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Thursday, April 22, 2004

I just did a small print in Grayscale, using the recommended slider settings; this was the best result as far as the overall look goes; but there is still that tiny bit of micro-banding; maybe it will disappear magically tomorrow.  I will pray to the digital Gods before going to sleep. 

9:11:22 PM    

Just a couple of quick notes after printing with the UT2 inks this afternoon (and I imagine this will go on into the night and beyond)

1) Although I have followed instructions for flushing, and for cleaning parking pad, and although the printer test pattern looks good -- no gaps -- although it might be my imagination but it seems a little more granular than the old Epson Ink pattern -- I am experiencing micro-banding.  It is minimal, but it is there.  Nothing like great bands or anything but very close together -- but there.

2) I haven't let them all dry enough to judge for sure, but they do have a pretty big color shift from warm light to cool (blue) outdoor light, or reflected outdoor light coming in the window.  They look perfectly "cold" under this light, and positively warm if you look at them with your normal 75 watt incadescent bulb.

I think either color is okay -- (I think) but I have to solve the banding problem -- that is definitely not acceptable.

Richo -- in case you're wondering -- I followed your instructions to the letter; four or more flushes with each color (that really eats up ink); many cleaning cycles (letting the machine rest before doing test prints); and I even took a nap for two hours to let things settle down.  No more than 3 cleaning cycles.

I'm basically using the instructions on the site: Driver Setting = Premium Glossy Paper or Photo Paper (although I've tried various settings); 1440 dpi; color management off; working space RGB; various curves for this paper; etc. etc.

I may just let it sit overnight and see what happens tomorrow; and I'm going to the site now to read about solving banding problems.

5:26:12 PM    

The MIS UT2 ink cartridges arrived.  I have cleaned the parking pad, otherwise known as the "dump pad."  Before I stick them in the Epson 1280 - here's a brief history explaining my trepidation.

I began experimenting with archival inks at the time when paper turned yellow in one day if left in the sun.  I used Luminos Inks, early versions with the Epson 1160.  I liked the results very much.  After about three months of use, the prints began to exhibit severe banding.

This led to a whole bunch of searching around message boards for solutions but nothing worked.  As I remember it -- I might be wrong here -- the print tests actually printed okay but the prints still had horizontal banding.

I was never able to fix it.  I went back to using the Epson Inks but the banding was still there.  Eventually, after much frustration, I put the 1160 up in the loft and the cat has been sleeping on the box since then.

So, this is years later -- and I'm going to put the UT2 cartridges in, and do the color prints to flush the system and all that.  My fear, all along was not the expense of buying the cartridges, or the paper, or the various experimentation that I would probably have to do through -- but that the printer would develop clog nozzles or banding.  So -- here goes.

12:30:10 PM    

For those of you who are on your way to New York to live, here are a few facts:

Item: The average rent on a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, below 100th street is $2,333

Item: The average cost of a can of soda on the Upper East Side is: $1.25

Item: A hot dog in the nearby deli costs: $2.50

However, things are not as bleak as all that because if you do live in an expensive neighborhood, note that Thursday and Saturday is "big trash collection" day.  This is the day when you can wander the streets of the Upper East Side and find fabulous bargains, so long as you are willing to stoop down and pick them up.  A goodly part of my darkroom has been built with magnificent wood tossed out on the street.  This morning, on my way to the Indian deli, there was an open Dell computer - completely intact.  The only problem was that a few dogs had had their way with it - and I didn't have rubber gloves with me, otherwise I might have pulled a few memory chips from it.

Like any sale, you need to get out early if you are going to go scavenging.  Usually by 7:30 a.m. most of the really fine merchandise is gone - and it is not taken by the homeless -- it is taken by the homed (okay, no such word).  The homed have to get out and get to work, and they appear on the streets at the break of day to search for valuable objects on "big trash day."

Two weeks ago, I saw two suited fellows carrying a mahogany rolltop desk which they had just lifted from the trash.  As they passed me, little trinkets and papers fell out.  I stooped down and picked up one of the trinkets which was a silver, maybe silver-plated bottle opener - and some of the papers were old and brittle.  They had been soaked in the rain -- and there were some photographs there as well.  One was of a piece of wood, at least that's what I thought it was -- and had the initials W.E. on the back.  Hey, I thought -- maybe that was Walker Evans' desk.  He used to live around here.

I took the photograph home, and began searching for Walker Evans images on the web, but didn't find anything that looked like a piece of wood; and then found out that he did indeed once live nearby on 75th street.  But that was years ago...

[Ed. I am going to stop this now because Mr. Beckerman is obviously making this up.  As usual, he starts with something that seems to be true, and then goes off on a farcical journey.  This may be one of the reasons that he enjoys reading people like Castaneda, who have been proven to be bogus.  Also, in light of the various editors who have been forced to resign lately because of bogus reporters, we don't think this is the time or the place for such nonsense.]

Of course there is no so-called editor, so I could keep going if I wanted to, but the cat needs attention, and the beginning part of this -- the part about prices in New York is true.  It was in today's New York Times.  Oh, that's right, they recently fired that reporter for making stuff up.  Let's say it might be true.

- - -

On the political front, I've been reading The President of Good and Evil by Peter Singer.  This book has been giving me nightmares.  It may just be too sharp, too cogent for me to deal with.  In other words, I find that it is illuminating things that I've felt but never been able to properly articulate -- which is to say that my own feelings about the war and the President are brought into sharp focus and the result is depressing because I always hoped that I was wrong.

"As the philosopher Karl Popper aptly said, the difference between science and dogma is that a scientific theory must always be open to falsification, on the basis of evidence.  Bush seems almost to boast that his view of the truth is not open to falsification on the basis of evidence."

In other words, a long time ago, when I argued with people about going into Iraq, I said, tell me what the outcome will be.  Predict the state of affairs in Iraq a year or two from now so that we can see whether you or me are right. 

Nobody wants to do this.  Nobody wants to be pinned down.

The current idea which is being floated about is that all the violence is because of the passing over of sovereignty on July 1st.  I don't think this is true.  Since it is going to be a sovereignty in name only -- since American forces will still be tasked with "providing security" -- a nice phrase for fighting and dying -- I can't see how an occupying force isn't going to continue to be targeted.  I just don't see it.

Now if July 1st comes -- or August -- or September -- and things begin to stabilize -- I will say -- you know, those guys were right.  They knew what they were doing.  But if it gets worse -- will they say they were wrong?  Did they say they were wrong when they predicted that getting Sadaam would calm things down?  How can you be wrong, when you have "no doubt" that you are doing the right thing?  Give me some doubt.  Doubt is the mother of all change.

8:54:03 AM    

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