From Pogo to Zip

So I was quite sad that my Polaroid Pogo printer finally died in May 2020 and no longer worked, despite some best efforts to fix it.

However at Christmas I got a replacement, the Polaroid Zip.

polaroid zip printer

I had bought my Pogo printer way back in 2009. This was a battery powered zero ink (Zink) printer which did 2” x 3” prints (which were also stickers). You generally sent the images to the printer by Bluetooth, but you could connect an USB stick or camera to the printer as well.

I had bought one after getting feedback from friends on the Twitter.

It cost me £50, though within a few months it had fallen in price to just £17.

I did use it for a while, but there were some core reasons why it never really clicked for me, partly the size of the prints, just 2” x 3” which was too small for most things. Couldn’t really see a practical use for such small prints, even if they were stickers. The other main reason was that the quality of the prints was quite poor in comparison to the HP photo printer I had at the time. So like many other devices after the novelty had rubbed off and the curiosity value had waned, it went into the cupboard.

When I started a new role in 2015, I dusted off the Pogo and started to use it much more.

Dusting off the Pogo

…after making notes in a my new work notebook (trying out visual note taking for project planning) that I realised I actually wanted to include a diagram in my notes. I could have attempted to draw the diagram, but I am not that good at drawing clear diagrams. Also in this case I wanted the actual diagram, not a drawn representation of the diagram. I then remembered the Pogo printer and I wondered…

I had to connect it to the power adapter and remember that the easiest way to do this was to send it the image file over Bluetooth. I was actually quite surprised and impressed that it worked.

I used it for another five years before it finally died on me.

I did think about buying a replacement there and then but in the end it was put off as I had other things to do and spend money on.

So I was well pleased this Christmas to get a replacement, the Polaroid Zip.

Polaroid Instant Print for the Digital Age 

For the first time ever, you can now enjoy all the power and fun of Polaroid instant print cameras without the need for the actual camera. This brand new standalone mobile printer is designed to print vibrant, colorful photos from a variety of sources. It features its own rechargeable polymer battery. After just 1.5 hours of charging time, it is ready to print 25 sheets before needing another charge.

ZINK Zero Ink Paper: No Ink. No Hassles. 

Forget messy ink cartridges and ribbons. This mobile printer prints your photos onto ZINK photo paper, which, when subjected to heat from the printer, activates unique color-forming molecules embedded in the paper’s layers. The resulting prints measure 2×3”, feature deep, vibrant colors, are completely smudge-proof, and sport a peel-back sticky paper for even more fun.

iOS & Android. Bluetooth & NFC. And more. 

Sending your photos to the mobile printer is super easy. Simply connect your iOS or Android smartphones, tablets and other devices over Bluetooth or NFC, and print wirelessly from anywhere within range.

The Zip has a huge advantage over the Pogo in that I can print (using an App) direct from my phone. With the Pogo I was only able to print by sending files to the Pogo from the laptop via Bluetooth. You couldn’t send photos from the iPhone to the Pogo via Bluetooth (and the Zip App didn’t work with the Pogo).

The Zip App works well on iOS and I can see a fair few use cases as I photograph stuff to then print and stick into my notebook.

On my Mac I send images to the printer via Bluetooth, which is quite seamless.

One challenge is the size, 2×3” is small, and many years ago I did have a small HP printer that did 4×6” prints, but alas the printhead on that died! I think something similar may be on my Christmas list for next year.

Buy the Polaroid Zip at Amazon.

Adding the keyboard

As I am still having major issues with my Smart Keyboard and my iPad Pro I have decided to start using an old Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad. I had to reset the keyboard and then pair it with the iPad.

bluetooth keyboard

Using it made me realise how useful a “proper” keyboard is with an iPad (or even an iPhone) when you have to type up lots of stuff. Even just entering an username and password for me is easier with a keyboard.

It also reminded me how useful Bluetooth is, though today we take it mainly for granted. I do remember how exciting and innovative Bluetooth was when I first experienced it.

Bluetooth interference

I’d forgotten how annoying Bluetooth interference can be. I was on the train to London and I had only brought my iPad, but also brought my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard so that I could type up some stuff.

However as I tried to type I was getting typing errors like this.

So there IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

The iPad also kept “losing” the keyboard.

The reason for the keyboard problems wasn’t an issue with the iPad or the keyboard, but was Bluetooth interference from my Google Nexus One. I use the Nexus One as my portable wireless hotspot and due to the constraints of the seating on the train it was placed next to the iPad.

London Paddington

Moving the Nexus One resulted in the keyboard problems disappearing.

So why didn’t I just turn off Bluetooth on the Nexus One? Well that would seem to be the easy solution, the reason I didn’t was that it was already off. The interference actually comes from the wifi on the Nexus One and not Bluetooth, and if I turn off the wifi then I lose my internet connection. So easy solution, move the Nexus One, not that simple in the cramped seats of First Great Western.

Printing from your iPhone

So the iPhone has a really nice camera…

Okay so the iPhone has a camera! It doesn’t take bad photographs and ascamera phones go it ain’t bad!

Now with the Nokia N95 which does have a very nice camera, 5MP compared to the iPhone’s 3MP, and a Carl Zeiss lense, it is relatively simple to print images from the phone without needing to dump the photographs first onto a computer. I have printed the images via Bluetooth and USB.

With the iPhone it has been a little more challenging.

I first saw hope with the HP iPrint Photo (iTunes link) however your HP printer needs to be connected to a wifi network. Alas my A618 Photo Printer which is excellent for printing photographs, is not wifi capable; it does memory cards, USB and Bluetooth, but not wifi.

I then heard about the Canon Easy-Photo Print for iPhone (iTunes link) and as the owner of the wifi capable MP600r I thought ah ha a way of printing from my iPhone.

IMG_0242

Alas the application only works with the Pixma MP990, MP640 and MP560. As a result it couldn’t find my printer.

IMG_0241

Of course I am not going to change my printer so I can print from my iPhone.

New Bluetooth Headset

For the first time in ages I am trying out a new Bluetooth headset, a Nokia BH-101.

I have charged it and it paired fine with my Nokia N73, though I still need to check it works when I make a call or someone calls me!

I never had too much success with Sony Ericsson headsets, this is my first Nokia one, so will be interesting to see how it performs.

Biggest surprise was the price, which was £15, I remember paying nearly £100 for a headset only a few years ago!

Bluetooth Printing

I have tried to print via Bluetooth from my iMac to my new A618 compact photo printer and have failed, in the main as the driver wasn’t on my iMac.

A618

It can be relatively simple as I found with the PhotoSmart 375 I had previously. This is one of the reasons I create the guides on my website so that when I need to install a new or an existing printer for a second time, I can remember how to do it, likewise by putting them online I can access the guides from anywhere and if required on a separate device (which is useful if you need to reboot or shut other applications down).

Checking my guide it is of course a driver issue, time to find the driver…

In the end I moved the photographs I wanted to print from the iMac to a USB stick and used the printer remotely instead.

A618 Photo Printer

I recently replaced my older HP PhotoSmart 6″x 4″ printer with a new model.

The HP A618 PhotoSmart Printer is slightly bigger than my previous model, but it can print up to 7″x 5″ as well as the standard 6″x 4″.

It comes with integrated Bluetooth which is useful for printing from a mobile phone and from a computer, avoids the need to find that USB cable.

It doesn’t come with a battery, which is an optional extra, but I will be getting a battery, as I found that really useful on my older printer.

The quality is excellent and I am certainly impressed with the quality of the prints.

When it comes to printing photographs, I know I could use my Canon MP600r, but personally I have found it much easier to use a dedicated photo printer such as the A618. Not only is it quicker and easier especially in terms of setup, and choosing the right paper, the fact you can just plug in your camera or the camera’s memory card avoids many of the problems that I have had when printing photographs from my regular printer.

3G N73 Mac Internet

A guide on how to connect a Mac to enable it to use 3G Nokia N73 as a Bluetooth modem.

Connecting a Mac to the internet via Vodafone 3G and Bluetooth enabled Nokia N73

This guide takes you through the process on a Mac (running Tiger 10.4) and on a Nokia N73 phone and enables you to connect via a Bluetooth connection to the Nokia N73 and use the phone’s 3G data connection for internet access.

Nokia N73

This guide may also be useful to people with other phones and 3G accounts with other providers.