are in use for non-printer things.  The “N” on the 2600N means it’s network ready, so theoretically I could connect it by ethernet, but in practice I don’t know if there’s anything special I have to do to convince my Windows machine that hooking up the printer this way means I now have a LAN.  I could drop my 3-port USB host card from my old box in to get some more USB ports.  Or I could get a USB hub, but that’s fraught with the danger of getting a bad hub, since I’ve heard that a lot of USB hubs don’t actually work.  There is always another problem.

Since I was going into town to shop, it occurred to me to see if World Harvest Foods has fenugreek.  I gave them a call, and they said they did, so I stopped by the store.  It is a really cool place to walk around in, a whole shop full of exotic food things, only a small fraction of which could be found in a regular supermarket even in this day when regular supermarkets have growing international foods sections.  It’s fascinating to look at the various foods and wonder what one does with that.  I actually bought one thing on the “I bet I can manage to make something good with this” -- a jar of mole sauce.  Despite spending probably half an hour looking around the store, which was kind of fun, I couldn’t find the fenugreek, so I finally asked an employee, who referred me to a man who was probably the manager, who explained that fenugreek is also called “methi” and found a 7 oz. bag of that for a mere $1.99.  As I was checking out, I saw a sign that listed vegetable samosas for $.99, so I got one of those.  It was quite yummy.  A samosa is some breading wrapped around a curry filling and fried.  I think this was mostly potato, it clearly had a few peas, and I’m not sure what else.  But the important thing was the generous and well-chosen spices.

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