Sunday, September 17, 2006

Network Printing on Ubuntu

My printer is connected to my desktop and I access it with my laptop over my apartment's wireless network. To do this, first install the printer as normal on the "server" computer. Then we must do the following, also on the server computer to which the printer is attached:
1. We must edit the smb.conf file so type the following in a terminal:
sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf
2. Notice that throughout this file there are headings in brackets such as [Global]. Under the [Global] heading, you will see workgroup=MSHOME. Change this if your workgroup is called something else, otherwise, you can leave it as it is.
3. Under ###Printing###, you wil see the following:
; printing=cups
; printcap name=cups
Remove the semi-colons
4. Under ###Share Definitions### you will see the sub-heading [printers]. The following should be listed:
comment = All Printers
browseable = no
path = /tmp
printable = yes
public = yes
writable = no
create mode = 0700
guest ok=yes
5. Next, under the ####Authentication#### section, you will see the following:
; security = user
Remove the semi-colon and change it to look like:
security = share
6. Save the file and reboot.
7. Now you can access the printer from another computer. On the remote computer/laptop go to Administration->Printing
8. Click on new printer and select network printer. Find your printer and install it. For everything here, always enter "guest" as your User ID and leave the password field blank.

Adding a New / Second Hard Drive on Dapper

(See update post for Edgy)
There are, of course, a few preliminary steps to adding a new hard drive such as installing it and making sure the BIOS recognizes it. As far as ubuntu, I suggest installing gparted with synaptic. This will let you partition and format (I recommend ext3 or Reiser as a filesystem when formatting--do no choose NTFS as it is not very compatible with linux). Gparted will also let you see where the device is located (my new hard drive partition was at /dev/hdd1) and your file system (mine is ext3). So once you have this information, you need to edit fstab.
1. Find out where your hard drive mount point is. In ubuntu, its usually under /media but if nothing is there, you will have to designate a spot. I decided to to mount the new hard drive in /media/Storage. To do this, type the following in a terminal:
sudo mkdir /media/Storage
You can call your folder whatever you like
2. Next type the following in a terminal (make sure you know where your hard drive is from gparted such as /dev/_________):
sudo gedit /etc/fstab
3. Edit the fstab file by adding the following information at the end (use what is already there for guidance:
(Your device location) (Your mount point) (file system type) (options) (0) (0)
Mine looks like:
/dev/hdd1 /media/Storage ext3 defaults 0 0
4. Save the file and close it.
5. I next wanted to change the permissions on the new hard drive so that an average user could read, write, and execute the files located on it. To do this, type the following in a terminal:
sudo chmod -R 777 /media/Storage
(Substitute /media/Storage with your chosen mount point)
6. Reboot and everything should work.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gtkpod and gpodder

(Also see iPod update post)
For my iPod, I previously used gtkpod and gpodder. Gpodder (a podcast catcher) is nice because it also has the ability to sync to your iPod. Gtkpod is easy enough to install with synaptic, then you just have to configure it to your liking. However, when I installed gpodder, the synaptic/ubuntu repositories didn't have the gpodder package so the process was a little more complicated. So before anyone tries this, see if the gpodder package has been added to the ubuntu repositories first. If not, follow these steps:
1. Install the following packages (also listed on the gpodder site) using synaptic: gtkpod, python-eyed3, python-gpod, python, python-gtk2, python-glade2, python-xml, and wget.
3. Download gpodder from the gpodder site and save the deb file to wherever you like.
4. Install the gpodder deb file by finding it and double clicking on it. This will bring up the synaptic interface and just go from there.
That should be it. Other configurations and adding podcast feeds can be done within the program (which shows up under Applications->Sound and Video). If any problems, try re-booting and then run the program again.

Ubuntu pdf-cups printer (Dapper)

(See update post for Edgy)
To print anything to pdf, do this:
1. Install cups-pdf using synaptic
2. Open a terminal and type:
sudo chmod +s /usr/lib/cups/backend/cups-pdf
3. Go to System->Administration-> Printing and click to add a new printer.
4. Select Local Printer & Use A Detected Printer
5. Click on PDF Printer
6. Choose "Generic" as the manufacturer
7. Choose "postscript color printer rev3b"
8. Leave the driver set to "Standard (suggested)"
It will save the pdfs in a PDF folder within your Home folder
My thanks to this blog (which has a ton of other ubuntu guides as well) for these instructions!

Ubuntu Screen Resolution 1280x800

My laptop (Acer TravelMate 2420) has a 1280x800 screen resolution which was not automatically enabled when I installed dapper. I found that the 915resolution package could help. So if you have this problem, try this:
Install the package 915resolution using synaptic. This may be enough but it wasn't for me. I then had to edit a couple of the configuration files for which, unfortunately, there is no gui to help. Therfore, do the following:
1. Open a terminal and type: 915resolution -l
2. The above command will give you a list to choose from, pick one for 1280x800 (for me it was Mode 65/32 bit) and write down the values
3. Then type the following in the terminal and enter your password when prompted:
sudo gedit /etc/default/915resolution
4. Edit the mode, xreso, yreso, and bit sections of the file to the values you have written down. For example, mine were:
5. Then save the file and close the window
6. Then reboot. I know there are probably quicker ways but I would rather reboot because I then know everything re-started and I don't have to worry about that being a variable.
7. You may be done, but probably not. So next go back to a terminal and type:
sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
8. Go the area labeled "Subsection 'Screen'" and below that there is a subsection labeled "Display." Below that you will see a bunch of lines with resolutions. Change the DefaultDepth line value to 24 and in the depth 24 section, add "1280x800" at the beginning of the other values.
9. Save that file, close the window, and again reboot.
10. Once rebooted, you may have to go to System->Preferences->Screen Resolution and switch to 1280x800.
If you have any problems or want to see examples of how the configuration files look, check out these two sites: Display1 and Display2

Ubuntu Wireless Cards

If you have problems with your wireless cards, check notes for your card on the Supported Cards page. For example, I have a TrendNet card and was instructed to use Ndiswrapper. I downloaded and installed ndiswrapper-utils and ndisgtk. If you have to use this method, download or find the .inf and .sys files for your card online or on you driver installation CD and then open the wireless card program now installed (System->Administration->Windows Wireless Drivers). Click "install new driver" and point the program to the .inf file, configure your network, and your done!

Ubuntu Dapper Drake

A lot of these posts will be about linux because it makes me crazy a lot of times until I finally get something to work how I think it should. So if I get something to work that I've had problems with, I'll post it here. I currently use Ubuntu (Dapper Drake) because its easy and is actually useful most of the time. I've used Fedora and Mandriva (when it was Mandrake) in the past. The best two reference sites for Dapper, I think, are:
The Unofficial Starter Guide
The Restricted Formats page
Most of the packages indicated on the Restricted Formats page can be installed using synaptic if you have first added the plf repository listed here. You only need to add the binaries repository
(deb dapper free non-free) unless you have some need for the source. The page also has the repository for Edgy Eft up if you have already switched over. In addition, you will be able to install the msttcorefonts package from the plf repository which will enable you to use Windows fonts such as Times New Roman.

Friday, September 15, 2006

New Favicon

Ignore this post--it is only to get a new favicon for the blog.