Issues 117, 118, and 119 are now available at the Times-Script website
Monthly Archives: March 2010
This is an article in this week’s Times-Script. Enjoy!
Battlefields of the Civil War By Matthew Lentz
Fort Donelson; February 13-16, 1862
About a week after Fort Henry fell, Grant decided to attack Fort Donelson, which was situated on the Cumberland River. Grant’s force had increased to twenty-seven thousand men. As they marched East, the weather became unusually warm for February. Grant decided to use the same tactic here that he used at Fort Henry; hold his troops in reserve while the gunboats bombarded the fort. But Fort Donelson was located high on the bluff so that the shells arched harmlessly over it. Before the gunners could adjust their aim, the cannons in the fort opened fire, sending cannonballs crashing into the boats. Two out of the six vessels were sunk, the rest were damages, and the naval commander was seriously wounded.
Grant called off the assault by water and settled in for a siege. Then suddenly the weather turned bitterly cold. Water froze in canteens, gun hammers froze, there were several cases of frostbite. On the morning of the fourteenth, shivering Northern soldiers were huddling around campfires when thousands of rebels came charging out of the trees. It looked like Grant might have to retreat….
With my Times-Script publication being in color and also on two sides of paper, I can’t just go for the first ream that comes my way. Traditional 20lb paper is paper-thin, text printed on one side makes reading anything on the other side very difficult to read. 24lb still is not the best, though it is better.
For the high quality I need, I use 28lb paper. It is good and thick, so not only does it prevent see-through, It also is sturdier and feels better to the hand, making the publication more professional. One thing that must be made sure of, however, is don’t use laser paper!
Now some paper is laser or inkjet, but strictly laser paper does not work in inkjet printers. Either the ink will blob up on the surface and not dry, or it will absorb like paint on a napkin and spread out. Either way it is an unreadable mess.
But yes, paper quality does make a difference
When I first started computing, I was like a lot of people. I used the software that came with Windows, and then I would just go out and buy anything else I needed. Since then I have changed. It has been quite a while since I purchased any software, the last time being a programming environment for my Palm handhelds. Now I use freeware and open source applications. They are free to download, use, and share. I will list some of them here for you.
This web browser is the leading competitor to Internet Explorer, garnering around 25% of the market. It has thousands of add ons made by users to do everything from download youtube videos to notify you when you get email, to block ads. This is the only web browser I use.
This suite of applications contains Writer, an alternative to Microsoft Word; Impress, a Powerpoint alternative, and also Excel and Outlook alternatives. This is what I use to make documents or charts, and I didn’t have to pay a penny to use it.
When I make my weekly Times-Script publication, I use this program. At the low cost of free, It is an excellent Publishing layout program, with styles, Master Pages, and many of the other features you would find in $100+ software.
Free “phone” calls between computers for everyone who uses Skype! All you need is a headset, and you can make a free account and save money. There is no such thing as long distance, plus there is free caller ID as well.
I use this as my sound/music player. The only time I really use a sound/music player is when I listen to James Audiobooks to help me memorize. This program is loaded with features I don’t even use, but it does everything I need done very well.
This one doesn’t actually work natively on Linux, but I use it on my parents’ Windows computer. This freeware program is great for burning music CDs (such as the sermon CDs from church), DVDs, Data CDs and more. It does it fast and efficient.
Ever since I started printing my weekly publication, the Times Script, I have had my woes with ink. Ink cartridges new for the HP PSC 1310 were $30-$40 Color and $25-$30 Black, depending on where you bought them. I started saving a lot when I switched to remanufactured and refills (as low as $10 black and color), but still the cost was high. I had to buy new cartidges every few weeks. So then I looked to a better alternative.
I looked at the Continuous Ink Supply System- Tubes that run into your printer from plastic ink storage containers outside the printer. I couldn’t find any that worked for our printer at a reasonable price, so I decided to look for a new printer. I found one for only $30 on craigslist, and bought it. Then, I shelled out anouther $30 for the CISS. That initial investment of about two color cartridges worth of money saves me a ton now.
The cartridges I was paying $30 for contained about 10 ml of ink. The CISS came pre filled with 600 ml. No, I didn’t ad an extra zero- Six Hundred millilitres. Since then I have bought another 600 ml to refill it with at only $18. No more ink cartridges for me, I thought.
For the last year, I have been turning in used ink cartridges at Office Max and office Depot. In exchange, they give me $3 store credit, redeemable quarterly or monthly. I had received almost $30 one quarter. It so happens that one day at Woodman’s grocery store in Madison, Wi, I came across a cart of re-manufactured ink cartridges. 2 for $1.00. I bought six packs of them, and soon had them all turned in at Office Depot, never used. This quarter, I will be getting over $80 in store credit with those and other cartridges I got- such as the 6 the came in the printer I bought for my CISS system.
I will never be going back to ink cartridges again for printers since I got my CISS, but I will still keep my eyes open for a good deal!
Recently I have enjoyed making an origami dodecahedron (12 faces) out of the PHIZZ unit. It takes 30 units, but they are very simple to make. After you make them then you must do the more challenging part: put them together!
This is my home on the web. Expect to see more soon!