fixing a windows 10 annoyance: HP – Other hardware, Printer – Null Fax – HP Officejet Pro 8620

My upgrade from Windows 8.1 Update 1 to Windows 10 has been boringly uneventful for the most part. Everything went as expected. I had no drama whatsoever during the upgrade, and afterwords, it just worked.

But there was one little irritation after the upgrade with my HP printer, and it took me a bit over a week of on-and-off research on the rather poor help forums (including Microsoft’s own) before I finally figured it all out. From the beginning, then.

Ever since upgrading Windows on 30 September I kept getting an error message every day:

HP – Other hardware, Printer – Null Fax – HP Officejet Pro 8620

It turned out that the failure and the message were caused by a phantom printer entry. I suspect the entry was caused by having an earlier HP printer driver that I thought I’d uninstalled under Windows 8.1 before installing the 8620 driver. Under Windows 8.1 there was no printer entry except for the 8620.

But when I upgraded to Windows 10, whatever was left in the registry for the older printer wound up morphing into another printer under Printers, right beneath the entry for HP Officejet Pro 8620. The solution is simple: delete the phantom printer entry in Windows 10 Device Manager. Once that’s done the attempts to update the non-existing printer stopped along with the messages.

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current cameras, timeless camera equipment

garden bokeh experiment 1I have a camera collection that spans decades and includes a few film cameras. There’s my non-functional Minolta XE-7, the still functional Nikon N90, and a pair of still functional Olympus OM-4s. Along with the bodies are a few OM lenses, such as a pair of 50mm f/1.4 “nifty fifty” prime lenses. Today I decided to adapt the OM lens to my E-M10 digital body and do a little photography out in my backyard garden. You can see the results in these five modest photographs. The goal was to use the lens wide open to create a deliberate soft focus effect as well as bokeh effects on the background, out-of-focus areas, and to focus as close as possible. I then post processed all the images in Lightroom 5.7 and Nik Software’s Analog Effects Pro 2 as a plugin to Lightroom.

garden bokeh experiment 2I did this for a number of reasons. First and foremost there’s a new lens being build to produce “soap bubble” bokeh effects, called the Trioplan 100. Right now it’s part of a Kickstarter project. I’d join, but I’ve already been through one photography-related Kickstarter project, and the results have been most unsatisfactory. If and when I do get what was promised in that Kickstarter project then I’ll write about it here. But for the time being, I’m looking to see how I can reproduce an equivalent effect with older film-based lenses adapted to my Olympus digital camera bodies. I may break down and pick up, from KEH Camera, a used OM 135mm f/2.8 and see if I can achieve even more equivalent “soap bubble” effects. I’m more into subtlety than what the Trioplan produces.

garden bokeh experiment 3Another reason I wanted to do this is to show how much easier, and far more expressive, digital now is over film. I’ve noticed a number of discussions recently over how we’ve lost so much from the transition from film to digital. I personally say bunk to it all. Today’s digital cameras, combined with digital post processing tools, makes the creative process far easier to produce a final result than it ever was back in film days. I’m old enough to remember those days (the mid-1970s for me), especially the time I was a darkroom “rat” developing and printing both black-and-white and color. My attitude towards the wistful wishers is that they don’t know what they’re really talking about. We were collectively right to move on from film, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ll never go back.

garden bokeh experiment 4garden bokeh experiment 5The Camera and the Lens

This is a photo of the E-M10 with the G.Zuiko 50mm adapted to it. I used a Panasonic DMW-MA1 4:3rds to ยต4:3rds adapter, then used an Olympus MF-1 OM to 4:3rds adapter to then finally adapt the G.Zuiko to the E-M10. All focusing is manual but easily doable. I controlled the overall exposure via exposure compensation, seeing on the back of the camera exactly what was going to be captured by the sensor.

I don’t mind using older equipment adapted to current digital bodies. It opens up new creative possibilities and helps to save a ton of money in the process. As much as I enjoy using film-era lenses on digital bodies via adapters, I will never willingly use film again unless there is no other way. And then I’ll carefully consider it.


Leave it to me to forget having done this already, but with my much older Olympus E-P2. Same lens, different body and sensor. Post processed as black-and-white. Taken exactly four years ago, in 2011. Note the not-quite-totally circular bokeh circles in the background because it was stopped down to f/2. The G.Zuiko has an eight blade aperture.

Sycamore Bokeh

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a doodle’s gonna do what a doodle’s gonna do

is a doodle a cat?

No, I don’t know what prompted Annie to nap in Lulu’s bed on the stuffed chair. All I know is that today my wife, sitting in her comforter and recovering from her knee replacement, called me into the main part of the house and told me to bring my camera. There Annie was in the chair, trying her best to stuff all four feet into Lulu’s cat bed.

It isn’t as if Annie doesn’t know what it is. She’s very, very bright. She’ll sit and watch Lulu a good bit of the day do Lulu things around the house, including lie in that bed. Apparently Lulu didn’t care that Annie was in her bed, and later in the evening, Lulu put herself into her bed as if Annie hadn’t been in there earlier.

I have no idea what’s developing between those two.

But in thirty-plus years of keeping Labs, I’ve never seen a Lab do anything like this. I guess the behavior is from the Poodle side.

lulu in her bed

Here’s what it looks like when Lulu is in her bed. There’s just enough room for Lulu to comfortably snuggle in.

Posted in Annie, Cats, Dogs, Labradoodle, Lulu | Leave a comment

A hasty zip through downtown

where the bank used to beWeekends are always about running errands. This weekend, for the most part, was no different. Except this time, after running an errand close to down-town Orlando, my wife and I decided to head over to the downtown area around Lake Eola.

One big problem with downtown is parking. It’s only gotten worse of late as new construction has hit the area, such as the Dr. Phillips Center. Other new construction consists almost entirely of expensive townhouses. The whole downtown is rapidly gentrifying.

But Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center is a resource for the whole area, not just the downtown gentry. It’s been good to see what was a pretty rundown area cleaned up and transformed into something that both benefits and beautifies the downtown core.

architecture palm theme
sunday contemplation
dr. phillips main entry
in the raftersTONE/Orlando – Art in Odd Places

I also discovered at the Dr. Phillips Center that I missed four days of visual and performance art. It started the 17th and ended today, the 20th. There were nearly 50 different installations all up and down Magnolia starting at the Dr. Phillips Center and ending at the Orange County Regional History Center. It’s my loss, obviously. I found a tiny bit of it right at the Center; a see-saw that drove a drum that made music, and a field full of mushrooms made from paper bags.

Maybe next year…

ride my see-saw
paper bag shroomsOther Changes

orlando urban bike rentals

I’ve started to see bike racks like this (from other businesses) popping up all over Orlando. I have no idea how good they are, let alone how much it costs to use one. This particular one was next to City Hall, across the street from the Dr. Phillips Center.

On the way home I took the ramp onto the 408. Hiding away under the overpasses were the homeless. Less than a block from all the new pretty buildings. I would have documented it, but I’m more and more afraid these days of providing information that can be used against those who aren’t nearly as fortunate as I am, let alone the newer, younger residents of downtown.


It has been a very long time since I talked camera equipment used to help create my photographs. For these last three posts I used a Sony NEX 5N with a Sigma 2.8/19mm and 2.8/30mm lenses. The body was purchased nearly two years ago when it was heavily discounted on Amazon. The lenses a year later when they were discounted to $99 each.

Although I use Olympus almost exclusively, I switch to the Sony because the quality of its sensor is fundamentally different from the Olympus, even though Sony made both sensors. What’s interesting is that all my camera sensors are now 16mp, which would seem to be behind the times to the camera gear hardcore.

I don’t care. Both types of cameras are remarkable and produce excellent results. They’re just different, a difference I can see. And different is good.

Posted in Development, Olympus, Orlando, Photography, Sony | Leave a comment

the good around us

second harvest food bankAccording to their website, the “Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 550 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia.” This particular location is at the corner of Mercy Drive and Old Winter Garden. on the east side of Mercy Drive.

Before this facility was built it was a run-down truck stop, and the food bank used a single warehouse in that facility to store donated food. Then Second Harvest, with the help of Morgan and Morgan, and especially John Morgan, cleaned it all up and opened this facility in March 2013. The cleanup has continued across the street, where a junkyard has now been completely cleaned out. It’s just an open field covered with grass now, but it looks a whole lot better than it did before all of this was built.

It’s too easy for me to get into a cynical rut, especially with the silly presidential season now in full swing. I’m also battling a personal depression over a number of issues. I was tipped over into this with the loss of my cat Lucy, which you can read about on this blog. Writing about (and thinking about getting involved with) organizations such as this is a way for me to crawl out of the rut, and hopefully, stay out of it.

You can choose to focus on the good, or take the easy way and focus on the bad. I choose to focus on the good and go farther by supporting it with more than just lip service. Hopefully this post is a start.

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