Monthly Archives: February 2010

Getting ready for England-Ireland

His other post, on the World Service, suggests Malcolm is preparing his mindset for late Saturday at the Irish Club, with England versus Ireland on the big screen.

There won’t be a dry mouth in the house.

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Amazon continues to amaze …

… not necessarily for the right reasons.

Last week Malcolm had a problem. His aged Canon i560 was distinctly (and its amber tracer warning-light literally) on the blink. It’s been a good servant over some long time, and was now obviously ready for the great recycling that comes to us all.

The HP LaserJet works on happily; but

  • it’s due for the cassette;
  • it will not work on the house wi-fi network; and
  • it doesn’t do colour.

So, a new quality ink-jet was the recipe.

After scrutiny of the reviews, Malcolm took a yearning for the Pixma ip4700.

And so we reach the complication.

Even allowing for VAT and the rest, UK (and, indeed, European) pricing is out-of-kilter with the discounts available in the US. Sometimes by a factor of 80% plus.

A quick scurry round the on-line UK suppliers picked up a range of prices between the mid-80s and the round ton of pounds sterling. PCWorld seemed the best, but there was only one unit available across the whole of London. And that (in the depths of Sarf Lunnun) was soon gone. Meanwhile, Amazon priced the ip4700 at £125, but semingly not in stock. Ummm …

Having slept on the problem, Malcolm had another go. Hello: it’s now available on Amazon, but priced at £99 and pence. Still nothing on PCWorld; and all the rest are in the nineties or more. Another day, another dollar. What’s this? Amazon are now pricing at £87! Shall he? Will he? Can he?

In the time it took to hesitate, and have a cup of tea, Amazon had repented of its moderation: the price was again back over the £90 mark.

On Thursday, for a brief moment, the price dropped to £86. Do Amazon track an individual IP-address, and price accordingly? They certainly tailor their “suggestions” not just to past purchases, but to recent browsing activity. At £86-odd, the check-out button was pressed, and the order made.

Malcolm, a skinflint, was not prepared to pay the extra for the express mdelivery, and settled for the five-day free one. Suddenly, to his surprise, that put possible delivery into next week.

Then, late on Friday, the email confirmed the order had been despatched. Today, Tuesday morning, quite early, as the snowflakes flew, it arrived.

The most time-consuming parts of installation were unpacking and using the enclosed CD-ROM to add the drivers. Later, when Malcolm’s machine had “seen” the printer instantly, through Concierge,  on the Airport Express, he invited the Lady in his Life to access it: this time downloading drivers automatically via System Preferences. This was a matter of moments, obviously far more efficient than the extended process of downloading from the CD.

Another, so far, satisfactory experience.

Credit where it’s due:

  • to Canon for a solid, capable product (if modelled on the intimidating Darth Vader principle);
  • Amazon for an efficient service (if somewhat confusing with prices); and
  • Apple for getting the hand-shaking connection and networking off to a tee (with no reservations whatsoever).

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Filed under Amazon, Apple, Canon, Uncategorized