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How to install Lexmark z24 z25 z35 printer in Ubuntu 8.04 May 9, 2008

Posted by techscope in linux, tutorials, ubuntu.
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Lexmark z24 printer (also applies to z25 and z35) works like a charm on Ubuntu Hardy Heron after these two steps (note, if you do not implement STEP TWO, it will complain of missing dependencies):
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STEP ONE – Follow the tutorial below:
(an extract from http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=49714, post by michellembrodeur)

Re: HOWTO: Lexmark Printers
I found this for the z35 somewhere else on these forums.

it work no problem for a Z35

OK, this will take some skill on your part, but it can be done.

First, log in as root and download the drivers from

http://downloads.lexmark.com/cgi-perl/downloads.cgi?ccs=229:1:0:337:0:0&emeaframe=&fileID=1242

Make a directory and put the Lexmark driver in it… Let’s assume we named it LEX, and that folder is sitting in /root OK? (in all of the commands, you do not type the # key, this is just to signify the prompt)

OK, so we have moved the driver into the folder now, and we will go into the folder by opening a command prompt and typing:

# cd /root/LEX

We will now extract the archive by typing the following command:

# tar -xzvf CJLZ35LE-CUPS-2.0-1.TAR.GZ

This now leaves us with a shell script rpm installer called lexmarkz35-CUPS-2.0-1.gz.sh… not very useful to a Debian distribution like Xandros, so now comes the fun part…We will make another directory now, and extract the files into it…

# mkdir lextemp

# tail -n +143 lexmarkz35-CUPS-2.0-1.gz.sh | gzip -cd | tar xvf – -C lextemp

Now we will enter the lextemp directory and convert the rpm files, since Xandros should not use rpms unless absolutely necessary.

# cd lextemp

# alien -t *.rpm

Next, we will use the tar command to extract the files to their proper place.

# tar -zxf lexmarkz35-CUPS-2.0.tgz -C /

# tar -zxf z35llpddk-2.0.tgz -C /

Now for some editing… type the following commands in the order shown below..

# cd /usr/local/z35llpddk/utility

# ln -s auckUS.lut bnsi1.lut

# cd /usr/lib

# ln -s liblexz35core.so.0.0.0 liblexz35core.so.0

# ln -s liblexz35printer.so.0.0.0 liblexz35printer.so.0

# ln -s liblexz35printjob.so.0.0.0 liblexz35printjob.so.0

Now to test and see if the driver is working…

# /usr/lib/cups/backend/z35

Output should not error out, and give an output similar to this…

direct z35:/dev/usb/lp0 “Lexmark Inkjet color printer” “Lexmark Printer”

OK, if all is well, we allign the print heads by typing;

# /usr/lib/cups/backend/z35 utilities

Now that the heads are aligned, we can select the printer in the control center by following Launch > Control Center. Once in there in the Periphrial devices section there chould be a setting called printers… highlight printers and then go to add >local printer > Lexmark inkjet color printer and now under the model number one should see an entry for Z35 v 2.0-1… Select that, and then do your test page… Congrats, You’re finished!

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STEP TWO:

Install libstdc++5 in Synaptic Package Manager.

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Fixing NetBeans install problem in Ubuntu Hardy April 16, 2008

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Since I dumped Borland JavaBuilder 2 years ago, NetBeans has surely been my favourite for Java development.

After installing the NetBeans IDE through (Applications->Add/Remove) on a fresh 8.04, I ran into an interesting problem. The IDE would start sort of normally, but at the module loading stage you would be presented a message that the system is running with JRE instead of JDK, so expect some loss of functionality.

Surely, we can notice the loss of functionality straight away, the code and project browser do not work at all.

I thought that simply installing the open-jdk package from repositories would fix NetBeans, but I was wrong. Even after specifying the path to the newly installed open JDK in Tools->Java Platforms, the IDE would not update its paths by itself.

The trick that worked for me was to BEFORE re-installing NetBeans go to /home/your_user_name folder and DELETE the hidden .netbeans directory (it is necessary, because the IDE settings are stored there, and this directory is not deleted by default even if you uninstall NetBeans).

Now, you can enjoy programming again 😉

Portable Sunbird win32 run with Wine in Ubuntu April 14, 2008

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Now, of course, you’d ask why is it necessary, if you can simply install one from the repositories with no hassle?

Because if you are changing hosts computers all the time at work like me, which takes you far from Linux many a time, it’s handy to have a runnable portableapps.com USB-stick you carry your stuff on. You can get lots of win32 Open Source applications to you liking.

When I am back at home it’s just handy to instead of sharing calendar files between different instances of Sunbird, you can run and modify your portable calendar right from your USB-stick with wine, a windows emulator for Linux. See winehq.org for more info.

However, I came across one nuisance: as soos as you start win32 portable Sunbird with Wine, the main window won’t minimize (certainly only a bug in Wine implementation). But it works otherwise!

Import Outlook mail to Thunderbird on Linux: how-to April 11, 2008

Posted by techscope in communication, linux, tutorials, windows.
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I update this article to reflect the recent changes to Thunderbird.

In the past, the only, and somewhat tricky, way to migrate your Outlook mail to Thunderbird would have been to:

1) Import your Outlook .pst folder into OutlookExpress on Windows.
2) On Windows install Thunderbird.
3) Thunderbird for Windows has got an import Mail from OutlookExpress wizard. Do it.
4) Get the imported Thunderbird folders from Windows to your Linux counterpart.

But now it is the thing of the past:

I am excited to have just found out that the new version of Thunderbird (2.0.0.12) on Windows has got a beautiful Outlook mail import wizard. A welcome development!

However, the only inconvenience I experienced was, I was unable to import a .pst file without Outlook already being installed on the machine.

It would be much better to bypass Outlook check altogether (say, I’ve got a .pst file backup only). We are yet to see if it’ll become possible in the future.

iSkoot for Symbian test run April 9, 2008

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iSkoot is a nifty piece of software capable of vicariously running Skype services on any symbian phone. It is still in its beta stage and free so far.

Whereas other solutions require at least a 3G or, even better, a Wi-Fi enabled device, my cellphone which supports neither is not at a loss with iSkoot. The trick is, it uses plain EDGE/GRRS for text-chatting to your Skype contacts, and when it comes to making a voice call, the software uses the Public Switched Telephone Network, resulting in placing a usual “local” telephone call via your cellular operator.

It is hard to imagine many uses for this extravagant technology, but under certain circumstances it might be viable enough to justify its existence.

But does iSkoot really work?

That’s exactly what I set out to find out this weekend.

1) I downloaded and installed the N73 version for my E50 (the phones use the same operation system) from http://www.iskoot.com/register.php

2) On running the software with an existing Skype account, it logged in just fine and all my contacts where displayed.

3) A gave an Echo test service a call. And got the following results:

– My balance before the call was R136,24 (approx. $17,03).

– it took 54 seconds to make a call (at first I noticed a local South African – appropriate for my location – number is dialed) whereupon I said some meaningless nonsense to a machine for 15 secs. The other 15 secs went for getting my own words back. So, I guess the actual “conversation” took about 35 seconds for real.

– The sound quality, I would say, is anything between 6/10 or 7/10, not too bad.

– My balance after the call was 135.20 (off-peak rate), so it cost me R1.04 ($0,13) in total for the 35 seconds of pleasure.

Bottom line:

Nothing can be better than enjoying a Skype call from the comfort of your home on your PC, but if you’re out in the field with no broadband connectivity, and for some reason it could cost you less to make such a vicarious call, iSkoot might be an option, especially if you call an international contact.

In South Africa where I live the broadband penetration still leaves much to be desired, especially in rural communities, so why not get some Chief skyping out directly from his cellphone? 😉

A simple fix for random freezing problem in Ubuntu 8.04 beta April 5, 2008

Posted by techscope in linux, ubuntu.
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onestly, when such a grand OS would freeze randomly out of the blue with no definite pattern whatsoever (sometimes I could work for two hours before it happened, and sometimes it was just a matter of minutes), it could drive you crazy.

At first I thought it was because I am using AMD Althlon XP-M 2600+, which can scale CPU frequency. Forums suggest disabling the powernowd daemon which supposedly does not implement the frequency scaling effectlively. It did not solve the problem.

However, I just unplugged my usb mouse and went for using my laptop’s synaptics touchpad instead. That was a lucky guess, and I’ve never had a single lock-up in days anymore.

Working on a laptop that wouldn’t freeze is a feast, so if your system hangs for no reason, it might be a good idea to give this fix a try.

Let me know if that worked for you!

Wireless on Ubuntu Linux 8.04 Hardy Heron April 3, 2008

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There’s been much talk over the years that Ubuntu Linux, notwithstanding being a rich desktop environment rivaling Windows and Mac OS in every possible way, still leaves much to be desired when it comes to wireless networking.

My experience with this distro has been pretty positive from the beginning, but when I first got my USB wireless dongle into the port after installing Ndiswrapper (that was on 7.04 – Feisty Fawn, some 8 months ago), almost immediately the system froze on me, and would do so every time I wanted to go wireless.

Rummaging through forums, I found out that a CPU lock-up bug was to blame, and since wireless connection is a must on my laptop, and I did not want to buy a new natively supported wi-fi card, I abandoned Feisty altogether. I even decided to wait it out when Gutsy Gibbon came around.

Worth saying, I resorted to Puppy Linux for a while, which handled wireless out of the box with flying colors.
I may have had some subliminal trepidation after burning the Hardy Heron (beta) .iso image and running the installer. Sure, what other bugs could one expect?

Ok, folks, Ndiswrapper installed with my wi-fi usb dongle windows driver over it. WPA2/WPA encryption on. Ready, steady, GO!

Trying to connect to the wireless network… forever… DHCP wouldn’t assign an IP address. Static IP wouldn’t work either.

I tweaked Ubuntu back and forth and even managed to connect on 3 out of a hundred occasions, using plain terminal commands and a couple of scripts. But it was only stable enough until the next reboot.

It seems the problem lies with slight differences in the implementation of WPA algorithms by various vendors. In this case, wpa_supplicant VS my router’s encryption schemes are a tad not fully compatible.

It is also worth mentioning, that I am writing this from Hardy Heron on wireless, same set-up, but WEP-128 encryption.

Bottom line:

The state of wireless in Ubuntu Hardy (beta) is workable, but stable enough only using WEP encryption, which is outdated and easily crackable, providing minimum security.

Let us hope WPA implementation and other wireless bugs will be done away with in the stable release, due in just over 20 days from now.