Tag Archives: laser

How to Keep Printer Ink Fresh

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Someone asked recently if it’s possible for the ink in their printer to harden. I don’t know for sure about getting “hard,” but the moisture inside of your inkjet cartridges are full of moisture. That liquid can evaporate, leaving you with something that is not usable. You have to exercise your printer so that doesn’t happen!

When I say exercise, I mean USE the thing, of course. Print out something small at least once a week – enough for the ink to actually be used. Wouldn’t it be great if we could automate that somehow? Let’s say there was a browser extension or desktop application that we could schedule… our printer would then automagically print something out like once a week to keep itself nice and fresh.

You may think it’s a “waste” of ink to print something if you don’t really need it. You’re wasting far more, though, if you let it sit and your ink goes to waste. Think of things in the long run, not just the here and now.

Lasers Lift Off From Gnomedex

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Tom Nugent is the Co-founder of LaserMotive, where he is working to develop ways of recharging unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the “drones” used by the military. Tom previously served as Research Director for LiftPort Inc. — one of the pioneers in the development of the modern space elevator concept. While at LiftPort, Nugent led the research team that outlined a realistic path to space elevator development, as well as working on a variety of milestone tests of robotic lifters.

Nugent’s other space development work includes liquid-fueled rocket engine development through the MIT Rocket Team, and advanced fusion propulsion research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Things That Glow

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A caller asked recently if I still have my Laserpod from ThinkGeek. He is considering buying one for himself, but isn’t quite sure how they work. He said the pictures on the site don’t really show how they work. I had to go grab mine from the other side of the office, and was happy to see that the batteries still work!

According to ThinkGeek: “This desktop sized device splits three electronic lasers and three high-intensity blue and ultraviolet LEDs, then throws them into a hand-cut faceted crystal to create some of the most unique and memorable mood lighting you’ll ever witness.”

You can see in the video that it looks like a prism of sorts sitting inside, and that the lights are moving in a random configuration. I can stick the plastic sheath on top of it, and they move about and throw colors around in different patterns. Placing the glass pieces on top diffuse the light and change things up.

You can have a light show on your ceiling or wall with the Laserpod. The lights that are thrown out are very soothing and calming. They’re also a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong! Imagine wowing your office mates during the next boring meeting or dazzling your friend at the Friday night geek fest. Heck, you can whip this sucker out during your next LAN party!

I don’t recommend playing with the Laserpod when you are under the influence of too much caffeine, though… trust me.

Never buy anything from ThinkGeek without checking out our coupon thread. I have a ton of different coupons you can use on your ThinkGeek shopping spree.

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Will Laser Scissors Help You Cut a Straight Line?

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I cannot cut a straight line to save my life. Seriously, who can? Even if you have a drawn line that is perfectly straight… you will likely not cut it perfectly. In order to help, I have these completely cool Laser Guided Scissors.

Okay, so we’re not quite at the point in the future where everyone has their own flying car and, possibly more disappointing, we don’t have personal laser cutting instruments. But judging by the way people drive while still on the ground, we’re probably not ready for flying cars or laser cutting instruments for that matter. Still, a geek has to dream about such things, right?

For now we will go with these Laser Guided Scissors, that will at least help you make some straight cuts. The built-in Laser helps you get straight cuts in paper and fabric, whether gift wrapping or working on a project at home or in the office.

So now, I can cut a perfectly straight line… we hope. I know there are probably better tools for drawing straight lines, but let’s face it. They aren’t half as much fun as laser guided scissors. Just make sure you keep these out of the hands of kids. We all know that they will likely try to shine the laser light in people’s eyes. Who can resist?


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What do You use Green Lasers For?

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What do you use a green laser light for? The answer is… anything you want. If you are into cool little gadgets like this, check out ThinkGeek. The light on this laser light is extremely bright, and comes with a variety of attachments.

The Specialized Green Laser Pointer is beyond cool. The laser beam on these is much brighter than those on red lasers. When you point them into the dark sky, for instance, you can see the entire beam, instead of just the point. This makes it easy to point out things like constellations, or illuminate a dark path when walking.

Green laser pointers are pure eye candy – very bright and look much better than a standard run-of-the-mill red laser pointer. And now we have three new varieties to add to the mix. Choose from one of these 3 laser pointers, each one with a special feature.

  1. Stars: Uses 2 AAA batteries (included). Projects an awesome looking field of green laser stars. Rotate front pattern cap to manually change the stars pattern. Remove pattern cap and it’s a standard green laser pointer. Wavelength: 532nm
  2. Shapes: Uses 2 AAA batteries (included). Includes 5 pattern caps (cross, circle with dot, line, arrow, dot). Patterns caps can be changed in a few seconds. Best for projecting distances of over 2 meters. A very slight speckle pattern is present on some shapes (the arrow and circle with dot shapes).
  3. Red Green Combo: Uses 2 N batteries (included). Projects Red and Green from the same laser unit. Separate buttons for each color. Wavelength: 532nm (Green) and 650nm (Red).

I have a feeling I’ll be spending too much time messing with this laser pointer. We all know I’ll torment Ponzi with it, and the dogs.. and maybe even you!

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Inkjet vs Laser Printers

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Everyone probably has various devices attached to their computers, but we can guarantee that most everyone has a printer. But, which one is better: inkjets or laser printers?

The last time Chris used an inkjet printer was about 7 years ago. Since then he has switched to laser and never went back. The problem with inkjets is that even though they're cheap, the ink costs a ton of money: inkjet manufacturers generally sell their printers at a loss with the hopes of making up the money in ink sales.

Which one is better? It really depends on what you need to do. If you just do some printing every once in a while, and those prints don't need to stay around for a longtime, you can probably stick with an inkjet.

On the other hand, if you do a lot of printing then laser is the way to go: the cost per page with a laser printer is drastically reduced compared to the current inkjet industry. You'll pay more up front for the hardware, but you'll pay less for toner over time (they're more expensive, but you don't need to replacement nearly as often).

So, to recap: for quick jobs, or college students, you may just want to pick up an inkjet printer (in the case of a college student, use your universities computer lab). If you're in a professional setting or do a lot of printing, you'll probably want to stick with laser printers.

What do you recommend?

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