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)

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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

Synergy Rocks!

If you’ve never heard of Synergy its a pretty awesome application. Basically it allows multiple computers to share one set of Keyboard, Mouse and Clipboard. It’s cross platform so it works very nicely if you’re running a mixed environment.

I set it up today at home (had to work from home as our office ADSL went down.) between my desktop PC running Ubuntu Linux and my laptop running Windows Vista. You install the Synergy app on the various PC’s that you want to be clients, in my case thats my laptop, you then setup a machine as your “server” and point the clients to the server. On the Server machine you decide in which direction the various clients are and then hook everything up.

At the moment I have it if I move my mouse of the left hand side of my linux machine the cursor continues moving across onto my laptop screen and now my laptop has focus, so I can type and work on it using my desktop keyboard and mouse. I? can even copy something and then move right again onto my linux machine and paste it.

The laptops keyboard and touchpad continues working, but its much better than having another keyboard and mouse cluttering up the desk.

If you do plan on trying it out I would suggest you get QuickSynergy for your Linux/MacOSX machines as it makes configuring things much easier.

Sending Mail from Linux Command Line using Gmail

Was knocking together a little script tonight that downloads a few pages that I would like to read in the morning and then email them to me. I had a problem though finding a simple way to send an email from the command line in a script.

Then I came across this article which shows you howto do it using a program called ssmtp, works brilliantly.

Get a Samsung SCX 4200 Working On Ubuntu 9.04

I have a Samsung SCX-4200 Printer/Scanner it works rather nicely and I like it alot, even though I don’t use it often. Tonight I plugged it into my Ubunut machine and it printed first time, with no setups. Unfortunately the scanner didn’t work.

A few quick search’s revealed this forum entry on the Ubuntu Forums and from there I found this site with .deb packages for the Samsung Unified MFP drivers. After installing the packages the scanner suddenly work in XSane and I could scan. I’m really like the fact that more and more hardware “just works” now in Linux, or works with minimal tweaking. I haven’t had to compile a kernel or any other software in a very long time.

After getting the scanner to work I found 2 nice apps to use instead of XSane, the first is flegita a nice little app that makes it easy to scan things from the scanner to png, jpg, tif and PDF and the other app is gscan2pdf which allows you to scan to pdf.

Open Source/Free Utils and Applications

I thought I would list a bunch of Open Source / Free utils and applications that I use almost every day. I’m excluding the obvious ones like Linux (in my case Ubuntu).

The list below is what I use in my day to day job, normally on my laptop running Windows Vista, the order really doesn’t matter its just as I thought about them. Everything listed below is available for Windows and most are also available for Linux and other OS’s. I’m a programmer, web developer and computer geek so I’m sure the list of software below reflects that, but no matter what you do there is probably at least one application that might be handy.

If you have a favourite please add a comment and share it with us. Continue reading

Installing Fonts on Ubuntu

Been setting up my Linux machine and getting everything setup the way I like it. I had to install a few fonts that I like using. Found the following info:

If ~/.fonts does not exist, create it:
$ mkdir ~/.fonts
Copy the font, from the command line, run the following:
$ cp [fontfile] ~/.fonts
From the command line, run the following:
$ fc-cache -f -v ~/.fonts
or alternatively, log out, and log back in.

Works great.. found on this site.

Getting the Sun JDK as default on Linux.

If you’ve installed both GCJ & Sun JDK installed on the same Ubuntu Linux install then you might have the problem I add. I installed both Eclipse and NetBeans and now the default Java Runtime was set to GCJ. To fix this you just have to try run the following:

update-java-alternatives –set java-1.5.0-sun

This should switch everything to use the Sun JRE. Found this info on the Java – Ubuntu Community Documentation.