Archive for June, 2006

Template changes

I’ve decided that I really don’t like the WordPress template I’m using here on apt-get install, so I am going to be changing it sometime soon. That means I’ll be testing out a number of them, and since I don’t have a test server set up for this blog, it means that y’all will see the tests as I’m doing them. I apologize in advance for the wonkiness! Hopefully, by the end of the day I’ll get things settled back down.

Brother HL-1440 and CUPS

I just finished a major battle trying to get my Brother HL-1440 laser printer working in cups. Apparently, many people who tried it had no problems at all. I, however, had nothing but problems. I didn’t have a problem detecting the printer, either directly connected to my Debian computer via USB, or via an SMB share to my wife’s Windows XP computer.

The problem came in when I tried to print. Every now and then, I’d get a perfect printout. But normally, I’d end up with problems. Sometimes it was garbled text, sometimes it was major margin issues, with top, left and right margins being off by as much as an inch. Other times, about half the page would print, then the printer would just stop. I’d hit the Continue button on the printer and it’d eject the piece of paper, but never finish the print job. The worst was when the printer would print a single line of garbled text at the top of 45 sheets of paper.

This problem actually followed me on two different computers, one running Debian Sarge, the other running Ubuntu Breezy/Dapper. I tried every possible printer definition file for the HL-1440, and even tried some of the files for the HL-1450. I had finally admitted defeat, and have just been printing to an HP Photosmart P1000 that I have attached to my Debian fileserver via USB. That works, both locally on the Debian machine and shared to my Ubuntu machine.

Every now and then, though, I decide to waste an hour or two trying to get this printer working. I had one of those days today. And as I was googling for assistanec, I came across a post on the Ubuntu forums regarding installing a Brother MFC210C in Ubuntu. And damned if that didn’t solve my problems!

Basically, the solution is to download the lpr drivers and the cups wrapper for the HL-1440 from Brother’s Linux driver website. Then you run the following set of commands (modified from the post on the Ubuntu forum):

sudo mkdir /var/spool/lpd
sudo mkdir /var/spool/lpd/hl1440
sudo dpkg –install hl1440lpr-1.1.2-1.i386.deb
sudo dpkg –install cupswrapperHL1440-1.0.2-1.i386.deb

Then came the last snag: the Brother drivers don’t just install Brother’s ppd file, they also actually create a cups device for the printer. So instead of trying to manually add a new printer or having the system detect a new one, you refresh your current list of printers. And *poof*, there’s the HL-1440. A few modifications (changing the source from USB (the default) to SMB share, for example). I did a test page, a print of a small text file, and a multiple-page test. All worked flawlessly.

There’s one more to scratch off my list!

7 Deadly Sins of Email

Tetsou’s article regarding the “7 Deadly Sins of Email amused me, because I am guilty of at least a couple of the sins. Email is not my strong point. I prefer to stay in touch with people via email, but I am notoriously bad at actually replying to email. So the seventh sin

7. Failure to respond in a timely fashion
I was recently sent an email from an Internet consultant who wanted to buy a domain name from me. I wasn’t using the name at the time and promptly replied that I would be willing to sell at a reasonable price. Several days went by and I heard nothing back. I checked my email account to ensure that everything was working fine, which it was. After a few weeks, I came to the conclusion that the consultant had rejected my offer and so I sold the name on. Imagine my surprise when I heard back from the consultant agreeing to the price! I regretfully informed him that he had missed the boat. Avoid this sin by being diligent and responding to client and customer emails in a prompt and timely fashion. Your customers will thank you for the courtesy.

For anyone who’s sent me an email, then gotten annoyed because two or three months have passed and I haven’t answered, fear not! I will answer your email. Eventualy. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a year without answering an email. But I’ve definitely come close.

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

June 2006
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