Making Communications Buzz

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Internet Addiction: (News Flash) Spending More Time Online May Not Lead to Increased Productivity

Here's a quote to file under the category, "You know you're in trouble when...":

Scores of online discussion boards have popped up on which people discuss negative experiences tied to too much time on the Web.

This is from an article on today's titled, "Caught in the Web: More People Say Heavy Internet Use Is Disrupting Their Lives, and Medical Experts Are Paying Attention".

More and better technology has been a major contributor to increases in US productivity despite widespread downsizing, but some of the same technology can also be a seductive diversion that makes you feel like you are being productive when you are actually just downloading more new "gadgets" for your "desktop" -- or "widgets" for your "dashboard" -- or polishing your personal profile on MySpace or

Care to comment about it on my blog?

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lexmark Color Printer for $299 - Read This Before You Buy

I recently purchased a Lexmark C522 Color Laser Printer. Sounded like a great deal at the time, but it appears it was too good to be true. Now I'm thinking I may never buy a Lexmark again.

The C522 got favorable reviews, in some cases better than the comparable Hewlett-Packard C3600. The 3600 costs around $599; the Lexmark C522 is on special right now on a few sites like for $299.

I have a black and white HP LaserJet that I bought in January 2000 and I use it all the time. The extent of maintenance over 7 years: replace the toner. The thing works just as great today as it did 7 years ago.

But that $300 savings was enough to get me to try a Lexmark. It did not take long, however, to discover a major shortcoming in the Lexmark: it seems it does not print OpenType fonts. [See the previous post(Installing New Fonts, Continued: What's the Difference Between TrueType, PostScript and OpenType Fonts?) for a quick rundown on OpenType fonts.]

I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with Lexmark tech support, and they were no help at all. So I guess I should say I wasted an hour and a half.

The tech guy actually suggested that the problem is due to the fact that I need to buy more memory for the printer before it will recognize OpenType fonts.

The printer comes with 128MB of memory. My 7 year old HP LaserJet has 8MB of memory, and it recognizes OpenType fonts just fine!

So the tech guy is either woefully misinformed and making up pseudo-solutions on the spot, or I bought a printer that requires me to buy an accessory in order to do something every new printer should be able to do right out of the box. And, Lexmark memory cards start at around $200!

I'm still waiting to hear back from tech support. It's a simple question: does the C522 print OpenType fonts or not?

I know enough about how printers work to know that memory is not the cause. OpenType fonts are usually about 50KB in size. You can get a whole lot of 50KB fonts into 128MB of memory.

Lexmark, you have not heard the last from me! I'm all about Word of Mouth Marketing and the BUZZ that comes with it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Installing New Fonts, Continued: What's the Difference Between TrueType, PostScript and OpenType Fonts?

TrueType (TT), PostScript (PS) and OpenType (OTF) use different patented mathematical methods of creating font shapes. It's all highly technical, and, thankfully, nothing you or I really need to know!

PS is the oldest of the three, but there have been several upgrades so it works just as well as TT or OTF.

You can use TT, PS and OTF fonts together in the same document.

Of course, if you ever plan to send something to a commercial printer (or a print shop like FexEx Kinko's or Minuteman Press), it's always good to ask them what they suggest you use. Different commercial printers and print shops have different preferences.

Installing PS fonts on a Windows PC used to be more complicated than installing TT fonts (Windows 95, 98, ME and NT), but this is not the case with more recent versions of Windows (2000, XP and Vista).

OpenType fonts are a significant improvement over TT and PS for two reasons:

1. They work on both Macintosh and Windows machines, whereas you need to buy a Mac version of a TT or PS font for your Mac, and a Windows version of a TT or PS font for your Windows PC.

2. OpenType fonts often come with expanded character sets that include things like small caps, special or alternate characters, and such.

In general, the instructions in this post: How to Install New Fonts on a Windows Computer should be sufficient to install new fonts on a Windows PC. If you would like more information about font types and installation, see Fonts: Which Format Should I Order? and related pages on

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Want to Try Installing Fonts on Your Windows PC? Why Not Try These Free Fonts From MisprintedType?

Phil Dunn of offered this tip as a comment to my last post (How to Install New Fonts on a Windows Computer).

More free stuff: some artsy fonts for PC and Macintosh. Go to My favorite: DisgustingBehavior.

Monday, November 06, 2006

How to Install New Fonts on a Windows Computer

Clients often ask how to install a font on a Windows Computer. Here's how. These instructions may seem complicated at first, but once you have done it a few times, it's a snap.

1. Save the font file or files to your hard drive in a place that you want to keep them. (I usually create a new folder in My Documents called Fonts McBuzz Installed, or something like that.)

2. If the files are in a ZIP file or folder, you will need to UNZIP this. Find the ZIP file on your hard drive. Right click on the ZIP file and select "Open with WinZip" or "Extract" or "Unzip" -- whatever you normally use to open a ZIP file/folder. If you need help, try this article: Zip or unzip a file - Microsoft Office Online.

3. Now go to Control Panel from the Windows Start menu and select Fonts. (Alternatively, open or double click on My Computer. Find Control Panel. Double-click on Control Panel. Find Fonts. Double-click on Fonts.)

4. With the Fonts folder open, go to the menu at the top of the window and select File > Install New Font...

5. In the dialog box that opens, use the Folders window to navigate to the folder where you saved the font files (or where you opened the ZIP file with the font(s) in it).

6. Select the fonts by clicking on their names. (You can select more than one by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on each one.)

7. Check the box next to "Copy fonts to Fonts folder".

8. Click OK.

Your fonts are now installed and should be available in the font menu of your word processing or graphic design software. You may need to close your word processing or graphic design software program and then reopen it before you can use the new fonts.