Printers from hell

When you buy a new printer, you expect it to work. It never really does.

I wish I had never tested to replace Canon ink with the cheaper useless inkclub replacement. In a few days it clogged the printer head and now I can’t print black on my

lovely Pixma 5000. So I went out and bought a new one. I got an upgraded Pixma 4500 but now my computer crashes every time I try to print. I look for updated drivers, but there are none to find. How difficult can it be to create a driver?

Went out to my parents for dinner. My father asked me to install his HP printer. Sure it should be simple. In this case I got an error message. I installed, reinstalled. I tried it all, but with no luck. Until I found this lovely site (http://www.4bcj.com/post/2008/04/07/HP-Laserjet-P2015-Driver-Hell!.aspx), created by someone who obviously had time to spare. How in the world did he figure out that? It worked for me as well.

But how can HP allow something like this to happen without updating the drivers? I Google Hp driver hell and I get close to 2 million hits. Can’t the HP people do the same and fix them. Should we really spend hours on this.

Did I solve my Canon problem. No, now I reinstalled the old Pixma 5000 and change color from black to dark grey each time I print… Not a long term solution, but it works for now.

Targeted Aid

I just made a donation to Red Cross. Money that shall go to the people of Haiti. It feels like the right thing to do. But on the other hand I am not completely satisfied giving away money to an organization where I don’t see where my money i

s used. I would like to know if my money was used to get people drinking water, avoid diseases or perhaps it was to buy food? Actually I would even want to be able to decide how the money was used.

I would like to come to a site where I can select region or aid (or a selection of both) and see what my options are. In today’s example I would like to choose ‘Haiti’ and ‘Water’ if there was any such organization. And for me the smaller the organization – the better it is.

The future will hold a bunch of amazing individuals that by themselves make a huge difference. I’d love to donate money to their account, knowing they would make the most out of the donations. There’s the part about trust that needs to be solved, but that should be able to solve with the right rating system. Ratings placed only by trusted individuals and organizations.

Isn’t more tempting knowing that your money was used to set up a school in Vietnam, or to finance a business in Bangladesh? It is for me.

This will be a project of mine in the future, unless someone else creates what I am looking for. I just registered visiblecharity.com.

Free software as marketing idea

Pendosoft is mainly a web consultant, creating web sites for clients. But we can’t keep our hands off projects of our own as well. As soon as we feel that something is missing, or we can’t find something good enough on the web today, we create it

and launch it. We might not get all that many users, but at least we can use it for our own needs.

There are mainly three problems with this approach:
* You usually need a project manager also after launch to make the site become successful. Sites don’t just take off.
* Any site that costs money for the users needs significant marketing.
* These sites usually only reach v1.0, and we all know immediate success is very rare.

So the approach of running multiple small web projects is extremely difficult. Where do we spend the next dollar? On the latest project?

We have now decided to choose a different approach. Instead of trying to make each of these projects succesful on their own, we will make them all free as part of the marketing of our main business – Pendosoft.

We will start with three web utilities. Two were launched years ago. One is brand new. We are now finalizing the last parts of the “to do list” which will be launced in February. This will be exciting new approach. Please let us know if you wish to take part in a beta test, or if you have ideas or improvements later.

Tweets. Sweet.

Now also the tweets appear on this page. That makes it a lot easier to update the page. I gotta admit. It’s taken some time to get a grip on Twitter. A bit allerigic to the tweets about what someone had for breakfast. Better be careful with critisism until I found my own way around…

Well here we go. Now the big question. Will there be only these two posts when we come back in a month. I certainly hope not, but time will tell.

Focus, focus, focus! (I know)

Focus, focus, focus is what they tell you to do, if you want to have a chance of making your way in business. I am sure it is the right thing to do. But on what?

Suddenly you come up with this amzing new idea. You know it will work. It’s a no-brainer. Well, nothing really is, which is what you quite soon will find out, but the excitement in the making is worth every minute spent, and hopefully every penny as well. You also learn so much when you dig into new territory.

It’s been difficult to compromise these two – focus and entrepreneurship. Now I have decided to focus on client projects and my main startup FoodFriends. Entrepreneurial efforts (like Stope.com – How Media Will Charge Readers) must either take off by themselves upon launch, or need external financing and hired staff if I want to take them further. Haven’t been able to live up to this 100% yet, but working hard on getting there.

So what about that amazing flash-based web 2.0 “to-do-list” I have in mind? Hmm. Dang, I think it will have to wait. You like the idea? I’ll tell you more. You want to finance it? Let’s get started!

Keep it simple

All too often you meet clients that, although they have a brilliant idea, they aren’t confident enough to launch a simple site with that simple little tool, idea, functionality or whatever it was they came up with. Instead they want to include

a lot of other stuff that will ‘keep users on the site’. Unfortunately the result only scares them away.

Trust your idea instead. Let users try it out and come up with ideas and improvements for that specific idea.

Adding a web search just because so many use Google, or add news just becasue so many visit news sites is not going to get you a single new member, and just draws attention from your main idea.

 
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