Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Search of a Printer Cable

When I got home after running a poker tournament, I found several $25,000 value plaques in my pants pocket.  Guess I can put them into the poker supplies case tomorrow.

I have this really nice HP Laserjet 4100.  I bought it because it holds a full ream of paper.  Technology changes.  It will not attach to the USB port on my netbook.  I bought a USB to parallel cable, but the HP printer does not support it.  I called HP tech support.  They were less than forthcoming.  Since they were no help I theorized the bidirectional parallel port was not working correctly.  Maybe with a larger buffer in the printer I could get most documents to work.

I digress.  I bought a new inkjet cartridge for my color printer.  I needed a cable, so I bought  new USB printer cable for the old printer.  Knowing what would happen, I went to Best Buys who was well prepared to rip me off by selling me a $35 cable.

A few days later I found a cable for sale at Dollar Tree. It was, well, a dollar.

Off to print some poker Bonus Cards, brochures, and related stuff for the poker league.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blinds Timer Watch

My wristwatch recently stopped working, so I decided to buy a poker blinds timer watch as a replacement.

Of course there is no such thing.  But I used to compete in marathons and owned such a watch.  In marathon training you use an interval timer to pace yourself.  A certain number of minutes running, then a certain number of minutes walking.  Even if you can't run for five full minutes at a time, with an interval timer you can "train" yourself to run faster, longer.

And what is a poker blinds timer but a series of repeating timed intervals?

For 15 minute blinds you set the the first interval for 14 minutes, and the second interval for one minute.  At the first beep you give the one minute warning, then change the blinds on the second beep.  For 20 minute blinds you set the first interval for 19 minutes, and the second interval for one minute.

They have a dress watch version as well, but I opted for the black resin strap sports model.  It's a decent cheap watch for a poker tournament director.  The poker winners can wear the bling.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blinds Timer Laptop

My three pound Sony Vizio sub laptop died on me.  I really liked this computer I had had for over five years.  Women were always coming up to me and telling that it was the smallest thing they had ever seen and how cute it was.  It came with a built in DVD player and only cost me $2,500 when it was new.

Now in looking for a replacement I found a machine that had twice the RAM and four times the hard disk space.  The new netbooks are the same form factor I like.  I looked around at all the usual suspects - Best Buy, Office Depot, Walmart, MicroCenter, and think it was finally MicroCenter where I made my purchase.

I like the value of "clones" and off brands, so the Acer was a choice I easily trusted.  Besides I've bought, and sold as a computer dealer, their equipment for many years.

The deciding factor for me was a video output.  I wanted to be able to run a cable to the restaurant's flatscreen TV to show everyone the blinds timer - I use Tournament Director.

I like my Acer Aspire One, and for just a tad over $300 it is a great replacement for my $2,500 Sony.