Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image


(Playing around with blogging styles here.) We got back from our Thanksgiving trip to Chicago yesterday afternoon, just before the deep freeze closed in again. Low tonight 10; high tomorrow 15; low tomorrow night 4. This is the coldest damned autumn we’ve had since we moved here, as well as the snowiest. Still, I’ll take this climate over Chicago’s three-month gloomfest any day.

I stuck my nose in the attic earlier this afternoon, scoping out what it might take to finish the job of shielding the leads from my garage smoke detector from my new-and-never-used wire dipole. What it will take is gloves and a winter coat, and wistful regret over not doing this in the fall. Wait a sec–this is the fall. And it’s not like I have any sunspots to coerce my signals into a path long enough to be useful.

My venerable 2005-era Kodak EasyShare V530 pocket camera is malfunctioning consistently and is probably scrap. I’ve said this before and it unexpectedly and inexplicably came back to life, but it’s been sitting dead in its little cradle for a month now, and I’m trying to decide what may take its place. I have the superb Canon G10 for technical photography, at which I’ve gotten tolerably good, but I still need an unfussy camera that will fit in a pocket, not need a case, and take a certain amount of rattling around with keys and small change (or big change) without damage.

In truth, what I’m really looking around for in a pocket camera is the champ at minimizing shutter lag. When I press the button I want the picture now–or as close to now as the technology permits. (I know DSLRs are good at this, but I want something small.) All of my previous digital cameras have required an ungodly amount of time to calculate what they’re going to do with the pixels that they’re about to capture, and this has meant a lot of missed shots of cute nieces and rowdy bichons playing dog soccer with Katie Beth’s beach ball. Sony seems to lead in most of the stack ranks on the shutter lag front, so I’m thinking about the Sony DSC-WX1.

Elsewhere in the Dying Hardware Department is my poor HP Laserjet 2100M printer, which I’ve had since, well, damn, I don’t remember, but probably 1998. I have pumped an immense amount of paper through that little cube, and replaced its worn-slick feed rolls in March of 2006, expecting them to work for another six or seven years. No luck. Paper feed has gotten erratic once more, and I’m not sure I want to go through the gnarly process of changing the feed rolls yet again. (That said, I have another repair kit on the shelf, so I probably will. I was the Lord High Feed Roll Executioner thirty-five years ago when I worked the LaSalle St. copier territory for Xerox, and such hard-won skills are a shame to waste.) So this might in fact be a good time to pop for my first color laser printer. I’m still shopping, but the HP CP1518 is the current front-runner. I know that the color laser cartridge market is a racket, but there have been times this year when I would really have liked color output for proofing book pages and covers. I guess if I do change out the rolls on the 2100 yet again I could park it downstairs for volume runs and keep the color unit up here. We’ll see, and soon–I need the tax deduction this year, courtesy my assembly language book.

Dash is sliding into puppy puberty: I caught him marking the baseboards in the front hall where QBit often sleeps. I rolled him on his back and tried my best to sound furious. He wagged his tail. A disciplinarian I’m not. I sense (nay, smell) interesting times ahead.


  1. Bob Halloran says:

    Jeff, on the camera front, I’m a bit old-school here: I tend to look at companies traditionally involved with photography vs. electronics. My feeling is that however whiz-bang the electronics are, if the optics are lousy, your picture will be too, and legacy-photo companies are more likely to pay attention to the lens. That said, you might want to look at the Nikon Coolpix S620, also a fast-response camera (and I completely sympathize about missing shots from digital shutter lag). There’s a table of shutter-lag comparisons at

    1. That actually looks really good–and is a useful insight, because the other top contender so far has been Sony’s DSC T90. I had very good luck with my Kodak Easyshare V530 in terms of what it could do, but it was still slow on the shutter-lag front, and just erratic for reasons I’ve never understood. It’s still dead (I guess it was just pining for the fjords back in ’08) and I suspect will remain so. And with Christmas coming, I need something to get good fast shots of dogs tearing up wads of wrapping paper etc. With the G10 to handle “set up” photography (I did a huge amount of that for the 50th anniversary celebration at our parish) what I’m looking for is the King of Candids. Will look into this further. I’ve never had a Nikon digital before, though my first digital was an Olympus, back in 1997, and it worked fine until I dropped it and the case shattered.

  2. Gary M. Mugford says:


    I’m a big believer in Samsung colour lasers. Have had a CLP500 that I more or less wore out. It’s flushing red on most pages it prints out these days, but for in-house program listings and manuals, does a great job. Auto duplexing. The colour cartridges are expensive, but you can go third party and cut the price by a third or so. I just added a CLP-310 to print cards and sheets that HAVE TO BE PERFECT. Quick, tiny and silent. Just works, once you get past the idiotic on-CD setup routine. Haven’t had any electronics from Samsung fail to earn out so far. Any HP hasn’t been the same since Carly took over and thought she could make money by charging for driver downloads. Haven’t bought a single bit of equipment from them since. Just sayin’. And this from a guy who STILL has a HP 4M popping out pages at the office.


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