Getting a Canon LaserBase MF5650 printing on Linux

I traded my Samsung SCX4200 for my parents old Canon LaserBase MF5650 as its not supported under Windows 7/10 and the Samsung is still supported.

I had hoped that my Ubuntu Xenial Linux desktop would have drivers and it would all just work, unfortunately the Canon MF* series of printers are not supported as they use a different communication protocol for printing.

Luckily someone on Internet has reversed the protocol and written drivers for Linux (and possibly other OSes that make use of CUPS printing)

Continue reading

Remote access to a DSL-2750U ADSL Router (a sort-of hack)

Usually I use a SSH connection forwarded through my ADSL router to one of my home servers for remote access to my network. The server in question though had become un-responsive so I had no way remotely into my network.

For fun I nmap’d the public IP of my ADSL router and found the following interesting port open:

80/tcp   open   http

I thought I had switched off all the “remote” control methods on my router but clearly not, visiting the page gave me the following (scary) login screen. Continue reading

Fix for “Invalid Pointer” error when attempting to login on Windows 7 on a HP ProBook

A colleague at work had a problem on her HP ProBook after applying the HP Updates.

When attempting to logon to Windows you would get a message saying “Invalid Pointer” and then be taken back to the login screen, just pressing enter at the login screen (blank password) would do the exact same thing.

All my Googling showed that other people had the same problem and the recommended solution was to re-install Windows, which seemed overkill.

I’ve found a different way to fix the issue that is a little less drastic but will take a few minutes and some registry editing to fix. It appears to be the HP add-on/plugin that is wired into the login process to support the Finger Print reader that was failing.

These are the steps I followed to fix this issue:
Please be careful, this requires registry editing and other tasks that should only done by someone who knows what they’re doing.

  • Boot into Safe Mode (During bootup press F8 and then select Safe Mode or Safe with Networking)
  • Login normally using your password. (You’ll see that this login screen looks different and works correctly.)
  • Follow these steps to allow uninstalling of applications under Safe Mode.
  • Open Programs and Features in Control Panel, find the HP Client Security Manager application and select it. Then select Uninstall/Repair and perform a Repair following the onscreen instructions.
  • Reboot the laptop and it should allow you to now login again.

Get rid of the Floppy Icon in (x)Ubuntu

By default Ubuntu is configured to load the floppy kernel driver on start-up, if you don’t have a floppy drive though this can be annoying because the icon will appear as a un-mounted drive on your system. In Xubuntu on my machine the icon and entry in thunar (the file manager) looked like this.FloppyIcon

The fix is to unload the floppy driver from memory, thankfully on Ubuntu its a module so you can unload the module with the following command:

sudo rmmod floppy

If you want to permanently stop it from loading on boot you can blacklist the driver as follows:

echo “blacklist floppy” | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-floppy.conf
sudo rmmod floppy
sudo update-initramfs -u

Google Goggles, CSI like technology on your phone.

I’ve read about it before countless times before, but I haven’t had a phone capable of running it. This morning while drinking my tea I read yet another post about Google Goggles and decided to install it on my HTC Wildfire.

I have only one word to explain it… “AWESOME”.

It reminds me of the handheld gadgets they use in shows like CSI where they take a photo of something (fingerprint, shoe print etc) and then click a button and the phone magically does some recognition and comes back with the info. It’s not perfect… and doesn’t recognise all the logos I had in the office but it does a pretty good job none the less.

And now with Google Images supporting reverse searches (search for an image using an image) it could only get better.

Awesome, powerful, small Linux machine.

Small Linux ComputerFound this on the Make Zine site, more info on site or the Raspberry Pi Foundation site.

Awesome little machine with rather impressive specifications.

Provisional specification

700MHz ARM11
256MB of SDRAM
OpenGL ES 2.0
1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
Composite and HDMI video output
USB 2.0
SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
General-purpose I/O
Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

I?wish I could get a device like this in South Africa for R 250.00 ($25.00 estimated price in the article.)

I wonder if the hardware is good enough to run XBMC