: sigh... Epson... OS9 issue


CubaMark
Sep 30th, 2002, 12:12 AM
We are having a heckuva time with my pal Etta's printer. We abandoned OS X because even Jaguar won't support her Stylus Photo EX (it's not even on Epson's radar for future driver release!). Since she paid something like $650 for it, obviously she doesn't want to give it up.

So we went back to OS 9. And damned if we can make this stupid thing work. It freezes, the heads clog, the Finder locks up, ... and this is AFTER I did a fresh, clean install of OS 9.2.2 (her iMac 15" LCD DVD-R came with 9.2.2 install CD) and installed nothing else but her Printer software (original) and the Epson version 5.5 update.

Anybody have any thoughts on this particular printer?

Thanks,
M.

mose
Sep 30th, 2002, 02:43 AM
I have an Epson 8...something or other and it is a drag to set up.

One thing that helped was adding a RIP server software and the Post Script memory addition or whatever it is called . It costs like a hundred bucks or so but it seemed to help.

Not sure this will work for you but until I did the RIP and extra memory download it just didn''t work.

MacDoc
Sep 30th, 2002, 03:12 AM
I have a earlier Epson PS rip that may work in 9 but the EX is too old and too slow to be lugged forward to new OSes.
I can't ever see it working on X. :(
Does you friend have to have a tabloid??

MacNutt
Sep 30th, 2002, 06:22 AM
When I managed to get my Pismo into OSX.2 I couldn't even access my EPSON Photo Stylus 820. Now that I have dumped the evil cat and returned to OS9.2.2 it works like a charm.

Still...OSX is the way to go, and it is quite possible that, with a different (or newer) computer, my problems would dissappear completely.

Try a clean install of OS9 and see if that works. It did for me. :cool:

PosterBoy
Sep 30th, 2002, 07:06 AM
My Photo 820 works jim dandy in Jaguar. And works even better with Printer Sharing on, connected via rendezvous to my iBook that is sitting with me on the couch/deck/bed/toilet.

The driver situation for older Epson printers is pretty bleak though. According to my rep they are not developing any drivers for any older printers, save the insanely popular ones such as the Stylus 740/740i, 777, and a few others. There are two main reasons for this. One, printers are cheap cheap cheap these days, and they make a killing on the ink cartgridges, and two, the printers you buy for 150$ today are higher quality than the printers you bought for 350$ three years ago, so they are banking on most people upgrading (a perfect example of this is the 740 I used to have (1440x320 DPI @ 350$) vs the Photo 820 I have now 2880x720 @ 150$)).
The new photo models coming out in the very near future are going to be even higher dpi as well.

Annoying, especially when you have spent that much, but true none the less.

--PB

Heart
Sep 30th, 2002, 06:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PosterBoy:
iBook that is sitting with me on the couch/deck/bed/toilet.--PB<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL - he said toilet -

And my wife thought I was the only one. smile.gif

Now I have shared too much.

MacNutt
Sep 30th, 2002, 06:42 PM
Say, Heart....do you remember a few months back when StrongBlade admitted to surfing the net while "enthroned" so to speak?

I bet a there are a few others among us who also "surf while seated" if the truth were known. :eek:

Personally, I don't want to know. :rolleyes:

Peter Scharman
Sep 30th, 2002, 10:19 PM
If the Photo EX worked on this system before, it should work again without all the trouble of installing RIP software and all that crap. You may have ended up with a corrupt driver or spooling software during the re-installation. Go through your System Folder (use the Find file) and trash anything to do with Epson like Epson Folder, System extensions, drivers (may have SCxxx names), etc.Try the installation process again and keep your fingers crossed. For extra luck, do a PRAM purge and desktop rebuild before the installation. If the software installs multiple drivers, don't forgetr to select the correct one from the Chooser.
As for the plugged nozzles, that's from sitting unused too long. All you can do is perform multiple cleaning operations until it clears up. If that doesn't do it, the head has to be removed and purged with alcohol. (There were some with the logic board problems on that model which could cause print quality problems that could be mistaken for plugged nozzle openings...not worth fixing)

PosterBoy
Oct 1st, 2002, 04:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by macnutt:
Say, Heart....do you remember a few months back when StrongBlade admitted to surfing the net while "enthroned" so to speak?

I bet a there are a few others among us who also "surf while seated" if the truth were known. :eek:

Personally, I don't want to know. :rolleyes:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, if you think about it, in this digital age, why wouldn't we surf the net on the toilet? our fathers read the paper one the toilet right? well I get most of my news from the net, so in essence I am just following suit with what previous generations have done, only digitally.
I still do the rest of my bathroom business in analogue mode though, manually.

tongue.gif

--PB

MacNutt
Oct 1st, 2002, 05:12 AM
You know, it would have worried me no end if you'd said that you "..do all of your other business" digitally ! :eek:

EEEEYYYAACCHHH!! BAD mental picture here! :eek: :eek:

I gotta go now! (where the heck did I leave that bottle of Javex??....)

CubaMark
Oct 1st, 2002, 01:28 PM
Sorry amigos for not providing a sufficiently full history here of the issue (deep breath):

My dear friend Etta purchased the Epson Stylus Photo EX to go with her iMac 333... longtime residents of this ehMac community may remember the disaster we had with that little puppy and its dead logic board (and the clueless-now-out-of-business Apple reseller "Innovative Systems" in Halifax).

The dead iMac drama ran for about two years. She now has the recently-purchased iMac 800 DVD-R LCD model, running in OS X mode because some of her peripherals (like the Epson)aren't supported in X, and Classic won't cut it - she needs the least amount of complexity possible.

The Epson has never worked on the LCD iMac. We did an install of the drivers from her original CDs - won't work. We did an update of that install using Epsons' standalone updater to the v.5.5es drivers. Still won't work.

Did a clean system install of 9.2.2. Installed nothing else but the epson drivers (in case it was a conflict with something else) and it still won't work.

The odd thing? We can access the toolbox and run nozzle check, head cleaning, etc. etc., but any application that tries to print is SOL. Frequently, doing a print head alignment will result in a lockup (spinning cursor) that necessitates a CMD-OPT-ESC to get out of.

We've tried this with the Epson connected directly to the iMac; through the USB hub; changed cables; gave it a good swat; danced a little improvisational "happy mac" samba around the thing with torches lit, and still no luck.

Guess we'll have to pick up a newer printer... and after combing through the CNET user reviews, I'm going to recommend HP this time. Seems Epsons have a reputation for clogging heads, whereas HP systems don't (and I'm pretty happy with my DeskJet 3420v).

Etta also has a Canoscan N650U (as do I) which is not supported in X, and she picked up a slide scanner, not supported in X.

I really would like to move her into X permanently, but legacy peripherals and lack of drivers are keeping us in OS 9 land. And let me tell ya - I was really surprised at how fragile OS 9 is... have been spoiled with these last few months of X, I guess...

M.

PosterBoy
Oct 1st, 2002, 04:26 PM
What is she printing? If it is going to be primarily photos then I would still reccommend an Epson as tehy are far superior to all other brands when it comes to photo printin. There are some technical reasons for this which I will share if you like, but right now Ihave to run out tow work.

As to the clogging, Epson and HP are about the same, they clog fairly infrequently, but more often than the people who post reviews on CNet would like. Canon is the one to watch out for head clogging, especially older ones.

I recommend the Stylus Photo 820 if yu can find one, or the C80, which uses archival ink and separate ink cartridges. Prints from the C80 last a very long time even in direct sunlight, and the unit has a lot lower total cost of ownership. The C80 is fairly thin on the ground right now, because it is about to be replaced by the C82, which usues slightly different ink which should alleviate some of the print colour issues discussed in many places online. In pretty much all other respects it is identical though.

--PB

dibenga
Oct 1st, 2002, 05:26 PM
Don't ya just love these threads?!!

This person buys a brand new printer for god knows how much and it won't work at all with the new OS.

So you go on to a forum as a last ditch effort for help and you get answers like , "maybe you should buy another printer " and "why does she need tabloid?"

If she had the money to ditch a brand new printer for something else maybe she wouldn't be struggling to find a helpful answer.

CubaMark
Oct 2nd, 2002, 02:17 AM
It's so nice to have friends you can count on to "defend your honour" !

Thanks, Dibenga... but just to clarify, it's not a new printer. The Photo EX is a couple of years old now, so I've given up griping about the OS X compatibility thing.

No, what burns me now is that the damn thing won't work in OS 9.2.2! I've clean-installed the OS, the drivers, zapped the PRAM, rebuild the desktop, trashed prefs for finder, chooser, etc., to no avail.

Nope - it's new printer time....

M.

MacNutt
Oct 2nd, 2002, 05:44 AM
Mark....I don't know if you will be printing photos or nor but I can heartily second PosterBoy's reccomendation for the Epson Stylus Photo 820. It does awesome photo repoduction, especially with the Premium Glossy Epson photo paper. I had a buddy drop by the other day who used to be a photographer for the War Museum in Ottawa and he was blown away by the quality of my prints. :D

When I told him that the printer cost only 150$ he nearly fell off his chair! :cool:

BTW-I bought the printer from PosterBoy and I am very happy with it. Had I paid 400 or 500 for this sort of quality I would STILL think I had gotten a very good deal.

No question about it....new printers today beat the living daylights out of what was available just a few short years ago! And they are so darn cheap!

Peter Scharman
Oct 3rd, 2002, 02:03 AM
Glad you clarified the working (non-working) history. I know this model worked OK with System 8, so you would think it woyuld work with System 9, unless maybe there's a problem with the printer logic board. The Photo EX is about a 5 year old design, and although state-of -the-art in it's day, is now considered slow. It's main advantage was the 11x17 paper mode. If that's not an issue, then i have to agree with the others that the Epson printers do an awesome job and are usually in the lower cost per page category. I use a Stylus Color 740 and the ink tanks are cheap and easy to re-fill. I can even buy new tanks (generic brand) at Future Shop for $14.99. HP cartridges are expensive and have been problematic for many attempting refilling. If you have a professional refill business in your area, call and ask for refill prices before buying a printer.

MacNutt
Oct 3rd, 2002, 02:22 AM
I agree! I bought two sets of factory ink cartridges for my Stylus Photo 820. Best price I could find was about 32$ for the color cartridge and close to forty for the black. I came across generic replacements for each at my local reseller (ReStart of Victoria) for 25$ and 31$ respectively. I then discovered an outfit that claimed to be able to refill either the factory Epson or generic cartridges for slightly more than half the cost of the GENERIC version!

That is way less than half of the cost of the stock Epson inkwell! :eek:

I bought both the generic ones and had my spare stockers refilled and went home to compare the end results, side by side, on the same high-quality paper.

My verdict? Get your ink cartridge refilled by an established refiller for just over a third of the cost of the (expensive!) factory unit and don't use anything except the BEST quality photo paper. You will be dazzled by the results and you will save BIG BUCKS! ;)

Cheap out on the paper and even the best ink cartridge won't save your sorry a*s. :rolleyes:

PosterBoy
Oct 3rd, 2002, 05:54 AM
Just another quick note for all Epson Owners:
Re-Fill ink is good and cheap, this cannot be denied, but it does have one problem. It can void your warranty.

Before you fall out of your chair, let me explain a little further. Canon, HP and Lexmark all use a technique called Thermal Printing. What this means is they basically boil the ink in the cartridges to produce enough pressure to make the ink shoot onto a page. Epson does not use this technique they use Piezo-electric technology, whic they invented. There is a thing in the cartridge that expands when a charge is applied to force a droplet out.

What does any of this have to do with your warranty? well, Epson factory inks are produced in a clean environment, and are highly optimised for the printers that they work with. Not only that, but because of the computer chip located in the cartridge (this doesn't apply to a lot of older models), they have to be re-programmed in order to be refilled which is why in almost every case if you send your cartridges away to be refilled (via InkJet Canada or a similar service) you will get a new refurbished cartridge back instead of your original one.

Sorry, that was a little bit of a tangent. The real reason is that Epson has a one year express exchange warranty. If they can;t solve your problem over the phone they will send you a new one and you send your old one back in the same box. When epson recieves your deffective printer, the first thing they do is test the crap out of it, and this includes testing the ink residue on the print heads.
When they test the ink residue, they can tell whether or not you have been using Epson ink or refill ink. If they find that you have been experiencing troubles that they can attribute to you using re-fill ink (which again to re-iterate is not the best ink to use in the first place, especially in newer Epsons in which the factory ink is highly optimised and yada yada yada) such as print head problems or terrible print quality or basically anything that doesn have to do with the little motor that moves the print carrige accross the page, you will recieve a phone call saying that the remainder of your warranty will no longer be honored.
Obviously, this is not so much a problem if this is the 11th month, but imagine if this was your second month?

Anyway, just a word of warning, at least for the first year, you should be using Epson branded cartridges in your Epson printer.

--PB

PosterBoy
Oct 3rd, 2002, 06:01 AM
Just one more quick note on print quality, you will get better quality out of an Epson printer using Epson paper, as it is again optimised for their printing technology. There are some third party papers out there, but most of them are optimised for thermal printing. All paper from HP, Kodak, Fox River, and Burlington is optimised for Thermal.

Wow, do I sound like an Epson commercial or what?

--PB

MacNutt
Oct 4th, 2002, 06:47 AM
I did some serious checking around before I even considered trying the "refilled cartidge" route and this is what I found....

I talked to several graphics pros, a photographer and my local Mac reseller. NONE of them have used factory cartridges for the last two or three years or so. They ALL get refills! Nobody's had any major problems with the aftermarket ink, either. Nor have I (three cartridges and counting).

The place that refilled my cartridge did it while I waited. They reprogrammed the little chip in the cartridge and guaranteed their work. (a written guarantee!) They also proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ink they use to refill the cartridge comes from the very same supplier that Epson uses for their OEM cartridges.

The results bear this out. I cannot tell the difference beteween the refilled cartridge (14.95) and the stock Epson (37.00) as long as the same high quality Epson paper is used to make the final print.

I've tried LOTS of different papers and the top grade Epson Premium Glossy Photo is worlds better than anything else.

The paper makes a huge difference. The ink does not....at least I've yet to find a bad ink, only MUCH cheaper ones.

As for warranty problems...If you buy seven or eight refilled cartridges (as opposed to the stock Epson) then you will have saved enough to buy another brand new Photo 820!!

The heck with warrantees! I'd rather have a new printer! tongue.gif

PosterBoy
Oct 5th, 2002, 07:26 AM
Aye, the photo 820 is not so bad. It would only take a few refills to buy a new printer. But the Photo 820 is also the least expensive Epson Stylus Photo. The new 825 is a 300$ machine, the 925 is 450$! Or what about the 2200? it costs 1100$

I am not saying that refills are all bad, I am just saying that you risk voiding out your warranty. I am glad if you found a good refiller, but bear in mind that most refills/generic brand cartridges are pretty crappy. They are OK, but Epson Brand ink does a much better job than all of the refills I have tried.

Epson Paper for Epson printers, there is no alternative.

--PB

MacNutt
Oct 6th, 2002, 05:41 AM
I haven't seen any prints done on the more expensive Epson's but I can tell you that the quality of the output from this 820 is astoundingly good.

As I mentioned before, a good buddy of mine who used to be employed full-time by the War Museum in Ottawa to photograph and document their exibits (for high-end brochures and for historical record) was absoloutely blown away by the high quality of my prints from the 820.

I'm using slow transparency film and superb Nikon lenses to make my images and then scanning the image to get the TIFFF file. The results are pretty much as good as anything that I used to be able to accomplish back in my pro darkroom days! Plus I have complete control and can generate a finished print in a fraction of the time without getting my hands wet.

I suppose that the more expensive Epson printers could generate a higher quality print but I'd have to see a side-by-side comparison to be convinced of this. I suspect that the pricier ones have extra features or take larger paper sizes....things I don't need right now.

Meantime, I'm more than happy to pony up 150$ for this quality and will probably just replace it if my "cheap ink" causes any problems. It certainly hasn't so far! ;)

And I'm saving a bundle on the grossly-overpriced factory cartridges!

Consider this...if you buy only TWO new cartridges for the Epson 820-two blacks and two colors- then you will have spent as much as you did to buy the printer originally!

And a color cartridge at max quality settings (premium glossy) will only generate about twenty five letter size photos (8X10-8X11).

Do the math.

PosterBoy
Oct 6th, 2002, 07:27 PM
Macnutt, I have the same printer as you, and as I said not all refills are all bad. There are some out there that do offer the same quality of ink as Epson factory ones (truth be told I only buy Epson factory ones because i get crazy discounts at work.) I also have the same scanner as you. :D

Resolution on the 820 is 2880 x 720. the 2880 is good, it is the 720 that could be better. on higher end epson printers the resolution is now going to be 5760 x 1440. You have to see it to believe it. On a 8.5x11 full quality print there is on way to tell that it didn't come from a photo lab. In fact if I hadn;t seen it come out of the printer I probably would have assumed that it had been printed in a lab. The 820 does good prints, but the new 825 and 925 do way better.

As to buying new printers instead of new ink, there is one down side. the first time that you turn on an Epson printer it runs a clean and align process that consumes a bunch of ink, enough that you would only get about 21-22 prints instead of 25 at full resolution, so it does tend to be a little un economical.

Again, for the 820, it can easily be replaced if something goes wrong. I was more warning those people who have dropped a few hundred dollars on their printers about the perils of refill ink.

--PB

MacNutt
Oct 7th, 2002, 05:13 AM
I'll have to trust your judgement on this one PB (as mentioned before, you haven't steered me wrong yet) but I wonder if the difference is twice as good...because the newer printer is fully twice the price, after all.

I have just come back from the drag races (where I am team photographer for a Top Fuel drag bike crew) and I took along several of my most noteworthy photos for a few of the guys who wanted copies. I had already had a photo lab make up several pro-grade (hands-on, not machine produced) prints and I took the opportunity to print up the same photos on the Epson 820. I offered the guys the choice of which set they wanted. Guess what....three out of five chose the Epsom versions over the (VERY EXPENSIVE) pro darkroom photo prints!

The original transparencies that I made both sets of prints from are VERY crisp and well saturated-they were all shot by my professional Nikon camera and I have had several of them printed in magazines previous to this.

I honestly think that a really good lens and the proper film stock (coupled with the right light and a little luck) will make a much bigger difference than a few more pixel numbers or higher resoloution specs.

Next time I'm out your way I'll bring along one of my better transparencies and the best output I can get from my Photo 820 on premium glossy photo paper. If you can demonstrate that the new printer is really that much better than the one I've got then I'll BUY the darn thing from your store!

Fair enough?

But beware....I've been selling my photos for about twenty years now and I'm a pretty harsh judge when it comes to images. It has got to be clearly better
than what I've got right now to justify the added expense.

Deal?

PosterBoy
Oct 7th, 2002, 03:58 PM
Deal. Admittedly though, I don't know if you will be able to see a difference. I see the difference because when we are learning about or demonstarting new printers we are talking to amatuers using 2 megapixel digital cameras, cameras that are only good for 4x6 prints, maybe 5x7, as opposed to you using all your top end Nikon gear. Like I say, I was more just trying to warn anyone who has dopped a big wad of cash on their printer.

There is one last major advantage to using a photolab over your printer: Longevity of prints. Put one of those suckers in a frame and hang it on a wall next to the same photo printed in a lab and the lab photo will last a great deal longer, and by great deal I am talking a space of nearly a decade. There are a few printers (such as the upcoming Epson C82) that use archival quality ink that give laser quality black text printing and laser quality longevity to the prints, but there is still much to be desired in this area.

Not that I am trying to steer you away from Epson printing, I am just saying that there are a few things to be desired about printing your own whether they effect you or not.

BTW, what was the name of the place you are using to get refills? The one that you said says that they get their ink from the same place that Epson does?

--PB

MacNutt
Oct 8th, 2002, 06:01 AM
I agree that laser copies will far outlast a standard computer photo print. I leased a Canon Laser copier during the mid nineties for T-shirt transfer production and photo printing. It was the only one on Salt Spring at the time and one of only a handful in the Victoria area. The prints I made at that time are still bright and show no signs of fade at all.

Photo-prints, on the other hand...like bubble-jet computer prints, are very prone to fast fade when subjected to direct sunlight. I did a test with my very first prints from the 820 and made two copies of several images. I put one in a drawer and hung one on a wall in my house that gets a lot of direct sunlight. As you already know, we got a LOT of intense cloud-free sunlight this summer!

The Epson prints faded about as much as I would expect from a photo (actually, slightly less) so I am convinced that I am on the right track by using the less-costly non Epson ink. The fact that you admit to getting "...insanely cheap discounts on factory Epson cartridges" just reinforces my belief that the stock ones are grossly overpriced.

To my way of thinking, this is not at all like using pirated software. Heck....if I buy a Chevy, I'm not expected to buy all of my oil and gas from GM as well! The owners manual of a new Chevy does clearly state that "use of non-GM approved lubricants, fluids and fuels will affect performance and could void your warranty"

Want to bet that GM does NOT list "Payless" or "Tempo" gas as "an approved fuel". They only list two or three top brands of oil as "approved" as well.

Wonder how many people even give this a passing thought when gassing up their expensive new car or having the oil changed?

I don't. And so far I haven't had any trouble whatsoever with the non-factory ink in my 820 Photo. Neither have any of the dozen or so people I talked to before trying it.

Sorry but when I'm told that the tiny ink cartridge that fits into the palm of my hand (and is only good for about twenty prints) is worth forty bucks then my spider sense starts tingling and my bullsh*t detector starts ringing.

That's when I start looking for viable alternatives. Apparently I'm not the only one because there is a whole industry springing up to meet the demands of others who also think that they are being ripped off on cartridge prices.

Just my thoughts on this.

PosterBoy
Oct 8th, 2002, 04:30 PM
Epson, and every other printer manufacturer makes their money from cartridges, not from printers. How do you think that a printer with the quality of the 820 has come down to be only 150$ when the Stylus 740 I bought back in 1999 (half the resolution) cost me 350$!!!!!

The worst part is that most printers use the tricolour cartridges, so when you run out of one colour you have to replace all three!

I only ever meant to give a word of warning, especially to those who have bought expensive printers.

yes, I get good discounts at work, yes they are more expensive than they have to be. But on the other hand there are some other items that are even worse.

--PB

Chris
Oct 8th, 2002, 05:10 PM
I, too have an Epson printer (a 740) and it's been completely reliable. I don't have a refiller anywhere close, but I've been using Ko-Rec-Type cartridges for a couple of years now, with no problem. smile.gif

Now, I'm no professional photographer (just holiday snaps), but for the type of printing I do the print quality is excellent. I think the main point to take from all this is to deal with a reputable company. Obviously the refiller you are dealing with knows his stuff. That would give a certain level of comfort to the transaction.

Do what works for you, but make sure you check the details out first! :D

MacNutt
Oct 8th, 2002, 05:12 PM
I realise that Epson and other printer manufacturers are making their money on ink cartridges and selling the printers for an insanely low price in order to get more ink customers. As I stated before, I would have gladly paid 400-500$ for this quality of printing....especially if I could have gotten factory ink cartridges for a more reasonable 10 or fifteen bucks.

It would make more economic sense in the long run to pay somewhat more for the device and a lot less for the consumeables. I think that the big printer companies are shooting themselves in the foot by offering top quality printers for dirt cheap prices in the vain hope that we consumers will buy lots of overpriced ink cartridges and let them make their profit that way. Judging by what I've seen and heard, most people are onto this particular situation and are NOT buying the overpriced factory ink.

Sounds like a losing proposition for Epson and Co. eh? Please express this to their sales rep the next time you see him.

BTW- I am seeing more and more of this particular sales strategy these days when it comes to electronics. The devices have to be insanely cheap to attract the buyer and then there ends up being a "catch" in the deal that dramatically increases the cost of ownership. Recently I bought a DVD player for a very reasonable 140$ and was then told that "in order to fully experience the full DVD effect" I would need to discard the RCA cables that came with the player and purchase a set of component video cables.....for EIGHTY DOLLARS!!

Bulls*t detector ringing loudly, I then asked the salesman to demonstrate to me how much better they were by setting up two identical TVs and DVD players side by side, one with the EIGHTY DOLLAR cables and one with the stockers. He could easily have done this as there were numerous similar TVs and DVD players running in their demostration area. He declined, saying "...well the difference is probably not all that visible and...er...um...."

You get the picture. So did I. But I didn't buy the EIGHTY DOLLAR cables to get that picture.

And when I got home I tried the new DVD player with both the stock cables and a set of high quality component DV cables that I use in my video editing. No visible difference on my 27" Panasonic monitor.
No extra artifacts, no ghosting, no zigzag lines, nada from the plain RCA jack cables that came with the DVD.

The lesson here is that, when you see a very low price on a new piece of cool gear you'd better watch very closely for the high-priced "extras" that will quickly drain your wallet....and frequently won't add a darn thing to the quality of the output from that device. They exist solely to boost the profit margin....something that should have been factored into the original sales price in the first place.

End of rant.